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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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How to Plan a Company Event Your Employees Actually Want to Come To

How to Plan a Company Event Your Employees Actually Want to Come To

Planning a company event can be a lot of pressure – you’re tasked with making sure the venue makes sense and looks great, you’re responsible for planning a fun time, you’re trying to keep everyone fed and happy and the list goes on and on.  Too often we read scary statistics on employees and how they feel in the workplace:

• More than 80% of workers are either actively looking for a new job or open to finding one.
• 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work.

See? We told you it was scary. One way to engage your employees and pass along some appreciation is to throw a company event.  Events range from fancy holiday parties to casual happy hours and well beyond.  Seems easy enough, right? Well, the truth is sometimes it is but far more other it’s not.  The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of a lifetime, so the last thing some employees want do is participate in a work function on their own time.  So how do you make your work event something they wouldn’t want to miss? You get creative and think outside of the box.

Make it Memorable

Company Tailgate

If you want to engage employees and motivate them to attend your company events, you’re going to have to make it memorable.  Sure, happy hour is great, but if you’re going to throw an event, why not toss some creativity at it? Here are some of our favorites:

  • Take your team Axe Throwing (yes, this exists). Your employees will feel like real life lumberjacks.
  • Throw a “tailgate” outside of your office. Light up the grill, pull out the bean bag toss and crack a few cold ones.
  • Host trivia. Designate a trivia host and giveaway prizes for the top performing team.  An even cooler idea? Host a new themed trivia day once a month or once a quarter.
  • Visit an escape room. These physical adventure games make players solve a series of puzzles or riddles in order to escape their surroundings. These are great for team building activities.
  • Support your local sports teams. Gather the crew and head over to one of your local professional sports team games.

These out of the box, creative ideas are sure to spark interest in employees and boost the attendance at your next event.

Get Out of the Office

Remember how we said the average person spends 90,000 hours in a lifetime at work? Get your employees out and about for a day.  Not only can you change up the physical location of your event, but you can make sure you change your employee’s mindset by setting a different dress code for the outing.  If you’re throwing a tailgate, encourage your team to sport their favorite jersey.  If you decide on throwing some axes, make the dress code lumberjack casual.  It’s important to let your employees know that company events are places where they can spend time and socialize with their coworkers in a casual atmosphere.  If your event feels too uptight, you’ll likely not get the attendance you’re looking for.  A fun extra step is to create branded apparel for the outing with a themed logo and saying.

Survey Says

Eating Pizza at the office

The most important thing for you to do when planning a company event? Survey your audience.  Go straight to the source and see what employees actually want to do during their time out of cubicle land. Surveying the team has multiple benefits – first, you’ll get the brainstorming started and the ideas will start rolling in and second, your employees will feel valued because you care enough to solicit their opinions.

Keep it fun, keep it light, and listen to what the people want.  As long as you keep those tenants in mind your next company event will knock it out of the park.

 

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Ultimate Guide to Networking at Trade Shows

Ultimate Guide to Networking at Trade Shows

Networking can be intimidating in any context, and especially so at trade shows since you’re already exhausted from looking at all the vendors and staffing your booth. While it may seem like networking comes naturally to some people, it’s a skill that you have to practice, and just about anyone can get better with time. To help you make new connections at your next expo, we’ve gathered our 18 best tips for networking at trade shows.

1. Practice beforehand.

If you’ve never networked much before, trying to do a trade show right off the bat is definitely jumping into the deep end. You’ll be much less stressed, and your interactions will go much more smoothly, if you can get some practice before the main event. See if there are any local expos relevant to your industry happening in town that you can attend. Chambers of commerce, professional associations and other groups also have regular networking meetups (though you often have to become a member to go). Rather than stressing out about selling your company or yourself, focus on chatting with strangers and having a good time at these practice events.

2. Figure out who you want to meet.

You should have a good idea of what speakers and vendors will be at the conference as the date nears. Depending on how long the trade show is, create a priority list of three to four people you’d like to make contact with while there. If you already know them (say, they’re a current client), reach out before the expo so you can schedule a meetup. If you don’t, strategize a way to meet them, such as going up to a speaker after a panel or seeking out a potential partner’s booth during a quiet period when you can talk.

