Many companies participate in tradeshows to garner interest for what they offer. It is important to start planning now for any upcoming tradeshow events you may have in the new year.

Planning is essential when it comes to having a successful tradeshow exhibit. The impression you make at the event can set the framework for a positive business experience. Don’t forget to consider how promo products fit into the mix when prepping for your first show of the year.

Establish Goals

First, determine what you want to get out of the event. Tradeshows cover many topics, so it’s in your best interest to know what fits your plans the best. This will inform your decision as you purchase items to aid in the event’s success.

Top merch to consider in the planning phase:

1. Pens. These are tradeshow staples and an effective giveaway that can be purchased in bulk and used throughout the year. You want attendees to leave with your brand in mind and any writing instrument with your logo will accomplish that.

2. Can Coolers. These are another staple and again, perfect to amass in bulk so companies can have a great handout no matter the event. Your logo will be displayed prominently, but there is room to include more, such as contact info or a brief description of your services. 

3. Bags. These are perfect to have on hand for many uses, whether it is for tradeshows or company events. Branded bags have the potential to accumulate thousands of impressions as people use them in their daily lives. 

Engage Attendees

In a sea of other tradeshow booths, it is essential to stand out as the best one to visit. Having an attractive display is the first way to introduce your brand to attendees. You also have to encourage people to interact with your booth representatives. Having a game like a raffle or a prize wheel can be a great way to get the conversation started. 

Top swag to consider for the booth:

1. Displays. This is the eye-catching moment you’ve been waiting for. Invite people into your booth with the best display on the floor. This can be with a retractor banner, a graphic display kit or a flag that points them to your location. These are investments for your brand that can be used time and time again. 

2. Table Cover. Your brand is front and center in your booth with an eye-catching table throw or runner at your booth. Like the displays, these can be used at multiple tradeshows as a beacon for your brand. 

3. Game Prizes. If you are going to use a game display like a prize wheel, be sure to have fun prizes at the ready. They can be as simple as the pens, can coolers or bags you already have, or you can create “limited edition” merch that can only be found at your booth during that particular show. A commemorative hat, customized sunglasses or a memorable mug can have attendees wearing your brand as they leave the tradeshow floor. 

Execute Outreach

The success of a tradeshow can be measured in the follow-up phase. The event is a place to make a first impression, but be sure to engage with those new contacts beyond your time at the booth. Getting contact information is one way to do that, but don’t forget to have your message go home with them as well. This invites them to reach out to further the conversation. 

Top incentives to consider for the follow-up:

1. Hand Sanitizer. It is becoming the norm to carry hand sanitizer with you at all times. This useful giveaway can put your brand in their hand after the show has closed. With your logo and a QR code, people can reach out to find out more. 

2. Magnets. Magnets easily find a place to display your company’s mission for potential customers to consider. Your message can leverage your social media pages to invite them to engage with you on your platforms and continue the interaction online. 

3. Power Banks. People want useful products and power banks are necessary gadgets in today’s technology age. Help them keep their devices charged and your mission top of mind when they reach for them. This could navigate them to your business once they need your services. 

By aligning your swag with your brand identity, you can create a tradeshow experience that sets your business apart from the rest. Find more promo product ideas in our Tradeshow Essentials collection.