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What's with the freebies?!

23 Oct 2017

I usually leave an exhibition or trade show laden down with several logo covered reusable bags full of weird and wonderful freebies.  Stress balls, keyrings, chocolates, cuddly toys, phone holders, pens ... the list is endless!  This year's BDIA Dental Showcase at the NEC was no exception.

  • Cuddly toys ... really?!  Meerkats seem to be the most popular just now.  I asked one company what the connection was between their freebie teddy bear and their products or services.  The answer? 'There isn't really one ... em ... people like them, they're cute?'  Hmmmmm, now that's a well thought out marketing strategy!
  • Who knew that stress balls came in so many different shapes and sizes?  Stress ball, stress apple, stress dentist, stress cow, stress tooth, stress car, stress mouse, stress fish .. it's amazing.  Are we really that stressed?  I mean, we all enjoy a good squeeze in the first five minutes of receiving a stress ball but does anyone actually use them on a regular basis?  How long until it ends up in the bin or the back of a drawer never to be squeezed again ...
  • Pens at least have a practical application but how often (if at all) do you actually look at the logo on a pen?
  • It never ceases to amaze me the sheer quantity of chocolate and candy that is handed out at your average trade show - medical and dental exhibitions are no exception!  Do you really think that the visitor will remember your company because you gave them a bite size mars bar?
  • I am partial to a cupcake and they are usually delicious!  But I can assure you that the effort and money involved in having your logo printed on the tasty marshmallow cake resting on that tasty buttercream icing is wasted - I have devoured it before I've had the chance to read it!  The only thing I will remember about your company is what your stand looks like and roughly where your stand is situated - so that I can drop by and grab another cupcake for the road!

I promise you that all of these freebies are a waste of time and effort.  In the last few hours of the exhibition your staff will be handing out your freebies two and three at a time to avoid having to lug them back to the office again.  Your people are the key to your success at the trade show so use them wisely.  'Do you want a stress ball?' can easily be replaced with a question that will start a conversation.  You can quickly establish whether the visitor is a prospect and move on from there.  

So instead of wasting money on useless branding, use one of our lead generators and see your ROI dramatically increase!