Ah, the good old days of trade shows where companies would give you t-shirts, teddy bears, inflatable beach balls, designer wines – anything they could engrave or inscribe their name and product on. Because of rising costs, a lot of cool marketing freebies are a thing of the past.
In order to become profitable, it is a sad fact that you almost end up spending money. One of the ways to attract business is to attend a trade show. For a lot of people, in the current economic client that may not be a good way to spend your money but it is a great way to network and if you are looking to hit as many potential distributors or customers as you can, it may be money spent profitably.
In the attached video, I touch on the same information that I will talk about here. I attended a special needs expo in Los Angeles today and they gave out pens and the wristbands that seem to be hot these days. You know, the elastic plastic bands that mention the cause or company they are supporting. The pens they were giving out promoted different agencies and had their phone numbers. Two of the wristbands I received were interesting. One was from Special Children’s Art, a group being directed by a Rett father who Sharren and I know where he goes out to schools and organizations and has children make murals, etc incorporating special needs children to interact and be part of the creative process.
I also received a wristband that was yellow, green, blue, red and violet promoting eating fruit. Wild! It actually makes sense because kids will remember to eat one of every different color fruit to get all the different vitamins they need. Great marketing idea!
You basically don’t want to go nuts giving out marketing items for clients even though they could be considered a tax deduction. Remember you still have to layout the cash to get the items and that is money that is out the door. Longtime readers know also that I am not a fan of running up meaningless deductions because the name of the game is to make money, not concentrate on tax deductions that really aren’t helping at best and raising red flags at worst.
If you are thinking about using flyers to paper car windshields you better check with local zoning first and the same thing with going door-to-door or getting permission to hand out flyers at malls. If you are lucky you will get 1% sell through and out of that the people who call you may not use your goods or services. Most of the time the flyers end up on the street aggrevating the parking lot attendants, the mall people but delighting officers who want to cite you for littering.
Magnets work great – they stick on the fridge and most people will remember you at tax time. Calendars work well except after the year is over, some people toss the magnet or they start ignoring what is on it and it gets used to hold up their kid’s spelling test results.
Here is the video that goes along with this post. Hope you enjoy it!
Kim Isaac Greenblatt
You are reading Kim Isaac Greenblatt’s blog, profitable, and checking out inexpensive marketing gifts for customers and trade shows.