We asked 10 industry experts to share their opinions and advice on trade show giveaways.
"You want the 'wow factor' of your gift to outweigh the inconvenience of carrying it home – and that doesn't always mean the item has to be super small."
— Michael Webb, vice president of sales, Bagmasters
"Food and candy are great to get people into your booth but have no value after that. Branded desktop items are my favorite because your company name ends up front and center."
— Jeffrey Grade, business development manager, Jack Nadel International
"Focusing on cool stuff and not considering how the item ties into your brand message gives you zero memorability for your efforts."
— Pat Friedlander, owner, Word-Up!
"Make sure the product can be used long after the show is over. A cellphone charger may save the day for a client whose phone is running low on power."
— Jim Doyle, sales manager, Positive Impressions Inc.
"Truthfully, when was the last time you made a buying decision because of a giveaway? I can't say that I ever have."
— Candy Adams, CTSM, CEM, CMP, CMM, "The Booth Mom"
"The right gift can do a great job in getting a prospect to remember you. I have two such trade show gifts on top of my desk, and they have been there for 20 years."
— Ed Marquez, president, Mark Bric Display Corp.
"If a giveaway is bigger than a deck of cards, it had better be well worth bringing home."
— Richard Covington, marketing manager, Backstage Library Works
"The right premium will have immediate perceived value to the recipient. This comes at a cost, but all good marketing efforts have a price tag attached."
— Dave Egan, head writer, Writers Direct Group
"It's sort of funny that nothing has changed since hundreds of years ago, when missionaries used glass beads, etc., to try to convince folks deep in the jungles that their 'book' and religion were the best."
— Hans Mecker, president, Global Exhibit Alliance
"I find myself asking one question: 'What can I buy that looks great, people want, and won't break my budget?'"
— Holly Dillon, regional marketing manager, Unitronics Inc.