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Open Enrollment Themes: 7 Unique Ideas for Promoting 2020 Open Enrollment Season

Open Enrollment Themes: 7 Unique Ideas for Promoting 2020 Open Enrollment Season

Open enrollment (OE) is one of the biggest—if not the biggest—initiatives for the HR department. In most cases, they’ve prepared all year, from choosing the insurance plans to getting the portal ready. But there’s one final step left to be done: Raising awareness of open enrollment among employees and getting them to make their selections in time.

Staging your OE communications plan around a theme is a great way to grab employees’ attention and inject a little bit of fun into benefits season. Here are seven of our favorite open enrollment themes:

1. Sports

Ready, set, enroll! Kick off open enrollment season by choosing one sport (or several) to theme your open enrollment campaign around. Football is a good choice, since the season will be well underway by the time open enrollment rolls around. However, basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis are also popular options that will appeal to a wide range of employees. Sports-themed giveaway ideas include:

2. Music

Rock en-roll your way through open enrollment with a music theme. Choose a genre like rock or pop, or pun off classic bands that are sure to appeal to your employee demographics. Take your open enrollment on “tour” to each department and encourage HR employees to dress like their favorite rock star or folk musician to add a little fun to festival season—sorry, we meant open enrollment season. Music-themed giveaways include:

3. Outdoors

Getting outside is associated with being healthy, making this open enrollment theme a natural fit. This is a particularly good theme if you live in an area with a lot of natural parks or work at a very outdoorsy office. Encourage employees to “choose their destination” (i.e., benefit plan) and to “assemble their equipment” (i.e., paperwork) before embarking on the journey of open enrollment. HR recaps can serve as trail guides, coaching employees through the OE process—ranger vests and hats not required. Outdoor-themed giveaways include:

4. Vacation

Open enrollment is kind of comparable to planning for vacation. You have to research a lot of options and choose the best one for your budget and needs. HR reps can act as “travel agents”—or for a more modern twist, travel bloggers—helping people to book their benefits before the season is over. Of course, a vacation theme also ties into taking time off, giving you a natural opening to tack on a refresher on company PTO policies. Vacation-themed giveaways include:

5. Movies and TV Shows

Has a particular movie or TV show dominated the office water cooler chatter lately? Let that be the inspiration for your next open enrollment. Try to choose a popular option, like Game of Thrones, so that even people who haven’t seen it will still understand what’s going on. Bonus points for any puns you come up with based on the title—Breaking Benefits, anyone? Obviously, appropriate giveaways will vary based on what you pick, but some options include:

6. Games

Can you win the game of Life—er, open enrollment? Choose a popular board game or card game and update it to fit your open enrollment plan. Game shows such as Jeopardy or Family Feud are also great choices and provide an excellent chance to educate employees about their benefits options through the game itself. Giveaway ideas include:

7. Health and Wellness

If none of these other open enrollment themes resonates with you, you can’t go wrong with a simple health and wellness theme. Health and wellness ties directly into OE season and gives you a great opportunity to encourage healthy choices among your employees. In fact, many companies offer a benefit credit for healthy behavior such as not smoking. Health and wellness themed giveaway ideas include:

Employees might not be naturally excited about OE season, but these themes are sure to get them pumped up about open enrollment. Try one of these open enrollment themes to raise awareness among employees and encourage everyone to actively participate in choosing their benefits.

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Trade Show Booth Staffing Guide

Trade Show Booth Staffing Guide

You’ve booked your exhibitor space, ordered your booth banners and gathered your giveaways. There’s just one element missing: You still need to put together the team who will staff your trade show. Choosing the right people to staff your booth—and training them properly—can make or break your trade show success. Here are the five main trade show booth staffing roles you need to know, plus tips for training your staff.

Trade Show Booth Staffing Roles

There are five main roles that every trade show booth staffing plan should have, though some people may be able to serve in multiple roles at a small booth. The five essential trade show staffing positions are:

Hosts

Hosts are usually the first people who interact with attendees when they visit your booth. Hosts welcome visitors, get them registered and (if the booth is large enough) give them the lay of the land and point out areas of interest. First impressions are very important, especially in a crowded and competitive trade show environment, so choose your hosts wisely!

Presenters

Presenters give live demonstrations of your product or service and make sure that any videos or slides in the exhibit keep running smoothly. While they may not be trained sales staff (that’s a separate role), they are knowledgeable about what your company has to offer and willing to answer questions that attendees may have.

Crowd Gatherers

Crowd gatherers act as hosts in their own way, but work outside the booth, welcoming people at aisles and corners and directing them to your booth. Many crowd gatherers also hand out informational flyers or small promotional giveaway items to help incentivize people to visit the booth.

Activity Coordinators

Activity coordinators oversee trade show booth games, manage raffles and contests and make sure that winners get their prizes. If your booth is small enough, another person on this list (likely a host) might also be able to serve as an activity coordinator, but larger booths need separate roles.

Salespeople

Salespeople are experts at pitching your products, qualifying attendees and gathering leads for follow-up (and sometimes closing a sale right on the trade show floor!). They often tag team with other roles listed here, so you might have an activity coordinator and a salesperson staffing a trade show booth game, for example.

Trade Show Booth Staffing Tips

Knowing the right trade show roles is only half the battle. You also have to train the people in those positions. Here are our top tips for training your trade show booth staff:

  1. Start planning for your staffing needs at least three months in advance. Ask your top choices if they’d be willing to attend the event and have them block off their calendars so no one accidentally schedules a vacation during the trade show.

  2. Even though your trade show staff should each have a designated role, they should all be cross-trained so one of them can step in if someone else needs to use the bathroom, eat lunch or take an important phone call. Everyone should be trained on basic sales skills as well as the products and services you’ll be selling at the booth.

  3. No matter what roles they have, talk to staff about having an open and friendly demeanor. They shouldn’t walk around with their arms crossed or leave their backs turned to the aisle—that kind of body language is pretty unwelcoming. A simple smile and a polite “hello” go a long way in creating a welcoming trade show experience for attendees.

  4. Set grooming standards for all of your trade show booth staff. Also communicate criteria for dressing. Do this in advance so people have time to shop for additional clothes if necessary. If you’re ordering custom apparel for staff to wear at the booth, involving them in the selection process is a nice way to get buy-in.

  5. Role playing isn’t just for Dungeons & Dragons fans. It can be a really helpful training tool for your staff. Assign each person a role and have them act out common trade show scenarios, such as dealing with an unqualified visitor or a disruptive attendee.

  6. Set goals for the team and each individual so expectations are clear. Talk about how many visitors you’d like to get, how many presentations you want to give, how many custom notebooks you need to give away—whatever criteria you use to judge the ROI of the event.

Now you’re equipped with the tools you need to staff your next trade show booth the right way. Good luck, and we wish you the best of success!

