The Do's and Don'ts of getting the best from promotional products

Promotional merchandise is an important part of your marketing strategy, especially if you are exhibiting at a large event such as a Business Show. A core function of your promotional material is to help build relationships with your prospects and customers. It also helps demonstrate the quality of your brand (hence why it is important to select the right freebie). Promotional products are long-term reminders of your business. 

 Almost everyone likes to receive a gift, when you give out promotional freebies, people see the benefits of the gift, before they see the advertising. Gifts have a nicer feel than advertising.

 Selecting the right promotional gift for the occasion is important. Many business owners make the mistake of bulk buying lots of cheap promotional items in the hope that they can use them over and over again. The problem with this is if they aren't related to your business activities it will be difficult for people to connect them with your company. They may see your name, but if that is all they've got, they may well forget what to do. The smaller and cheaper the item the more difficult it is to provide additional information about your company. Also, if you have a quality brand, cheap freebies will detract rather than enhance it.

So what are the key things to be aware of when choosing your event promotional gifts? Below is a list of  Dos and Don'ts



Work out your budget per item in advance. Base this on the average order value taking into account your conversion rate from leads to sales. For example, if your average order value is £10,000 and your conversion rate is 20%; if you gave away 100 items at £20 each, the cost of the sale would be £2000.  Not bad given you just made £10,000. Add to this the lifetime value of this customer (if you have the potential to repeat sell it up-sell) then is easy to justify making a large investment in your promos and setting yourself out from the crowd. 

Make sure that your item is going to remind people who you are and what you do as well as give them your name. E.g., A moleskin notebook is a popular gift with the space to put your company's information.

Choose a promo that is functional, durable and desirable.  For example, umbrellas or a reusable water bottle. 

Plan in advance. Leaving decisions to the last minute may mean that you can't source the items you want or you have to pay a premium for a rushed order

Seek the views of people you work with and existing customers. Their feedback will give you a better idea about how your promotional items will be received. 



ONLY go for the typical promos such as pens keyrings USB drives etc. While they are small and convenient, they are singularly unimpressive and easily forgotten. What's more, since everyone is giving them out, it is easy for prospects not to remember the brand that gave it out.  Use these as fillers for a quality Swag bag that includes more standout items. 

Forget to add your contact information. There's no point in giving out promotional material if there is no information on how to communicate with you. 

Handout promos without a strategy. Have a sound plan for your promotional products, which should be part of your overall marketing strategy for the event. Decide what you want to accomplish and consider how your promos will contribute to this.

There is still time to get your show merchandise right! If you want to know more about how to get the most from exhibition freebies, contact Sugar Cube Productions, etc. 


Kye Etherton

Managing Director
Sugar Cube Productions Ltd

020 7078 7623