A small gesture can make big gains

What are the best promotional items out there? We all love the gift bags we receive at conferences and expos. For years, your desk drawer will be loaded with logo pens, some of them are used up but you keep them anyway because they remind you of an event you attended.

But not every promotional gift plays its role as well as it did in let’s say the 90s. Times are changing and many companies are opting to reserve their marketing budget for online PPC campaigns and SEO strategies.

We still love the stuff companies hand us, so what works these days and what should be left on the back burner? A couple of successful young entrepreneurs share their thoughts on today’s market and the best strategies for placing promotional items. Here are some of the things they said.

From Doreen Bloch

Forget all the riff raff, a bunch of promotional stuff will probably get thrown away. Wearable promo like t-shirts spread the word on the street. Make sure there’s a catchy badge so they’ll want to wear it in public.

Arielle Patrice Scott

Keep it community relevant. Every company at a conference or expo is going to be giving out promotional gifts. What people really come for is to network. Find an item that will start the conversation. Use your items to get people sharing ideas. They’ll appreciate what you have to offer and they’ll be likely to spread the word about your brand.

John Hall

Do something special that will stand out. A product that people have never seen before will evoke curiosity and get people talking. Medical stress balls for instance – something eye-catching and even funny will sell even the most serious products.

Caitlin McCabe

Keep your swag relevant to the trade show you’re attending. If for example you’re at a conference for dog owners, hand out promotional leashes, or dog bowls – something easy to have made, and yet a powerful promoter. If it’s useful to them, they’ll keep it. They might even tell their friends and colleagues.

Be clever with your promotional items. Think about who you want to share them with and why they might share your logo with others. Stay ahead of the game and offer something unique that will be a conversation starter at any event.