3. Arrive early and stay late.

Trade shows are already busy enough. Once you add in the networking, the schedule can become truly overwhelming. Give yourself some breathing room by flying out the day before and coming back the day after the expo. This will let you settle into your hotel, set up the booth, check in at the expo and complete other necessary tasks before the crowds get big and the lines get long. It’s also easier to network with potential new contacts when there are fewer attendees around since you’ll have less competition for their attention, making before or after the trade show the perfect time to meet someone.

4. Maximize your schedule.

Take a look at the trade show’s schedule and plan out your itinerary before you head to the expo. If you’re staffing the booth, block off those times, as well as any panels or expo events you want to attend. Make sure client meetings are on the plan as well. You might also want to schedule some additional “office hours,” where you work in a nearby cafe and interested people can drop by at their convenience. Don’t forget to leave time for meals and other breaks!

5. Know your pitch.

This should be covered in your staff training before the expo, but make sure you and your fellow attendees have a clear idea of what your marketing message will be for new contacts at the trade show. Practice with each other to make sure you’ve got the main points down, so you don’t freeze up the first time you have to talk to a visitor. If you have promotional materials you’ll be handing out—such as a press kits on a custom USB drive—review those materials as well so you know what’s included.

6. Tell your story.

Networking at trade shows isn’t just about pitching your company or product. Attendees will also want to know about you as a person. Think about how to tell your professional story in a concise but engaging way, covering important points such as how you ended up at your current company and what drew you to the industry. If you don’t like talking about yourself, you can practice giving a short “elevator pitch” about yourself, as you did for your company or product, at your trial run networking events.

7. Be authentic.

It’s pretty easy to tell when people aren’t genuinely interested in what you have to say, or just want to talk about themselves (or worse yet, are trying to lie about their credentials or company!). Focus on being yourself and sharing a bit of your personality (within reason). Trade show attendees are so inundated with canned sales pitches that a bit of authenticity will be a breath of fresh air and make you stand out from the crowd.

8. Don’t be too transparent about your agenda.

No one attends a trade show for the sake of just being there. Everyone has some kind of greater objective: meeting new customers, launching a new product, growing their own personal network, etc. Everyone knows you have some kind of agenda, and they have their own as well, but there’s no need to leap into it straightaway—this isn’t door-to-door sales. Coming on too strong and selling too quickly is a real turnoff, so chill out and focus on getting to know speakers and fellow attendees.

Networking

9. Dress professionally but comfortably.

You’ve probably heard the advice “it’s better to overdress than underdress” when it comes to job interviews, but this doesn’t really hold true for networking at trade shows. In fact, dressing too fancy can make you seem unapproachable and intimidating, especially if you’re trying to mingle with strangers on the trade show floor (which is why corporate apparel is a great option). The acceptable dress code will vary from expo to expo, so do some research beforehand and aim to dress in the middle of the spectrum—neither the fanciest nor the most casual outfit there. And whatever you do, bring comfortable shoes because you’ll probably be standing and walking a lot.

10. Relax and be approachable.

If you’re noticeably stressed out, people will be less likely to approach you, so relax and try to enjoy yourself. Smile if you make eye contact and don’t cross your arms over your chest. Beyond that, don’t fret too much over your body language. A lot of trade show networking success comes from attitude, so coming into every interaction with optimism and genuine interest in the other person will go a long way—even if you don’t walk away with a new customer or expo BFF.

11. Fly solo sometimes.

It’s less intimidating to approach someone standing by themselves than it is to break into a group who’s already chatting. Likewise, being approached by one person is less overwhelming than having a big group surround you. Even if you’re attending the expo with coworkers, or plan to meet up with contacts there, take some time to go solo and attend panels or networking mixers on your own. And if you were already planning to attend the trade show by yourself, take advantage of the opportunity to make some new friends, even it’s just for the expo.

