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Nurture Lead Generation with Enticing Conference Giveaways

There are tons of unique ways to boost your lead generation approach, from word-of-mouth advertising and referrals to leveraging social media. But there’s one strategy you might have overlooked: conference giveaways. We know what you’re thinking — swag is expensive and probably has a low ROI — but that’s actually not the case in most scenarios. Why? People love company giveaways, and it helps them connect with your company in a memorable way.

Lead generation 

In fact, branded swag has the power to solidify your brand in a potential customer’s brain. Need proof? According to this study by Crowdspring, corporate swag can boost brand interest by up to 79 percent and leave a good impression with the participants. As far as ROI goes, that all comes down to how wisely you use your giveaway budget. Lead generation is important for every stage of business, so you’ve got to be creative when developing your marketing strategy.

Choosing the Right Promotional Items

When you’re choosing promotional items specifically to help heighten your lead generation efforts, you need to follow a few simple rules. Successful promotional items are always practical, useful, memorable, affordable, tailored to your audience and easy to ship. But beyond that, you need to choose promotional products that are unique and stand out. After all, your potential leads are likely to be bombarded with tons of swag from competitors at the same event.

Some of the most popular promotional product categories are wearables, followed by gifts like drinkware, bags and writing instruments. Noticing a trend here? Consumers love things they can use, and companies know that they’ll make stronger impressions when their swag is on display out in daily life.

business people trade fair

With that in mind, we think that tech promotional items are by far the most underestimated product category out there. Branding tech items and gadgets — phone chargers, wellness wearables, USB hubs, earphones, data-blocking USB adapters and more — are a surefire way to ensure that your corporate giveaways are actually used. Plus, based on current research, the number of companies using promotional tech devices and accessories as swag hovers just below six percent. In other words, you know you’ll be handing out something unique and desired.

You also want to think about how your trade show handouts align with your brand. Do a little bit of market research to determine who your target consumer is, and then select promotional products that resonate with the most qualified leads. Pick products that relate to your company, whether it’s specific (like choosing custom spiral notebooks for universities) or something general, like high-quality swag to match your quality-focused business model.

Doubling-Down with Promos and Swag

Now that you have some good-quality conference giveaways to hand out at your next tradeshow or special event, how do you make sure that these products help you engage with potential customers and rack up leads? There are a number of ways you can nurture lead generation with your company giveaways before, during and after the big day.

3d glasses with logo

It all comes down to entering your next event with a smart strategy. As successful as it may be, handing out expensive freebies to everyone who passes your booth just isn’t an effective use of your marketing budget. You can prepare for the event by identifying your ideal customer, developing a plan for engaging top prospects and creating fun promotions for highly desirable gifts.

  • Use a Tiered Approach — Depending on the size of the conference, you could have the opportunity to market your company to literally thousands of leads. Creating a tiered approach with your conference giveaways is a great way to maximize ROI. Buy large quantities of inexpensive giveaways to hand out to everyone who passes through your booth and then offer more premium gifts for more promising leads.
  • Create a Promotional Drawing — Everyone loves free stuff, but you can’t give premium products away to everyone. Ask all of your conference attendees to enter their business card or contact information into a jar for a promotional drawing at the end of the day, but make sure it’s something people actually want. Whether it’s a branded product typically reserved for your best clients or the latest tech gadget, you’ll rake in enough leads to justify the expense.
  • Offer Freebies as Incentives — The most challenging part about an effective lead gen plan is getting in touch with potential customers. Rather than handing out swag bags to everyone who passes by, ask attendees to sign up for your e-mail list or engage on social media for a free gift. The fact of the matter is, people are more likely to act when they have an incentive.
  • Engage with Attendees — Using your buyer personas can seriously go a long way in the world of industry conferences. Prepare beforehand by developing a list of target leads who you want to engage. That might mean investors, fellow businesses or individuals. If you’re on a strict swag budget and need to maximize your giveaways, make sure that you only hand out promotional products (and your business card, of course) to people who match your ideal persona.
  • Follow-Up with Swag — Don’t let your lead gen game slip after the conference has ended. Instead, mine your list of contacts and send the most valuable prospects a personalized note with some cool swag reserved just for the MVP’s. The outbound approach to promotional products is a two-for-one deal. On one hand, it helps you connect with solid leads who were probably courted by competitors vying for their attention; on the other, it makes them feel appreciated and remembered, which will help create a long-term bond to your brand.

For your next event, try pairing a well-executed lead generation plan with some noteworthy trade show promotions. It will increase your brand visibility and make a lasting impression on everyone in attendance.


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