QUESTION: There is a lot of debate over whether or not trade show SWAG [which means “(free) stuff we all get”] and special promotions are effective tools for exhibitors… How can my company decide what, if anything, we should offer in our booth?
ANSWER: There are a number of options that you could choose from, according to your specific situation (i.e. goals, resources, target audience, etc.), if you decided that it would be in your best interest to provide SWAG and/or host a special promotion as part of your exhibiting efforts. However, it’s important to note that SWAG and special promotions aren’t required parts of exhibiting…
So, in deciding whether or not you should offer anything like this in your trade show booth, ask yourself the following four questions; if you can’t answer each question with a resounding YES, your final decision should also be NO (to be completely clear, if you can’t agree with all four questions, this means that your trade show SWAG/special promotion selection process should end here and you shouldn’t offer anything like this in your trade show booth).
Question 1: Will the trade show SWAG/special promotion attract your event-specific target audience? (Remember, “everyone” is not your target audience)
Question 2: Do you have enough trained staff to properly qualify and attend to the visitors your trade show SWAG/special promotion attracts?
Question 3: Keeping in mind the image you are trying to reinforce (or create), will these specific efforts portray your company in the best possible way (matching quality, honoring values, etc.)?
Question 4: Does this opportunity make sense when you consider your budget and goals (i.e. could there be a better way to allocate the funds you would set aside for this trade show SWAG/special promotion)?
Do you have a question related to sales, marketing, or trade shows?
Post your question in the comments section below (or send it to Robyn directly)
and it may be selected for a future Q+A post!