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.
- 1 Prepping for a Show
- 2 1. A Care Package
- 3 2. Shirts
- 4 3. A Snack in a Custom Container
- 5 4. Digital Freebies
- 6 5. Something Useful Tailored to the Trade Show Audience
- 7 6. Brochures and Company Info
- 8 7. Water
- 9 8. Cases
- 10 9. Chargers
- 11 10. High Ticket Contest Giveaways
- 12 Looking for a Good Vendor for your TradeShow Giveaways?
- 13 Final Words on Trade show Giveaway Ideas to Wow Attendees
- 14 Now, it’s Your Turn…
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?
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.
6. 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.
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.
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!
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
Contests 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 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.
Deluxe 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.
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.
Other Recommended Reading
- 7 Ways Custom Promo Products can Help in Your Customer Buying Cycle
- 11 Key Performance Indicators You Can Spike with Promo Products
- How to Budget for Custom Promo Products
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.