East Arlington, TX (PressExposure) November 25, 2009 -- If you go to a convention you are likely going to walk away with some free items for your time. In fact, I would say I am expecting to get something free, and literally plan for it.
Take pad printing as an example of this. So often, a company gets notepads printed for a free give away. There is no reason not to given the helpful nature of a free item like this. Most notepads are kept on a person's desk, meaning your company name is always going to be close to them and easy for them to see when they are going to need it.
Notepads also last for a very long time if you get a large enough one. I have had notepads that lasted a good six months or more, and during all of that time the companies name was close to me. Add to this that many people who are using pages from that notepad are going to keep those messages they wrote on them up for even later.
I have a few basic pieces of information I need to keep around that are on pages from these very types of notepads, meaning for over a year that company name is up on my wall because I need to save the information that is on the page.
Nevertheless, going back to my comment about expecting certain giveaways, pad printing is exactly what I am talking about. I cannot recall the last time I actually bought some notepads for my office. Why would I need to? I get so many of them free at so many different conventions, I expect that I am going to, and I find it a tad annoying if I walk away from something empty handed.
Office supplies are so often the hand out of choice because everyone can always use them. You know right away that people are going to put your handouts to good use. Sure, you can go for something a little more interesting and something less practical, and sure, you will get a few people taking note of it.
However, the thing I find out the most is that while the interesting handouts are creative and eye-catching, they are rarely something I keep for very long, because I just do not need them in the same way that I need office supplies.
Pens, notepads, staplers, and other little things are all going to be kept and put to good use. If I am using something, I am going to keep it around for a lot longer because it serves a purpose.
I'm not saying these are the only things you can hand out that are effective, but you might want to consider how long people are going to keep your hand outs around. Few things are kept for as long as things that can be used.