How to Reach a Target Audience

Trade Shows 101

Trade Shows 101

When it comes to face-to-face marketing, few events can rival the ROI potential of a trade show. With the right marketing strategies and careful planning, a quality trade show can put your brand smack dab in front of a targeted audience who is searching for a product or service just like yours.

But what is a trade show, exactly? While you’ve likely walked through a crowded exhibit or convention at some point in your life, being on the other end of the display booth is a much different experience than being an attendee.

Before we dive right in, here is a quick primer on what you should know about trade shows:

  • Trade shows can benefit companies both large and small by putting their brand directly in front of qualified leads.
  • When used correctly as trade show handouts, promotional items can be extremely effective at generating qualified leads and meeting your company goals.

What Is a Trade Show?

Trade shows are exhibition events held in major cities where exhibitors in a specific industry set up a display booth to promote their products and services. Usually, trade show attendees must either pay to get into the event or be invited to the show, making them far more valuable of a lead than the average Joe off the street. These people have a vested interest in the products and services on display, which is one big reason why an estimated 1.3 million exhibitors set up a trade show display booth in 2014, according to a 2018 CEIR Index.

ROI on Tablet

Why Make Trade Shows Part of Your Marketing Plan?

Whether you’re trying to grow your brand awareness or break into the industry via smart networking tactics, trade shows have the potential to scale your business and grow your brand. Let’s look at a few specific reasons why business executives and entrepreneurs prioritize industry trade shows:

    • In-Person Interaction—In an age of social media, the value of face-to-face interaction shouldn’t be dismissed. In-person interaction is essential to making meaningful connections with attendees and moving them down the marketing funnel.Attendee Buying Power—According to The Exhibit Survey, more than 80 percent of trade show attendees have buying power. Attendees are ripe for the taking, but only if you can draw them to your booth.
    • High ROI—While the return-on-investment of trade shows can vary depending on industry, it’s not uncommon for businesses to come away from their trade show with a huge profit. According to atEvent, companies can expect to achieve an average ROI of $4.99 for every dollar they invest.
    • Boost Brand Awareness—From promising startups to established corporations, trade shows can be used by any size of business to grow their brand awareness and connect with their target market.

People looking at a laptop

6 Steps to Make Your Next Trade Show a Success

There is a lot that goes into planning for an upcoming trade show. From researching shows to determining objectives, here is a brief look at what goes into achieving trade show success:

  • Determine Goals—If you don’t have a goal for your trade show, how will you measure your success? Determining goals early is crucial to making your trade show a huge success. A few ideas of trade show objectives include boosting brand awareness, promoting the launch of a new product or growing authority in a particular niche.
  • Craft a BudgetHow much will you need to invest to accomplish your goal? Creating a trade show budget can be tricky, but it will help ensure that you’re investing your time and money wisely.
  • Find a Quality Trade ShowResearch trade shows in advance to make sure that each one is worth your investment.
  • Research the CompetitionWho are your biggest competitors at the trade show? Research their selling points and find ways to outshine them on the trade show floor. From flashy signage to unique promotional products, get creative with your trade show strategies.
  • Attract People to Your BoothGive people a reason to stop by your booth with exciting signage, engaging booth staff and, of course, trade show giveaways. Attendees have come to expect branded swag at trade shows, so be sure to check out our trade show swag ideas if you need some inspiration for your booth.
  • Follow-Up with LeadsDon’t wait for leads to lose interest in your brand. Follow up within 24 hours while your brand is still fresh on their minds.

Make a Lasting Impression at Your Next Trade Show

When you’re new to the trade show industry, exhibiting for the first time can be stressful. From developing an eye-catching booth to crafting the right messaging, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time, money and energy into your upcoming trade show.

While we can’t take away all of your trade show stress, we can make it easy to attract attendees with useful promotional products that are the talk of the trade show. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you pick promotional items that align with your brand messaging and help you maximize your trade show ROI.

Posted by Lee in How to Reach a Target Audience, 0 comments

5 Ways to Make People Forget You

Not putting your brand name on the door of your business is the same thing as not using a promotional product. The price of NOT using promotional products all but guarantees people will forget you.

The Advertising Specialty Institute, a leading promotional products association, releases an annual impressions study. ASI breaks down the effectiveness of promotional products against other types of advertising, by product, and by demographic. Every single study type drives home the high-value effectiveness of promotional products.

Here are the top 5 ways to not use promotional products to guarantee people forget you:

Mr. Nobody

1. Don’t put your brand logo on a promotional pen that people find in their kitchen drawer, on their desk or in their purse.

blank lined notebooks
2. Don’t brand a personalized note pad…let’s just keep calling it scrap paper.

