Promotional products are typically used in conjunction with a time-sensitive event or promotion. Timing is crucial to successfully get the full effect of the promotional products being used for any given event.
When developing your annual marketing plan, factor in special events such as trade shows, conferences, etc. to allow time for promotional materials to be ordered and delivered. You should typically allow 4-6 weeks for your items to arrive. There are generally additional two rules to follow when procuring promotional products for an event.
The first rule is to promote the giveaway or promo items prior to your event to bolster the most brand awareness during the event. Pros in the entertainment industry start heavily promoting summer movies weeks or even months in advance with big budget ad campaigns and promotional gifts at participating theaters.
One way to mirror this strategy without the blockbuster budget is to start promoting giveaway items prior to the event starting. Trade shows and conferences typically have a reception the night prior to the event kickoff. This is a great opportunity for you to start building relationships with attendees and start handing out promotional items in an effort to draw people to your booth. This way, they will already have developed a relationship with you and your brand, making the next steps in the selling process a little more comfortable.
The second rule is: the smaller the target audience, the shorter the time to promote. The target timing for a small group of less than 100 people is about one or two weeks. This is much different than a large promotional event that targets a whole city or a national demographic, which would be more along the lines of four to six weeks.
You can mirror this strategy at a trade show by promoting your giveaway items via social media in the weeks or days leading up to a trade show. Incorporate your promo products in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts using the official trade show hashtag to get more brand awareness.
Like so many other things, timing is important when considering promotional items for an event. Plan your timing out well at the beginning of the year, if necessary, so you can make sure you get the most from your promotional product giveaways.