Giveaway items at trade shows fall into two major categories: Swag and Prizes. Today, we’re talking about giveaway prizes and how exhibitors can use them to achieve their objectives and realize a serious return on their investment. With a carefully planned campaign, a giveaway can achieve big results, but most exhibitors don’t take full advantage of the opportunity because they don’t research and plan correctly. An effective giveaway involves much more than simply choosing a cool, flashy prize, and ineffective giveaway does little more than increase your costs. Consider the research and planning time part of the investment, and you’re likely to realize a stronger ROI than you were expecting.
Start With Fact-Based Goals
The first step in planning any giveaway campaign is setting specific, measurable goals, based on the most credible data you can access. Say your trade show exhibit at last year’s Medical Supply Trade Show. You know your team collected 2,000 leads, you sold 1,500 I.V. pumps during the show, and another 1,000 units to converted leads after the show. You also have hard numbers for your cost-per-lead and cost-per-unit-sold, and you probably have a reasonable estimate of how many people visited your booth. These numbers provide the basis for you to set achievable goals for your giveaway. Do you want to use the giveaway to close more sales at this year’s show? Maybe the goal is to collect more and better leads, or to reduce the marketing factor of your cost-per-unit-sold.
Attract Real Prospects
There’s one more critical factor in planning your giveaway campaign, and that’s understanding your most likely buyers. Your giveaway should appeal to those people as narrowly as possible. Let’s take a consumer show example: Your company sells whole-house water purification systems and you’re exhibiting at a home and garden show. The booth next to you is selling polishing compound that removes scratches from eyeglasses and sunglasses. Your genuine prospects are going to be much more specific (and fewer) than theirs because far more people own scratched sunglasses or glasses than homes that need water purification systems, and no one is going to need to talk it over with their significant other before purchasing a $10 container of polishing compound. While it might profit the polishing compound people to attract as much traffic as possible and give away a tablet that pretty much anyone would want, you need to take a more precise approach. You could attract your most likely buyers with a prize like a rainwater collection system for landscape water. If you wanted to limit your giveaway to only people who have made a purchase at the show, you might offer a prize that builds onto their purchase, like a gray-water filtration module that provides landscape water.
Gather Better Data
Many trade shows now use scannable badges for attendees, and these are a great way to collect lead data. At a minimum, you’ll get legible contact information from each badge, and using a more sophisticated scanning system, you can also collect data about where else that badge was scanned at that show. Your team can choose which visitors scan in, if you want to use the badge scans for entry to your giveaway.
Take The Time To Get The Best ROI From Giveaways At Trade Show Events
Don’t waste money attracting the wrong leads with an ineffective giveaway campaign. Invest your time and money well, and your giveaways will produce more and better leads from your trade show exhibit, and, ultimately, stronger sales.