3. Don’t put your logo on a shirt or customized uniform to ensure no one thinks about you when you see it in a crowd.

Trade show concept.
4. Don’t put your company name on a reusable tote bag that you give out at a tradeshow and no one will thank you for not helping them carry all of their show swag.

Cafe Eat Sign
5. Don’t put your restaurant logo on a custom mug, on the menu or on the café door. Why do you want people to remember where they at that delicious meal that time?

Click to see our best selling promotional items, and make sure your brand is never forgotten!

Pinnacle Promotions

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Oops! The RIGHT Way to Make the WRONG Impression

On the episode of Friends titled “The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance,” Ross has begun to teach his first-ever college course. He is intent on making the right impression, and starts his very first class by introducing himself with an English accent. The hilarity ensues when Monica and Rachel stop by class one day for lunch and discover the bogus accent. He insists the entire fiasco began all because he wanted to make the right impression.

In the promotional products industry, without careful guidance it can be all too easy to make the wrong impression. Our sales team shared examples of the right way to Make the right impression.™

handsanitizerRight: Hand sanitizer for the hospital or doctor’s office
Wrong: Food containing nuts for the hospital or doctor’s office

towels2Right: Branded towels for the local gym
Wrong: Orca whale stress balls for the local gym

Right: A gift pack including sunglasses, hats and sunscreen for the luxury resort in South Florida.
Wrong: Heavy, customized fleece jackets for the luxury resort in South Florida.

ribbonRight: Ribbon reflector light for a cancer fundraiser
Wrong: Zippo lighter for a cancer fundraiser.

Right: Filtered water bottle for an alcohol treatment facility.
Wrong: Shot glass for an alcohol treatment facility.

SM-7677_500Right: Customized cowbells for the local chicken fast-food restaurant.
Wrong: Customized chicken feet for the local chicken fast-food restaurant.

At Pinnacle Promotions, we know the right way to Make the right impression.™

Pinnacle Promotions

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Pens for Lefties

If you’re left-handed, like I am, this is probably all too familiar:

Lefty Perk

[image source]

I have pretty terrible handwriting to begin with, add the lefty smudging, and it doesn’t make for a pretty thank you note. (Sorry to those of you who have actually received a thank you note from me!) So, with around 50 promotional pens on my desk, I set out on a mission. Find the pen the has the least amount of smudging when used by a left-handed person.

Custom Pens

So, I didn’t test all 50 of them, but I grabbed a sample and honestly had no clue which would come out on top.  The winner:

Eco-Green Paper Barrel Pen

The Eco-Green Paper Barrel Pen had the least amount of smudging out of all the pens that I tested out!  And just in time for Earth Day too, right?  It’s a sign!

Are you a lefty? Do you have a favorite pen that doesn’t smudge?

Marketing Coordinator

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Newsjacking the Oscars

Have you ever heard of the term “newsjacking?”. Before I started here at Pinnacle I was aware of the concept of newsjacking, even if I didn’t have the term for it. If you’ve never heard of this pop-culture second style of marketing, let’s pause while I send you over the ever -helpful folks over at Hubspot who have written a definitive essay-length post about it here. For those who subscribe to the tl;dr style of reading  (meaning: too long; didn’t read) newsjacking is exactly what it sounds: hijacking the news.

Now before you start comparing newsjacking to the bus scenes from Speed, it isn’t as life-or-death as it sounds. In fact, if you happen to follow any brands on Twitter or Facebook you will have seen it at work with last night’s Oscars. It’s the practice of capitalizing (aka, jumping on the bandwagon) on a popular, cultural moment. It can be anything from a newstory or Jennifer Lawrence’s rather charming face plant from last night. Brand ambassadors will take to the internet linking their product, service, etc. in relation to this story. For example, a shoe company could have taken to twitter to tweet a Jennifer offering her their shoe insoles offering stability and comfort after her fall last night, and by not only tweeting it to her account but adding an Oscar related hashtag it’s easily viewed by millions. Just take a look at the general Oscar’s hashtag on Twitter: you’ll notice companies have used it even more so than regular users! My person favorite newsjackers have to be the people behind Oreo’s social media presence. For my SuperBowl post, I made a brief mention about how quickly the got their “you can still dunk the dark” image up on the web minutes after the lights had gone out at the stadium. It was the perfect example of what newsjacking should be: relevant and witty.

