4imprint, LLC

| Updated: March 26, 2021 3 min read

If you want to make a big impression with a limited budget, try these guerrilla marketing ideas for trade shows. These memorable tactics plus a few nontraditional trade show giveaways can help you capture the attention of customers on the trade show floor without a lot of expense.


Think outside the show

As people go to and from the trade show, they’ll often stop to grab a meal or some drinks. Contact local bars and restaurants near the show venue and ask if you can supply their coasters or drink napkins (#873-W) for the duration of the show to get extra eyeballs on your brand. You may even want to imprint a message that encourages them to stop by your booth for a discount coupon, product demo or free giveaway.

Cabs and rideshares can also be used for advertising, depending on local laws. Consider promoting a rideshare app or local cab company in exchange for some free advertising. A custom car magnet or window decal can help keep your brand in the spotlight.


Pick a theme—and go all in

One of the best ways to stand out is with a memorable theme. Whether it’s related to the trade show or just something fun and creative, selecting a theme that resonates with visitors will help your booth become the talk of the trade show floor. Once you’ve chosen your theme, it’s time to commit. Incorporate that theme into all aspects of your booth. For example, pull off a tropical theme with floral shirts, tropical punch and Hawaiian shirt sticky notes® as a giveaway.


Hand out an unusual giveaway

A great giveaway can help you get more business. In fact, 83% of consumers (PDF)  say they’re more likely to do business with a company that gave them a promo item. Offer the best trade show giveaways to catch extra attention. Choose something fun and useful, like a pair of cool sunglasses. Or connect your item to your organization—for example, hand out lavender oil and tell people they can keep calm, since they’re in good hands with your brand.


Give people a reason to like (and share) you

Meeting people in person creates a strong connection and can make a memorable impression. When done well, face-to-face meetings also provide a chance to increase your social media reach. Ask people to follow you on social media in exchange for the chance to win a high-end trade show giveaway, like a shirt jacket. Or hold a prize drawing—attendees can earn an entry by posting a photo using your hashtag.


Draw people in

Come up with fun ways to draw people to your booth. Set up a charging station near a chalkboard with some colored chalk. Then encourage visitors to get creative while they power up their electronic devices. Or offer fun refreshments to match the theme of your booth. For instance, serve a non-alcoholic piña colada in a logo hurricane cup that doubles as a giveaway.

Get your brand seen

When you need to stretch your trade show budget, these guerrilla marketing ideas can raise your visibility without breaking the bank. By selecting a memorable theme and choosing creative trade show giveaways, you can get more people to stop by and learn about your brand.