Is it time to ditch the marketing trade show?

Trade shows can be pretty inefficient — not to mention expensive — ways for small businesses to acquire new customers.

Think about it: A trade show is a one-time event with a limited number of potential customers. They require at least a full day’s work — and probably much more — from several of your company’s employees. For the most part, the amount of customer contact you can gain from attendance at a trade show is limited, because anybody who’s not at the event won’t be able to learn what you have to offer.

People milling about on a trade show floor.

For the most part, the amount of customer contact you can gain from attendance at a trade show is limited, because anybody who’s not at the event won’t be able to learn what you have to offer.

Given that, it’s not surprising that the trade show industry recently saw its first dip in yearly attendance after 25 consecutive years of growth. Add to that the anecdotal drops in attendance we’ve seen at various trade shows here in Whatcom County, and a troubling trend starts to become visible.

Simply put, trade shows are not what they used to be, and they’re not the most efficient way to reach potential customers.

So, if trade shows are on the decline, where should small businesses spend their marketing dollars?

Money spent on promotional products and other well-thought-out customer gifts is money well spent. The best promo products reach thousands of potential customers and have a shelf life much longer than the one-day trade show.

Plus, based on the statistics, promo products are a smart marketing investment.

High-quality branded bags make great promo gifts, because they last a long time and are extremely useful.

For starters, consider that nine in 10 Americans own a branded pen. Or consider that the average promotional bag generates 5,700 impressions in its lifetime. That’s a lot of eyes on a single advertisement — many more than you’d get from a tradeshow, and all for pennies per bag. (Which is one reason, by the way, that the eco-friendly bag just might be the best promo product you can buy.)

Another interesting statistic: More than 6 in 10 consumers in the U.S. eventually pass their promotional products along to someone else. Because one of the biggest benefits of promo products is in the impressions they generate, that gives new life to your marketing dollar, putting your company’s name and/or logo into a whole new sphere of people.

Another benefit of promo products is that the possibilities are endless. Promotional items can be selected to appeal to whatever clientele your small business might be dealing with, from pet lovers to technophiles to eco-savvy consumers to millennials to patriots to coffee lovers to real estate agents. Whew! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To explore more promotional items, just check out LaserPoint’s website. And if you need help choosing the best promo products for your specific circumstance, please feel free to give LaserPoint a call. We’re here to help.