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11 Giveaway Tips to Save Money & Get Results

Jim Cermak

Episode 21 – 11 More Giveaway Tips & Tricks to save money and get customers!

We just recently had an interview with Promo Guy Anthony Gaudio – episode 18. Tons of value and expertise in that episode!

I’ve had some listener questions about some things we didn’t cover in that interview, plus wanted to give some of my experience and go even deeper on using giveaways at trade shows. So that’s why we have kind of Part 2 to the giveaway and promo items topic! Filled in a lot of the gaps and answered more questions from our interview.

Not going to tell you specifically what to give away. What I am going to do is help you avoid some common mistakes so you have a successful show and that your giveaway meets the purpose you are buying it for in the first place! And not just become something that gets tossed or given to the kids of the attendees.

First, before you decide on the items, have a brainstorming session – maybe by yourself or with your team – and decide – What is the purpose of your giveaway? Don’t just have something to have something. That’s like throwing money out the window. It can be a high ticket or a low ticket. Doesn’t matter – but what does matter is that each item should have a purpose.

Next – Brainstorm by yourself or with your team. What items represent your brand? Your promotion? Your booth theme?

Once you have that framework down, you can effectively select the absolute right items for your upcoming events.

Here are 11 tips that will help you have the best stuff for your goals and your brand.

Tip #1 – Make your giveaway fit your business or your brand. Think of it as a different kind of business card. If you have a car dealership or car repair business or anything having to do with cars – what will be more effective after the show? A squeeze ball with your logo, or a car-shaped squeezy thing with your logo on it?

Tip #2 – Try a giveaway that is different or memorable. Think of your current giveaways or ones you have used in the past. Are they different? Are they memorable? Not that you can’t use pens or a more common item, but try taking a shot on something a little more unique.

Tip #3 – Get samples of everything! Unless you are right up against a deadline and can’t get a sample in enough time to get an order placed, then do yourself a favor and get a sample! Even if something looks amazing in a catalog or website, don’t take the chance it looks, feels, or performs cheaply in person.

Some pens look expensive and high quality in pictures and feel so cheap. The same goes for tote bags, duffel bags, t-shirts, and so many more items. Your name and logo are going on the item – make sure your decision to save a couple of bucks doesn’t reflect poorly on your brand.

Tip #4 – Be super selective when choosing a tech item as a giveaway. Tech is cool because it has a high perceived value. Things that look expensive in pictures can have a cheap feel and break. So any time you are considering tech gadgets, please be sure to get samples and test them.

Remember – the reason you are having these items is that they reflect your brand in some way. Don’t have people thinking low quality while they’re staring at your logo on the item that won’t work!

Also – Be sure to check the specs for your tech items. True example – As an attendee, I got a power brick and I thought this was amazing! Then I got back and tested it out and it only added about 10% battery life to my phone before the power brick needs a recharge. That thing will go straight in the trash.

Tip #5 – Make sure imprint size is significant enough to make an impact. I have ordered some items from a website that looked big on screen, but were super tiny when I received them. So if you’re not sure, take a ruler and measure it out! Seen some so small couldn’t read. And if you’re sold on the item that has a small imprint area, don’t try to cram your logo, your web address, your tagline, and your phone number in it!!

Tip #6 – Understand what the price includes. Different companies price things differently. Set up fees, multiple color imprint fees, shipping, taxes, etc. Get the final cost. It’s real easy to have a $1 item turn into a $3 item when all of the other costs and fees are added in.

Tip #7 – Understand lead times. It might say 7-day shipping or something like that on the website, but that doesn’t mean it's 7 days from the time you place the order! Add in time for approval of artwork (which can take longer than expected – especially if you have some re-do’s), and time for production.

Tip #7-1/2 – Try as much as you can to order your items at least a month in advance. Last-minute, rush orders can add high rush processing fees and overnight shipping fees to your order. Plus, the closer you get to your deadline, the number of products available to you becomes fewer and fewer.

If doing multiple shows over the course of a few months or even a year, place a larger order to get you enough to cover all your shows and also get better pricing.

Tip #8 – Understand the size of the items you are giving away. Are the cases going to take over your booth?

Tip #9 – Also understand how they come packaged. Flashlights with batteries are separate. Pens are individually wrapped in plastic. Don’t need to be spending valuable time at the show putting things together or taking things out of a package.

Tip #10 – If you know there will be customers or solid prospects coming to the show, get a small quantity of higher-value giveaways just for them. High-end travel mugs, nice pens, or something like that. Keep these items stashed away. Put a lower-priced giveaway on the table for the general attendees.

Tip #11 – Promote your giveaway item in pre-show marketing. Bring a postcard to get a gift. Mention social media posts to get gifts. Don’t just have them sitting out.

So there you go – 11 massive tips! Everything you need to choose the right giveaways in the right ways to make them as effective as possible!

*** Special discount from Quality Logo Products! Go to, and enter code AGLOVE for 6% off your order!

About the author, Jim Jim Cermak has over 25 years of marketing, consulting, and training experience, and has planned and worked hundreds of Trade Shows. He gets a little overly excited about Trade Shows, and puts that passion into helping companies get better results!


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