Event managers know that an important part of any event is to make sure that your guests remember you but just how memorable are trade show giveaways? Everyone who has either worked an exhibition stand or even attended a major trade show will know that many visitors are there just for a day out and to collect freebies. What sort of use is that for your budget – particularly with the current economic forecasts seeing advertising budgets being cut left and right?

When these visitors get back to the office with a sponsored plastic carrier bag full of pens, mouse mats, mugs and so on, what happens to them? They struggle to even give them away so what was the point of that? And do you think that they remember which stand was handing out free sweets?

So what is the best way to spend your marketing budget on handouts? One well used option is to make handouts and giveaways available only in return for the freebie collector’s business card. That’s really good thinking – if you want this person on your mailing list for the next few years so that you can continue to throw away good money.

The real trick is to use an interactive product which will break the ice in order to keep a visitor on your stand long enough to strike up a conversation and to establish whether or not the visitor is a real sales prospect. A good example of such a product is the Jumpinjax which is a neat little pack which measures 160 x 80 x 6mm – easy enough to hold and hand out at exhibitions. The visitor will ask, “What is it?” so you just offer the invitation to open the pack to find out.

The Jumpinjax is a small promotional pack with a big surprise. Inside are four cardboard cubes which are powered by rubber bands and these cubes are coiled ready to spring out of the box as soon as someone slides out the tray from the sleeve. The product is a new variation on the more familiar Springbox pack except that these cubes come out one by one in a sort of rat-a-tat-tat fashion rather than all jumping out at once.

As soon as the sleeve is opened the cubes spring out and give the visitor a surprise that wasn’t expected. This creates quite a bit of laughter and as the visitor bends down to pick up the cubes, which have by now been dropped on the floor, you have the opportunity to join in as the ice is already broken. Right from that moment you will know whether or not your visitor is a potential prospect and the promotional handout has done its job.

What’s more, if the visitor wants to keep the Jumpinjax to take back to the office you can rest assured that it will be passed around the office, reloaded and tried time and time again on other colleagues. It will definitely not be forgotten.

Of course, there are other similar products on the market other than the Jumpinjax and the Springbox but the theory remains the same – if you’re going to have a handout at the stand, then make sure that it is made to work for you. You will have spent thousands on the stand, accommodation and expenses so don’t waste all that money and be sure that you make the most of your opportunity.