This was a very strange January for me. Not since the birth of my son, a decade ago, have I missed the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Yes, PPAI is the largest expo in the Promotional Marketing industry, but that is only one of the many reasons that I go every year.
The main reasons coincide with why I suggest to my clients that attending and exhibiting at trade shows and conferences within their industries is critical. First and foremost it is the people that you meet and the ideas that you pick up along the way that are worth their weight in gold. There is something about getting people together in a confined space to talk about a specific subject that brings out the best in people. Ideas are shared, creativity abounds and the people that you meet along the way become valuable partners, clients or suppliers that help you bring your business to the next level. This is what I missed by not attending Expo! Yes, you can get a synopsis of the show and great show notes from friends, but it is never the same as being there. It is the live interactions that allow me to develop the ideas for clients, that turn into programs and campaigns to support their brands, spread their message and put tangible evidence into play that helps people act on their calls to action.
On top of this, you miss once in a lifetime opportunities. Not only did Tony Hsieh give the key note address at this year’s Expo, but we had an opportunity to tour the brand new headquarters of Zappos that is a major part of the downtown Las Vegas revitalization plan.
I can’t stress enough the value to companies to attend conferences and trade shows within your industry. The education that you receive, both formal and informal, will give you a positive return on your investment for years to come.
With all of that being said, here are some items that both friends and suppliers have sent me that they thought were great ideas. . . and how they can work for you.
#10 THE GAP STICK
Okay, once you get past the crazy video. . . think of the value this item has to anyone in the car industry. It is a cost effective idea that is always in your car and you will NEVER forget who gave it to you. It is valuable to those who receive it and will not be thrown away. Therefore, your message is in front of your customer for years to come.
This is adult play-dough, to put it simply. People told me that it was amazing, at the show, to see people so immediately gravitate towards this. Think of this as a way to show your customers how creative you are, or how flexible you can be.
- Soft pliable dough lets you press, mold, sculpt, squeeze and stretch
- Does not damage carpet or other surfaces
- Seal DōGo™ inside provided container to keep pliable
- Air dry to a lightweight foam to preserve a sculpted shape or the logo
- Large vibrant full color graphics on top label
- Variable personalization available
#8 SILICONE MOBILE PHONE SLEEVES
This seems to be a natural ideas for a world gone mobile. It attached via 3M technology to the back of any mobile device, does not interfere with the camera or speakers and provides a safe place to put cash or credit cards when you want to travel light. This has a large branding area and anyone you give it to will be constantly reminded that you gave them something to make their lives better on the go.
#7 STYLUS SLIDER
Mobile was a huge theme this year. 67% of people today view websites for the first time on the go. . . Mobile is now part of our DNA. Therefore, we need to think of ways to get our messages across without interfering with how people wish to use their devices.
Attaches directly to the back of your phone or tablet for quick and easy accessibility
- Sleek and slim high-grade silicone snap-in storage holster will never wear out
- Griptyte™ performance gel makes the removal of the SLIDER™ from the holster simple
- Patented 3M adhesive keeps it secure on your device and leaves no sticky residue
- Conductive polymer ensures touch sensitive writing and drawing
- Unprecedented, innovative oval tip design and flat body makes the SLIDER™ stand out as one of the slimmest styluses in the world
- Brilliant full color Fireglaze™ graphics
- Variable personalization available
#6 ICE VINO 2 GO
This is a great idea for the food and beverage industries. Foodies will appreciate not only the design, but the function of this product. It is not a one time use product and therefore will be seen not only by those who receive it, but it will be a conversation piece that they share with their friends. Wouldn’t you want your brand to be part of that conversation?
#5 WIKKI STIX EXECUTIVE STRESS RELIEVER
We are living in a world that is more and more stressful everyday. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to give something to your clients that not only relieved stress, but associated your brand with reducing that stress?
Perfect for corporate gift baskets, trade show handouts or sales call leave-behind. Offers a fun sheet of “Chuckles”, “Funny Things to Ponder” and other tongue-in-cheek humor. Includes 8 Wikki Stix and instruction sheet… perfect doodle material for the stressed-out executive.
#4 EAR BUD CHORD DETANGLER
How often are you on a train, or a bus, or just walking down the road and see people with ear buds in their ears listening to their own music? For me, it is all the time. Sooner or later, they need to take those ear buds out and having a great way to store them so that they don’t become tangled would definitely be appreciated. So why not have your message on something the majority of your potential clients use and would appreciate?
#3 AXE HEAVEN GUITARS
I know, I know. . . I showed this to you last year, but it worth showing it to you again. To me this is one of the most unique gifts in you can give to a VIP audience. Not only does it show off any brand in a unique way, but it can help say thank you with messages like “we think you rock”!
#2 FOOT WEAR CLIPS
The tourism industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. People are always wanting to go somewhere warm and sunny and walk barefoot on the beach. Why not give them something to enhance their experience? This is a great way to tell your travel clients to have a good time on vacation, they will remember you for it and you might even get your brand prominently displayed in their vacation photos for everyone to see.
#1 SPIRIT SLEEVES
Are you looking to get your brand in front of the College and University age demographic? Combining love for sport, school and brand and you have a winning combination.
As you can see, the theme of the show this year seemed to be less about the product itself, but far more about how it can tie to brand and messaging and creating the perception that it is valuable by those who receive it.
Give us a call. . .we would love to help you build programs and campaigns using Tangible Evidence for your Brand that Gets YOU Noticed!