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Free t-shirts at exhibitions – Quantity vs Quality

Event T-Shirts As Giveaways

So you’ve decided to give away t-shirts to visitors at your next exhibition or trade show in the hope that they remember who you are when the time comes that they need the product or service that you sell… what’s the best design to use to get you the biggest ROI (return on investment)?

Everyone loves a free t-shirt, right?

We’ve all been given them… those cheap, thin t-shirts with a company logo printed in 1 colour to save on printing costs – even though the company logo is actually 3 colours.  The t-shirt is a horrible shape, the sleeves come down to your elbows and is either so long that you could wear it as a dress or the complete opposite and starting to show some skin!

But it’s a free t-shirt right? People are going to love it right? and visitors are going to think you’re amazing for giving them this fantastic FREE t-shirt? They’re definitely going to remember your product and service when the time comes for them to buy what you are selling…right?

How much should each free t-shirt I give away cost?

Perhaps you’re in the Software Industry (like many of our clients are) and your product is the absolute best in it’s field, streets above anyone else and your monthly subscription fee is 20% less than all the competition.  But sadly you will be remembered as the company who gave that cheap, nasty t-shirt that’s only use is as a duster at best.  The customer thinks “perhaps you like to cut corners in other areas of the business or service?”  What if I buy your product – it looks all fancy and shiny on the outside but actually, is it going to reflect the quality of the free t-shirt you gave me?

It’s a false economy to give someone a product that you wouldn’t even use yourself.  The quality of the giveaways can reflect the quality of your company or product you sell.  It doesn’t matter that you managed to get a great deal on 100 t-shirts that cost you 2 quid each if they’re a horrible quality and nobody is going to use them.  Instead what would have been better is to spend time understanding your customers – know the sorts of clothes they buy, what type of t-shirts they think look good and then spend more money per item and buy less quantity (if you have a set budget).  You can then ‘qualify’ the visitors at the show – don’t just give a free t-shirt to anyone who passes by.  Instead you could maybe have a sign saying “do you qualify for a free t-shirt?”

Use your giveaways to engage in conversation

We all know it can be difficult to engage in conversations sometimes with visitors at trade shows because they always think you’re trying to sell them something but if they know there might be something in it for them in return they’re more than likely going to be happy to start a conversation.  Once you’ve started chatting to them you should (hopefully) start to get an idea as to whether they’re a likely prospect for your product or service and you can tell them they qualify for a free t-shirt – Happy Days!

And they’re even more blown away when you hand over a really nicely packaged quality t-shirt with a design (more on the types of designs in another post) that is subtle but sophisticated and 100% something that they will wear time and time again.  Maybe it’s an eco-friendly t-shirt (if that fits your customer profile) which might also tick a box with them.

Guess what?  They’re not only going to be happy about the free gift they may even start to rave about it – perhaps a photo on social media tagging you saying how awesome it was to meet you on the stand or a conversation with a friend or colleague who may also be a potential future customer for you.

Quality vs Quantity?

The saying ‘quality over quantity’ has never been more important when it comes to these activities.  At the end of the day if you are exhibiting at a trade show you are spending a lot of money to promote what you do and in return for this you are hoping to (eventually) sell more of your product or service.  Using higher quality items to a more targeted audience will always provide a much better return on investment.

If you’ve got a trade show, event or exhibition coming up and want to discuss the best giveaways (it could be t-shirts, pens, bags or even webcam covers) we are always happy to help.  This is a very large part of our business so are always happy to help recommend the right products to help you get the best return from your investment.