Have you ever come home from a trade show or other type of symposium or training session with a gift bag that seemed full of junk? I know I have and often times a majority of the contents of my bag will go right in the trash.

As a business owner of a marketing and advertising agency, it is difficult for me to see promotional materials go to waste! It bothers me, throwing these things away, knowing that someone spent a lot of money and effort to get them printed in time for their special event.

A targeted giveaway or campaign can be a very successful marketing tool, especially to small businesses in a tight economy. A successful promotion will pay for itself if chosen carefully and given out at the appropriate time and place. Don’t waste your time or money on any giveaway that doesn’t reinforce or integrate your marketing message or worse yet, doesn’t speak to your target audience.

If you want your promotional products or print marketing literature to do their job well as a handout or insert, make sure that you choose something that will be used or referred to over and over again. Choose something that someone will want to keep after the event and will recognize as yours, reinforcing your company brand.

A good indication that you’ve chosen a great item is if someone contacts you weeks, months or even a year after an event because of your promotional product. It is an item that has value to your target customer and so they kept it!

Share with us your most successful giveaway or corporate promotional item. Or, tell us about a giveaway that flopped and failed miserably.