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Promotional gifts at exhibitions: are they worth it or a waste of time?

Many organisations often head to their exhibition stand armed with some form of promotional item, or gift to hand out to visitors of their stand. But are these really worth it? Or are they a waste of time, money and effort?

In short, the answer is yes – they are worth it! However, they need to be memorable; it needs to be something your visitor is likely to hold on to… you don’t want to make an item that will end up straight in the bin.

Visitors of trade shows will be able to walk around the show and pick up many different gimmicky complimentary items designed to promote the different businesses that are exhibiting. With this in mind, yours must stand out.

To get the most out of your promotional item, you need to establish exactly what you’d like to achieve: do you want to promote your brand, do you want to leave your visitors with something substantial to keep, do you want to appeal to their sweet tooth, or would you like to offer discounts or promotional deals to future customers? Whatever direction you choose to take, remember that this item will reflect your brand and your business.

Consider your target market: could you create a product you know they will find useful in their everyday life? Or could you make a small-scale version of a product you offer – showing them exactly what it is you do?

To avoid your item being taken by simply anyone who passes by your stand and to preserve its value, don’t leave it out on display otherwise people will just walk past and grab anything that’s free. Keep them out of sight and use them as a reward, or a thank you to visitors who engage with you at your stand, or maybe complete a survey with you, or simply express an interest in what you have to offer. On one hand you don’t want to be handing them out to everybody, but on the other hand it is important you create a lasting impression on customers who are genuinely interested in you and your business.

If implemented and executed well, promotional items can drive business and increase your clients, and therefore your profits. Put some serious thought into your item, then sit back and reap the rewards…

For any more information on exhibiting or ideas on how to get the most out of your exhibition stand, call Henson Franklyn today on 01427 718178 or email us at