10 Trade Show Giveaway Ideas to Wow Attendees

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trade show giveaway ideas

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No one wants to set up a vendor table at the trade show and walk away with little or no sales, which is why you’re probably here.  If you’re really serious about your shows, you want to get sales, but you also want to make a memorable brand impression.  Preparation is the #1 key to making sure you have a successful show, and these trade show giveaway ideas are sure to give you an advantage at your next show.

tradeshow giveaway ideasPrepping for a Show

Trade shows can be very intimidating (especially if you’ve never done one).  You have your trade show supplies to gather, you have to think about how to strategically place your giveaways to get the most engagement and results, you have to bring your inventory and your setup, and train those who will man the booth with you so it can be an enjoyable endeavor for attendees.  It can be a lot to think about.

I know there’s lots on your plate when you’re getting ready for a show, so I’ve compiled some trade show giveaway ideas that can be simple, but effective.  Here’s my list of 10 trade show giveaway ideas that are sure to wow attendees…

1. A Care Package

Attendees to trade shows are likely to be walking around for hours looking at booth after booth.  Sometimes, it can get hot, cold, or go back and forth in between.  They could use a care package that helps them feel refreshed while they’re at the show.  Depending on your show budget, you can be very simple with this or more fancy.  For the basics, I’d recommend:

  • An easy to carry bag – They may be grabbing business cards, brochures, or making purchases.  It would be nice to have a bag that’s easy to carry where they can put everything they’re picking up on the inside.  As an additional benefit, you’d be able to get advertising impressions as they’re walking around the trade show with your promo items.
  • Water – Attendees are likely to get thirsty at some point while walking thru the show, so they’ll definitely appreciate a drink of water. You can take advantage of this insight and get water with branded labels!
  • Tissues or Handkerchiefs – Whether sweating, wiping hands, or wiping a stuffy nose, tissues and handkerchiefs can come in handy.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Attendees may be shaking hands, exchanging money, or doing other activities where it’s likely to be an exchange of germs. Hand sanitizer could help them stay germ-free even in a high traffic environment.
  • Lip balm – Trade shows are events where people usually do lots of talking, and when there’s lots of talking, it affects the lips.  Refreshing the lips with lip balm could give the lips a nice break.
  • Pens – I love giving out customized pens.  It’s one of the things I always hear recipients appreciate.  It’s so common to have something you need to write, and it always seems to be a shortage of pens at some point or another.  Pens are useful and affordable custom giveaways.
  • a Snack or Candy – Tradeshows are tight places where it’s common to be in close proximity with people.  Candies, mints, or a nice snack could help keep hunger away while attendees are walking around could be nice.
  • And, something that sends a brand message – For example, a healthcare company might give bandaids, a contracting company might give measuring tape, and an auto company might give tire pressure checkers.  What’s a promo item that could speak for your company?

trade show giveaway ideas2. Shirts

Most people appreciate the t-shirt.  It’s one of those things that has so many uses.  You can wear a t-shirt to play sports or to go to the grocery store.  They’re so versatile, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll find a good use for it, and when they do, others can learn about your business.

3. A Snack in a Custom Container

You can give out snacks like chips, nuts, crackers, or other lite snacks.  Snacks help to make sure people don’t leave when they feel a little hungry. You can put snacks in a nice custom baggy or you can buy them already packaged

4. Digital Freebies

Although a trade show is a physical event, an eBook, digital guide, or another digital freebie can be a giveaway that helps you incentivize getting their information.  One major component of having success in a trade show is following up, so exchanging an email address for a digital download of some sort could be a great giveaway.

