There are many unique giveaway ideas that the consumer will find compelling at first, but ultimately end up in the trash on the way out of the exhibit hall. The goal is to find a trade show giveaway that is cost-effective, branded, and useful for the intended audience., and will be kept longer after the show is over.
A study done by PPAI Research claims that 81% of consumers keep promotional products for more than a year. The opportunity to remind your target audience of your brand in a pleasant and useful way can’t be overstated, and should be considered in your trade show budgeting. Depending on your choice of item, it can be a daily or even hourly touchpoint reminding visitors of your B2C or B2B brand.
Trade show giveaways attract visitors much like the overall quality of your exhibit design, but after that, it’s up to the exhibitor to make those visitors count.
Don’t leave it up to giveaways. Make sure your exhibit design catches the attention of everyone at the trade show, speaks your brand and show messaging, and invites engagement.
Giveaways, on the other hand, are a great way to get someone’s information so that your sales team can follow up with them after the show, and to be remembered after your visitor has returned home.
Ask your visitors questions and hand them their giveaway for a small piece of information, such as email addresses. Get to know their company name and create an experience that helps them associate their brand with yours. Now, what promotional products should you actually give them?
Best Trade Show Giveaway Ideas:
Power Banks – Power banks are great at events because your prospects can now recharge their essential electronics while on the move. This makes it extremely useful. The major concern with technology innovation is convenience and providing your target audience with the ability to prevent themselves from being “device-less” while simultaneously having your brand name involved in their daily lives is like hitting the giveaway jackpot.
Reusable Straws — Single-use disposable plastic straws are not environmentally-friendly and have a negative impact on wildlife, too. In some U.S. states, it’s nearly impossible to find a plastic straw when eating out–rather, consumers now receive paper straws that are tactilely unpleasant, and collapse before drink’s end. The solution? Heavy duty portable reusable metal or plastic straws. Cleaning brushes keep them fresh and make the difference. Younger visitors will particularly appreciate these useful items.
Pens – Pens are a time-tested, giveaway classic that, despite not being very showy, pack a big promotional punch. According to a study done by the ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute), Most Popular Promo Products by Category, Writing Instruments were the most commonly received promotional product by far. This is because they follow the three rules of an effective giveaway item:
Easy to brand
Useful to the majority of trade show attendees.
Stainless Steel Sports Bottles – Although slightly more expensive than branded water bottles, stainless steel sports bottles have a much longer life-cycle. These are great because they not only provide a large print area, but they also come in a multitude of colors, so it is easy to match your brand’s colors to those of your giveaway. Additionally, these items serve as an eco-friendly item and help reduce plastic waste. Finally, they are available with a custom print logo for easy brand recognition.
Drawstring Bag– This cost-efficient trade show item is another perfectly useful and significant event giveaway that can be used right away. Drawstring bags will be continually used for everyday things, keeping your company’s identity front (or back) and center. Let the traffic to your exhibit walk away with an item that reflects the utility your company truly reflects. They are also light and easy to transport (your visitors may even use them on their way to the airport!). Drawstrings bags are perfect for this reason.
Reusable Bag or Tote – With reusable bags/totes being as popular a giveaway item as they are, you would be surprised as to how few exhibitors receive these at any given trade show. Not only will your attendees and prospective clients use them at the trade show for toting around their other materials, but they will almost always make it home. Beyond the trade show floor, clients will use these for bagging groceries, shopping, and much more. In addition to these substantial benefits, they provide the largest print area of any trade show giveaway item on our list. You can also get Eco-Friendly bags if “going green” is part of your image. Tip: give a higher quality bag with wider handles or straps (for comfort) and a large gusset (the panel at the bottom) that will really hold groceries, toys, laundry, books, etc. to ensure your bag becomes the “favorite” of your intended targets.
Bonus Trade Show Giveaway Ideas:
Padfolios and Notebooks What’s more relevant at a trade show than a padfolio and notebook? It’s a perfect giveaway for an event or conference where you have to take notes. This gift will be used often, especially in industries that require a lot of travel. Additionally, these items tend to have a high use rate than most other giveaways. Overall, this is another useful, and one of the best promo ideas. Here are some trade show padfolios
Stainless Steel Tumblers – Much like the water bottles, coffee is something a lot of people drink daily. This means more opportunities for your brand to be top-of-mind with a stainless steel coffee tumbler. In the book, “Contagious” by Jonah Berger, Kit Kat used coffee as a way to keep their brand top of mind with consumers. “Have a Kit Kat with your coffee break” was a slogan that increased sales tremendously, by simply increasing top of mind awareness. Associating yourselves with something done more often increases top-of-mind awareness. Here are some trade show tumblers
When it all comes down to it, the absolute best giveaway at a conference, expo, trade show, or other event is one that is relevant and useful. Mix your brand in the scenario and you can’t go wrong. Take your time choosing a promotional item that is either relevant to your business or to an event scenario and you can create a branding experience that will last. Trying to be unique when offering an item is a slippery slope. When handing over something that is free, make sure it happens to be useful to whomever you are giving it to. Otherwise, the trash bin that’s closest to your exhibition space will most likely be full of your giveaways. Keep this in mind and you will do fine. Happy shopping!
Subscribe for Updates
Stay updated. Steal the show.
Want to gain an edge? Get ideas, tips, and resources from the exhibit industry's top experts.