I’ve spent the last few days at a big exhibition for the events industry in Frankfurt called IMEX 2013.  When I say big, I mean huge! There were hundreds of exhibitors all with massive stands, tons of speakers and thousands of delegates. If you have been to one of these shows, you will know it can be quite overwhelming especially if you are on your own, or you are new to the industry and haven’t met many people yet (this was my predicament!). I wrote a blog on this issue a few months ago which looked at how assistants can get over their initial nerves and go to a conference or trade show; you can find that here. I thought I would follow my advice at IMEX and go along knowing that I had something to talk to people about… which is this blog!

One of the tasks I had in my previous job was sourcing and selecting different and unique promo goods for the company. My boss (the COO) had organised a client golf day, and I spent months finding top quality golf products for him to take along to the course. It was a fun job (a bit like shopping with someone else’s credit card), but at the same time there were so many products to choose from it was difficult knowing which merchandise was worth the money. I now feel I’m quite knowledgeable on the subject of promo goods so I made it my mission at IMEX to visit all the stands and take some pictures of the promotional products that I really liked and could blog about this week, which turned out to be a great icebreaker with the exhibitors working on the stands and the other delegates too!

Here are some of the pictures and also some handy tips on picking the right promotional material for your company!

Pick a product that your clients are going to use

I took one of these home with me so that I could use it at the gym. Delegates were also using the water bottles during the conference as they were next to all of the water machines – I thought this marketing was very smart!

Make sure your logo is displayed on everything

The logo was on the mug, on the sweets inside the cup, on the business cards attached to the sweets! It was everywhere!

picking the right promo good

Be a bit creative

This company provided name tags for events, but they also let you create your badge on the day with lots of different colours and styles. Their logo was on all of the lanyards which meant you had their logo around your neck all day.

Picking the right promo good

Create a must have product

I overheard a lot of delegates saying to the exhibitors that their kids would love the rubber ducks, which meant they were going to take the duck home and it would probably be sitting in their bathroom for the foreseeable future. Plus they are adorable!

Picking the right promo good

Use bright, eye-catching colours

Everyone was using these bags to collect all of the paperwork, brochures, business cards and other promo goods they were given on the day. The bags were brightly coloured, useful and I saw so many delegates at the airport still carrying them home.

Picking the right promo good

Looks are important!

The last thing you want is a cheap and ugly product associated with your brand. Pens are great but make sure they are stylish and high-quality

Picking the right promo good

Sweets are brilliant

Everyone loves free food, everyone! My old company used to have little bags of gummy bears on the reception desk; clients loved them. Clients used to come into our office to get a handful of these sweets. We went through boxes and boxes of the things, and I wonder how much business we got just because we had tasty treats for clients!

Picking the right promo good

It was worth remembering that promotional goods only have a shelf life of 8 months max so it is worth investing a bit of money into excellent, useful products that your clients will keep and associate with your company. Another great product I worked on was an expensive iPad cover for our top clients. The cover had a swivel motion and also a keyboard, it was leather and had our logo stitched on to the side. The cover was great, and our clients almost saw it as a gift from us rather than just a promo good, which is precisely what we wanted!

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