If you have ever run your own promotional stall, or even attended a trade show then you know what they are like! Busy, often crowded and the overall theme is “look over here!” Tradeshow tents and pop up banners for trade shows are designed to grab our attention amongst the crowd and announce to the world that you’re here. Sometimes flashy, often vibrant – our space is decorated with banners, flags and tradeshow table cloths to improve chances of getting seen and drawing people to us. Even if we aren’t selling anything on that day, it gives the opportunity for people to become aware that your company or cause is current and active.
Unfortunately, with this style of advertising and the nature of trade shows, it can sometimes mean that for the business owner there is no immediate return on investment. Often these stalls carry the essential information, promotional giveaways or samples and not the product they want to ultimately sell. This means that making that money back at the start can be a slower process than we would like. So, with this it might be tempting for companies to say “well if I'm not getting immediate ROI then surely any tent or table will do? Why should I spend more when it’s just promotional?”
Cheap items offshore can certainly be a temptation for even the most experienced business owners. After all, everyone talks about supporting our economy by choosing products that are made in Canada and other locally sourced Canadian promotional items, but what’s in it for you as a business owner who is trying to keep expenses down and revenue up to survive?
Surprisingly the benefits to choosing Canadian when it comes to promotional items like banners for a trade show goes much further than you think. Here are the things we think all business owners should consider when asking “why should I buy Canadian at all?”
Those expenses that just add up when importing goods
So you’ve saved a few hundred dollars by ordering your promotional tent or display offshore and you are feeling triumphant! There’s no one craftier at saving a dollar, and you are wrapped safe in the glory of knowing that you’ve saved your business some vital expense on those tradeshow banners or other display booth essentials... but have you?
A tradeshow item ordered is not one received, and the expenses might not yet be done. From freight and shipping fees to unexpected customs charges, those savings you shopped so hard to find can quickly be eaten up and your new promotional goods might end up costing you far more than you bargained for. When you buy Canadian you can often reduce or avoid these fees, even more so when you buy locally. For example, it makes sense that custom flags made in Canada could be dropped locally at your door and will cost far less in transportation than those coming from thousands of miles away!
Got a good deal? Better check your conversion rates if it’s not a Canadian business!
This one might seem obvious, but it’s a trap even the most experienced of business owners have fallen into – or been caught out by at one point. When you are shopping online it can be easy to be dazzled by the site you are on and this includes the price. It can also be hard to even know if you are on another country’s site as many don’t advertise where your item will be shipped from! This can lead to even the most internet savvy of us being fooled and more unfortunately, a higher cost than you might think. Shopping for Canadian made promotional products, especially locally made ones, almost always has that extra bit of security that comes with knowing exactly how much you are really paying.
The benefit of choosing local when there’s a work-related emergency
Even the best quality items can become damaged or lost, so what happens next? Well that really depends on where you bought your item! If you bought online, you might be able to get a replacement part (eventually) but what about repairs on larger products like a tradeshow tent? One of the best things about buying Canadian and especially about buying locally is that even if the company can’t fix your problem – the chances are they have the contact details of someone accessible to you who can!
As time goes by, is it still a good deal?
Printing might be the same the world over and a tent created locally might look the same at the start as one made offshore, but what about as time goes by? Even if they have similar materials, the stitching and creation process is crucial when it comes to any trade show item’s lifespan. Often things created offshore are done ‘en masse’ and your valuable promotional tool is just one of a hundred, or even a thousand and with so many sales, a few negative reviews or complaints won’t be likely to cost them any sleep.
By choosing a smaller Canadian business for your tradeshow flags, pull up banners for trade shows, or other promotional goods – you are likely to get better quality simply because, without that extra level of care the company would be out of business in a short amount of time! Local businesses rely heavily on satisfied customers because ‘making a quick buck’ just isn’t a sustainable business model. With so many ways of making your dissatisfaction with a company known on a wide level thanks to the rise of internet feedback, local businesses really do go that extra mile to help get you what you need. The importance placed upon creating a positive customer experience helps to develop peace of mind when working together both now, and in the future.
The robots are taking over! How having a local contact makes a difference
You can’t take your custom tradeshow table covers into a fabric store and expect them to repair them, but if it’s an independent business that specializes in tradeshow essentials or other promotional materials (like Dynamic Gift!) then they probably can help you or know someone who can! This kind of connection can be invaluable for saving time and expense. No one wants to spend a fortune trying to get replacement parts any more than they want to spend valuable hours on the phone trying to find someone who will help, because as any business owner knows – time is money too.
So, is it worth buying local and buying Canadian?
Now we have looked at all the facts when it comes to buying Canadian promotional products from tradeshow flags to tents made in Canada and more, the verdict seems to be that while many items could be sourced offshore – it often isn’t in our best interests to do so! This seems to be particularly the case when it comes to business. From longer lead times to the frustrations of maintenance and repairs – working with a Canadian company, especially a local business really is the better choice. Sure, sometimes buying locally might mean we spend a little more because those smaller businesses just can’t compete with those big global giants... but that’s only financially. When it comes to knowledge, customer service and the security of knowing someone is just as invested in your success as you are – it really does pay to shop Canadian, and to shop local! After all, if we don’t and the world evolves into a larger, more impersonal and commercial type – who will be there to help your business grow locally too? Contact Dynamic Gift and let's get started on your next trade show project today!