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Tech Gadgets That Make Your Life Easier

Tech Gadgets That Make Your Life Easier

Over the last decade, technology has advanced rapidly with the widespread use of the internet, laptop computers and smartphones. It seems like every day there’s an announcement of a new tech gadget devised to make our lives easier. With so many new products on the market, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in tech, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite inventions to make your life easier. Learn more about these great products and how you can use them to promote your business. 

Everyone appreciates receiving free gifts, so why not give away some of these awesome and useful products as promotional items? When you opt to order products that prospective clients will actually use, it’s much more likely that they’ll remember your brand and come to you when they require your products or services. Giving the gift of a valuable tech gadget will reflect back on your business, showing that you care about customers and helping your company to stand out.

Custom PopSockets

Everyone has experienced that moment when they’re using their cell phone in bed and they accidentally drop it. Or, maybe they’ve been in a public place trying to show friends or family members a video on their phone but not everyone can see the screen from where it’s placed in their hand. Though these aren’t major life issues, they can be small daily annoyances. To combat these problems, PopSockets were invented

These small circular objects can be attached to the back of your cell phone and pop out to help you grip your phone or to double as a phone stand, turning your mobile device into a mini TV. 

For a unique promotional product, your company can order custom PopSockets with your brand logo. People are sure to love your custom PopSockets because they’re an interesting item that stands out from other promotional products and solves a problem that everyone experiences. 

Here are a few of our favorite custom PopSockets to use to spread brand awareness:

PopSocket and Mount Retail Bundle

PopSocket Phone Grip & Mount

A standard custom PopSocket design, this promotional product is available in black with a blank white surface to provide plenty of room for your chosen logo design. You can opt to imprint just your logo over the white circle or overlay your logo onto another color to make the custom design pop. 

The included mount adds another great feature to these custom PopSockets, allowing users to attach the mount to their car dashboard or any other location where they’d like to mount their phone on a regular basis. Your clients will be able to drive handsfree with ease or watch television on their phones without having to prop it up or hold it for the entirety of the show. 

Aluminum PopSocket 

Aluminum PopSocket

If you’re looking to order a different type of custom PopSocket to give away as a promotional item, try ordering these beautiful aluminum PopSockets available in space gray, rose gold, sapphire, ruby, gold or black. With this promotional product, you have a variety of options for customization. Upload your company’s logo to our site, and we’ll laser engrave your image onto these custom PopSockets, guaranteeing that your logo won’t fade or rub off over time. 

Custom flash drives

Whether they are used for work files, vacation photos or as a backup storage device, flash drives are popular with nearly every adult because they are such a useful method for storing and transporting important data. Gifting custom flash drives is the perfect way to capture your target audience’s attention, and because most people carry these devices around with them, there are even more opportunities for people to notice your brand on promotional flash drives and remember your business for future use.  

Check out some of our favorite custom flash drives: 

Norcross Promotional USB DriveNorcross Promotional USB Drive

Our most popular custom flash drive, the Norcross Promotional USB Drive features an advantageous metal cap to protect the USB port from dirt and damage. A convenient clip also allows people to attach this custom flash drive to their keys, backpack or any other item used to transport work-related items. Available in more than 20 colors, these custom flash drives are easy to personalize with your own company logo.

Full Bleed Swivel USBFull Bleed Swivel USB

Piedmont USB DrivePiedmont USB DriveThe design of the Piedmont USB Drive is slightly different than these other two custom flash drive options because it features a plastic detachable covering. Screen print your logo onto these USB drives, which are finished with a durable, rubber coating and include a black lanyard for easy transportation.

Wall chargers

In our tech-centric world, chargers are a vital part of everyday life. Cell phones and computers are items most people engage with on a daily basis, so using promotional items that are associated with these objects can help expose your brand to future customers. Wall chargers are an item that most people own more than one of because they may need to charge their phones in multiple locations. Your customers will always appreciate receiving a backup wall charger. Try customizing some of these chargers and giving them out at your next trade show or company event.

All-In-One Retractable Charger

All-in-One Retractable Charging Cable

A unique type of wall charger, this All-In-One Retractable Charger is designed to compactly store the product’s wire in a circular plastic case, preventing the cable from getting tangled or damaged. Choose from six different colors: black, white, green, red or blue. Then, design your logo to be printed on the retractable compartment. 

Light Up AdapterLight Up Adapter

Designed for the tech-savvy users, this light-up adapter has the capability to charge up to three different devices at the same time. With one USB charger and three mini USB plugs, this wall charger is intended for people who own Android devices, though another adapter can be purchased to allow iPhone users to take advantage of this wall charger as well. When your devices are plugged in, the wall charger will light up, letting you know that the device is connected. 

MFi Lightning Cable

A traditional iPhone charger, this MFi Lightning cable has a simple design with a thin, white cord created to charge Apple devices. This item is a certified Apple product, but if you’re looking to customize a wall charger, you can add your logo to the USB end charging piece. 

Other helpful tech gadgets you can use as promotional products

Bluetooth keyboards

Bluetooth Keyboard

Anyone who uses a tablet device will love owning a Bluetooth keyboard. Connect your device to one of these keyboards, and you’ll be able to type wirelessly on any tablet or mobile product. Tablets are a great alternative to laptops when traveling, but it can be tough to type large blocks of text on the touch screen. Our Bluetooth keyboards help solve this problem. These products are still small enough to fit into any travel or work bag while allowing you to do more with your tablet. Though more expensive than other promotional products, Bluetooth keyboards may be a good giveaway option for promotional contests or as a fancy appreciation gift for new clients. 

Portable speaker

Portable Speaker

Portable speakers have revolutionized the way that we listen to music. Using a Bluetooth connection, these devices can connect to and play music from any smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. The most convenient aspect of portable speakers is the fact that you can bring them anywhere—the beach, on vacation or to a friend’s house. Customize one of our portable speakers and offer these high-quality products during a company giveaway to attract new consumers. 

Selfie sticks

Mini Selfie Stick

Developed as a response to people using the front-facing cameras on smartphones to take photos of themselves, selfie sticks help to capture these types of photos by extending your reach. With a selfie stick, users are able to include the background into their selfie, which is typically useful while visiting a unique location. This promotional item is a fun product that people will love using. Customize your selfie sticks and distribute them at your next event. 

Travel adapters

Octopus Mini Cable

Thanks to the internet, people are able to take time off while still using their computers to finish work projects on-the-go. Most workers can identify with that feeling of panic when they’ve almost completed a task, but their battery is about to die and they don’t have the proper charger. With these travel adapters, your clients can keep multiple types of chargers on hand so they never have to worry about their computer shutting down before they’ve completed their tasks. 

Ear buds

Color Pop Earbuds

Another tech gadget that current and prospective clients love are ear buds.  They make the perfect item to include in new hire welcome kits or to give away at events. If your company is involved in the music industry, ear buds are an even better option for promotional products as this is an item you know your target audience will actually use. Ear buds are available in bright colors and neutral tones so you can choose from dozens of options. If you’re looking for something a little more extravagant, you can opt to order wireless headphones.