12. Brainstorm icebreaker questions.

“So, what do you do?” is the most classic of networking icebreaker questions—and that’s what makes it so boring. Before you go to the event (or perhaps on the plane on the way there), brainstorm some unusual icebreaker questions that will get the conversation started and make you stand out among the crowd. If you can tie your questions into the event—such as asking what brought the other person to the expo or what they thought of the keynote speaker panel—that will open up a natural way to start the conversation without it feeling too forced.

13. Think about how you can bring value.

In networking interactions, many people are focused on what they can get out of the other person: a trial of their new product, introductions to more people, industry tips, etc. Instead of only focusing on what you need, think about how you can help other people at the trade show as well. Do you have a lot of industry connections you can introduce trustworthy new contacts to? Are you a subject matter expert on a relevant topic? Do you know a lot about the city where the expo is being held, so you can recommend restaurants for dinner? Bringing value to the interaction like this will definitely make you stand out in people’s memories after the show.

Woman with branded journal

14. Watch for an opening.

No one likes being interrupted, so choosing the opening moment is key for a successful networking interaction. Approaching someone standing by themselves, looking around, is an obvious choice, but that’s not always an option. Wait at a respectful distance for groups to break up, or for an obvious lull in the conversation, before trying to insert yourself. Don’t forget to smile and have icebreaker questions ready to go so you’re not left staring at each other waiting for someone to say something.

15. Leave at the right time.

Starting a conversation is only half the equation. You also need to know how to wrap things up at the right time. If the other person is acting distracted, looking around or giving short answers, that’s a good sign that they’re no longer engaged and that it’s time to wrap things up. And if you find yourself doing these same things, don’t feel obligated to continue the conversation. Offer an excuse, such as filling your drink or saying hi to another acquaintance you see, and say your goodbyes.

16. Bring business cards.

We may be living in the digital age, but when it comes to networking, good old-fashioned paper business cards are the way to go. Bring plenty of extra business cards so you can hand one out to each person that you talk to. Make sure they include your name, title and company, plus the best ways to contact you. You’ll probably receive a lot of business cards in return, so decide where you’ll carry them and how you’ll sort them. Many people like to make a note on the back of the business card to jog their memories about the conversation, but if you prefer the digital route, you can keep a running document on your phone instead.

Networking Tip - Business Cards

17. Have a lead capture system in place.

Scribbled notes on business cards are just the first step. Have some kind of digital master file where you keep track of all your contacts, whether it’s as simple as a basic spreadsheet or as fancy as a marketing automation platform. Inputting your contacts into some sort of database will make it so much easier to go through them and figure out how to follow up after the trade show. Plus, you’ll have a digital backup in case you lose any of the cards—always a risk at an expo.

Man on phone through window

18. Continue building the relationship.

You’ve survived the expo, made it home in one piece and slept for hours on end. So, your work here is done, right? Wrong! You’ll still need to follow up with all your contacts, but don’t give in to the temptation to give the sales pitch right away. Send a simple thank you email, reference the conversation you had at the trade show and offer to keep in touch. Using your newsletter or blog is a great way to nurture your leads without going straight for the sales pitch. So, if you have that content, put it to use.

Networking at trade shows can lead to new customers, yes, but also to great conversations and industry friends. Follow these 18 best practices the next time you attend an expo and all of your coworkers will be impressed with your newfound networking skills.

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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.

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What is a Swag Bag?

What is a Swag Bag?

If you’ve ever left a networking event or trade show with a goodie bag loaded with promotional items, then you have some familiarity with a swag bag. A quality swag bag has the potential to delight event attendees and keep your business top of mind long after the event has passed.

But let’s rewind for a minute: What is a swag bag? What does “swag” even mean? Briefly, here is what you need to know:

  • Swag is an acronym for “Stuff We All Get.”
  • Swag refers to promotional items that companies hand out to attendees as a form of advertising.
  • To delight attendees with a swag bag, event managers and marketers must develop an effective promotional strategy.

