Benefits to Using Giveaways In Your Show

For children and family performers using giveaways for audience volunteers is quite common, and for good reason too. They make a great souvenir to remember the show long after it’s over. But these innocent looking giveaways can be an important tool in your branding and marketing strategy. They can be used to build your brand, generate future leads, and promote back of room sales.

There are lots of different types of giveaways you could use in your business include colouring sheets, bookmarks, fortune telling fish, ball and vase, and coin slides. For many of these giveaways the actual cost is far less than their perceived value. Giveaway items aren’t going to give you an instant return on investment like a direct mail campaign would. However, they do help establish you in the marketplace and are a long term investment in building your business.

Personalized Branding

clippedcardIf you decided to use a printed giveaway such as a colouring sheet, bookmark, or a printable magic trick such as the Clipped Card or the Two Card Monte there’s a huge opportunity to match them to your existing brand.

Normally there would be no way to get a child to take a business card home from the show to their parents, but with a personalized item that’s exactly what they’ll be doing. You can include extra information such as your name, logo, photo, website, and phone number.

It’s a great technique because while you’re creating added value for your clients, you’re simultaneously marketing your services to generate future business at the same time. Getting your name and contact information into the homes of potential customers is key to getting more bookings in the future.

Use Giveaways to Promote Back of Room Sales

Giveaways in your program can also be used to highlight and advertise back of room sales for larger programs. The first person I ever saw do this was John Kaplan during one of his Family Fundraising Programs. (Read my Interview with John Kaplan – How to Produce a Touring Illusion Show)

Whatever you’re selling as a back of room item you can use as a giveaway during your show. When you giveaway the item, you can take the opportunity to explain what it is to the audience, how much it costs, and where they’re being sold during the intermission or after the show. In my show I give away a copy of my DVD along with the included Magic Wand and I explain that they’re available for sale for $20 at the end of the show. You don’t need to give away something as expensive as a DVD. It could be anything that you have for sale after the show.

Raffle or Door Prize

If you are giving away something expensive like a full magic kit or a DVD you can try doing a raffle or draw instead. In that case you can just give away one item to keep the costs low. I’ve done this in the past and it works really well. For really big audiences however, it can be a a pain to hand out raffle tickets to everyone, but it still works.

Another option is to have an entry form for the draw. On the draw you can include a space for people to opt-in to receive your eNewsletter. I’ve done this before in the past and I was shocked to see how many people easily gave up their email address just to enter a draw. However, I did ultimately find that these sign-ups were quite a bit more likely to unsubscribe and weren’t as valuable as my other subscribers. I haven’t continued to use this technique but I’m mentioning it here anyway just in case someone finds it helpful.

Keeping Your Costs Low

twocardmonteOne important factor to consider when selecting a giveaway is the price. Typically you can get a better price by buying in bulk quantities. Giveaways like the Two Card Monte can be as little as a few cents while other giveaways like a Ball and Vase or Coin Slide can be as much as 50cents – 1 dollar.

There’s always a tradeoff between the price and the quality. It’s up to you how much you want to spend or invest in your giveaways. Keep in mind that giving away something that’s crappy is less effective than giving away nothing at all.

In my next article I’ll be discussing all of the giveaways I’ve used in the past. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to stay in touch with new postings. If you enjoyed this article don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘share’ it!