Get Something for your Giveaway

We often refer to promotional items as “giveaways,” but should we really be giving them away to just anyone who walks by? Too often, people forget that there is a purpose to these items. They are meant to bring people into your booth, to generate leads, and to create awareness of your brand or company. By setting out a bin of free key chains or handing out a personalized pen to anyone who comes within range, you are really just telling people that they can come to your booth to get something for nothing. 

This method of distributing your “free” goods is not particularly effective. You shouldn’t just stand back and allow people to come by for a free item and then just walk away. Instead, stand out in front of your booth and greet them as they walk by. Let these people know about your business and what you can do for them! After a brief and  friendly exchange, you then hand the passerby your promotional item and let them walk away with a physical reminder of your business and a positive memory of the exchange that just took place. They will remember you each time they use the item, making chances greater that they will become your customer in the future.

Here’s another alternative to giving away these items at random: make a trade! Have them fill out a lead form for your personalized magnet (or keychain, or hand sanitizer, or T-shirt). When purchasing promotional items to distribute to potential customers, you should expect a return on that investment in the form of leads and, eventually, in sales. Once again, the potential customer has a tangible reminder of you and your business, and with a personalized item they will have your contact information at their fingertips. Not only do they have your information, but you now have theirs and can take the initiative to follow upon the lead after the event is over. 

The key to using giveaway items effectively is to not simply give them away for nothing in return. This doesn’t mean that you should demand that passersby make a purchase on the spot or provide you with personal information, but you should be implementing lead generation tactics with these items. Think outside the box with your promotional items. Will a simple balloon distract a child long enough so you can tell their parents about your business? Is a keychain enough, or will it take something more innovative to draw in the kind of people who will be interested in your product? Think about the audience you want to attract and select promotional items to cater to their needs or to compliment your product or service. Using promotional items isn’t complicated. By putting a little thought into the items you’ll bring, who you want to give them to, and what you want in return for them, you can make sure to get a return on the investment that you put into those items!

How do you distribute event giveaways? What items are crowd favorites? Tell us in the comments!

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