Swag Bags Explained

If you can recall the goodie bags you received as a child after attending a friend’s birthday party, swag bags are basically the adult equivalent. Swag bags usually contain promotional items, free samples from sponsors and anything else that could potentially excite recipients and leave a lasting impression on them.

From custom power banks to recycled paper journals to custom branded toys, swag items can come in all different forms. These items are usually handed out in the form of branded tote bags that partygoers can use again to maximize the visibility of the brand.

A Brief History of Swag Bags

“Swag” isn’t a new term. In fact, it’s not even a new concept. We’ve been giving out swag since the 1700s, and at funerals, of all places!

While the meaning of swag has steadily evolved over the years, the goodie bag we know and love today first arose during the dot com bubble. They gained widespread attention thanks to the Oscars and the Emmys, which were known for giving out swanky, lavish gift bags as a consolation prize for all the nominees.

Today, swag bags are used for a variety of events, from fun runs and races to conferences to fundraisers and everything in between. Whether you’re a startup trying to create brand familiarity or an established company wanting to generate buzz for a new product, a swag bag can be an extremely effective marketing strategy for your business.

Swag Bags on Chairs

How Your Business Can Benefit from a Quality Swag Bag

So, why should your business bother with swag bags? Look around your office desk and ask yourself how many promotional items you see. If you’re like most people, you have a decent number of branded pens, notepads and other useful promotional products lying around.

For proof that swag items work, just look at this 2016 report from the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), which found that 85 percent of people can recall the name of the company that gave them a promotional product. Additionally, a 2014 report from ASI found that over one-third of swag receivers are more likely to do business with the company that gave them the swag.

When you don’t have the marketing budget to spend on television or radio ads, swag bags offer an affordable method of getting your brand name out there. Also, affordable doesn’t need to mean cheap! As we’ll discuss below, you can easily create a swoon-worthy swag bag without breaking the bank.

Branded Pop Socket

Elevate Your Brand with the Right Swag

Cheap promotional products are never the way to go. Think about it: the longer your promotional products last, the longer your brand name stays visible. We also know that many businesses are working with tight budgets and don’t have the money to go all out with their swag bags.

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite swag bag ideas that will delight attendees without running your promotional budget into the ground:

  • Drink Bottles—Everyone could use a custom water bottle to keep in their car or carry to work. They also come in a wide variety of materials and price ranges, so you’ll have no trouble finding custom tumblers to fit into your budget.
  • Tech Accessories—According to Pew Internet, 95 percent of Americans now own a mobile device. Filling swag bags with custom tech giveaways such as pop sockets and chargers is sure to be a hit with attendees.
  • Product Samples—If your product or service can be offered in sample form, consider putting them in your swag bag. Giving attendees a small taste of what your business has to offer can convert them into loyal customers.
  • Unique Promotional Products—If you want to make a splash with your swag, check out our unique promotional items that are guaranteed to delight event attendees.

A Few Tips Before We Go

It’s clear that swag bags can create brand familiarity and delight event attendees. They also have the potential to be a massive disappointment and a waste of money if event managers don’t know what they’re doing.

Before you order cool swag items for your swag bag, remember that your items need to be useful, relevant and align with your brand. If you need help choosing promotional products that will give you the best bang for your buck, we’re happy to help! Get in touch with us and we’ll help you create a swag bag that makes a lasting impression on your target audience.

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Inexpensive Promotional Products

Inexpensive Promotional Products

No company would be successful without a strong marketing team implementing effective advertising and promotional efforts on behalf of the brand. With hundreds of marketing strategies available to you, it can be tough to determine which methods will work best to grow your company.

Though specific techniques, such as direct mail or social media advertising, may work better for some companies than others, using promotional items is an effective and time-tested marketing tactic. Spreading your brand’s name and message is the most fundamental aspect of garnering new leads and customers.  Smart distribution of promotional products can help accomplish this goal.

Why should your business use promotional products?

For decades, companies have used promotional products as a means of getting their brand logo noticed by prospective clients. Using promotional products as a startup is a particularly effective method for introducing your company to your target market by helping them learn and  remember your brand name.