Tips for ordering your promo gadgets

Place your order in advance

If you’re interested in giving away some of these promotional items like custom flash drives and wall chargers at a particular event, be sure to plan ahead! Placing your bulk order well in advance will ensure that there is enough time for our team to create the perfect promotional products for your business. Most of our products take between five to 10 days to produce, but if you’re in a bind and need promotional products quickly, we do have a selection of 24-rush items, including custom pens, coffee mugs and journals. 

Be sure to send in the correct art files

To avoid any delays in production or issues with printing your promotional products, download our art requirements and double check that your file meets our requirements. Files should be sent as vector art saved from Adobe Illustrator in an AI or EPS format. Do not try to send artwork that is less than 300 DPI resolution and avoid sending any files in the following formats: QuarkXpress, Pagemaker, CorelDraw, Publisher or Freehand as we are not able to accommodate these file types. 

Consider what type of imprint you want

Though some products are only available in one type of imprint due to the type of fabric or material it is made from, other items are available in multiple options. Research and determine which method will be best for the type of promotional product you’re looking for and check with our team to ensure this is the right option. 

Get the best quality promotional products from Pinnacle Promotions

Take your marketing efforts to the next level when you order some of these tech gadgets to be personalized as promotional products. Custom PopSockets will standout on potential customers’ cell phones. Wall chargers and custom flash drives are items that people can use every day, encouraging them to re-engage with your brand each time they see the logo. 

Once you’ve selected which items are the best choices for your business, you can upload your image to our site, and our promo experts will create beautiful products you can give out at any event, trade show or giveaway.

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Trade Show Themes: 8 Ideas for Themed Convention Kiosks

Trade Show Themes: 8 Ideas for Themed Convention Kiosks

Choosing a theme for your trade show booth will make it easier to design and help attract more visitors with a consistent aesthetic. However, it can be hard to decide on a theme given all the options available, especially if you’re working with a small footprint. Here are eight of our favorite themes for trade show booth designs:

Couch

Visit a new location.

No matter how large or small it is, you can use your booth to transport your visitors to a location related to your brand. For example, poultry producers might base their design on a farm, while a surfboard company might recreate a beach. If your headquarters are located in an iconic city, that can also be a source of inspiration. And if the trade show draws a lot of local attendees, theming your booth around the host city isn’t a bad idea either.

Harness the power of nature.

A warehouse-like trade show floor, bathed in artificial lights, is pretty much the opposite of being outside—which is why bringing a bit of nature to your booth will really make you stand out. Brainstorm some ideas to see if you can make different natural settings (beaches, lakes, mountains, meadows, deserts, etc.) work for your brand. If you can, spacing real plants around your booth will add an extra dose of natural energy and help liven up your booth design.

Create your own café.

People are constantly hungry and thirsty at trade shows, so offering food and/or drink samples is a powerful motivator. Stage your booth to look like a real life store and hand out snacks, drinks and energy bars to visitors. Even if you can’t stock a full range of items, creating a hydration system where people can refill their water bottles will definitely encourage visitors to stop by—and give you a chance to hand them a custom branded water bottle, of course.

Game Pieces

Gamify everything.

Booth games are a common activity at trade shows, so why not take things one step further and design your entire booth around a popular game? Popular game shows, board games and card games with large fan bases will definitely generate buzz on the trade show floor. If you’re feeling especially creative, you can customize a classic like Monopoly or Uno to tailor it to the product or service that you’re trying to market.

Take cues from Hollywood.

If taking inspiration from a game show isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps a TV show or movie will spark your ideas? Pick a show or movie that has widespread popularity to appeal to the largest possible audience, or go for a general Hollywood vibe (perhaps a movie theater or awards show concept?) to keep it from getting overly specific.

Highlight a charitable cause.

Companies both large and small often have charitable projects, whether it’s a simple annual donation or a comprehensive program spearheaded by employees. For example, plastic packaging companies usually have initiatives in place to encourage recycling, while a food manufacturer might partner with a nonprofit that donates meals to shelters. If your charitable cause is relevant to your business, highlighting it through your booth can differentiate you from other booths that go straight for the scale.

Charging Station with Phone

Turn your booth into charging central.

It wouldn’t be a trade show if everyone’s devices weren’t constantly running low on power. Help solve the problem by transforming your booth space into a charging station. This has two advantages: A charging station doesn’t take up a lot of floor space and visitors will likely hang around for a while as they wait for their devices to charge, giving you an opportunity to talk to them about your products and services. Bonus points if your business somehow relates to electricity or you can make a relevant pun about “charging ahead” in your industry.

Make everything in your booth from the same material.

Sometimes sameness can make you stand out. Constructing your booth entirely (or mostly) from the same material is sure to get people talking, if only to ask, “How did they do that?!” Cardboard is probably the most feasible and affordable material, but you can get more creative and try making your booth from wood, glass or even 3d printing.

We can’t tell you which theme to pick, but we can help you realize your design vision. Shop our collection of trade show displays or contact us for assistance with your trade show order.

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Sponsorship Ideas: 21 Trade Show Sponsorship Activation Ideas

Sponsorship Ideas: 21 Trade Show Sponsorship Activation Ideas

If you’re looking to maximize your trade show presence beyond your booth, sponsorships are a fantastic opportunity to increase your brand visibility. Sponsorships come in many different forms and are available for practically any budget. Here are 21 trade show sponsorship ideas to help get you started:

Recycling and/or Trash Bins

Trash cans and recycling bins help keep the trade show floor clean and clutter-free. Pretty much every person has to throw something away at least once a day, meaning that you can get thousands of interactions with these bins a day. While this sponsorship won’t be a fit for every company, for some it’s a perfect fit. For example, it totally makes sense for a plastic packaging company to sponsor a recycling bin for plastic water bottles.

Wayfinding

Getting around a large conference hall (or worse, multiple parts of an entire building) can confuse attendees and cause them to become lost. You’ll create a lot of goodwill simply by helping them find their way, whether that’s through printing maps of the venue or sponsoring signs and banners posted around the trade show floor. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even create guided tours that showcase specific highlights of the trade show.

Wayfinding

Banners, Signs and Wraps

Most trade shows have some sort of well-marked entrance with lots of signage, and passages and stairs often have their own banners as well. These large banners are an excellent sponsorship opportunity to help welcome visitors and get your company’s branding out there, front and center. If you can’t spring for the main entrance, wraps around stairs, elevators and other locations with high foot traffic are also good alternatives.

Water Stations

Everyone needs to drink water, and your company can help them do just that through a branded water station. Since water fountains are usually anchored to the outside walls of the trade show room, if you’re mired in the middle it can take a while to extract yourself and find a fountain to rehydrate. Take full advantage of the water station and hand out custom water bottles with your logo to attendees that stop by for a refill.

