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Expos are all about the networking, face to face, handshaking connections.  I am always amazed at the number of “adult trick-o-treaters” who just visit the show for the chachkies.  But there’s something to be said for having a nice giveaway for people to remember your company by.

The giveaways are important for two main reasons:

Reminder/Branding

A physical connection after the conversation.  The person you spoke with can hold a item that may remind him or her about the discussion you had about your product.

Hospitality

Good manners and hospitality are an American tradition.  The expo is like a big party of sorts.  And every kid loves leaving the birthday party with a grab bag of goodies.  Your giveaway is a way of saying, “welcome to my house” and “thanks for stopping by”.  

 

So what giveaways got my attention from World of Asphalt 2016?

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Grand-prize: neon work vests – BOMAG

As I saw these ridiculously bright, super useful vests start appearing on every back in the building I immediately thought, “This is genius, I have to have one.”  They not only had people as blindingly bright walking billboards all around the convention, they gave them something they can use in the future.  And even I, an art director/marketing business owner, can find a use for this awesome apparel in my life.  They encouraged recipients to wear the vest because, as they scanned in our name tags, they explained they’d be giving away a prize to people every hour ONLY if they were wearing their vest at the time of the drawing.  BRILLIANT!  Nice marketing folks!


 

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Best pen – Poet

My artist fingers got really grabby when I saw these lovely pens.  So often you see inexpensive Bic pens as giveaways.  I understand the challenge of finding an affordable give-away pen that people actually like to write with.  This pen makes the mark.  I buy these exact pens for myself at work and have even went so far as to label them with my name so my co-workers don’t walk away with my little sticks of inky awesomeness.  So thank you Poet for the awesome pens and for letting me grab one for my hubby as well.


 

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Most useful at the moment: lip balm – Royal Truck and Equipment

It’s spring, and what comes with the season?  Runny noses and chapped lips.  So what better to giveaway at a spring show than chap-stick?  Kleenex I guess.  Thanks to the ladies of Royal Truck and Equipment my lips are smiling with cherry flavored, Aloe Vera happiness.


 

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Best refreshments – NAPA

What better way to show hospitality than to offer a drink?  NAPA knows the drill, every day around 3:30 these generous folks rolled in a bar!  Right when everyone’s feet were barking they gave them a treat to keep the networking flowing.  Thanks for the refreshments NAPA.


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I’ll use the most: note pad with pen in holder – Richwood

I am always in need of a scrap of paper to write down something or another.  I’ve recently started emailing myself reminder notes instead of writing them down.  But a nothing can replace a good note pad, especially one with a sturdy cover and pen holder.  So I think the thing I may use the most (since I’ll likely loose my pen to one of my sneaky pen sniping co-workers) is the handy little notepad the guys at Richwood gifted me in my moment of need.


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I’ll fight with my kids over: hard hat flashlight – CEC

Since I just smashed my last trade show gifted flashlight key chain, this little do-dad arrived in the nick of time.  A flash light key chain is like peanut butter and jelly –  handy for moms and something all kids love.  This treat from CEC will be both a good reminder of the convention conversation AND a life saver while waiting for a table at a restaurant.  Thanks for the light CEC.


So there you have it, the good old american hospitality presented me with gifts that will keep giving (and branding) well outside the doors of the Country Music Center.

 

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