Preparing for your first trade show, especially if you are a new small business, means amassing suitable promotional materials. You will need both displays and things to hand out to attract customers. The following guide can help you make the right decision when ordering your promotional items.
What is the purpose of the trade show?
In most cases the true purpose of attending a trade show isn't to make any immediate sales or secure a long term client, but simply to get your name out there so you can use the weeks after the show to build your client list. This is why a business card isn't enough – you need something that stands out a little bit more so that your name is kept in front of potential customers, but it needs to be useful so it doesn't end up in the bottom of the junk drawer or in the recycling container.
Should use print or object promotions?
For many businesses, a combination of both is what works. For example, a collection of brochures, a business card, or a catalog gives them an easy-to-reference source on you, but a pen keeps a reminder of your business close to hand. Just avoid the pointless objects. For example, if you sell IT services, then a frisbee with your name on it won't pertain to your business and will likely end up in a drawer and passed down to a potential client's child. On the other hand, if you sell dog walking and exercising services, then a frisbee could be the perfect promo tool.
What is your promotional budget?
Finally, keep in mind your budget. In many cases, object promo items are more expensive than print items. In this case, you may stick with print in the beginning. You can still get print items that are useful, such as bookmarks, pocket calendars, or notepads. If you bundle the printing of these with your other trade show print needs, such as banners, brochures, and business cards, you can save money. Look for an online or all-in-one print shop, like UPS printing, to get a good deal on a combination of items. Looking online is also a good idea, especially if you are in an area without a lot of storefront options. You can find more competitive deals, and everything can be delivered right to your door.
For more help, talk to a business print service in your area.