How To Avoid “Trick or Treaters” At Your Event Table

If you’ve exhibited at a trade show, you’ve probably had a few “trick or treaters” stop by.  These are attendees whose only interest is to walk around and see what they can get for free.  Usually without caring about who you are or what you do.

Because of this, some argue you don’t need promotional giveaways at a trade show. The truth is, there isn’t anything wrong with trick or treaters stopping by your booth.

Then there’s the fact that there are many benefits of using promotional items. Even when trick or treaters are out, you’ll want to think twice about not using them.

This is because promotional giveaways can help you generate quality leads and advertise your brand.  All you need to do is learn how to protect your branded investments and use them more strategically.

Here’s what you need to do:

Segment Your Promotional Items

Typically, you should have three segments of promotional items at your booth.

  1. Tier 1 promotional items are medium priced products you should purchase for qualified leads. Keyword “qualified”.
  2. Tier 2 promotional items are lower cost items that are great items for trick or treaters.
  3. Gifts are the big ticket items and prizes for contest winners.

Know the purpose for each segment

The reason you should segment your promotional items is because each group should have a purpose.  Tier 2 promotional items are the “attention grabbers”.  These are the items that are placed on your table so attendees who want to talk to your company or not, can have them.

Tier 1 promotional items are the “surprise” products.  These should be kept out of sight, usually behind your table. The key is to give these items to attendees who you qualify – aka those you have a conversation with and collect their information.

Gifts are your “higher ticket” items you can give to your contest winners.  These should be placed on your table next to your contest rules or stowed away, out of sight.

Always put a call to action on both your Tier 1 and Tier 2 promotional items

If you qualify someone, they are more likely to follow your call to action.  That’s why it’s smart to put your call to action on your Tier 1 promotional items.

However, it’s even smarter to put your call to action on your Tier 2 promotional items.

Think about it this way. If a trick or treater comes to your booth and takes a product without talking to you – hey, it’s under a dollar, let them have it.  BUT, having a call to action on these items can come in handy in a few ways.

1. If they grab your items without talking to you, but your call to action is catchy, they may decide to learn more. Which means its possible to turn trick or treaters into qualified prospects!

2. Now, let’s say they have your promotional item and are not interested in your call to action.  It’s possible for someone else to see your product.  It’s also possible for the trick or treater to give your item away to someone else who could be interested in your company. This means its possible to get indirect leads.

Regardless of what happens to your Tier 2 products remember they are still doing their job of advertising your company.

Remember, just because those who are receive your freebies think they are “freebies”, doesn’t mean they can’t be useful advertising tools.  If promotional items are used effectively, even at a trade show, they can help produce a return on your investment when used strategically.

It’s not guaranteed that you can avoid trick or treaters at your booth.  However, if you plan for them to stop by, its possible they can help you spread your marketing message to others.

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