What a difference a few weeks make. It seems only yesterday that we were facing blizzard conditions with airports and roads closed and much of the UK’s infrastructure coming to a standstill. Look out of the window today and what a difference – the sun is up, temperatures are rising and despite all the doom and gloom about the economy, there’s a really positive feel in the air.
Spring is also a time when trade shows and trade fairs kick-off with a vengeance. Look at the schedule of forthcoming shows and you’re see a crammed diary with shows covering all manner of topics an subjects including flower shows, caravan fairs and birdwatching to name but a few. As we drag ourselves out of our “winter hibernation” many of the shows have a real Spring feel to them.
The exhibitors at these show and fairs invest huge sums of money to attract potential customers to their stands with the typical cost of attending a national show running into many thousands of pounds. For the larger companies a show budget running into six figures is not unusual.
Spring USB Flash Drives
The majority of the costs are taken up by fees to the shows organisers (space fees) and the costs of the booth or stand. Small “extras” at the show like power sockets, signage, carpets and build costs also add significantly to the typical spend.
Much of the job of driving customers to the shows tends to be left to the shows organisers but once the attendees are in the show halls its down to the exhibitors to get their stand to draw in the customers. Some companies will rely on the compelling nature of their products or offer to draw the customers in, others will be confident in the sales skills of their staff to lure customers to the stand but for many they’ll combine these with a “giveaway” that can be picked up on the stand.
Typical show giveaways include printed bags, promotional sweets (again, often branded with a logo), soft drinks, caps, pens and stress balls. Another technique is to run a business card draw for a larger gift like an iPad or iPhone – show attendees are simply encouraged to hand over a business card which in turn is included in the prize draw.
Another promotional product that is finding favour with exhibitors is the branded USB flash drive. These are customised versions of a standard flash drive that can be printed with the exhibitors company logo, phone number and web address and more importantly they can be pre-loaded with the exhibitors sales brochures, price lists, product images, video clips and audio files.
The beauty of the branded USB flash drive is that it has a high perceived value, it will, without doubt, be popular and attract customers and its costs can be offset by the saving made by not printing and transporting brochures etc. Unlike other “giveaways” that frequently end up in the bins outside of the exhibition halls USB flash drives will be kept and will, in most cases, be used again and again so any company using them will be assured on on-going brand exposure.
Whilst promotional products and giveaways typically account for less than 5% of a show budget it’s important that this spend works and is effective not only during the show but also ideally after the show. Branded USB flash drives deliver on this aspiration hence why more and more of them will be given away at trade show and fairs this year.