Over the last decade, traditional marketing efforts have transitioned out, and digital and online marketing has moved in as the "big dog" in marketing town. Businesses used to attend trade shows when they needed to launch a new product, make big company announcements, build brand awareness and connect with potential customers.

Today, a lot of that work will happen online through inbound marketing efforts before the event even happens.

Unfortunately, a result of this shift has been that some companies have decided to pack up their booths and stop attending trade shows all together. They believe attending these events are no longer relevant, and that their marketing budget is better spent on activities with a higher, traceable ROI.

Yet, trade shows haven't completely disappeared, which means people must still be attending them to some capacity right? Every industry is different but the continued existence of trade shows begs the question:

Should you still be attending trade shows?

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Let me hit you with some quick facts regarding the longevity of promotional products and the impact that they make on a consumer:

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Trade shows are a lot of work. It’s not enough to have an engaging booth and giveaway strategy; you need to have a strong action plan that extends from before you arrive at the event to when you return home with pockets full of business cards.

Whew. As an inherently lazy person, just reading that last paragraph made me tired, and I’m sure I’m not alone. But before you crawl to your couch to try to recuperate from the exhaustion of thinking about planning your next trade show with 11 seasons of Forensic Files on Netflix, we need to talk about content.

More specifically, we need to talk about how if you don’t have a clear trade show content strategy for your next event, you’re going to be putting in a lot of literal and mental elbow grease with little to show for it.

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When it comes to marketing, ROI is often what matters most, when you're reporting results of your strategies up the chain of command. Unfortunately, the more you need to demonstrate ROI in certain situations, the more elusive it can seem. 

And justifying the expense of attending a trade show is certainly not exempt from that. 

Think about it: How many times have you attended a trade show and after the fact thought, "Wow, I really got a lot out of that," only to later be asked by your boss, "So, what deals did you close? What is the actual dollar value we got out of that event?"

"You're so wise, Kim - that happens to me all the time." - You (Probably)
 

No one likes having that conversation, especially if you don't have results to share. The trick here is to understand that marketers are often chasing long-term goals like increasing brand awareness - which are not always easy to measure. But you may come back having to show short-term sales-oriented results.

The good news it there are ways to bring those two things together: finite trade show results that don't undermine long-term marketing strategies. But it does require effort before, during and after the trade show.

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The Giveaway Closet

We get it, sometimes you just want to do it yourself.

That's why we are giving you access to our entire product database!

Know what you need to order?

Stop Reading and Start Shopping

When preparing for a trade show, promotional products are often at the top of the list for things to order. From pens and brochures to displays and banners, you might think you have it all covered when stocking up for your event.

But did you know that there are even more opportunities to use promotional products to maximize your ROI on your trade show exhibit? 

Here at Quintain, we like to get creative and take advantage of every opportunity to make an impression on a lead from a trade show. It's not just about ordering some stuff with your logo on it; it's about being smart and strategic about what promotional items you choose and when you use them. 

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Promotional products rock. They not only attract new clients, but they keep your current ones happy and increase brand recognition simultaneously, taking your business to a whole new level. Like I said, awesome.

Some people may think that promotional products cost a lot of money, but it’s totally an investment worth making. Year after year, they have been proven a fun, cost-effective way to market your company without (a) breaking the bank, and (b) exerting too much brainpower and time.

What I want to convey today is the importance of not just picking a product and giving it away. It’s about a bigger picture: developing a comprehensive promotional strategy in mind designed to produce results you can measure.

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Video and trade shows are often considered two separate parts of the same marketing strategy. Like two different dishes in a meal, they are both delicious, but not typically eaten and enjoyed simultaneously. Well, ever since I was a kid, I was always the one to mix all my food into a giant pile and eat it all at once. 

And that's just how you can look at video marketing and trade shows. Yes, they function well enough on their own, but put them together and you have something that is better than the sum of its parts. So how do you do it?

The best way to create an integrated video marketing and trade show strategy is to break it down in a linear timeline: before, during and after the trade show. Read on to learn how.

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Let's be honest: Most companies are unable to efficiently communicate the true value of their marketing efforts when it comes to trade shows. We know they cost a lot. We know they require a lot of time. And we know they generate a lot of unwanted stress.

But how do you calculate the true value and ROI of a trade show? That's a question we get asked a lot.

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