The average trade show attendee spends nine hours on the floor and typically plans to visit 20 booths. By the end of the show, the average person visits 26 booths, the extra six being spontaneous decisions. How do you make sure that when someone visits your booth, whether planned or otherwise, the interaction sticks with them and makes them want to find out more about you and what you have to offer? One way is to offer the best trade show giveaways — ones that draw a crowd and leave a lasting impression.
Are trade show giveaways worth it?
You may be wondering whether trade show giveaways bring a return on investment, and the short answer is yes. Fifty-two percent of attendees are more likely to walk over to your booth if you offer giveaways.
Seventy-two percent of people who receive a promo item remember the name of the organization that gave it to them. Even more impressive, 76% percent have a good impression of the company that offered them a promotional item. Talk about sharing good vibes!
How to select trade show promo items for different audiences
When choosing the best promotional items for your trade show, consider the different prospects you’ll meet and whether they make a good sales lead. For example, if a highly qualified prospect talks to a staff member for a long period of time, you may want to give them a little something extra, like a 12-pack backpack cooler. A higher-ticket item like this one is sure to leave an impactful impression. For prospects who are less likely to result in a sale, a more cost-effective, yet memorable giveaway—like a trucker snapback cap—could be a good option.
When selecting a giveaway, consider your audience members’ lifestyles. Are your prospects parents juggling hectic work schedules? A Ruled Monthly Planner can help them keep their days organized without missing a beat. Does your audience consist of college students or those just starting their careers? A Mesh Laundry Bag is a useful and relevant giveaway that’ll make your brand stand out and remind recipients of how you can help them.
Is your target audience passionate about a particular lifestyle or hobby? A Muscle Cars Calendar can catch their eye at an automobile show, while an Indispensable Kitchen Spatula is a great trade show giveaway for the foodies or chefs in your audience.
Achieve your goals with trade show promo giveaways
Your organization may have a specific goal in mind when visiting a trade show, like obtaining a certain number of email sign-ups or a designated amount of highly qualified leads. Some trade show promo giveaways work better than others for accomplishing your goals.
Trade show giveaways to draw people in
The top trade show giveaways to get attendees to stop by your booth are ones they can’t get at the booth next door. Is the trade show centered around a certain industry, like finance or investing? Other booths may give away notebooks and ballpoint pens, but a fun Dollar Sign Pen can help your booth stand out from the crowd.
Giveaway items to encourage people to share contact information
An end of the day raffle is a great way to get people excited to share their contact information in exchange for an entry into the drawing. Display a coveted prize, like a Rolling Duffel Bag, next to the tablet or fishbowl where visitors share their contact info.
Branded products to promote product demos
Once staff grabs someone’s attention, they need to keep it long enough to share a product demo. With so many demonstrations to watch on the trade show floor, incentivize visitors to view yours by offering a Sweet Appreciation Gummy Candy Kit for doing so.
Trade show giveaways to get people to sign up for emails
Give everyone who opts into your email list a water bottle with flip carry lid. A perfect way to keep attendees hydrated, they’ll advertise for your brand as they walk around sipping from their bottle—and tell their colleagues to head to your booth for such a useful freebie.
How to pick stand-out trade show giveaways to grab attention
Trick out with toys
With hundreds of people talking at once, the trade show floor is a flurry of energy, excitement and motion. Dozens of booths all around yours compete for the attention of attendees. One of the best ways to stand out is with giveaways that move, light up and make noise. Fun toys fit the bill. Everyone from CEOs to interns will love trying out and taking home items like a Light-Up Yo-Yo or Light-Up Flyer.
Provide the power
People are always trying to find a place to charge their phones. Hand out fully charged Ridge Line Power Banks—recipients will gladly tell other attendees which booth to visit when they’re in a power pinch. The Trio Duo Charging Cable Spinner is a convenient charger and fidget toy all in one.
Match the theme
For a giveaway that’s sure to be a big hit, let the trade show theme inspire you. For a food- and beverage-focused event, a Wine Glass Marker Set or Locking Lid Lunch Container hits the spot. A Toothbrush Cap goes over well at medical and dental trade shows.
Consider adding a unique message to a standard product to fit your show’s theme. For example, educators will love a Business Card Notebook with Pen when you add an inspirational quote about teachers on the front cover.
Games are a great way to take any budget-friendly giveaway and make a big impression. Award prizes to attendees who are “caught” wearing the highest number of Round Buttons. People will hurry to pin on and proudly wear your logo all day long. Hand out soft T-shirts and tell recipients that if an employee spots them wearing it, they’ll be entered into a prize drawing.
Feature the item no one else has
Focus on unconventional, yet desirable, trade show giveaways. How often do you see Hair Scrunchies with Bows, Push Pop Pencil Pouches or Sketching Sets at booths? Unique giveaways are hot, so challenge your team to think outside the box before selecting your promo products.
How to choose the best promotional items for trade shows
The best trade show promo items:
- Reflect your brand and its values (such as reusable food and beverage containers from a sustainably focused organization)
- Can be used immediately (during the show itself) and in the future
- Have a fun or unique twist
Here’s what our insiders say are the most popular trade show promo products.
