Trade Show Giveaway Ideas: The Ultimate Guide


One of the main tools exhibitors use at trade shows to drive the crowd into their space is a giveaway. Promotional products are always popular. And there are good reasons for that. People love something for free, and doing a giveaway the right way can be really beneficial. A proper giveaway will help you generate leads to grow a brand. Here are Trade Show Giveaway Ideas based on my experience:

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Why do a Tradeshow Giveaway?

A good giveaway will also support your marketing messages and prompt attendees to form a connection between the company and the marketing message for a long while after the show is over. You can also use the give away to generate leads by collecting emails or business cards in return for the item you give.


Planning a Tradeshow Giveaway

An effective giveaway at a trade show needs to entrance event attendees. So, we would say it is very important to plan it properly. Here are some tips we have for companies that are working on a trade show giveaway.

  • If you can, always aim to have your company’s logo somewhere on the item. Don’t forget, no matter how good of a gift you choose, it is useless if potential customers can’t immediately connect the product to your brand even years after
  • Focus on finding giveaway items that have ties to your industry, and your brand. That way, both your logo on the product and the item itself serve to boost your brand
  • Alternatively, if your trade show campaign has a certain theme, choose giveaways that tie to the theme.

Giveaway Items Should Have Value

You want your giveaway to resonate with prospects and clients alike. Sure, you can use fun and unique giveaway items if you want, but practicality presents more value than empty flair.

Remember, no matter how fun of a gimmick you present, the attendees aren’t very likely to keep it for long. Instead, give them something with value to generate a long-term impact.

How to Choose Trade Show Giveaway Items

There are two approaches you can take

  1. Go for items that have immediate use to the attendees. A small notepad with a pen, a water bottle, hand sanitizer, or a tote bag. Attendees are going to be grateful for getting those as they will use them during the event and maybe even afterwards. 
  2. Or aim for the products that see a lot of post-event use. You can give out keychain lights, phone chargers, or other practical items like umbrellas or t-shirts. 

How to Cut Down on Giveaway Costs

Most people just want to spring for expensive and flashy giveaway items. And, while those might garner the attention of attendees, they might not justify the spend if you don't get the return. After all, no matter what business you are in, you always want to get the most out of your investments. If there are products you really want to use but they are proving expensive, try to find cheaper alternatives.

Remember, shipping is not always cheap, take care that shipping charges don't push you over your giveaways budget. Consider the size and weight of your items and find the most affordable shipping offer you can. Or look for providers that have a location near the trade show, then you can even pick the items up yourself.

Don’t just give out the items to everybody who approaches your stand. Instead, focus on actions that earn the giveaway for the attendee. For example, have them listen to a presentation, exchange business cards, or subscribe to your newsletter in return for the freebie.

9 Tradeshow Giveaway Ideas That are Guaranteed to Work

Based on our work with different companies, we have come up with a list of 9 giveaway ideas that are guaranteed to work. 

1. Power Banks

We all know smartphones are here to stay. And, power banks are the perfect real estate for your company’s logo or ad. They are also available in a wide range of colours providing you with an excellent opportunity to work your company colours in.

Value to Attendees: Powerbanks are exceptionally practical and will provide all the power your attendees need during the day to ensure they keep in touch with colleagues. In addition, due to their compact size they are ideal for storing in a purse or pocket.

Value to You: They are inexpensive, lightweight and easy to package. You can also easily place your logo on them to advertise. And, most importantly, the attendees are very likely to use them all the time. That means that you will be getting a lot of free exposure over time.

2. Sports Water Bottles

Reusable sports water bottles are a much better choice than most people would assume. Many people use them at work too, which means if they are on the desks at work, your brand is getting seen again and again. 

Value to Attendees: Sports water bottles provides instant value to the attendee. Remember, people generally tend to be thirsty during these events. Also, they have a long lifespan and remain useful for a long time.

Value to You: People tend to leave their water bottles in visible places. That gives you an excellent opportunity to raise brand awareness. Also, attendees will appreciate the instant use of the bottle. Reusable water bottles are also an eco-friendly alternative to buying a new bottle each day. Using them will reinforce the image of your company being environmentally aware.

