7 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Collateral Out of the Hotel Trash Bin

There’s nothing worse than seeing all your hard work go to waste — literally. With all the marketing collateral that’s handed out at trade shows, it’s no surprise that most of it never makes the return trip back to your prospective customer’s corporate office. Save money (and save face) by learning how to deliver marketing materials worth keeping.

Produce One-of-a-Kind Designs

What would you rather look at: a black-and-white brochure full of stock photography and boring, run-of-the-mill text or a colorful, tri-fold promotional piece that features a pop-up of your product when you open it? If you’d prefer the latter, you’d be in the majority. Give event attendees something worth holding on to by thinking creatively and looking for standout design ideas.

Just as unique graphic designs stand out, so do unusual printing techniques and materials. Business cards or brochures featuring dye-cut edges, textured paper, spot UV or metallic finish can ensure that your marketing materials stand out against the competition.

Although these pieces can cost more to produce, you can offset that cost by printing fewer pieces and only distributing them to qualified prospects.

Review Competitor Pieces

For more creative inspiration, consider past marketing materials that you’ve received from others in your own market or similar industries. What made them stand out? What made you hold on to them? Keep these items in mind when brainstorming how you will win over future customers with your standout marketing collateral.

Personalize It

Personalization is everything. Doesn’t it just feel good when someone remembers your name? Wouldn’t you be more likely to hang on to something that had your name on it rather than throwing it away? According to a survey by IMPACT, 94 percent of customers and marketing professionals surveyed said that personalization was “important,” “very important,” or “extremely important” in regard to leaving a lasting impression.

How can you personalize marketing materials? Think about adding first or last names or attendee company names to swag items — including keychains, cup holders, thumb drives, pens, or notepads.

Bundle Collateral with Swag

Speaking of swag, in a recent blog we shared an example of a Boise-based recruiting firm that created a unique marketing theme using bundled swag sets. Their “Need Talent? No Sweat” campaign featured a custom-printed t-shirt and mini deodorant to deliver a memorable slogan and branding statement. Chances are good that those items didn’t get thrown away.

Consider Digital Delivery

Another way to avoid seeing all of your marketing collateral in the hotel trash bin after the show is to simply avoid handing out paper or printed materials altogether. When potential customers visit your booth, have them enter their names and information at a kiosk or ask them to leave you a business card with the promise to follow up via email with your company’s pertinent materials. You could also place tablets around your exhibit with all of your marketing materials in digital format for attendees to review at their leisure. Offer an easy way for them to receive more information. In this way, you’ve saved money and time while identifying qualified leads.

Try QR Codes

Quick Read or QR codes can be printed on just about as many materials as you can dream up. Whether you add them to your marketing materials or simply sprinkle a few around your booth, all a visitor has to do is scan the code with their smartphone to reveal more information about your company or product. Materials bearing QR codes can help you stand out from the crowd as more people want to know what’s “behind the code.” You can even turn the scanning of the QR code into a contest or a giveaway.

Offer a Purposeful Product

What could you use more of? Paper products or items of value? Think about publishing your most persuasive sales messaging on reusable thumb drives, DVDs, cell phone cases, fidget cubes, or other useful items that a tradeshow attendee would be hesitant to throw away. They are much less likely to toss an item that has future value than a boring, forgettable piece of swag.

Printed, pretty, or purposeful — no matter how you choose to design and deliver your marketing materials, make sure it’s a memorable one that not only keeps today’s money from becoming tomorrow’s trash, but that also keeps your company top-of-mind for the customer long after the trade show is packed up and stored away.

Need help? The award-winning graphic design team at EXHIB-IT! is here to offer our expertise and guidance — whether you’re a startup entrepreneur or a corporate trade show veteran. Just give us a call and let us help you tell your brand’s story in a unique and compelling way.

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