Top Seven Trade Show Giveaways
Whether you call them promotional items, tchotchkes or swag, exhibitors at every trade show hand out a wide variety of promo items and giveaways to attract and encourage attendees to enter their space.
The right trade show handouts can help generate leads and support integrated marketing messages — hopefully prompting attendees to tie that message back to your company long after the show has ended. When trade show giveaways are effective, they have the power to enchant attendees at an event, so it is important to properly plan your giveaways to ensure your promotions have as big of an impact as possible.
High-performing trade show giveaway items communicate a company’s brand strategy, messaging and capabilities to attendees. Before you select trade show giveaway items, first consider whether or not they support your corporate image, brand persona and campaign theme. If possible, make sure your trade show giveaway has your company logo printed, etched or chiseled on it. Remember, no matter how cool the giveaway item is, you will lose out on exposure if it cannot be immediately linked back to your brand.
One of the most important functions of a trade show giveaway is its ability to resonate with your clients and prospects. While unique and fun trade show giveaways are always a great way to generate interest in your brand, practical giveaway items can present more value to visitors, creating greater long-term impact.
Budgeting for Trade Show Giveaways
Like exhibits, trade show budgets vary in size from exhibitor to exhibitor. Regardless of your event marketing budget, you should be conscious of the costs associated with the trade show giveaway items, including cost per item, taxes, shipping and storage.
Expensive and flashy trade show giveaway items might garner the attention of attendees, but you want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. Look for inexpensive alternatives that can pack a similar punch. Also, shipping can inflate a budget quickly. Think ahead about the size and weight of your giveaways items and investigate free shipping options with your vendor. Select a provider who has a location in the show city so you can pick up your giveaway and avoid costly freight charges.
Lastly, make sure your staffers do not frivolously hand out giveaways to every passerby. Instead, identify actions that earn giveaways like listening to a presentation, scanning a badge or exchanging a business cards as a means to generate leads.
On the surface, trade show giveaways seem to be one of the easiest decisions associated with exhibiting. However, selecting the perfect impactful giveaway item can be difficult.
To help you select the right items, a list of popular trade show giveaways is below:
1. Reusable Water Bottles
Everywhere you go, from the office to the park, you see people carrying reusable water bottles. Having reusable water bottles as a promotional giveaway on the trade show floor will draw lots of traffic to your space with attendees eager to get their hands on your eco-friendly swag.
Water bottles can be instantly useful to attendees as a way to stay hydrated while walking the trade show floor, and they also have long lifespan and will be used long after the show is over.
This giveaway can also be valuable to exhibitors, as branded reusable water bottles can double as office and trade show swag, allowing exhibitors to kill two birds with one stone. Reusable water bottles are also “green” trade show giveaways and will reinforce environmentally-friendly brand messaging, and a potential long-term branding opportunity as reusable water bottles are likely to be used after the event.
2. Tote Bags
Branded tote bags are a trade show giveaway staple and can help attendees carry all the goodies they snag up on the trade show floor.
For attendees they are useful, especially on the trade show floor as a way to hold swag, brochures, product samples and personal possessions. Tote bags can also be used by attendees after the show as eco-friendly bags for groceries, gym clothes, items for work or the beach. Lastly, tote bags constructed from high-quality materials, such as canvass, are durable and long-lasting.
Additionally, veteran trade show attendees expect to find tote bags on the show floor and will seek out exhibitors offering them as a giveaway item. Tote bags can also include other giveaways for additional branding and messaging opportunities, such as including brochures, special offer coupons or promo codes. Tote bags offer large print areas perfect for branding, creative graphics and eye-catching colors.
3. Lip Balm
With all of the conversations taking place on the show floor, attendee’s lips are bound to become chapped. Lip balm as a trade show giveaway will remind attendees of your brand every time they reach into their pocket or purse to moisturize their lips.
This can be a valuable giveaway for exhibitors because lip balms are one of the more inexpensive trade show giveaway item, and if properly stored, lip balm has a long shelf life and can be used from show to show, increasing cost savings and reducing waste.
T-shirts are one of the most sought-after trade show giveaway items. Attendees love to hunt down and collect as many free t-shirts as possible while walking the trade show floor. By utilizing t-shirts as a giveaway item, you will ensure that your trade show booth is flush with attendee traffic.
T-shirts are an easy-to-pack keepsake perfect to take home and wear as workout or lounge clothes. They present instant value because they can be worn immediately, whether at the show or back at the hotel, and also provide a good memory from a fun event and great time.
T-shirts are a giveaway that will be worn around the trade show floor, increasing brand exposure and foot traffic to your booth. T-shirts present lots of room for branding and creative marketing messages, and are a fairly safe giveaway, as t-shirts are generally something that everyone likes receiving.
5. Breath Mints
We have all been there: about to head into a meeting and suddenly, we wonder about whether or not our breath is fresh. At trade shows, this worry is tenfold. Attendees will speak with and meet potentially hundreds of people, making breath mint giveaways practical and in demand. Breath mints are lightweight, convenient and easy to carry, help attendees speak more confidently while networking, and are an excellent sharable giveaway item that can be offered to other attendees and co-workers.
Branded boxes of mints ensure that every time an attendee shares them, they are helping promote your brand to a new potential prospect. They are also inexpensive, easy to pack and store and can be used from show to show.
6. Food and Drinks
While walking the trade show floor attendees work up an appetite, and offering snacks to visitors who show interest in your booth is a great way to start conversations. Coffee, pretzels or personalized M&M’s chocolates are simple, cost-effective consumable giveaways providing your sales team an opportunity to engage potential cutomers.
After spending the day walking the trade show floor, attendees are attracted to and appreciate for food and drink giveaways that hold them over until after their next meal. Consumable giveaways save them from having to buy snacks from expensive vending machines and costly concession stands at the venue.
Food and drink giveaways are great icebreakers and can be a tipping point in your favor for passersby debating whether or not to stop by your booth. Good food giveaways can get people talking about your brand, and can get people to seek out your booth.
7. Product Samples
Giving away product samples to prospects is one of the most effective ways to show off your wares while also attracting qualified attendees to your booth. Attendees will be more receptive to sales pitches and consultations if they are able to sample a product on the show floor. Product samples are just about the best giveaway in terms of showcasing your brand’s capabilities. If you have multiple products that can be used as giveaways, they can be tiered depending on how valuable certain attendees may be as prospective clients.
Picking the perfect trade show giveaway items can be challenging at times, but when done right, you will be sure to net amazing returns in both in-booth traffic and attendee engagement with your brand.