- Lip balm
- Tote bag
- Keychain tool
- Water bottles
- First-aid kits
- Phone grips
- Power banks
1. Lip balm
This personal item comes in handy for all ages and in all seasons, from hot summers to dry winters. The Soft Touch Round Lip Balm with Leash is easy to attach to a bag or belt loop, which also promotes your brand to anyone who happens to walk by.
2. Tote bag
From carrying pamphlets during the show to hauling groceries afterwards, tote bags are one of the most convenient promo giveaways. They’re also perfect for catering to environmentally conscious prospects, which is a huge audience: 66% of people (and 75% of millennials) consider sustainability before making a purchase. The Two-Tone Tote Bag features side pockets, a front pocket and zippered closure to carry all their essentials.
3. Keychain tool
Keychains are budget-friendly giveaways that display your brand every time recipients reach for their keys. To best stand out, find a keychain that serves a dual purpose, like the hilarious MopTopper Phone Stand Keychain or the Duo Charging Cable Keychain that includes two charging connectors.
Puzzles might not scream practicality at first glance, but recipients sure appreciate them. The Tangle Junior Puzzle is a great conversation starter and provides welcome relief after a long day of sessions.
5. Bluetooth® speaker
If a recipient is traveling for a trade show, a Bluetooth speaker is a valuable giveaway that they’ll find incredibly useful. People will love being able to take calls, listen to podcasts or jam out to tunes while in their hotel room. When they get home, they’ll be continuously reminded of your brand when they use their speaker to play music during a backyard bonfire or listen to an audiobook while cleaning the house. An on-the-go portable Bluetooth speaker or stylish bamboo Bluetooth speaker are excellent choices.
Calendars put your logo in front of recipients for months—literally. Even in the digital age, the wall calendar industry is forecasted to grow 3.5% each year until 2026.
The Saturday Evening Post® Large Wall Calendar appeals to a broad audience, with old-school, full-color Norman Rockwell illustrations that evoke nostalgia and happy feelings. Your imprint is on each page for brand exposure month after month.
7. Water bottles
Walking the trade show floor makes for some thirsty attendees. Quench their thirst with an Outdoor Bottle with Loop Carry Lid. Your logo will quickly spread across the floor as people walking by grab a bottle to hydrate with.
8. First-aid kits
Practical and useful, first-aid kits are a one-of-a-kind giveaway that people in all industries can appreciate. They can store them in their car or at home for soothing cuts and mending scrapes. The Primary Care First-Aid Kit includes bandages, first-aid cream and antiseptic towelettes for an all-in-one convenient promo.
9. Phone grips
Always popular and a huge hit with all ages, phone grips are something recipients are excited to use right away. This Phone Grip and Stand snaps back into place when they’re done scrolling or texting.
10. Power banks
Power up your promotions while powering up recipients’ devices. The Portable Power Bank is useful for anyone who needs a battery boost. Plus, its small size makes it easy to carry around all day long.
Top trade show giveaways to travel home with attendees
From immediately grabbing attention of passersby to remaining memorable for the long run, trade show promo items have a lot of responsibilities. How do you know if your promo product will end up going home with attendees and not discarded in the trash bin? Follow the “4 P’s” of promotional products—portable, people, pets and passion—to maximize your promo product’s chances of outlasting the competition.
The “4 P’s” help make sure your brand remains top of mind long after the event is over—because people will want to take your product home.
Many attendees travel quite a distance to participate in trade shows. Giveaways that are easy to pack are a winner for anyone who must consider luggage space for their return journey. Be sure to steer clear of any objects that can’t travel on planes, like those that won’t fit in a carry-on, sharp objects or larger bottles of liquid. An indoor weather station clock is a portable giveaway attendees will find useful day after day once they get home.
An item that appeals to someone’s children or significant other is sure to make it home. From a cute stuffed llama to a Light-Up Rose, attendees will be happy to see something out of the ordinary that they can take home—along with your logo—to share with their family.
People love their pets. Encourage the first sale as well as repeat business when you give prospects something they can use to dote on their furry family members, like a Tag-A-Long Collapsible Pet Bowl or dog bone pet bag dispenser.
A giveaway that connects with people’s passions can help draw in visitors year after year. Consider different hobbies that appeal to your specific audience and maybe incorporate the theme of the event itself. For example, are you attending a sporting event? Free pennants can draw a crowd.
How to use trade show promotional giveaways off the floor
Sometimes, the best interactions happen off the trade show floor. If you’re hungry and headed to a restaurant, keep an eye out for attendees. Staff may even run into someone in the hotel lobby or lounge area. Remember that lead generation is all about connections, so train staff to focus on friendly conversations with prospects rather than just trying to make a sale.
Arm staff with a few trade show promotional giveaways that are easy to hand off outside the trade show. A gel pen or light-up wall charger could be a convenient option for these kinds of unexpected interactions. They’re small enough that recipients can slip them in their pocket and be reminded of your brand later.
Top trade show giveaways can transform your event experience
Take your organization’s trade show experiences from fine to fabulous. With the best trade show giveaways for your specific audience, your brand will stand above all others. If you’re looking for even more ideas on how to draw a crowd with trade show giveaways, check out the best trade show giveaways to draw buyers to your booth.