tchotchke (chäch´ke) n. [Yiddish tshatshke

Fuel the temporary tattoo fire

Imagine your logo stenciled across the arm of every meeting attendee or incentive winner. It's enough to make your meeting look like a Foo Fighters concert.

Get the trade show advantage

According to the Promotional Products Association International, a 1991 study by Exhibit Survey Inc. found that promotional products give trade show exhibitors an advantage over others for buyer attention.

Put your name on the desk

Want to brand yourself? Send clients (established and prospective) everyday items — pens, organizers, calculators — stamped with your name. Your company remains on the desk and in front of the client.

Start the phone ringing

Bizlife.com's Web site tells the story of a woman who had trouble getting prospective clients to return her calls. After she sent each a tin of mixed nuts with the note: “I've been going nuts trying to reach you,” the phone started jumping off the hook.

Share the wealth

After the trade show, what do you do with extra pens, mugs, and plush toys? Give them to charity. Zebra Hill Marketing has spearheaded Samples for Seattle, a program that collects unused and unwanted promo items — those with outdated logos, for example — and donates them to Pacific Northwest charities. And not secondhand stores, but shelters or daycare facilities. Learn more at www.Zebrahill.com.

Ah, the stress ball

It's a trade show standard. You probably have one on your desk right now (and a half dozen in your desk drawer). Check and see. Do you have the one shaped like a light bulb? The eyeball? The brain, pig, cell phone, car, clock, dolphin? There are hundreds of varieties, including movie characters, like Shrek.

Affect the bottom line

Insurance premiums dropped $250,000 and 15 percent of employees qualified for monthly awards in an incentive program that used imprinted merchandise — high quality shirts, satin jackets, and watches. The merchandise was given to truck drivers who completed a month without a safety mishap — like a fender bender — and completed their log books.

Give a cup of reward

Another great case study: The Atlanta newspaper that asked its employees to work harder with expanded editions of the paper during one of the Atlanta Braves' winning seasons. To show appreciation, each employee's immediate supervisor delivered a coffee cup emblazoned with headlines from the National League Championship series. Inside, a personal message from the publisher thanked each employee for his or her effort.

SOURCES: The Promotional Products Association International (www.ppai.org); Pacific West Marketing (www.pacificwestmarketing.com); Bizlife.com; Zebra Hill Marketing (www.zebrahill.com); Merriam-Webster Online

Do you want to get the last word in? Send your ideas to ttennant@primediabusiness.com