blogimage-081016From bags and t-shirts to pens and notepads, promotional items play a key role in generating buzz for your brand that lasts long after an event has ended. What’s the secret for selecting memorable giveaways that will provide maximum impact and brand recognition? Here are five tips for making your promotional items stand out in the sea of booths at your next trade show:

Generate buzz with pre-show mailings. Make branded items part of your pre-show marketing. Use items such as magnets, sticky notes or stick-up calendars in personalized mailings to create excitement prior to a show. These pre-show mailers alert attendees of your presence at the show and can tell them where your booth will be, what you’ll be offering and what they will gain by meeting with you.

Align with your brand. Select items that reflect your brand image and company culture. In addition, because promotional products improve brand recall, it’s important to leave a positive impression with your target audience. A general rule of thumb: avoid novelty items and instead go with quality, practical items that people will use – a travel mug, aluminum flashlight or embroidered cap says lasting impression.

Prioritize staying power. Selecting items that can be used for several months or throughout the year will give you the most bang for your buck. For example, calendars give your brand 12 months of visibility; a reusable cotton tote bag can double as a shopping bag after it leaves the show giving your brand more staying power.

Keep utility top of mind. Utility is another factor to consider when selecting trade show giveaways. Items that are useful will have greater longevity. Branded sports bottles, mugs, pens and portfolios are gifts that can be used often, keeping your brand highly visible every day.

Connect with your audience. It doesn’t matter how creative or useful your items are if they aren’t directed at the right audience. Cater to the conference theme, venue and attendee profile when selecting giveaways. A tech crowd may appreciate items like branded flash drives, mouse pads and ear buds, while hand sanitizer, pedometers, lip balm or a nutrition guide would appeal to a health care audience.