Custom Lapel Pins Address Two Big Trade Show Challenges

By Caryn Smith © 2011, All Rights Reserved

Think of a typical visit to a popular trade event. It’s a carnival of bright colors, interactive displays, and free samples, and you’re pulled along with the tide of people flowing like a river through the aisles. Finding the displays that interest you can seem impossible. At the end of an exhausting day, you’ve picked up a few samples, grabbed a couple of brochures and a handful of business cards. Back at the office, you toss them in a desk drawer where they’re quickly forgotten.

Now consider a focused, goal-oriented experience. You arrive with an agenda. You know which booths you need to visit, and why. You meet with company representatives, exchange business cards, get your questions answered, and set a time and date for follow-up. You return to the office with a plan.

I think you’d prefer the second experience for your customers, at least when it comes to visiting your trade show booth.

Start with an Invitation

Trade shows have two challenges: getting potential customers to your booth, and making an impression that stays with them after they turn the corner at the end of the aisle. With a little planning, you can make use of an inexpensive marketing piece to meet both objectives, starting with the invitation.

Identify your target audience and a few weeks before the event, mail a brochure introducing your company and explaining what you can do for the reader. Let them know that you’ll be in town, and include a map of the exhibit hall. Pinpoint your booth location with a smart lapel pin depicting your logo, and offer a special gift or other discount coupon for those who drop by wearing the pin. Not only are you giving them a compelling reason for visiting your exhibit, but you’re making it easy for customers to find you.

Make an Impression

At your booth, make it a point to connect with those who are wearing your pin. They’ve shown an interest in your company, so now is the perfect opportunity for booth staffers to build a lasting relationship by engaging them in conversation, addressing their concerns, and scheduling a follow-up conversation.

Your invited guests make up a small portion of your overall trade show traffic, though. You’ll still want a way to stop passersby and retain their interest. Attract walk-in traffic with an interactive display such as a game or video presentation, then trade lapel pins for business cards or contact information. Unlike simple brochures or samples, quality lapel pins are unlikely to be tossed in a drawer and forgotten. Instead, they’re often displayed on an office bulletin board, and serve as a constant reminder of your brand. Use the business cards you’ve collected for follow-up calls or a prize drawing to cement the relationship.

For an even longer-lasting impression, integrate lapel-pin marketing with your retail locations by offering discounts or prizes to visitors who stop by wearing the pin they picked up at a trade show. You’ll be building brand loyalty while ensuring the pin recipients keep them handy. Plus, your happy customers become a walking testimonial, eager to share their experiences with your company with anyone who asks about the clever pin they’re wearing.

And lapel pins can indeed be clever. Die-cut shapes depict even complicated logos accurately; sophisticated color-matching techniques ensure exact replication of your existing marketing materials, and danglers, lights, and glitter all add pizzazz to make your pins stand out wherever they’re seen. Lapel pins aren’t just a marketing tool. In many cases they become a valued piece of jewelry your new customers will be proud to wear long after the trade show has been forgotten.

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom-designed lapel pins, contact Signature Pins for creative ideas.  Visit today for custom lapel pins in just 10 days, guaranteed!

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need custom-designed lapel pins, contact Signature Pins for creative ideas.

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