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Consider the possibility of unexpected value by giving party favors and tiny tradeshow trinkets…

The Paris Review featured an article in its March 3, 2015 blog, “Heartbreak: How a Tchotchke Became a Family Heirloom of Sorts.

 I was smitten with the story and reminded of my father coming home from tradeshows and emptying treasures, such as googly-eyed creatures and wild-colored pencils, from his pockets into my six-year-old hands. He bequeathed the various promotional products to me, as if they were treasures, and I felt loved. Decades later, I worked for him. Prior to one holiday season, he and I were discussing gift options to give to customers. He chose decidedly feminine gifts, nice crystal items that I was sure none of his male customers would want. I felt confused.  Why crystal bowls? These are men in the construction industry. They won’t want these.  He said, It doesn’t matter. They will give the crystal to their wives or girlfriends, and each of those men will be a hero to the woman in his life.

These experiences taught me lessons, quite valuable as the owner of a corporate gift/promotional products’ company:

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  • Make sure to consider your customer’s customer, when making product recommendations.
  • An inexpensive promotional product may help spread goodwill. Good will and sales are not mutually exclusive. Help the client choose the best possible option within his or her budget, however low the budget.
  • There are times to give your customers a tad of luxury. The point is gratitude.

Tchotchkes often get a bad rap. I think that’s because they are sometimes given to the wrong person or at times when luxury is what is warranted. If the latter is the case, and you can’t afford the luxurious, give something like a luxurious truffle in a magnificent box, a fine leather business card case, or an expensive card with a hand-written note.

Certainly, one doesn’t give luxury gifts as  tradeshow give-aways, but there are thousands of inexpensive items that customers or potential customers (or their children) will appreciate (A good promotional products’ distributor can present you with many appropriate options.). Homage to wine stoppers, tiny plastic robots, stress toys emblazoned with logos, and pens that blink wild colors in the dark night.