Here’s what I need you to do. My boss, Joe Staples, and I have a little bet going and we need your help to settle it. It involves the giving away of free stuff at trade shows – things called tchotchkes (pronounced chachki) – and It only requires that you read this blog and reply – but with good responses.
The bet is built around this scenario: you are walking a trade show floor and you come across a two booths/stands with free tchotchkes. You don’t know anything about the tchotchkes themselves and all you can see is what is showing on the counter:
Vendor on Left
Vendor on Right
Let’s say both vendors sold the same product or service and your only choice was based on the tchotchke.
I need your response to two items:
- Which booth would you visit – the vendor on the left or the vendor on the right – and why?
- Which would you want to keep and which are you more likely to throw away?
Let me explain.
The other day, Joe and I were discussing the purpose of a tchotchke at a tradeshow. I believe that there are two main purposes for them:
- To attract you to the booth so that the vendor can start up a conversation with you
- To solicit your contact information in an effort to push marketing literature to you
Both of these purposes lead to the ultimate goal – to identify any products and services a company might be able to sell you. Think back to every trade show that you’ve ever gone to. At every booth that you went to, each vendor had something free they wanted to give you, right?
Some were inexpensive – pens, shirts, laser pointers, bouncing balls, yo-yos, buttons, etc.
Some were very expensive – personal DVD players, iPhones, iPod Touches, TVs, Cars, Vacations.
And some are downright odd – flying, screeching stuffed monkeys, lip balm, and hydration packs (I suppose to keep you refreshed as you walked around the show floor?).
But, in their own ways, their goal was to attract you in order to engage you and/or give up your contact information in exchange for the giveaway.
Now, back to the bet.
Joe thought that the Snap Capps would be something that would not only bring you to the booth but would also be something that you would keep. His thought was that everyone needs one because people always have half-empty soda cans lying around the house.
I thought he was crazy and told him that he needs to do a better job of cleaning up his house. I don’t know of anyone who really cares about keeping soda fresh and I don’t think they would use the Snap Capp. I suggested that the flashing shot glasses would do a much better job of attracting people to a booth and people would keep them as cool items to play with.
So, who’s right – Joe? Tim? Or do you think we are both out of our minds!?
If you reply, and we post your response, I’ll send you a little something to thank you for your time – a tchotchke, if you will! In addition, I’d love to hear what has been the best tchotchke you got at a trade show and which has been your worst!
Tim "choose the flashing shot glass!" Passios