5. Something Useful Tailored to the Trade Show Audience

There are trade shows for dog lovers, for craft lovers, for natural food enthusiasts, gun shows, and the list goes on.  If you’re going to a show with a specialty audience, it can speak volumes if you create a custom giveaway that serves as a memorable trinket for attending the event.  There’s business promo items that can serve so many different purposes.

trade show giveaway ideas6. Brochures and Company Info

Often times, the trade show may be some attendees’ first interaction with your business.  They may still be in the research phase of the buying cycle, but giving them more information to read can help nudge them forward in the buying cycle.  Brochures, postcards, or a folder with company info inside could all be good ways to hand out information to people who look like they might be considering your products or services, but are still on the fence.


7. Water

Maybe, you decide you don’t want to do the full care package, but you want to give something useful away at the show.  I’d say custom water bottles are one of the most useful business promo giveaways.  If you’ve ever been thirsty and someone gives you a drink, it immediately builds rapport, so giving water can be a way to warm attendees to you and your business.

8. Cases

Phone cases, Ipad cases, and cases for electronics and accessories are highly appreciated in this day in age.  Despite the fact that cases are growing in demand, many advertisers haven’t stepped up in this area to advertise using cases.  You can steal the limelight by advertising using electronic cases.  They’re useful, appreciated, and serve an advertising goal for your business!

9. Chargers

Similar to the cases, it’s likely that attendees may be out walking around from booth to booth for a prolonged period.  Phones don’t show mercy.  Whether you’re at a trade show, business meeting, or traveling in a desolate place, when the phone dies, the phone dies, and chargers are a necessity most people need duplicates of.  If you have chargers as a trade show giveaway, it could be a really buzzworthy giveaway because they’re so useful and in demand.

10. High Ticket Contest Giveaways

trade show giveaway ideasContests are one way to get people to keep coming back to your booth.  You can have preset times where contestants will be awarded, so attendees who have entered into the contest would come back to get their prize.  You can set up all types of parameters like:

  • You have to buy more than X amount of merchandise to be entered in the contest
  • You have to be the first of X to be entered into the contest
  • and so on…

Regardless of the parameters you set, a good contest with a giveaway that has a high perceived value can keep your booth highly engaging.

Looking for a Good Vendor for your TradeShow Giveaways?

If you’re ready to purchase your trade show giveaways, but you’re not sure of the right vendor for you, these are my top recommended vendors:

  • Zazzle

Zazzle offers low minimum orders and has thousands of products you can customize for your trade show or anything else. You can find some really neat and unique products you can use for tradeshow giveaways, brand awareness, or to nudge prospects further up your value ladder. Check out the Zazzle website to see for yourself or check out my full Zazzle review here.

what is zazzle.com scam legit review

  • Deluxe

trade show give away ideasDeluxe has many products and services for small business owners. In fact, they’ve been serving small businesses for over 100 years! You can get your tradeshow brochures and promo products from Deluxe. Recently, they started offering custom promo products because they’re so key to increasing brand awareness and nudging customers thru your customer life cycle. They have wearables, forms, packaging, and alot more you can use at your trade show. Check out their website to see what I mean or check out my full Deluxe review here.

  • I promo

Ipromo has a huge inventory of promotional products to choose from that are affordably priced and ship fast! You’ll be able to find many of the items on my trade show giveaway idea list (above) at this vendor. Check out their website here or read my full Ipromo review here.

ipromo review

Other Recommended Reading

Final Words on Trade show Giveaway Ideas to Wow Attendees

The goal of this article was to show you various ways to draw attention and entertain tradeshow attendees. I’d love to hear more stories and see more people achieving business goals thru trade show marketing. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out!

Now, it’s Your Turn…

Have you set up at a trade show before?  If so, did you offer giveaways?  What were they? Have you attended a trade show before? What giveaways were most engaging for you? Leave your comments below.

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10 thoughts on “10 Trade Show Giveaway Ideas to Wow Attendees”

  1. Tiffany Denise

     I love going to tradeshows and pick up my goodies bag at a stand. I like pens pads anything around stationery as I can use it.

    I think is a good idea given away free gifts understand because they become excellent marketing please to grow your brand know the key is to stand out from your competitors and the points you have listed here very good ones that can help this happen.