Water Fountain

Snack Stations

If the water station idea isn’t feasible, or it’s already taken, consider sponsoring a snack station instead. Blood sugar runs low (and tempers run high) as the day goes on, and breaks to grab food are few and far between. Having a place to grab snacks like granola bars, chips and even fruit and trail mix will seriously help trade show visitors and give you an excellent opportunity to market your company. If you’re a consumer packaged goods brand, see if you can become the official snack sponsor of your next trade show.

VIP Restrooms

Trade show bathrooms are usually clean and serviceable, but nothing to write home about. However, you can create a VIP bathroom experience by providing fancy soap and lotions or tricking out the ladies’ lounge with nice furniture and good lighting. Trade shows are long and exhausting, and having a space to freshen up or do a quick change can seriously boost morale, not to mention create a favorable impression of your company.

Free Services

Ever wanted to take a break from the trade show floor to go pamper your aching self with a quick massage or manicure? You can provide that very experience on the trade show floor by sponsoring self-care activities. The same sort of services that you would see in a mall or airport can often be replicated on the trade show floor for a surprisingly reasonable cost. Just be prepared to have a line out the door for your pampering stations.

Free Services

Wellness Breaks

Pampering isn’t the only type of self-care you can bring to the trade show. Wellness breaks involving yoga, meditation or healthy cooking demonstrations (just to name a few) will help fight off the trade show crud, give attendees a break from the onslaught of booths and workshops and give you a chance to show your company’s commitment to health. Wellness break sponsorship ideas are particularly well-suited to businesses in the wellness, healthcare and nutrition spaces if you’re looking for something that’s thematically relevant.

Lounges

Everyone needs a chance to take a phone call, answer emails or just kick up their feet at trade shows, and lounges provide the perfect environment to do that. Gather some comfy couches and chairs (preferably in your brand’s colors), throw some rugs on the floor and add some throw pillows for an extra homey touch. If you’d really like to splurge, you can also sponsor phone call booths, somewhat-soundproof booths that help filter out background noise and make it easier to hear phone calls in noisy environments such as trade show floors.

Play Areas

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy—and trade show attendees very tired adults. Everyone needs an opportunity to let their inner child out and get creative. Ball pits, drawing stations and toy bins are all fair game for a more lighthearted trade show display. Obviously, if you’re a toy company or an art supply business, this sponsorship idea makes perfect sense, but you can also make it relevant to your company by theming the station around your business—for example, using toy dump trucks in a demonstration if you’re a construction supply company.

Photo Booth

Pics or it didn’t happen! Photo booths are popular for a reason: People love to show off photographic evidence of themselves doing cool and interesting things. Photo booths can take many forms, including props, backdrops and large cardboard cutout frames that people hold up around them. Stick with a traditional plain background or transport people to a new location using a photographic mural.

Social Mixers

Social Mixers

Most trade shows and conferences offer some kind of happy hour or mixer for attendees to socialize and network without booths and keynotes competing for their attention. The drinks, food, table linens and more all have to come from somewhere, and that’s why sponsoring them can be a great way to earn attendees’ goodwill and create a memorable experience. Make sure a few of your own employees attend to mingle with the guests and make new connections.

Keynote Speeches

Speaking of keynotes, many of these speeches are sponsored by large donors. Since keynotes are the main event, they’re often more expensive sponsorship ideas, but they have a big impact since so many people come to them. If a keynote is out of your budget, smaller panels, workshops and other events may also be an option. Your trade show rep will be able to talk to you about sponsorship tiers and help you find something that fits your budget.

Competitions

Many exhibitors run competitions or raffles at their individual booth, but running a trade show-wide competition through a sponsorship will help you reach more attendees. Make sure the competition idea matches the theme of the conference, whether it’s a trivia contest or an obstacle course. If the trade show doesn’t currently have plans to host such a competition, start talks with them early, as this will require some planning on both your parts.

Swag Bags

No list of sponsorship ideas would be complete without swag bags. Most conferences give attendees a bag full of goodies at registration, including pens, notebooks, USB drives, t-shirts, fans, umbrellas and anything else that might be helpful given the weather or conference location. While you still have your own promotional giveaways to hand out, becoming one of the official swag bag sponsors will ensure that every single visitor gets an item with your logo on it–a pretty persuasive proposition.

Podcasts

Trade shows and conferences are a great chance to record podcasts or radio interviews since so many speakers and subject matter experts are gathered in one place. Ask around to see if there are podcasters who plan to cover the event (the trade show association might even be planning to do it on their own) and offer to sponsor the episode. You can also take it one step further and sponsor the creation of a booth where these interviews can take place without all the interference of the trade show background noise.

Podcast Microphone

Live Streaming

Live streaming keynotes and other important speeches and panels can help both the sponsors and the trade show reach a wider audience, making it a win-win for everyone involved. If there aren’t already plans in place to live stream the trade show, reach out to the organizers and offer to sponsor it. Even if they were already planning to offer a live stream, they’ll surely be grateful for some help to defray the costs.

Virtual Reality

Demonstrations on VR headsets are a crowd pleaser at any event, which is why sponsoring them at a trade show is a great idea. Of course, you can always offer the VR demonstration at your own booth, but you’ll reach more people if you’re the official virtual reality sponsor of the entire trade show. Choose a simulation that’s relevant to the theme of the trade show: a mock surgery for a healthcare trade show, for example.

Event Apps

Most conferences have their own dedicated app to help attendees build their own custom schedule and keep them up-to-date on last minute changes. However, these apps can often be difficult to use and may constantly crash if too many people use them at once. See if your company can sponsor a new, improved trade app experience for the next exhibition. Not only will you be offering attendees important information, you’ll also be able to promote your business within the app itself. If rehauling the app isn’t within your budget, look into in-app ads instead within the existing system.

Man using app on smartphone

Wi-Fi

After water, food and bathrooms, Wi-Fi is one of the most critical essentials for a trade show floor. Attendees will need to check email and do other business during the day, and many trade show displays will rely on the power of the internet as well. Since the spots for Wi-Fi sponsorships are usually limited (you only need a handful of networks, after all), start discussions with your trade show rep early if this is a sponsorship idea you’d like to pursue.

Charging Stations

Of course, having that Wi-Fi does you no good at all if your device is already dead because it ran out of power. Charging stations provide another essential resource to visitors, and encourage them to stick around and interact with your brand more as they wait for their devices to charge. The captive audience means that they’ll have lots of quality time with your trade show display as their phone sucks up some much-needed power. While they won’t be as fast or as powerful as an actual charging station, portable power banks make excellent themed giveaways as well.

It’s critical to choose the right sponsorship opportunity for your marketing strategy so you can maximize your trade show ROI without going over budget. Consider one or more of these 21 sponsorship ideas at your next trade show.

