Trade Show Giveaway Ideas

Trade shows are about making great first impressions, and giving away top promotional products can help you achieve that. Impressive trade show swag helps draw people to your booth, so you have a chance to interact with them. Branded items also remind people about your company so they can do business with you in the future.

Nearly 72% of attendees remember the brand’s name that gave them a promotional item at a trade show. Unique promotional giveaways will help you stand out amongst a sea of other businesses. We have the most popular giveaway items to help you make the most of your next trade show.

Benefits of Trade Show Giveaways

Trade shows are a traditional marketing strategy that businesses have used to showcase their products and services for over a century. Participating in trade shows helps companies build their network, increase brand awareness and drive sales. Promotional giveaway items are a strategic tool to help businesses accomplish these goals. Trade show swag can help boost your success in a variety of ways.

1. Attracting Event Attendees

The purpose of attending a trade show is to interact with as many potential clients as possible. Depending on the size of the event, you could be competing with hundreds of other booths.

Studies show that event attendees are more likely to visit a booth with promotional products. They’re attracted to impressive visual displays and the promise of a free item. Increasing traffic to your booth will give you maximum opportunities to pitch your products and services.

2. Making a Good Impression

According to Forbes magazine, entrepreneurs only have seven seconds to make a great first impression. That’s a limited time to communicate the mission and values of your company. In a crowded expo center, it becomes even more challenging to have memorable interactions with potential customers.

Custom promotional products can help speak for your brand beyond your first interaction. Approximately 76.3% of trade show guests will form a positive attitude toward companies that give them promotional items. Valuable, high-quality and long-lasting items will reflect your brand’s reputation positively.

3. Spreading Brand Awareness

Whether you’re promoting a startup or showcasing a mature business, trade shows enable you to introduce more people to your company. Corporate promotional items enhance your marketing efforts by spreading brand awareness. Every time someone uses the product or looks at it, they’ll remember your company and the interaction they had with you at the trade show.

Depending on the item, promotional products can help advertise your brand to other people as well. For instance, if attendees take your branded mugs to the office, all of their coworkers will see your name and logo. They may even strike up a conversation about your company.

4. Boosting Sales

Promotional items can help boost sales by attracting potential customers to your booth. They can also encourage new customers to purchase from your brand outside of the trade show.

22% of item recipients will keep branded swag for at least six months. Every time they see the item, they’ll remember your company. Trade show promotional products advertise your business for months or even years beyond the event. If they ever need a product or service that you offer, your business will be fresh in their mind.

5. Maximizing Your ROI

Every business strives to make the most of limited resources. Promotional giveaway items are an excellent marketing investment that can yield profitable returns. In a study by L.J. Market Research, 52% of all participants purchased from a business after receiving a promotional item. They can pay for themselves with the profits they earn.

Branded handouts help you make the most of your trade show experience by attracting new clients and giving you ample advertising opportunities. Promotional giveaways are an affordable option that makes a significant impact.

How to Choose Promotional Giveaway Items

Finding the right promotional items to give away will help you leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Choosing something unique and enjoyable for everyone can be challenging. Follow our tips to select promo items for your next event.

Know Your Audience

Regardless of your industry, you’re going to have a unique target audience. Brainstorm which promotional items benefit the demographic most likely to purchase from your brand — what are their interests, hobbies, careers and lifestyles? You can use this information to help you pick products that they’ll enjoy.

For instance, if your customers are environmentally conscious, you could offer a stainless steel straw or reusable water bottle. Alternatively, an athletic clientele may prefer promotional drawstring bagsjump ropes or cooling towels for the gym. Choose giveaway items that speak to the type of person that you’re trying to attract.

Identify Your Objective

Why are you attending a trade show in the first place? What are your goals? The answers to these questions will help you choose promotional items that fit these objectives. If you’re spreading brand awareness, a simple object with your name and logo will do the trick. If you’re trying to attract partners to invest in your startup, then you might want to hand out something more impressive.

Coordinate With the Style of the Event

There are thousands of trade shows in the U.S. every year. Each event is unique depending on the location, timing, who’s attending and other factors. Find out if it’s a casual occasion or a formal affair, and make sure your trade show swag matches the style of the event.

