Most vendors totally blow the opportunities provide by door prizes. The information here will help you optimize that opportunity, instead.
Most vendors have a bag of inexpensive incentives
(the promotional industry's name for these things). These are highly
commoditized items like pens, coffee cups, and various knick-knacks.
Providing these as door prizes makes a statement, but not the one you
want to make. And, it's poor marketing. These incentives are for handing
out at high-traffic, low-qualification trade-shows. At this conference,
you are meeting with a highly select group. Take advantage of that.
What you want is something that:
- Distinguishes you, rather than brands you as
a "me too."
- Generates some excitement.
- "Says something" in regard to critical
- Helps bring the winner (buyer) and seller
(you) closer together.
- The winner is likely to use or enjoy, rather
than toss in a drawer.
- Has some class.
This doesn't mean it needs to be expensive. But
you will get a much higher ROI by supplying a couple of nice prizes
rather than a dozen cheap ones. Keep in mind the demographic, and target
Winning past prizes have included such things as:
- Canvas carry-alls (high-end)
- Computer gear
- Conference fee paid
- Desktop UPS units
- Dinner at Hereford House
- Discount coupons
- Golf balls (lots of golfers in this group)
- Home-grown honey (yes, it was actually a prize)
- Polo shirts
- Test equipment
- Tools (buy quality, or not at all. Think Milwaukee and
Snap-on, not SkilSaw and BrandX).
Yawner past prizes have included such things as:
- Educational courses
- Hats (way overdone)
- Pens (these folks mostly use computers, not
pen and paper)
- Sports supplements
- T-shirts (not for this age group )
- Think. We can't stress this enough.
- E-mail us before the conference regarding what you're providing, and we'll give you a bit more promo.
- Show up early with your prizes, or contact us about mailing them ahead to one of us in KC.
- Ensure your prize comes with something that says who donated it. It doesn't hurt to provide a short blurb about your company--it will be read when the prize is awarded.
- If you have a very cool prize and would like to present it yourself, contact us ahead of time. Syska Hennessy
has presented its prize--one year, that was 100% payment of
conference fee to the lucky winner and another year it was dinner at
the Hereford House.