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Making the Most of Events and Trade Shows: Part 1

Have you thought about the events or trade shows you’ll participate in next year? Now is a good time to get ready – before you have to make compromises because you’re out of time!

The first step is to review the shows or events from throughout the year and determine which of them were worth your investment. Continuing to pay sponsorships only because you “always have” simply doesn’t make sense. Ask what you got for your investment. At Kaye-Smith, we sort them into three categories: Events we will do again, events that no longer seem to provide a return, and events we haven’t participated in before that might now make sense.

Once you’ve identified those that you plan to do – it’s time to figure out how you can make the most of them.

Spring and Summer Golf events are a Pacific Northwest favorite. One of the most popular ways to support a golf tournament is by sponsoring a hole. But if all you’re going to do with that sponsorship is have a sign and your logo sitting at the tee box – you’re probably wasting your money. Have a couple people at the hole to greet and engage with the golfers. Here are some ideas we’ve seen or read about:

1. Set up a game. Perhaps a putting contest with a series of targets that the golfers can play while they wait their turn. You won’t slow the play – tournaments nearly always back up and players need to wait for the group in front of them to get clear.

2. Offer to take a few pictures of the foursome and collect their email addresses to send it to them. You can put your company logo and contact information in a lower corner of the photo to remind them who took the picture and send it to them. Depending on the audience, you may want to print and frame the photo – with your logo and website on the frame.

3. While it may not make the Greens Keeper happy, have some marshmallows on hand for the players to drive while they wait. They won’t go far and some of the wildlife on the course will get a treat. Is it a little odd? Sure. Will the players remember it? You bet. Be sure to let them know you’ll be picking up the marshmallows after the tournament ends.

4. Be sure there is some small gift, adorned with your logo and your web address, if possible, that the golfers can take away with them. And be sure that whatever it is won’t end up in a water hazard or the bottom of a pocket in their golf bag!

Sponsoring tournaments, community events and having a booth at a trade show can be a great opportunity to connect with current clients and find new prospects. But you need to make the most of them and be selective about the events you participate in. Then be sure you make the most of the opportunity to collect contact information and make a positive, memorable impression.

In our next issue, we’ll share some budgeting tips when thinking about participating in a trade show. You can also find inspiration under branded merchandise on our website.

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