trade show

7 Cool Giveaway Ideas For Expos, Trade Shows & Conferences

Looking for some clever giveaway ideas for an upcoming expo, trade show or conference? It’s time to look beyond the usual promotional gifts and think effective, memorable, and a wow factor.

Here are some cool giveaway ideas to consider.

1. Clothing

Often businesses spend a lot of money on giveaways, and it’s usually money down the drain because the products are not targeted to the individual nor do they usually help in making a sale.

Have you ever considered clothing? A safe bet is a T-shirt or a cap – these will generally be worn so it helps to generate some publicity.

After all, they will literally be wearing your brand next to their body (and potentially for a long time... if it's a quality T shirt!).

2. Food

There have been many successful giveaways related to food.  It could be individually-wrapped tea bags where your business information (and possibly a coupon) are stamped onto each wrapper.

It could be a mini chocolate bar, or for the health conscious, a sachet of muesli. What do you like, or more importantly, what do your clients like?

3. Skip the business cards

Almost everyone gives away pens. After all, they are handy, lightweight and don’t cost much. But what's more, they will be used, potentially for years and years... a continuous reminder of your brand.

But what else is your target customer or client likely to use over and over again? Bookmarks? Stationary? Mug?

Skip the business card and opt for something they’ll use repeatedly, for years and years.

4. A care package

For something a little different, think about a care package.  You know the kit of bits and pieces that’s used over and over and often shared around.

If you are at a conference where attendees are on their feet all day, make a statement and offer a package, complete with bandages, a small snack, pen, notepad and a maybe a USB drive with your company information.

5. Who says it needs to be tangible?

There’s always the chance a giveaway can get lost, or tossed into a drawer and forgotten about.  How about an intangible giveaway such as a digital download?

It could be a free white paper, or the first few chapters of a new eBook that can be sent around after the conference or trade show.  It could be a coupon or an opportunity to buy one product and get one free.

This can also be a good way to get customers onto an email list. And we know how worthwhile that is in itself!

6. Something completely out of the ordinary

What will determine if people stop in their tracks and look twice at your free give-away, or whether they barely even register it, is the level of uniqueness it presents.

Something as simple as a magic bean, laser engraved with your logo, an image or your slogan, that can be planted and enjoyed over and over might be just what you are looking for.

They are definitely inexpensive, a huge talking point and easy to post if the need arises. We naturally recommend you take a proper look at this.

7. It must be useful

Regardless of the item you choose to giveaway as a thank you, it must be useful.  

If you’re at a conference for pet owners, give away branded leashes, or portable dog bowls.  If you are at a pregnancy expo, giveaway samples useful for baby and mums.

Think of the items that people at the trade show will need but might have forgotten to bring - and give them that. Could it be a bottle of water? You’ll not only be a hero, but they’ll remember your brand too.

Bonus (#8) Consider going Eco-Friendly

There's no denying the trend towards sustainability in corporate marketing. The majority of your potential clients will be looking at how their marketing strategy touches on climate change, carbon awareness and environmental impacts.

So 2022 is a good time to consider utilizing eco friendly corporate gifts. Small natural items such as magic beans make excellent sustainable giveaways and will generate a lot of buzz at any trade show.

What’s your favourite giveaway item? Or even better, what items have you received at a conference or expo that really stood out?

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