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17 Giveaway Ideas for Businesses: Summer

17 Giveaway Ideas for Businesses: Summer

Many companies like to offer seasonal giveaways that rotate out with each quarter. While this approach may seem limiting at first, once you begin looking, you’ll realize there are dozens of custom giveaways for each season. Plus, if your giveaways are relevant to the season, recipients will be far more likely to use them rather than tossing them into a corner and forgetting them. Since summer is coming up, we’ve compiled the must-have promotional items for this season. Without further ado, here are our top 17 summer giveaway ideas for businesses:

Promotional sunglasses

Malibu Sunglasses
Heart Sunglasses
Pinhole Sunglasses

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. You need one for the car, one for your beach bag, an extra for that friend who always loses theirs, a backup pair just in case…and the list goes on. Besides, how else will people be able to wear your logo on their face? We offer promotional sunglasses in many different styles, from the classic Malibu and aviator designs to full-color frames and retro pinhole lenses. Accompanying accessories such as custom sunglasses straps and cases also make great gift ideas.

Custom stainless steel tumblers

Stainless steel tumblers are high-value products because of their heat- and ice-retention. Your recipients are sure to be impressed if you hand them a custom stainless steel tumbler with your logo on it. Tumblers are taken everywhere, from the office to vacations and local events. It’s truly a great year-round gift!

Custom Tritan tumbler

Tritan tumblers are made of a distinct double-walled design with BPA-free plastic and a stepped interior that gives the cups their unique look. Tritan tumblers are impact- and shatter-resistant and top rack dishwasher safe. They hold 16 oz. of liquid and provide many customization possibilities, including an optional lid and straw (perfect for those summer smoothies). Ten inset colors are available: clear, blue, charcoal, green, lime green, orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. Your logo can also be printed on five different Tritan tumbler insert options: white, oval dome, silver mirror, silver slitter and embroidered round patch.

Custom Koozies® and promotional can coolers

Custom Koozie
Custom Bottle Koozie
Custom Wine Chiller

Few things are more refreshing than cracking open a cold beer or soda while you enjoy a summer sunset on your porch. But it can be tough to keep a beverage cold during the warmer months, and that’s where custom Koozies and can coolers come in. These neoprene sleeves keep your beverages cold and insulate them from the heat of your hand (upscale stainless steel versions are also available). Meanwhile, the sides and bottoms of the can coolers offer plenty of surface area to display your brand’s logo.

Promotional water bottle

Promotional water bottles

Hydration is extra important in the summer months when you’re more likely to sweat. Custom water bottles are a traditional giveaway for a reason. Literally everyone alive has to drink water, so they’ll definitely be put to use rather than sitting in the back of a cabinet. Whether you want a screw top or pop top, plastic or stainless steel, rubber grip or carabiner, there’s a custom water bottle design to fit every specification and budget. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, we can rush ship many water bottles in 24 hours (not including transit time) for orders that come down to the wire.

Branded insulated bags

Sling Bag Cooler
Lunch Cooler
Backpack Cooler

Drinks aren’t the only thing you’ll need to keep cool during the summer. Food is just as important, especially if you’re going to be outside all day. We offer branded insulated bags in many different designs, from backpacks to sling bags to baskets. Different capacities are also available as well. We sell everything from a personal lunch bag perfect for individuals to large party coolers that can hold the entire gang’s food and drinks. Some soft coolers also feature fun add-ons, such as built-in speakers, which add to the usefulness.

Personalized hard coolers

Soft coolers are a bit easier to transport, but in terms of durability and protecting your food, you can’t beat a hard cooler. Any time you’re jostling around a lot—say, you’re boating on the lake or driving to the beach—a hard cooler is a smart move. They keep food from getting squished and cans from getting dented (or worse yet, from being accidentally punctured and spilling liquid everywhere). The two main design options are plastic covered in insulation and leak-resistant fabric or molded copolymer with latches and handles.

Promotional beach balls

If you go to the beach and don’t bring a beach ball, did you really go to the beach? These cost-effective giveaways provide hours of fun and deflate to a small plastic ball, always an important consideration when packing for summer vacation. Many different custom beach ball styles are available, including solid colors, alternating stripes, rainbow stripes and even a translucent one. We also offer other beach-themed inflatables, including dart rockets and baseballs, for all your beach entertainment needs. All of our beach ball options cost under $2 a piece (and sometimes under $1), so these are great choices if you need a lot of summer giveaways on a budget.

Custom beach towels

Custom Beach Towel with Flip Flops
Fringed Round Promotional Towel
Turkish Striped Promotional Towel

Beach towels are great for so much more than the beach. You can take them to the pool, the lake, the water park, even a yoga class. Custom beach towels also give you a lot of real estate to represent your logo or other branded imagery, providing an excellent promotional opportunity for your company. Opt for a plain solid color to really make your logo pop, or up your design game with a striped pattern or even a full beach scene. If you’re looking for something a little more unusual than a beach towel, beach mats and blankets are also great summer giveaway ideas for businesses.

Man wearing tank top with logo

Custom tank tops

Sun’s out, guns out—in your company’s custom tank tops. Whether you’re sunning at the beach, chilling by the pool, fitting in a workout, taking in a baseball game or simply mowing the lawn, tank tops allow your arms to breathe and your shoulders to get some sun so you avoid that dreaded farmer’s tan. Our custom tank tops come in literally dozens of colors, so you’ll be sure to find the best shade to make your logo really stand out. They’re available in both men’s and women’s sizes, as well as several fabric options from simple cotton to sporty mesh.

Promotional flip flops

The humble flip flop has been around for thousands of years, and there are murals that show ancient Egyptians wearing this simple yet practical shoe. But this long history isn’t the only reason why promotional flip flops are a great business giveaway idea. After all, everyone needs at least one pair of water-resistant sandals they can wear to the beach or into the pool showers during the summer. You can print the soles and/or straps with your logo, and our custom flip flops come in many colors to ensure they mesh with your brand, including black, blue, forest green, maroon, navy, pink, red, white and yellow.

Promotional baseball caps

Sunglasses aren’t the only way to protect your eyes from the sun. Baseball caps are a summer wardrobe staple for a reason: They protect your face and scalp from the burning sun and improve your vision in glaring conditions. Opt for a classic all-fabric design or choose one with a mesh back panel for extra ventilation. If you don’t want a traditional custom baseball cap design (with a curved bill), flat bill trucker caps and snapback hats are also options. In addition to many solid color combinations, multiple shades of camo are also available.

Promotional flying discs

Promotional Frisbee
Promotional Fidget Disk
Promotional Donut Flyer

These simple flying discs provide hours of entertainment, whether you’re just chucking them around in the park or participating in a competitive game of disc golf. The flat, round surface is the perfect area to showcase your company logo without distortion. If you want to take things to the next level, consider a more unusual custom disc design such as the donut flyer or a glow-in-the-dark disc.

Custom BBQ sets

Summertime means grill time. As the days get longer, the dads of America bring their grills out of winter hibernation and fire them up to cook steaks, burgers and all manner of good summer food. So, if you’re looking for summer giveaway ideas for businesses, you can’t go wrong with a promotional barbecue set. A custom BBQ set features tools such spatulas, brushes, forks, cleaning brushes, skewers and tongs–pretty much everything but the grill itself. Order a set to get them together in one convenient case or order them separately for a truly one-of-a-kind custom design. Every time they grill out, they’ll think of you and your company.