The reason promotional products can be so effective is that they put your logo and what your company represents on useful items that people can interact with daily. When someone sees your company’s name frequently, it is much more likely that they will remember you and hopefully return to you as a customer. Distributing unique and high-quality promotional products can also leave people with a favorable view of your business. Keep in mind when ordering bulk promotional products that you want to give people something useful and not another impractical item that’ll get tossed in the junk drawer!  

Where can you give away promotional products?

Promotional products are extremely versatile in that they can be presented in many different ways. By using promotional items during trade shows, companies can make an impactful impression and stick out in the minds of attendees once the event has ended. Providing people with a physical item that includes your company name can help them associate your brand with your services and goods.

Events of all sizes are great venues for distributing promotional products. Research events related to your industry and try sponsoring or renting a booth at one of these gatherings. If your company is involved with the food or restaurant industry, attending a food festival would be a novel idea. When ordering bulk promotional items for these types of themed events, you may want to branch out from the standard products, like pens or koozies, to provide people with gifts unique to your field such as custom hand sanitizers (for healthcare) or branded car scrapers (for automotive).

Our favorite budget-friendly promotional products

Ordering impactful promotional products doesn’t need to break the bank. By playing it smart, you can easily choose affordable branded items that stay within your budget while maximizing your brand awareness. Check out the following budget-friendly options that are sure to delight recipients:

1. Customized sunglasses

Custom sunglasses are a great item to distribute as promotional products because people typically always need another pair. If you’re giving away products at an outdoor event, sunglasses are useful as some people may want to put their new shades on right away. They’re also a fun accessory to receive and can easily be customized to feature your logo and funky, eye-catching colors.

2. Travel mugs and water bottles

One of the best promotional products you can give is a custom travel mug or water bottle. People use these objects every day, so this will provide your brand with a valuable opportunity to stand out. When your current or prospective clients are on-the-go, mugs or water bottles can serve as great conversation pieces and generate even more business.

3. Totes and travel bags

For trade shows and events, customized totes and custom drawstring backpacks can be used to carry around other items from the event while reminding attendees of your company. Look for a bag made from durable material to ensure that your potential new customers will want to continue using this item for months or even years to come. Custom totes are especially great for promoting environmental consciousness.

Promotional pens

Though one of the most common promotional products on the market, custom pens featuring your company colors and logos are extremely effective. As with many of these other items, pens are something that people use every day, so when they reach for one of your pens, they are sure to remember your company name. Pens are very affordable bulk promotional items, so you can distribute multiple products to one person, increasing your brand awareness even more.

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What to Wear to a Conference – Trade Show Attire Tips from the Pros

What to Wear to a Conference – Trade Show Attire Tips from the Pros

Figuring out what to wear for conferences and trade shows can be tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to look sloppy, but on the other hand, you also don’t want to dress so well that you intimidate trade show attendees. There’s also the huge importance of dressing in a way that aligns with your brand culture and image.

If you don’t know what to wear to a conference, you’re in good hands. Before we give you some trade show attire tips, here is what you need to know about dressing for your next event:

  • The best trade show apparel strikes the right balance between comfortable and professional.
  • Branded trade show apparel can make your booth staff look and feel like a cohesive unit and may help you attract high-quality leads.
  • Dressing for your industry and your brand is essential to looking professional on the trade show floor.

1. Check the Weather

Every seasoned exhibitor knows to check the weather forecast before they get ready for their trade show. If it’s going to be pouring rain all day, you’ll want to dress accordingly so you don’t arrive to the event with mud-splattered pants and wet feet. If you’ve ordered custom umbrellas with your company logo, this is also the perfect opportunity to show off your brand before you even set foot on the trade show floor.

Man tying shoes

2. Wear Comfortable Shoes

You’re going to be standing on your feet for hours on end, interacting with attendees and handing out trade show giveaways. Unless you want to be grimacing in pain all day, good footwear is essential. Comfortable, yet professional-looking shoes can be hard to find, but they’re worth the hassle and price. At the very least, you can always try using custom insoles to help stabilize and support your feet.

