Promotional Merchandise – What is it and how to use it

Promotional merchandise sales are rising, actually for the seventh year running there has been steady and continual growth in the UK & Ireland promotional merchandising market. The industry is now £50million ahead of the year before the banking crisis in 2008 and has made an overall recovery of £292million.

That can mean only one thing – it works, however as with everything in business it works best when done well.

What is promotional merchandise?

Promotional merchandise is any object, branded with your logo or message and given to employees, customers and clients, or potential customers. It does not have to be expensive, there is an item for every budget. Merchandise can be sent to clients or potential customers in mail shots, given away as prizes in competitions, delivered in person by sales people, or handed out at trade shows and exhibitions.

How to use Promotional Merchandise at a Trade Show

A busy trade show may seem like the best place for lead generation and sales, however people can be easily distracted by show events, and competitor stands. The right promotional merchandise will help you to stand out and attract more people to your stand.

Everyone loves a freebie Data shows that event attendees are 52 percent more likely to visit your stand if you have appealing promotional items to give them.

What kind of promotional products are most effective? The list of items available is endless, printed bags, pens USB drives even fidget spinners, what is most important is to make sure the items you choose are consistent with your company image and has relevance to your target audience.

The most important thing to decide is how much you want to spend – there is something for every budget, set one and stick to it. Then think about how many items you want, it can be a good idea to buy a cheaper item to give away in larger quantities, and then a higher value item to give to companies who you think are more likely to become customers.

Try to choose giveaways that people will want to use once they return to their homes and offices, the only exception to this at an exhibitions are sweets, if you have the budget branded confectionary is a great giveaway, everyone wants a sugar boost on a busy day. Think about what kind of person your target audience is, do the spend a lot of time in a car, at a desk, or do they work from home.

Giving away giveaways

This is not as straightforward as you might think. Your merchandise has cost you money, it is important to give it away affectively, personally, and with a perception of value. Do not display your entire supply of giveaways for people to grab as they walk past. Think about what you want in exchange for your gift, or what you want to give alongside it. If you can try and talk to everyone who visits your stand, ask for a business card, or have a form for them to fill in so you can gather basic contact information. Maybe you want to give a brochure of leaflet along with your gift, if you have the budget make up a goodie bag ahead of time (branded of course) which can hold your business card a brochure or two, as well as your giveaway. Giving a gift personally increases the perceived value, and is more memorable to the recipient than something taken in passing.

Find out more about exhibiting at Women’s Business Conference and get 10% discount on promotional merchandise or find out more at


Leave a Reply