Promotional fans

Portable Custom Fan
Promotional Paper Fan
USB Fan

Keeping cool during the summer is difficult, but it’s a little bit easier with a custom fan. We offer many options, from paperboard on a wooden handle to a battery-powered plastic mini fan. These fans are an especially good idea if you’re exhibiting at an outdoor event, such as a fair. On a hot day, attendees walking around and fanning themselves with your logo will be an excellent promotional opportunity. In fact, some visitors might come find your booth specifically for the fans, building your brand awareness among groups who might not naturally seek it out.

Promotional garden tools and accessories

Summer is prime growing season for lots of plants and many people enjoy gardening in the warmer months, especially in the early morning before the weather gets too hot. If you’d like to give away custom garden tools this summer, we offer a wide selection of accessories such as rain gauges, promo planters, wood birdhouses, grow-your-own-herb kits and more. For those who don’t have much of a green thumb, we also offer custom plant-a-tree cards as well as garden-themed calendars.

Custom golf swag

Custom Golf Balls
Custom Divot Tool
Custom Golf Umbrella

Any one of these makes an excellent giveaway idea for businesses, and for a truly deluxe summer promotional bundle you can always combine two or more items in a package deal. For questions about details, pricing, production time, decorations or any other aspect of your order, don’t hesitate to contact us–or call our product hotline at 888.351.4226.

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7 Simple Booth Design Ideas

7 Simple Booth Design Ideas

While minimalism has been around as an art movement since the 1960s and ’70s, in the past decade or so, it’s really taken off as an interior design trend for homes and apartments as well as office spaces and trade show booths. But this seemingly simple style is surprisingly hard to pull off, and creating a minimalist design that doesn’t feel austere or cold can be tough. If you’d like to create a simple booth design idea for your next trade show, follow these seven minimalist principles to create an inviting yet uncomplicated space.

Trade Show

Use black and white as building blocks.

Minimalist interior design relies on various shades of white and black to create a unifying color palette that blends together well rather than distracting visitors. Usually white or cream is the base shade, since lighter colors make small spaces appear larger. If black is too harsh, varying shades of gray can add some darkness to the color palette without being quite so stark. Some minimalist color palettes incorporate various shades of the same color—for example, white, off-white and pale ash wood—for a more visually unifying appearance.

Choose an accent color carefully.

Most minimalistic spaces use a maximum of three colors, with a maximum of one accent color. For example, the color palette may use white and gray as its base shades, with selective elements of dandelion yellow or tomato red for contrast. Since you’ll only be using one accent color, choose it wisely and use it for the booth elements that you want to draw the most attention (perhaps your company or product logo?).

Leave plenty of open space.

When you have a small space, it can be tempting to cram every inch possible full of furniture and signage. But minimalism embraces the lack of objects, only incorporating what’s absolutely necessary to the design. When brainstorming your simple booth design idea, be honest about what objects you actually need and what can be eliminated from the design.

Minimalist Trade Show Setup

Pick the right materials.

Despite the limited palette, minimalism employs a lot of different materials to add texture and visualize interest beyond color. Popular materials include chrome, stainless steel, glass, plastic, ceramics, artificial and natural stone and textured wood, so look out for these as you select lighting and furniture for your booth. And if you can incorporate any of these textures in your promotional giveaways, that’s an added bonus. (You might consider wooden speakers or stainless steel tumblers, for example.)

Provide lots of light.

Large floor-to-ceiling windows are a hallmark of minimalist design. While you probably won’t have control over the windows in the trade show venue, you can create the appearance of lots of natural light by strategically choosing your lighting fixtures. However, floor lamps take up precious floor space, so explore wall-mounted options—and it’s even better if you can incorporate recessed lighting to hide the light fixtures or otherwise disguise them as another design element.

Geometric Trade Show Furniture

Select geometric furniture.

For both furniture and other design elements, minimalism relies on geometric shapes of all kinds: squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, triangles and, of course, the good old-fashioned line. These simple shapes complement the color palette and create a visually harmonious space that’s easy for your eye to comprehend. However, all these lines don’t necessarily equate to a harsh design, as many of the corners are rounded for softness and comfort, so you don’t have to worry about running into them.

Declutter your booth.

The philosophy underlying minimalism focuses on removing excesses from your life, whether it’s physical objects or intangible commitments. As much as you can, eliminate unnecessary clutter from your booth throughout the design. For important items, such as your booth hosts’ bags or extra giveaways, seek out smart storage solutions, such as a cubed ottoman that doubles as a crate or a table with a hidden compartment.

Pulling off a truly well-balanced minimalist design that both looks and functions great isn’t as simple as it looks. But as they say, if it was easy, everyone would do it, and a well-done simple booth design idea is sure to stand out on the trade show floor and attract visitors to your booth. If you’re exploring simple trade show booth ideas, follow these seven principles to create the best booth possible.

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7 Prize Giveaway Ideas for Your Next Contest

7 Prize Giveaway Ideas for Your Next Contest

So, you’d like to host a prize giveaway on your social media channels or at your next trade show—but how should you go about it and what prizes should you offer? Do prize giveaways really work? Below, we explain the seven reasons why prize giveaways work and then we dive into the two main types of promotional giveaways: trade shows vs. contests/sweepstakes. Finally, we explain the rules for each one and offer prize giveaway ideas for your next campaign.

Online Contest

Why host a giveaway?

There are almost as many benefits to giveaways as there are prize giveaway ideas. Not every giveaway has the same purpose and a single giveaway may have multiple purposes depending on the company’s goals. Here are seven reasons why your business might want to host a prize giveaway:

Capture leads

Many giveaways require you to sign up for a newsletter or otherwise give your contact information in order to receive the product or enter the contest. Most people are happy to give you an email address in exchange for a free product, making giveaways an easy way to grow your list and capture leads.

Grow social media followers

Not all giveaways are based on exchanging email addresses. Many companies run giveaways on social media, where participants must follow, like, retweet, comment, tag others or some combination thereof in order to enter. This approach will get new followers on board and encourage existing fans to engage more with your brand and each other.

Give back to fans

Speaking of social media and email lists, doing a giveaway can be a great way to give back to your existing subscribers. To say thank you, you can open the giveaway only to existing followers and then randomly pick a winner (or winners) to show your appreciation for your community.

Demonstrate the product

Depending on what product or service you sell, you might be able to make it the giveaway. This strategy gives people the opportunity to try your product or service for free (or at a discount, if your giveaway is a coupon). Many people are hesitant to try something new if they have to pay for it upfront, but if you remove that barrier to entry, people will be far more likely to give it a chance. If they love your product, then they’ll be willing to come back and buy it later.

Act as a loss leader

Free samples and giveaways frequently lead to people making greater purchases in the long run. Even if people have already made a purchase from your company, offering coupons or free giveaways (such as an annual birthday gift) encourages them to visit your store or website more frequently and to buy other products while they’re there to pick up the free gift.

