Using free gifts to attract trade show attendees to your booth is popular for a reason. People like receiving free gifts and providing one invokes the principle of reciprocity. If someone receives something they want to give something in return. To turn gift giving into a lead generating activity at trade shows follow these three simple rules and optimize the effective of your booth gifts.

Free Gifts Are Not Really Free

When you provide a trade show attendee with a gift make sure you are exchanging something with them. You want to scan their badge or capture their email before providing the gift. This is not something everyone does, but it is something that every trade show attendee understands and respects. The point of a trade show is to gather leads so use the free gift to facilitate the capture of leads.

Do not leave free gifts out in a bowl for passer-by to grab and go. It is important that they don't get it until they give something first. You can offer the gift in exchange for their email or in exchange for listening to a short presentation of the product or service. The key here is not to turn your booth into a free vending machine where no leads are captured. Capture the lead and then thank your booth visitor with your company's branded gift.

Demo That Freebie

If you are choosing what kind of gift to give at a trade show, don't be quick to choose the old pen and t-shirt combo. Everyone knows how to use a pen and a t-shirt. There is nothing new to show there. To maximize the one-on-one time with the prospective lead, make sure there is something unique to demo with the free gift. If you need to show the person something about the gift in order to use it, then that increases the quality of your interaction with this person. It starts to build the relationship so that more conversation will ensue and you have generated a lead.

Remember, the point of trade shows is to generate leads, not to play Santa Claus. Come prepared to demo the free gift and use the opportunity to make your messaging stick.

Make Sure to Brand

The logo and company information is of vital importance to contain on your free gift. This is the most well known aspect of free gifts yet I still see trade show marketers show up with items that miss this crucial point. If your free gift is not branded there is no connection that will bring the person back to your booth, company or website. Make sure your company information is on the free gift to ensure your messaging will travel with the gift.

Also tie the free gift into the messaging of your company. Depending on the purpose, product or service you are selling you will want to think creatively about how to extend that messaging through the free gift. If it can somehow relate your giveaway to your core message then your leads will have an easier time recalling what your company does when they use the gift down the road.

Free gifts are enticing and people love to receive them. Make sure you do it the right way to ensure a maximum return. You want people to provide their information and have a connection with you and the messaging in order to get the most value from providing the freebie. Gift give the smart way at trade shows and follow these three simple tips.