For example, if you’re attending an outdoor trade show in the summer, branded sunglasses and bottled water will attract attendees to your booth. If the event is in New York during winter, you’ll achieve better results by offering cozy promotional hats or touchscreen gloves. Coordinating your giveaways with the occasion will help you appeal to everyone at the event.

Follow the Trends

Pay attention to current pop culture trends to figure out which giveaway items will be the most popular. In 2017, fidget spinners were all the rage. In 2020, promotional hand sanitizer and face masks became a hot commodity.

Offering something new and exciting will help you stand out from the crowd. It also shows that your brand stays up to date with modern innovations.

Consider Your Brand

Think about your brand and what makes your business unique. Your trade show swag should match your company’s personality and the types of products and services that you offer. A candle company might choose promotional matchbooks to market their product, while an animal shelter might offer collapsible pet bowls to reflect their mission.

Consider how you want people to remember your brand. Do you want them to think of your brand as upbeat and friendly or polished and luxurious? The trade show promotional items you choose can help build the reputation that you want for your business.

Keep Your Budget in Mind

Set a budget for your trade show promotional giveaways, and stick to it. You can find appealing items for your customers at almost any price point. While it’s often tempting to splurge on exceptional items, simple products with practical uses are just as effective at a more affordable price. Choosing giveaway items within your budget will ensure that you get the maximum return on your investment.

Offer a Selection

If you’re having trouble choosing something for everyone, choose multiple! Having a variety of items at your booth will make your display even more eyecatching. A mix of products could help you attract more potential customers.

Use the few seconds it takes for attendees to choose an item as an opportunity to chat with them about your brand. Keep track of which item was the most popular, and consider repurchasing that product for future events.

14 Best Giveaways for Trade Shows

With so many promotional products to choose from, where do you begin? We’ve compiled a list of the most popular giveaway items to help drive interactions at your next trade show.

1. Custom Pens

Pens are a classic promotional item that stands the test of time. They’re small and simple yet highly effective. Even in the digital world, people still use pens to jot down grocery lists, fill out paperwork or take notes during a meeting. Every time someone uses your pen, they’ll remember your brand.

Custom business pens are a cost-effective option to spread brand awareness.

2. Hand Sanitizer

The pandemic emphasized the importance of keeping germs under control. People keep hand sanitizer in their cars, purses and pockets for easy access in public spaces. Studies show that 85% of Americans intend to continue disinfecting practices after the pandemic.

Promotional hand sanitizer will appeal to many people, so you have the opportunity to interact with a wide range of potential clients. People appreciate businesses that prioritize their safety, and they’ll think of your brand every time they sanitize their hands.

3. Eco-Friendly Products

People love reusable products because they’re good for the planet and help them save money. Instead of purchasing disposable straws and water bottles at the store, they can use your promotional stainless steel straws and aluminum water bottles. Every time they take a sip, they’ll catch a glimpse of your name and logo.

Custom tote bags are another excellent option for trade show giveaways. Attendees can use your promotional bags at the event to carry their new swag, advertising your business to anyone that passes them. When the event is over, they can reuse your bag on weekend getaways, grocery runs or trips to the gym, where more people will see your name and logo.

4. Branded Stationery

Planners, sticky notes, notebooks and journals make excellent giveaway items. People always need fresh stationery to keep at their desks or throw in their bags. They’re perfect for keeping track of appointments, writing lists or taking notes at the office.

It can take months to fill out a promotional notebook or set of sticky notes. Some people may keep your branded stationery for years, constantly reminding them about your business.

5. Webcam Covers

Although 2020 was the year of zoom, many people are still attending frequent virtual meetings. An estimated 36.2 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. Many people are spending hours in front of their screens every day.

Promotional webcam covers are a desirable accessory for anyone with a webcam to protect their privacy. They can save your customers from turning on their camera by accident or being viewed without their permission.

Webcam covers are a simple, low-cost option that stands out from traditional trade show promotional items. Plus, anyone who uses them will see your logo every time they open their device.

6. Daily Essentials

If you want a promotional item that appeals to everyone, go for products people use every day for constant brand exposure. Lip balmmints, lotion and sunscreen, are daily essentials that people love to keep on hand in their purses or glove boxes. They might even share their promotional hand lotion with friends, spreading brand awareness to even more potential customers.