Generate free publicity

If you’re at a trade show, attendees walking around with your branded promotional giveaways is basically free advertising. The same goes for social media, since shares and retweets will show up on the sharer’s timeline. This can be much more cost effective than purchasing signage or digital ad space. Which brings us to the next point:

Save money and time

Giveaways make it easy to stick to a budget. You figure out the per unit cost, multiple it by the number of giveaways and voila, that’s your budget. Once you set up the initial contest rules, prize giveaways don’t take up too much time, so they’re also efficient as well cost effective. Nor do they require a lot of technical knowledge to run, so the learning curve is low.

A Trade Show

Trade show giveaways

There are a couple of different strategies for trade show giveaways. Many organizations opt for inexpensive items that can be easily carried around the trade show floor, so they can hand one out to everyone who visits the booths or signs up for their mailing list. Companies may also choose to offer larger prizes for attendees who win interactive booth games, raffles, etc. Some businesses opt for a combination of these two. For example, they may hand out custom USB drives to everyone who visits the booth and signs up for the mailing list. Whoever signs up for the mailing is also automatically entered into a raffle for a nice portable speaker as well.

Here are some of our favorite suggestions for trade show giveaways:

Custom bottle opener keychain

You don’t think of needing a bottle opener until you need one, and then you really regret not having one. Bottle opener keychains are usually made from metal, so they’re durable and will last for a long time. They’re also small and very portable, making them an excellent choice for a trade show giveaway. Bottle openers are quite affordable (definitely under $2 a unit, and often less than $1) so you can hand one out to every visitor without breaking the bank. Plus, they attach to a key ring, so your recipients will think of your company every time they reach for their keys.

Custom Bottle Opener Keychain

Promotional t-shirt

The promotional t-shirt is a trade show classic for a reason. They’re pretty affordable, come in many colors and styles and pack easily in a bag or carry on. Choose from dozens of options, from your basic cotton tee and long-sleeve shirts to moisture-wicking performance designs and fashion-forward trendy styles. T-shirts come in multiple sizes as well as many different cuts: men’s, women’s, unisex and even kids. And let’s not forget the colors. Pick from beige, black, blue, brown, gray, green, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow to find the perfect hue to make your logo pop.

Silicone card holder

We’re carrying more and more important information in our phones, but many people also find it necessary to carry a wallet for their ID, credit cards, cash, etc. Silicone card holders attach to the back of a smartphone or case and let you carry essentials all in one convenient package. They’re perfect for traveling, going out, hitting the gym, going for a run—any time you need to take the essentials but don’t want to bring your full wallet. And every time they reach for their phone or their cards, people will see your logo on the back of the silicone card holder.

Custom tote bag

Trade show attendees need some way to carry all the swag they receive, and offering them a custom tote bag is a surefire way to earn some goodwill. Many different styles are available, including the classic trade show bag, grocery and shopper reusable bags, large totes and all-natural bags made from cotton, canvas and jute. Bags also offer a lot of real estate to feature your logo, plus the bags will be extremely visible as people carry them around the trade show floor. And we can’t forget to mention that promotional gift bags get an average of 7,000 impressions in their lifetime, making them extremely effective.

Contest and sweepstakes giveaways

There are three main types of giveaways where only some (not all) participants win a prize. They are:

  • Contests: In contests, effort, skill or merit is required to enter to win a prize, and chance cannot play a role. The winner is determined by voting, percentage of correct answers or other judging criteria.
  • Sweepstakes: In sweepstakes, the winner is picked at random, so the prize is based on chance. No payment, purchase or other consideration is allowed. In certain states, providing contact information that will be used later for marketing purposes counts as a consideration, so check your local laws.
  • Lotteries: In lotteries, participants must purchase or pay for something in order to enter, and the winner is determined by chance. Private lotteries are illegal in the U.S., so don’t host one! Stick to sweepstakes and contests instead.

While they’re sometimes called “giveaways,” most promotional campaigns of this nature are technically sweepstakes. Whether you’re running a contest or a sweepstakes, here’s what you should include in the description so you don’t rule afoul of any laws.

  • “No Purchase Necessary”
  • “Purchase does not enhance chance of winning”
  • “Void where prohibited”
  • Details regarding non-monetary consideration (i.e., submitting an email address to enter)
  • Identity of the host/promoter (i.e., your company)
  • An explanation of all methods of entry
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Beginning/ending dates, including time and time zone
  • Date winner(s) will be chosen and notified
  • A clear description of the prize(s)
  • Judging criteria (when applicable)
  • Method of selecting winner(s)
  • Publicity rights regarding use of winner's information
  • Publicity rights regarding use of participant's information
  • Liability limitations
  • Odds of winning
  • Physical address (not a P.O. Box)
Social Media Likes

Different states also have different rules about promotional giveaways. Before conducting a contest or sweepstakes campaign, research any relevant state laws and make sure to abide by them. If you’re planning to run a giveaway via social media, rather than in person at a trade show, each social media platform also has its rules governing promotional giveaways. You can find the rules at the following links:

Generally speaking, the prize for a contest or sweepstakes should be larger than a trade show giveaway since there will only be a limited number of winners (or maybe even one!). Here are some prize giveaway ideas for contests and sweepstakes:

Boxanne wireless speaker

This lightweight, portable custom Bluetooth speaker fits in your pocket—but don’t be fooled by its tiny size because the built-in subwoofer means that its sound is plenty big. The looping strap easily attaches to a bike, backpack or bag for added portability. The speaker features Bluetooth capability up to 30 feet, a built-in microphone for conference calls, on-speaker controls and 4-5 hours of play on a single charge. The speaker offers not one but two surfaces for imprinting: There’s a full-color dome on back of the speaker and a full-color digital print on the speaker grill.

Wrapsody wireless headphones

These slick-looking headphones feature a futuristic geometric design, 33 ft. Bluetooth wireless range, 85 percent isolating outside noise reduction, 10+ hours of play on a single charge and stereo sound with omnidirectional full range audio drivers. The headphones also offer multi-function on-ear buttons for answering calls and controlling music and a built-in microphone for phone calls. And most importantly, the flat side of the headphone drivers offers a large imprint area to show off your brand’s logo and imagery. These custom headphones come gift boxed with a soft carrying bag, 3.5mm aux. headphone jack cord and micro USB cable for a truly classy giveaway.

Bluetooth® Knit Beanie

This unique beanie is guaranteed to stand out among the crowd of giveaways. Sure to be appreciated by anyone who lives in a cold climate, the beanie keeps your head and ears warm while you listen to music on the built-in rechargeable wireless earphones. The earphones offer a built-in microphone and LED indicator and can be removed from the beanie before hand-washing it. The ribbed beanie can be embroidered with the logo or imagery of your choice, up to 4 inches in diameter.