     I decided I’m going to do business with judging by what figures they give me however if time and effort and thought of being put into the free gifts then I believe it shows the quality of service a company can provide if they paid attention to detail of every aspect of the business including trade shows free gifts.

    What else stands out from your article is water!

    We need to keep hydrated as we walk around tradeshows as they  can be tiresome and warm. You will start to dehydrate and when you get dehydrated you can’t concentrate so providing bottle of water with your name on actually could work to your advantage

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Trade show giveaways serve as a nice gesture and show your thoughtfulness as a business. Thanks for sharing your experience as a trade show attendee. It’s good to hear these ideas resonate.

  2. Tiffany Denise

    Hi Tiffany, Everybody loves free stuff. Win-Win for everyone. Excellent info on 10 Trade Show Giveaways. My favorites were the care package. I love getting a bag full of stuff. Also, the high ticket contest giveaways. Good way of getting people to come back after the first visit. I do have a question. How can a person use trade shows for an internet business? Just curious. I loved how you ended the post by giving away free stuff. Good tie-in. Thanks, johnny. 

    1. Tiffany Denise

      High Johnny! You’d be surprised how many people at trade shows have been using that marketing strategy for years and aren’t familiar with others.  If your internet business teaches others how to get online, you could be very popular. Alternatively, if your internet business is product based, service based, or cause based, trade shows would be a good way to gain visibility for whichever is your business type.

      Alot of times online business owners don’t network much and when Google slaps their wrist with a new algorithm, they’re at a loss.  Trade show marketing could be a way of diversification, taking the depedency away from Google or social media, and stabilizing the business even further.

  3. Tiffany Denise

    Hi and thank you for this useful, helpful and informative article.

    These are very helpful ideas to put into a care package, the hand sanitize, water and lip balm is a nice touch I would have thought about the hand sanitize or lip balm and think these are such a good touch because I would be impressed if I received it.  

    Personally I would have been so focused on other branding materials I would have totally forgotten the snack altogether.

    So I am really glad that I found your article you have given me food for thought.

    Thank you


    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Jennifer. Care packages are a nice branding touch for events like trade shows. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Glad you found it helpful!

  4. Tiffany Denise

    I’ve often thought about getting into trade shows as it can be a way to earn some extra money, but like you said, it can be very intimidating for someone who has never done one before. I really love your list of 10 trade show giveaways that can really help make it a success. Sometimes I forget the importance of giveaways and a care package is such a great idea! Chargers and phone cases are absolutely brilliant especially since it seems practically everyone has a smartphone these days. What giveaway item at trade shows do you think tends to be the most popular? Would you say phone cases or chargers or maybe pens or water bottles?

    1. Tiffany Denise

      I think swag is underutilized, but when it is used, it’s probably most common to see business cards and brochures. Sometimes, you’ll find people with pens. You could really stand out with these ideas though. Best of luck in your endeavors. If you decide to try using promo items in your marketing (even with your trade shows), stop back by for an audit. I’d love to help out.

  5. Tiffany Denise

    Tiffany,You brought back some fond memories of when my wife and I used to do trade shows when we owned an interior decorating company.  My wife was a master at knowing what to give.  We would usually have colorful inexpensive bags with our logo to give to any who wished to have one.  They could place all the brochures and trinkets that they wished to collect at the show.  And, yes, as you said, all the while they were advertising our brand.I liked the idea of your free gift.  My wife often would have two or three decorative vases or flower arrangements to give  away to the winner of a drawing at the end of the show.  They had to sign up by giving their email address or phone number with the understanding that it would be for our use only.You had many good ideas.  I hope to be able to use some of them in the future.

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Hi Thomas! Your experience doing trade shows is very valuable feedback! Thanks for sharing that. I love the vase and flower idea in exchange for email addresses. I’ll have to keep that one in my mental swipe file. Thanks.

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