3. Have Your Staff Wear Coordinating Outfits

We can’t stress enough the importance of having a cohesive trade show display, from your booth décor to your booth staff. Outfitting your booth staff in branded trade show apparel not only makes your booth look more professional, it also makes your team members stand out from other trade show attendees.

And trust us, your trade show booth could probably use all the help it can get to attract more foot traffic. With the average exhibitor investing 31.6 percent of their total marketing budget into exhibiting, you can expect the competition to be fierce. Wearing branded apparel is just another way to make a strong first impression on attendees and capture more leads.

4. Dress for Your Industry and Status

What you wear at a trade show or conference will largely depend on your industry. For example, those in the financial and banking industry may want to wear more formal attire compared to those in the outdoor industry.

On a similar note, you’ll want to pay extra close attention to your attire if you’re speaking at a conference during the show. For men, a suit with slacks will fit in just fine at most conferences, while women can dress in either a full suit or a dress with closed-toe shoes. If you’re concerned about appearing too intimidating to attendees, consider adding a pop of color beneath your formal attire to make yourself appear more approachable.

5. Make Your Outfit Versatile with Layering

Wearing layers at conferences and trade shows can be a huge life-saver. If someone spills their drink on you (which happens often, given how crowded trade shows are), you can simply remove a layer and reveal a clean shirt underneath. Smart layering can also save you money because you don’t need to shop for a new top for every trade show. Just wear the same base layer while switching up your outer pieces.

Make a Good First Impression

When deciding what to wear for a conference or trade show, there is more at stake than you might think. You and your fellow exhibitors are investing a significant amount of marketing dollars into your upcoming trade show. In fact, exhibitors spend $24 billion annually on trade shows, according to statistics compiled by HubSpot.

To win your next trade show, dressing the part is a key component to your success. With these tips, you can increase your likelihood of attracting prospects and making a great first impression on attendees.

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Ways to Make Your Company a More Sustainable Workplace

Ways to Make Your Company a More Sustainable Workplace

Sustainability. It’s the buzzword that everyone seems to be talking about right now, but what does it really mean? By definition, sustainability is the “quality of not being harmful to the environment, depleting natural resources and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance”. In reality, being a sustainable workplace means that your company is striving to make changes to reduce your environmental footprint while simultaneously creating an office environment that encourages healthy behavior and employee satisfaction.

It might seem overwhelming when you start to think of all of the ways you could try to incorporate sustainability into the workplace, but that’s why you have us! Right? Right. There are so many easy ways to make small changes that make a big impact in the long run.

Gift Reusable Branded Products

Take a minute and think about how many plastic water bottles are thrown away at your office every single day.  Would you be able to guess how many? How about plastic utensils in the kitchen? Or plastic bags that employees use to bring in their lunch?

A great place to start when it comes to incorporating and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle in the workplace is to provide each employee with some branded, reusable products.  By simply providing each employee with a reusable water bottle and lunch bag, you are drastically reducing your waste.  Not only are you encouraging sustainable behavior, but you are also creating the warm, fuzzy feeling for your employees by showing them that they are appreciated.  The best part? They will be carrying around products decorated with your company’s logo for extra impressions – score!

Providing reusable utensils, bowls, plates, etc. in the kitchen area of your office is another great way to discourage wasteful behavior. Instead of using disposable plastic utensils and potentially paper plates or bowls, employees will be able to use and reuse dishes daily.  Some companies even go as far as placing a “ban” on plastic bags and water bottles!

Encourage Energy Efficient Habits

Starting a carpool program or encouraging the use of public transportation or bikes can be easy ways to motivate employees to shift their behavior. Looking for a way to jumpstart this process? Create incentives and awards for your employees if they participate in any of the above options. Happy hours, gift cards or catered lunches all work well as prizes for adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.

Encourage your employees to enable and utilize power saving features on their computers. This one might seem small, but it makes a world of difference and takes less than five minutes to implement. Another small change is to encourage a paperless office. Challenge your employees to print one less document a day and see what the overall reduction in paper is at your office.