I could also give you dozens of examples of what newsjacking shouldn’t be, but you’ve probably heard about these massive fails before: like the Onion taking their trademark parody and snark too far last night with a tasteless remark about one of the youngest nominated atendees of the night and then their subsequent apologizing this morning (read more here). Maybe you can recall the all apologizing Kenneth Cole is still doing about their own remark about the Arab Spring? These are the cautionary tales and are all companies that can take a lesson from Oreo. Newsjacking should put you in the news as well, unless the world of marketing is praising your flawless execution of a news jack.

Newsjacks are easily translatable into promotional products. Say a celebrity has been sighted littering by throwing away a single use plastic bottle, wouldn’t it be a great time to send you customers (if you happen to know they are into celebrity news that is) a reusable water bottle with a little note and send out a well placed tweet, or remind people to vote with a Facebook post and a custom pen? Opportunities are limitless and the best think about newsjacking is that if at first you don’t suceed: there will always be new news tomorrow to try again.

The image I added at the top of this post is just a little newsjacking flowchart I messily made as I was thinking how to structure this post (as you can tell, I’m more than a little fond of the Paul Frank monkey and colored pens), you could take the same style and approach for the next big pop culture event and just jot down moments that you can quickly transition over to you social media. Have you ever tried out a newsjack? How did it go, let me know the comments!

Merchandising Assistant

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Trending Now: Trend #3 Urban Gear

If you frequent your local coffee shop or take a look around when you are waiting for the train, you’ll see the next big trend that we’re seeing… “Urban Gear”.  With our dependence on a life in motion, we now have access to apparel and products that keep our gear (smartphone, tablet, mp3, headphones, etc) safe and stylish.

It seems I can’t sit through a stop light without checking my phone or fiddling with my music selection.  I guess you could say I’m pretty connected at all times!  I love finding products with practical, smart design that support my tech habits.  If your target audience is anything like me, you’ll need to check out some of my favorite Urban Gear products:


The Men’s Sherpa Fleece Lined Seam-Sealed Jacket is waterproof and features a audio port and convenient breast pocket for your phone or mp3. Available in a female companion as well.


The Impact Vertical Computer Messenger Bag comes in gray or black and features a padded exterior pocket that fits up to a 15.4″ laptop. Mesh side pocket holds your drink.


The RoxBox Bluetooth Speaker turns any mobile device into a sound machine. The built in mic comes in handy for a conference call on the go. Love this edgy speaker!


The Techie Headphones feature a sleek design and a fold up feature which makes it easy to travel with. With Beats by Dr. Dre being a hot item this holiday, we’re seeing lots of headphones in 2013.


For more Urban Gear products and apparel ideas visit or our Urban Gear pinboard on Pinterest


Merchandising Manager

Posted by Admin in How to Reach a Target Audience, Trending Now, 0 comments

Promotional Products for the Band

I’m a pretty big fan of Dave Matthews Band. As I was sitting at my desk, listening to their new album and thinking about what I could blog about, it came to me: blog about DMB. Duh.

Dave Matthews Band

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Posted by Lee in How to Reach a Target Audience, 0 comments

Nationwide Promotional Items, Part 4: Southeast

Welcome to the fourth and final edition in our blog series featuring promotional product ideas for each of the regions of the United States. The previous three weeks have focused on West Coast promotional productsMidwestern promotional products, and Northeast promotional products and this week let’s turn our attention to Southeast promotional items.

Peach stress ball
For insightful information about which promotional products have been proven most effective in all of the major regions of the U.S., wander over to “Coast to Coast: Hot Promotional Products for Every Region.”

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Posted by Lee in How to Reach a Target Audience, 0 comments

Nationwide Promotional Items, Part 3: Northeast

Welcome to the third edition in my blog series featuring promotional product ideas for each of the distinctive regions of the United States. The previous two weeks have focused on West Coast promotional products and Midwestern promotional products, and this week’s theme is promo items for the Northeast.

Take a look at “Coast to Coast: Hot Promotional Products for Every Region” for useful information pertaining to practical promotional product categories for all of the major parts of the country.

Continue reading →

Posted by Admin in How to Reach a Target Audience, 0 comments

Nationwide Promotional Items, Part 2: Midwest

Welcome to the second edition in my blog series featuring promotional product ideas for each of the distinctive regions of the United States. Last week’s post focused on West Coast promotional products and this week’s theme is promo items for the Midwestern states.

If you don’t want to wait another minute to learn about top promo picks for your region, take a look at “Coast to Coast: Hot Promotional Products for Every Region” for useful information pertaining to practical promotional product categories for all of the major parts of the country.

Continue reading →

Posted by Admin in How to Reach a Target Audience, 0 comments