One of the best ways to see how promotional gifts are perceived by potential new customers is to attend at any decent trade fair or at one that shares the same market segment with your company or business, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. You will be overwhelmed by the diversity of the promotional items received, as every company tries to promote their business with eye-catching giveaways.
We have done this, went to a few events to see how the market for promotional items is developing, and we would like to share our findings. Due to the nature of our business, we are little biased of course, but from our events experience you can still draw your own conclusions.
At one of the most recent events, a trade fair, we left with a couple fancy carrier bags full of promotional items. We received endless pens, notebooks, the usual leaflets, drink coasters and even packets of sweets and an insulated mug. We also received one item that made our day, a engraved USB flash drive, for us to study how it is imprinted and to see what company used it as giveaway.
We have seen, of course, many attractive stands and we hung around one that offered beautiful black notebooks with chunky pencils. We especially liked the company which stand offered us the coffee mug, but to be honest, the insulated mug is still in its package, unopened even now, after almost a month.
Believe us or not, our stand that offered promotional USB sticks was full. We draw the conclusion that our branded giveaways were attracting the customers like ants to a picnic. Executives, regular buyers or browsers were hardly waiting to get their hands on that little gadget, packed in a pocked sized embossed case and branded with that company name.
We also went to a big conference. At some point a major blue-chip company had their presentation. During the tea-break, they placed on the delegates’ seats extremely attractive gift boxes, which was a very nice surprise. But at the end of the presentation, we could count dozen of abandoned boxes’ content on the seats. The promotional items were not quite appreciated even with those impressive boxes. They were branded post-it note dispensers, very nicely made. We liked them so actually took them unlike other participants. But, I could not tell you where they are stored now. Also, a small tech-sawy company held their presentation at this conference. Before they started, they handed out branded USB sticks and they were not even packed in boxes or bags. Maybe they could not afford them, thou they are quite cheap. But, at the end, none of their giveaways could be found lying around.
Based on our observations, we believe that technological gadgets are the most appreciated promotional gifts, especially the small USB memory drives. All gifts offered in trade fairs and conferences are appreciated, but in the long run the customers will remember the generous company that offered them their branded USB sticks, for sure. Even if this item will be handed out, by your customers, to their friends, colleagues, family members or children, it will still make your business visible and your company’s name remembered.
Just remember that people are demanding a minimum standard. If a 512MB flash drive was a generous offer a few years ago, now they will be seen as cheap giveaways. Also, preloaded promotional materials are very important. These materials are the message delivered to the people that show interest in your company. And what could be a better way to send your message? Better than through your promotional items.