Lastly, switch out those inefficient lightbulbs. According to energy.gov, energy-efficient lightbulbs (halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps, light emitting diodes) typically use 25% - 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs and can last 3 – 25 times longer.  This simple switch will save you time, energy and money.

Make Recycling Easy

If you asked your employees to identify which items out of those they throw away daily are recyclable and which items are not, would they have an answer for you? Do you even have recycling bins in your office? The answer to these two questions must be yes before you can make any sort of difference.

Step one – acquire recycling bins.  Step two – create flyers noting which materials can be recycled.  Once your employees are educated about which items go where, they’ll be more likely to participate in the initiative.

Incorporating sustainable practices into your everyday office life can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.  By adjusting your workplace behavior even slightly, you can create an atmosphere that is healthy for your employees as well as the environment.

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Company Events: A Perfect Place to Use Promo Products

Company Events: A Perfect Place to Use Promo Products

Sometimes your own employees can be the best source for spreading brand awareness through promotional products. Many companies offer new employee welcome kits filled with essential information and promotional gifts with their brand logo to encourage staff to support and represent the business.

Everybody loves receiving free swag, so be sure to order bulk promotional items that your team will appreciate and want to use even outside the office. Hosting team-building company events is another great time to distribute promotional products and build a positive office culture. Follow our tips to create a memorable company event that will spread brand awareness and overall benefit your business.

Benefits of hosting a company event

1. Create a strong company culture

Fostering a distinct company culture is important for employee retention as well as building your brand because it aligns the values of your staff and your company. If you create an office environment that your employees genuinely enjoy, they are much more likely to remain loyal while also spreading the word about how well your company operates. According to Forbes, 87 percent of people who feel that their company encourages engagement are more likely to stay with the company.

When employees are more satisfied and engaged, they are also likely to be more motivated and produce higher quality work. A company event is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your company’s culture in action. As you plan the event, consider what core values you can emphasize to your staff and brainstorm ways to demonstrate these principles. During the event, give away promotional items to show your employees your appreciation for them.

2. Encourage teamwork

Without hosting company events, it can be difficult for employees to find time outside of work to mingle with other staff. These festivities provide your team with the chance to relax and connect without the pressures of office duties. When employees have the opportunity to speak in a social setting, they form stronger bonds, which encourages better working relationships.

Not only do company events allow colleagues to interact, but they also open the door for communication between leadership and employees. Sometimes management may seem unapproachable because they are in a position of authority and employees, particularly new hires, don’t always feel comfortable turning to them with a problem. In a low-stress setting such as a company event, employees have the chance to get to know their bosses better and feel more collegial, making it easier to approach them in the office with work concerns.

3. Demonstrate employee value

When employees feel as though their contributions to the company are important, they are much more productive, motivated and happy in the workplace. Throwing a special company party is an excellent way to display your gratitude for each of your staff members. Many companies opt to host an Awards Ceremony event each year to personally reward employees that have done an outstanding job over the course of the year. This type of company event is fun for everyone and provides the recognition many employees seek.

When planning a company event, you should build in a time to gift your team with useful and high-quality promotional products. These gifts are another token of your appreciation and work well as visual advertisements to others.

The perfect bulk promotional items for company events

Personalized shirts and other apparel

Personalized shirts are popular and valuable promotional items to distribute to employees. They can be worn to work on casual days as well as outside the office. Seek out high-quality apparel, like custom embroidered jackets from reputable brands such as Columbia and Under Armour, and customize them with your company logo.

Corporate gifts and awards

If you’re planning to host a company-wide Awards Ceremony, you’ll need gifts and awards to give out to your winners. A traditional award like a plaque is an excellent way to make your outstanding employees feel special, but you can also opt to offer other types of prizes such as custom Yeti tumblers or branded Wrapsody headphones.

Custom drinkware

To commemorate a great company event, hand out beautiful custom glassware that your employees can take home and use for years to come. Custom wine glasses with your company logo and the name of the event are classy favors that people will love. You can also consider giving away something people can use every day such as coffee mugs with your company logo.

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