4 min read (part 4 of 4) 

Exhibitions, promotional items

With the welcome return of live exhibitions, and with one of the engineering industry’s most important exhibitions (Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2022) just 2 months away, now seems a perfect opportunity to look at what you might need to consider when planning for an exhibition.

Over the course of the next four weeks, we’re going to look at the 4 key ingredients to a successful trade show:

  • Design and Build of your stand
  • Video and Photography for your stand
  • Communication to your audience before, during and after the show
  • Tangible items for your stand that will make you memorable

4 of 4

So far in our series of blogs on exhibiting at a trade show, we have looked at designing and building your stand, the multi-media you need to give your stand the wow factor and how you promote yourself before, during and after the Show.

In our 4th and final blog in this series we look at how you can make your stand that little bit more memorable with promotional items visitors can either take away, or interact with, at the stand.


Let’s start by looking at literature. There is an obvious argument that no-one needs literature any more in our digital world, so why go to the bother of producing hard copies of your data sheets or brochures. To a large extent this is very true, and a branded USB stick that contains PDF’s of your presentation and key literature is for many people the best way they would like to take information away from your stand.

However, USB’s get lost, and need some action to look at them – whereas a set of data sheets or a corporate brochure professionally designed can still prove worthwhile and can sit more noticeably on a visitor’s desk when he/she returns to their office. It is also sometimes useful to talk through a data sheet with a visitor at the stand, which you can’t do with an electronic document. Why not consider having both, to meet the requirements of all your visitors.

Promotional items for your stand

VIDEO cards

As a modern extension to the USB stick, video cards can prove very successful in communicating your messages to contacts. Not only do you have an opportunity to brand them with bespoke artwork, but you can add several videos including your corporate video and videos of all your key products and services. Add in the wow factor of the cards and you can guarantee visitors will come away from your stand with a memory to last.


The concept of having something to give away on your stand is as old as trade shows themselves and yet it stands the test of time. From something as simple as pens or stress balls, to sophisticated gifts such as bespoke phone chargers, you should see giveaways as a brand-promoting exercise; an opportunity to get your name out and about across your industry peers and customers. A smart strategy is to have a mix of items, that allow you to be a little selective – cheaper pens for students and the casual walk-by, more expensive items for promising new contacts, existing customers or past customers that are looking to reconnect.

The success of giveaways is all about usability. The afore-mentioned phone chargers and thermal drink cups are proven winners as everyone will use one of those in their lifetime. It’s worth doing a little research beforehand to see the latest ideas, as having something unique will definitely score you some points over your competition.

Exhibitions, promotional items

INTERACTIVITY on your stand

Having some form of interactive activity on your stand that will draw visitors in is always worth considering. It could be related to your business, for example a robot in action, or a 3D printer producing one of your products. Alternatively it might be completely unrelated to what you do and simply represent a fun activity, for example, a chance to play against a professional darts player, or have a go in a racing simulator. Whatever attraction you go with, remember the purpose is to stir up some momentum around your stand and hopefully get people talking about you. As much advance publicity as you can get will be helpful to start those conversations.


Running a competition during the show is another possible way to bring people to your stand, as long as you publicise it well beforehand. It’s a guaranteed way to capture data, and if you announce the winner at the show, is an opportunity to get people to revisit your stand either later in the day or the day after. Always make sure the prize is worth-while and keep the entry process quick and easy – no-one wants to fill out pages just to enter a competition.

Exhibitions, promotional items

FOOD and drink

Finally, a very simple method of adding some extra to your stand is to offer refreshments. Walking a show is tiring business, so the offer of food and drink will always be well appreciated. Think about doing something a little bit different to make your offer stand out – cupcakes or popcorn will be more memorable than biscuits or chocolates, and you can add branding to the packaging to help promote your name. Similarly, why not hand out water bottles with your own branded labels.


Having something tangible to give away to visitors is largely about taking the opportunity to promote your brand. It is unlikely you will pick up actual business from giving someone a pen, but by keeping your name in their consciousness you improve your chances of your name being the first one they think of when they are ready to purchase.

This series of 4 blogs has hopefully given you some food for thought when you are planning your forthcoming exhibitions. Exhibitions are an expensive form of marketing so you need to make sure you are getting value for money and a big part of that is planning your stand and show presence meticulously to ensure all the boxes are ticked.

Part 1 Design and Build your Stand

Part 2 Multimedia for your Stand

Part 3 Communication to your Clients




If you’d like to discuss your trade show requirements, particularly in advance of Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2022, please contact Simon on simon@thecollectivegroup.co.uk or tel: 01202 682322.