Archive | December, 2011

Trade Show Giveaways: 5 Ways to Check If You’re a Grinch Or a Giver

Do trade show giveaways, and holiday gift-giving have something in common?

The calendar tells us it’s time yet again to feel pressured into playing the gift-giving game. The question is whether you believe you want to, or you have to take part?

Gift giving has long been a favorite subject on human behavior for psychologists, anthropologists, economists and marketers.  They’ve established that giving gifts is a surprisingly multifaceted, and significant part of human interaction, helping to define relationships, and strengthen bonds with family and friends. Psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the receiver, who gets the biggest psychological benefit from a gift.

At every trade show you participate in, you’ll find the show floor littered with giveaways, tchotchkes, or swag, which according to the dictionary, are usually decorative, worthless and disposable knick-knacks with little or no purpose, or if they are useful, chances are they’ll break easily.

So what do holiday gift-giving and tchotchke-giving have in common, and if you choose to participate, does it come from your heart, or out of a sense of obligation?

Let’s look at five ways to tell whether you’re a grinch or a giver:

1. You’re a giver if: You spend time deciding on the right gift for the recipient. You picture the person using and enjoying it.

You’re a grinch if: You don’t question why you’re giving the gift, but rather you do it because you feel you have do, and then you find something that’s cheap, and useless just to get the job done.

2. You’re a giver if: You give the gift as a token of your appreciation to show that you care.

You’re a grinch if: You leave stuff lying out in your booth so people can help just themselves.

3. You’re a giver if: You feel good about giving the gift. The act gives you enormous pleasure and satisfaction.

You’re a grinch if: You hand your swag out to passers by just so that you can get rid of it, and not have to ship it back to your office.

4. You’re a giver if: You view your gift as a way to partner, show interest or strengthen a bond with the recipient.

You’re a grinch if: You really don’t care about your tchotchke, and don’t realize that it can help promote your company.

5. You’re a giver if: You give from the heart, with no feeling, or pressure of reciprocity.

You’re a grinch if: You give with a sense of self-serving, to get something back from the receiver, such as a contact, referral, or best of all, their business.

Whatever the reason you give a gift, be it for the holidays, a birthday, or to reward behavior, remember that when you give sincerely from the heart, you’ll get far more pleasure, than a sense of obligation.

And, for your next trade show, think about the giveaway you want others to receive. Make it useful, educational, or business related, and one that you’re proud to give. In fact, use yourself as a litmus test. Ask yourself if this item is something you’d like to receive if someone were to give it to you.

Happy holidays and happy gift giving!

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