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The Do's and Don'ts of Promotional Items for Event Marketing

Posted by Carla Leible on August 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Do's and Don'ts of Promotional ItemsToday’s world is more digital than ever, we all know that. But when it comes to marketing your business, often there’s no substitute for meeting potential customers in person. That’s why live events and promotional marketing are still viable options for businesses and, in many, ways more powerful. However, you shouldn’t just show up to an event empty handed. You’ll want to come armed with some promotional goods to attract people to your area and leave them with something to remember. But what exactly are the best promotional items for events?

The answer will depend on your business, customer base, and industry to be sure. With that being said, there are some best practices in terms of how to choose promotional items for events that will give you the best chance for success. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts of promotional items when it comes to your event marketing.

Do: Create Something That Stands Out

There’s nothing worse than a useless trinket that people will just toss as soon as they get home. So you want to create something that’s going to stand out. Take things like the audience, event and, season into consideration when selecting your promotional items. If you’re at a conference, for example, portable cell phone chargers might be a good idea. Whatever it is, you want it to be different than the standard promotional fare and be branded for your business. And a phone charger will actually get used by the customer, keeping your brand in front of them at different times. Also think about seasonal items. Take an outdoor, summertime event, for example, where you could give out branded beach towels, sunscreen, reusable water bottles, or green tote bags.

Do: Create Something That Draws People In

Your promotional item should be something that people actually want, that draws them into engaging with you. Think about how much your potential promotional items incentivize people to interact with you. This can take many different forms, like giving out coupons or offering them to sign up for a newsletter. Also don’t forget about social media, as you might want to give away an item in exchange for prospects following you on Facebook or Twitter.

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Do: Create Items That Brand Your Space

You want to bring items that brand your space and create a unique experience compared to other businesses at the event. Think about using banners, feather banners, branded tents or other items that draw attention to your space and help you stand out. Brainstorm ways to make your space attractive and engaging, somewhere that patrons feel good to come over and talk with.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the don’ts.

Don’t: Not Have Anything

While it sounds simple, businesses that are busy preparing logistics for an event overlook simply bringing something more often than you’d think. Remember to prepare in advance, order enough items and have a solid plan as to how you’ll display things. The worst thing that can happen is being caught off guard and showing up to an event with nothing for attendees. Your space won’t look exciting and patrons won’t have any real reason to engage with your brand.

Don’t: Forget to Add Contact Info

There’s no point in having prospects engage with you if there’s no way for them to follow up later. So make sure that your promo items all contain some sort of contact information, based on what’s appropriate for that item. Depending on what the item is and how much space you have, it could be as simple as a website, phone number, or hashtag.

Don’t: Opt for the Typical Promo Items

We all know the standard promotional giveaways that simply pile up at our homes and offices. They’re so common that we forget the brand that gave them to us, and they serve to have very little marketing impact. Pens, t-shirts, notepads, and the like just don’t do anything to differentiate brands in today’s event marketing landscape. They’re extremely popular and easy to get made, but they’re just very run of the mill.

That being said, if you do opt for these items, due to cost or convenience, try to brand them in a way that sets you apart from the pack. Make your pens bright colors, or your notepad in an unusual shape for instance. Your t-shirt could have some kind of design, or be seasonalized in the form of a tank top for summer. Is the event in winter? Maybe try giving away a beanie or gloves, something that people will find useful and keep your brand in front of them.

So now that you know the do’s and dont’s of promotional items, you’ll actually be putting your money to good use the next time you decide to give away free stuff at events. For more marketing tips for your small business be sure to subscribe to the Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group blog today!

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Topics: Advertising

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