7. Promotional Drinkware

Studies show that 62% of Americans drink coffee every day. People love to start their mornings with a beverage, whether it’s coffee, tea, juice, water or a nutritious smoothie. Giving away promotional drinkware ensures that your target customers start their day with your name and logo on their cups.

From promotional coffee mugs to stainless steel tumblers, there is a wide range of products available. If you offer a promotional travel mug with a lid, recipients can take their drinks on the go and advertise your brand to even more people.

8. Shirts

Corporate branded t-shirts are like walking billboards for your business. Whenever someone wears your promotional shirt, they advertise your brand to everyone. People love collecting free t-shirts to wear to the gym or with casual outfits.

Choose a neutral color like black, gray or navy that compliments your branding and appeals to a broad audience. Place your name and logo right in the center where everyone will see it. Stock up on a wide range of sizes so that your promotional shirts work for everyone who visits your booth.

9. Bluetooth Speakers

Offering compact Bluetooth speakers with your branding is an exciting way to engage with your audience. People tend to remember high-end promotional items — and Bluetooth speakers fall into this category perfectly. Users will think of your company name or logo every time they play their favorite tunes.

Bluetooth speakers come in a variety of sizes to suit your spending budget. Consider finding user-friendly options that come with carabiners that fasten to belt loops, backpack compartments and bags.

10. Power Banks for Electronics

Your mobile phone, gaming device or laptop cannot serve you without power. When your battery runs low, portable power banks for electronics are lifesavers. Try incorporating these products into your promotional giveaway campaign so that attendees are sure to visit your booth.

Power banks are unique booth giveaway ideas for events because users travel with these accessories to school, work and vacation. Recipients will keep your name and logo in mind when it’s time to charge on the go.

11. Stress Balls

One of the more fun trade show swag ideas is to give out stress balls to your audience. These items can be used to play interactive games inside. For example, you can ask a question and throw a stress ball to the audience member who answers it correctly. Stress balls can be kept inside backpacks and travel bags, making them fantastic tools for students, workers or prospective clients with a lot on their minds.

12. Phone Accessories

Audiences in the business and academic worlds attend tradeshows with their phones on them. When you need tradeshow giveaway ideas, remember that most people engage with their smartphones frequently. Phone accessories like stands, grips, waterproof pouches and mountable wallets are ideal for your promotion efforts.

13. Headphones and Earbuds

Headphones are useful accessories for all age groups. Make your tradeshow booth more appealing by presenting audience members with wireless options that display your brand name or images on carrying cases.

It’s convenient to have an extra pair of headphones to travel with in case your go-to pair runs out of battery or gets lost or stolen. Your promotional product could be someone’s saving grace for a long bus trip or flight, helping users associate your business, school or group name with being helpful.

14. USB Flash Drives

It’s beneficial to have files available on the go, so one tradeshow giveaway idea you should try is a USB flash drive with original branding. Recipients can use these products to open projects, documents and other files in case their internet and cloud-based services are unavailable.

Students, potential hires and new clients will be happy to get a useful piece of technology they can always keep with them for emergencies.


Prepare for Your Next Trade Show With ePromos

Get ready for your next event with help from ePromos. Our online store has everything you need to stand out from the crowd. With thousands of promo items for businesses, you’ll find premium quality products that fit within your budget. Our promotional giveaway items are perfect for trade shows, conferences and other special events.

The ePromos ordering process is simple. We offer digital proofs, artwork cleanup and free product samples to ensure that your logo looks exceptional on any item you choose. Our team will use their expertise to make sure your project is successful every time. We strive to make your promotional product shopping experience a breeze with price matching, top-notch customer service, consistent order accuracy and our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Shop ePromos or contact us today for custom promotional products for your next trade show!

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About Author

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Heather D.

Reviewed by: Heather D. - Marketing Manager

Harbinger of the hallowed marketing halls of research, communication, and creativity. Strategic thinker who works best late at night or with coffee in hand. Steam-drives initiatives to heighten brand awareness and reach targeted audiences. Collaborates cross-functionally to obtain miraculous results to elevate ePromos to Platform 9¾.