3. Pens

Yes, pens! Pens are the all-time favourite for trade show giveaway organisers. For these reasons: they are extremely cheap, easy to transport, easy to pack and handle, and everybody needs them. But having said that, make sure to get a good pen, as people will appreciate the quality.

Value to Attendees: A pen has a huge number of uses for everyone. But, it always comes down to a single thing - writing things down.

Value to You: Pens are probably the easiest item to get your return on investment quickly. However, that is not the only reason they are excellent gifts. People love their good pens, and they don’t mind company logos on them. In fact, they tend to remember the pens by the logos they have on them. That means that the attendee will definitely remember your company’s name.

4. Cotton Tote Bags

Cotton tote bags are great for events, after all, the customers will require something to carry around all of the goodies they have been getting their hands on. Why not use that opportunity to have them brandish your logo for you?

Value to Attendees: Incredibly useful items that the attendees can use to hold all of the brochures they will be getting. However, they offer a lot more value than that. They are also useful after the show. After all, they can use these tote bags for their grocery shopping needs, gym clothes, or even beach paraphernalia.

Value to You: Attendees will quickly realise that they need a tote bag when they start picking up brochures and swag. That means that they will look around to see who offers them. They also have huge areas for you to use by printing out your logo. Also, once they place the other goodies in the tote bag, yours will be the only logo still visible.

5. Lip Balms

These have become popular in recent years because trade shows include a lot of talking for everyone involved, and that means that there will be chapped lips there. So, choosing a small, yet inexpensive lip balm as your giveaway item helps them and helps you.

Value to Attendees: People generally use lip balm very frequently. It is useful to protect the sensitive lips from the elements and most people generally always have lip balm at their person.

Value to You: Lip balms are rather cheap, small, and they have a very long shelf life. That means that you can buy them in bulk, thus reducing your costs, and you can use them from show to show. That means that you won’t have to come up with new ideas or organise new purchases as frequently. Also, any product that sees everyday use is a good choice for brand-building.

6. T-Shirts

There is a reason t-shirts are the most popular trade show giveaway items around. Attendees love them, exhibitors adore them, and they go well with every single brand. In fact, many attendees like collecting t-shirts, which makes them another great choice for items that can get more booth traffic for you.

Value for Attendees: T-shirts are handy for everyone and tend to last longer than a pen!

Value to You: T-shirts are rich in branding space. That means that you don’t have to restrict yourself to your logo alone. You can have a tagline present as well. 

7. Mints

When it comes to good giveaway items, small and universal is good. And, mints are perfect for that. They are lightweight, easy to carry, convenient, and they are something for attendees to much on while listening to talks. 

Value to Attendees: Mints are easy to carry about and give them something to eat and bonus, fresh breath!

Value to You: Mints are extremely shareable. In fact, most of the time, when someone takes out a pack of mints, someone else will ask for one. And, having a box with your logo on it means that every attendee will promote your brand for you. And, of course, they are incredibly cheap.

8. Snacks

Walking around during a trade show can make a person hungry. Offering pretzels, chocolate, and other consumables can help engage attendees.

Value to Attendees: Instant and great. People tend to get really hungry, and they will appreciate anything that can help them sate their hunger. Also, vending machines at these events are very expensive. 

Value to You: People will usually stick around for a bit longer if you give them something to chew on. Your staff can use snacks as icebreakers and talk about your brand.

9. Earbuds or Speakers

Various pieces of audio equipment are excellent for tradeshows. People generally use them outside, and they feel expensive. Of course, you have to make sure to properly brand the products. 

Value to Attendees: Attendees can start using earbuds or speakers right away. Audio devices are excellent gifts for the attendees to give to people they love too. 

Value to Exhibitors: You can easily have headphones or speakers customised to show your logo and feature your brand’s colours. Alternatively, you can use them as “VIP” gifts only.

Organising a trade show giveaway is not easy. And, the toughest challenge lies in picking the perfect giveaway item. However, if you do it right, that investment will net you incredible returns. Imagine your brand being seen for days after the event...

Over to you now. What has worked for you for tradeshow giveaways? Tell us in the comments below. 

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