‘Ignite Your Brand’ Showcase Set for Sept. 29

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A showcase for promotional products normally found only in cities much larger than Youngstown and Warren is coming to the Mahoning Valley this fall.

The “Ignite Your Brand” end-user show is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Austintown. Vendors representing nationally known brands in apparel and promotional merchandise that include Bic, Nike and Columbia will exhibit at the event, according to Brian Governor, account executive with Safeguard by Prime, Boardman.

Safeguard is a subsidiary of Deluxe Corp., known for providing banks with products related to checking.

“What we do in these Ignite Your Brand shows is help them to recognize there are many different advertising media,” says Forrest Fairley, director of promotional products for Safeguard, who will deliver the keynote address Sept. 29.

Every year, people ask Governor what the “latest and greatest” promotional merchandise is. “This is a way for people that purchase those types of items to come and see them live,” he says.

The showcase at the Austintown racino came about following a discussion last year at a promotional products trade show in Chicago.

“We were talking about what are called end-user shows,” Governor says, where customers can look in person at items they likely would see only in a catalog before ordering them.

Such shows normally are held in larger markets such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but he was confident he could get enough prospects to come to a show here.

“The goal is at least 100,” he remarks. “I fully expect to have more than that.”

Safeguard, which launched Ignite Your Brand more than two years ago, looks at a distributor’s customer mix when it considers where to hold a show. A distributorship like Governor’s might have thousands of customers who buy bank checking products but not promotional items.

“This gives us the opportunity to expose them to the category and also introduce them to a new way to spend their marketing budget in a more efficient and smart way,” he says. “This particular market is a great market.”

In addition, Safeguard looks at distinctive venues for shows, such as the Austintown racino.

During the show, which will include lunch, prospects can visit with representatives of the companies and order samples of available products. In addition to door prizes the vendors offer, four trips to one of 24 destinations, including Las Vegas, will be given away.

Safeguard’s clients all are faced with marketing challenges and how to increase their businesses. Many are small and medium-sized companies that know their products, customers and services, “but one of the things they struggle with the most is how to invest their hard-earned money into marketing and advertising,” Fairley says.

“We market ideas first and products second,” he continues. “That is the theme of whatever we do in this category. The more ideas and the more solutions we can give our customers, the more they are going to appreciate us in the end.”

An item as simple as a ballpoint pen with a company’s logo, phone number or website on it “has the ability to create advertising impressions that can be remembered by the customers, and then that applies itself to the purchasing of one’s products,” he says. During the course of a day, for example, a customer will pick up and put down that pen 23 times, and the useful life of a pen is six months.

“You’ve got the possibility of very transformational marketing power in a simple writing instrument,” he remarks.


To register for the show, go to SafeguardByPrime.com.


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