As long as you do your research and plan ahead, you’ll pull off a successful prize giveaway. If you’re not sure which item to offer, you can always run your prize giveaway ideas by your followers and ask them to vote in a poll on which one you should pick. Good luck on your next prize giveaway! If you have questions about ordering prizes, our customer service team is always happy to help.

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7 Trade Show Booth Ideas for Small Budgets

7 Trade Show Booth Ideas for Small Budgets

Trade shows can easily cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you opt for a larger booth. But what can you do when you don’t have that kind of money? It’s possible to exhibit at a trade show on almost any budget. So, to help you out, we’ve put together our seven best tips for creating trade show booth ideas on a small budget.

Trade show

1. Check to see what’s already covered.

Many, though not all, expos will provide exhibitors with a table and a cover and/or skirt. However, the cloths are often plain colors (black or white are pretty standard) and therefore might not complement your company color palette. Double check your contract, and if the information isn’t included, reach out to your trade show sales rep via phone or email to confirm what the expo will and won’t provide.

2. See what you have on hand.

Take assessment of everything you already own that might be helpful for a trade show booth. Be sure to investigate supply closets and any other storage spaces in case old trade show booth supplies are hidden away. If you’re really on a budget, you can also ask your team if they’d be willing to contribute anything from home. Someone may have a booth game they’re willing to let you borrow, or an unused tablecloth that doesn’t match their color scheme anymore.

trade show chairs

3. Consider renting furniture.

Booth furniture is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to outfitting a trade show booth, which is why there are many companies that offer rental services. If you only exhibit on occasion, it might make more financial sense to rent furniture rather than purchasing it outright. However, if you attend a lot of shows, buying the furniture may be worth the investment in the long run, so do the math (and don’t forget to include shipping charges.) If you’d like to own your booth but don’t want to pay like-new prices, used booth furniture is also available for sale.

4. Maximize your tablecloth and runners.

A trade show table cover is the linchpin of any basic trade show booth design. These tablecloths come in many different colors and are customized with a large logo right on the front. Table covers and runners are an up-front investment, but you’ll use them at basically every trade show, so they pay for themselves over the long run. Table covers come in standard lengths of 6 feet and 8 feet, and some convertible options that adjust to either length are available as well. If the tablecloth doesn’t come with one, you want to consider getting a case to protect it while in storage and transit.

5. Choose cost-effective signage.

Flags and banners are another way to make a big statement without breaking the bank. Like custom table covers, these promotional banners are a classic fixture of trade show booths for a reason. Retractable banners are easy to transport and come in both tabletop and floor versions, while feather flags will rise above the competition (quite literally) thanks to their height. If well taken care of, promotional banners can last through many trade shows, so pick a design you can use for at least a couple of years.

white trade show booth

6. Coordinate your outfits.

Having all your booth hosts wear the same polo shirt with your corporate logo is a great way to communicate your brand wherever they go on the trade show floor. If the design is especially cool, giving away matching t-shirts at your booth to visitors would be the perfect tie-in. If your team isn’t that keen about completely matching, or you don’t have the money to spend on shirts, you can ask everyone to dress in company colors while still letting them choose their own outfits. That way, everyone’s clothes will go together without being too matchy-matchy.

7. Don’t forget your giveaways.

Promotional giveaways for booth visits don’t have to be pricey to make a big impression. Some of our most popular and cost-effective promotional giveaways include custom USB drives, branded notebooks and promotional water bottles.

Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still create a good-looking booth that will attract plenty of visitors. Follow these seven tips as you brainstorm trade show booth ideas for small budgets.

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Trade Show Planning: Checklist and Timeline

Trade Show Planning: Checklist and Timeline

Trade show planning can seem like an insurmountable mountain, especially if you’ve never exhibited before. But if you break down trade show planning into concrete steps, you’ll soon realize just how doable it is. To help out newbies and veterans alike, we’ve created a trade show planning checklist and timeline to walk you through the entire process, from one year out to the day of the show (and beyond).

Woman on phone

12+ months out

  • Determine your overall objectives for attending trade shows. Do you want to launch a new product? Sign additional clients? Get new leads? Before you sign up for a single trade show, you should have at least one (if not several) objectives in mind.
  • Research and select a trade show (or shows) based on the objectives you have defined. Seek out trade shows that will allow you to reach your most important, high potential audiences without too much overwhelming competition.
  • Register for the trade shows and select the best booth spot for your needs.
  • Set a general budget for your trade show or shows, taking into account everything from travel to booth furniture to promotional giveaways. If you need to request extra funds, you’ll want to do it before the start of the new fiscal year.
  • Put reminders in your calendar for all the important deadlines between now and the date of the trade show.

6-9 months out

  • Start the individual trade show planning process by designing the booth for the show. Begin researching lead times to order furniture, banners, promotional giveaways, etc. so you’re not rushed.
  • On a related note, begin designing your marketing materials, since you’ll need designs finished and approved before you order anything.
  • Finalize your objectives and campaign messages for each trade show, since this will influence the design of your marketing materials.
  • Now that you’ve begun planning in earnest, you’ll have a clearer idea of specific expenses, so keep track of them and make sure you’re sticking to the budget for each category.

Woman receiving box

4-6 months out

  • Figure out your staffing needs–i.e., how many people you need to travel to the show and work the booth. Ask your chosen employees if they’re available during those dates.
  • Once you know who’s staffing the trade show, begin booking flights, hotels and other travel arrangements. Don’t forget to check if the trade show has an associated hotel that offers a discounted conference rate!
  • People aren’t the only thing that needs to be transported to the trade show. You also need to get your booth and the exhibition materials there and back. Begin planning your shipping logistics and making arrangements.
  • Start promoting your trade show attendance via your website, emails, social media and even digital advertising if you have the budget.
  • Begin ordering trade show booth decor.

1-3 months out

  • Continue promoting your trade show expo via marketing.
  • Train your staff to work the booth, network with potential customers, give sales presentations and whatever else they’ll need to do while on the ground at the trade show.
  • Follow up with the trade show expo, your shipping company and anyone else to make sure that everything will arrive on time.
  • Schedule any client dinners or other business meetings that will take place during the expo.
  • Prepare any emails, postcards or other marketing materials that will go out to new connections after the trade show.
  • Finish ordering your trade show booth materials.

Team High Five at Conference Room Table

1 week out

  • Complete any last-minute staff training.
  • Double check all travel itineraries for trade show staff.
  • Confirm shipping arrival dates for your booth display, marketing materials and promotional items.
  • Confirm move in and move out dates and times with the trade show venue.
  • Review all other to-do items to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

After the trade show

  • Follow up with your new leads.
  • Send thank yous to any clients you had private meetings with.
  • Analyze the leads you got at the expo and their performance so far.
  • Review the budget again to see how accurate your estimates were.
  • Debrief with your team to determine the main takeaways.
  • Take what you’ve learned and start trade show planning for the next event!

Follow this checklist to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases as you proceed with your trade show planning. Good luck at your next expo, and don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team if you have questions about ordering promotional goods for your next trade show.

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