8 Ways to Maximize Promotional Products Impact

A lot goes into a successful networking event or trade show experience and every business wants to generate a positive return on their show investment. Aside from the show itself, the biggest thing to remember is that for successful promotional products impact you’ll need marketing planning, preparation, and implementation leading up to the show.

This is particularly true when it comes to the promotional product (koozies, shirts, pens, mugs, etc.) offered in your booth or at any time during the event. By putting adequate time and thought into the process, you can avoid the pitfalls of a poorly executed and costly, promotional giveaway.

Here are 8 ways to ensure a successful networking or trade show promotion

1.     DON’T ORDER WITHOUT A PLAN: Without a clear strategy, you risk negative ROI from your promotional budget and your campaign can end up a total waste of money. So plan ahead and know what you’re going for within the overall campaign, the brand impression you want to make or the interaction and experience you want participants to have before you place an order.

2.     CREATE YOUR STRATEGY: Ask ”What do we want to achieve?” Name recognition is only one goal, so consider what’s possible beyond that. Once you have an objective in mind, choosing the right items becomes easier. Do you want your items to be the talk of the show? Do you want the promo item to have a long shelf life making lots of impressions over the years? Or utilize everyday items for your audience so they associate your promotional product with the feeling that you’re helping them.

3.     APPEAL TO YOUR CUSTOMERS: Promotional items that don’t fit your target customers’ tastes or lifestyle can backfire – confusing or even alienating them. So be mindful about who they are and cater to their preferences and lifestyles.

4.     CHOOSE RELEVANT, REUSABLE ITEMS: The last thing you want to see at the end of a long day are your promotional items in the trash. Make sure they’re not only relevant, but well made, too. Promotional products impact your investment when sturdy and useful enough to be used repeatedly over a long period. Such items not only enhance awareness, but create a positive association with your brand.

5.     AVOID CRAMMING TOO MUCH INFORMATION: Don’t ruin a promo item by making it difficult to read. Keep things simple and only provide the basics. Logo, name, and website is often enough. If the text, logo or images are too small you’ll miss an opportunity for that impression. Don’t forget to consider color contrast between the promo item and your logo too!

6.     PROOFREAD ALL ORDERS: Assuming copy is correct, or only glancing at it briefly, can lead to mistakes and costly re-runs. Don’t be the only one to read a proof; share it with others in your organization for confirmation.

7.     GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH LEAD TIME: In our super-busy last-minute world, suppliers usually accommodate last minute orders by providing rush service. But even an order that’s been proofed can arrive with unforeseen irregularities.  You want to build in enough cushion to provide for corrections. Remember, rush service not only costs more, it creates the risk of receiving an item which can’t be exchanged or replaced in time before your event.

8.   FOLLOW UP:  Be sure your company collects adequate contact information from those who visit your booth and always, always, always follow up. Following up is your final and best opportunity to create new relationships, reinforce your value and retain existing customers.  Prepare your communications in advance so you can hit send at the show or immediately after.  Even a friendly, “Nice to meet you and I will contact you when the dust settles after the show” email can make a professional impression on new contacts.  Follow up with every new contact at least five times by phone and or email to be sure to maximize the results of each lead.



Think it Then ink it is a promotional products and branded apparel company in Verona, WI. We build brands with logoed corporate, team, and event products from our vertically integrated design and fulfillment center. One of our unique capabilities is our specialized corporate branded stocking program that provides on-demand access to your customized products. Find out about our custom web apparel stores or available products and services at ThinkitTheninkit.com or call us at 608-845-5300.



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