Trade shows enable brands to build strong connections with new and existing customers. The one-to-one exchange between the brand and the consumers sets such live events apart from the 'crowd' of digital channels.
However, one of the biggest challenges for most exhibitors is getting people to their booths. While things like a custom-designed booth, attractive graphics, and creative use of lighting do help, every other booth uses these elements to attract the crowd. And most of them don’t succeed.
Modern-day trade show attendees are demanding. You must incentivize them to come to your booth and engage with your staff. And trade show giveaways can be that incentive. Let's take a look at why you should use giveaways at live events and some cool giveaway ideas for all budgets-
Why Promotional Giveaways at Trade Shows? 3 Reasons
1- Giveaways Attract Traffic
Don’t want to scare you, but trade shows are competitive warzones. You're competing with dozens of other businesses and want people to consider you over them. But to do that, you need people to first come to your booth. And booth games like custom trade show trivia and giveaways are highly effective in fulfilling this objective. But combining it with giveaways can 5x your traffic. Well, more on this later.
2- Trade Show Swag Makes Your Brand Memorable
Trade show attendees typically visit several booths at the event. They probably forget most of them by the time they reach home. But the chances of remembering you increase significantly if they have your promotional item with them and use it regularly.
Well, you guessed it. The key is that it should be something they can use.
3- Promotional Items Improve Brand Image
Consumers prefer dealing with brands that value their time. Rewarding them for their visit to your booth through a unique trade show swag is an effective way to enhance your brand image.
But how to choose the best trade show promotional items? Check out our “Ultimate Guide to Choose the Perfect Trade Show Giveaway” for some handy tips.
13 Trade Show Giveaway Ideas for 2023
Ok, let’s get to business now. Here are 13 trade show giveaway ideas. To help you we’ve organized this from the lowest to the costliest in terms of expensive. While you may naturally gravitate towards the most affordable option, I would caution you to consider trade show giveaways as an investment and not an expense.
So, let’s get started.
#1 Branded T-Shirt
If you’re looking for affordable trade show giveaways, t-shirts customized with your brand logo are worth considering. While t-shirts are one of the most common giveaway items, they’re still better than not offering anything to visitors.
#2 Coffee Mug
Want people to remember your brand every time they enjoy their favorite beverage? Give them coffee mugs when they visit your booth. You can find wholesalers selling attractive mugs under $10 and will also customize them with your brand name.
#3 Customized Pen
If you're expecting a lot of crowd at your booth and don't want people to leave empty-handed, customized pens are another cost-effective option. You can find good quality pens under $10, which you can order in bulk to reduce the cost further.
#4 Travel Adapter
Travel adapters are practical and useful most booth visitors consider valuable. Add your company logo on the adapter, and people will remember your brand whenever they travel and use the charger.
#5 Power Bank
Oh that feeling when your smartphone is running out of juice in the middle of the day. Undoubtedly, power banks become our saviors. And this makes a branded power bank a good trade show giveaway to consider. They’re highly practical and can be branded easily.
#6 Customized Daily Planner
A daily planner is another practical and budget-friendly giveaway option. You can customize the planner with your brand colors and logo and even use some pages to promote your product/services to help people learn more about your offerings.
#7 Smart Speaker
These internet and voice command-enabled audio accessories are gaining vast popularity among people. So if you're searching for giveaway ideas that people will find useful and valuable, smart speakers are the way to go. Google and Alexa are the obvious choices but there are other affordable options too.
#8 Customized Throw Blanket
Custom-printed throw blankets can also be highly effective in making your brand memorable, especially if you're from a related industry. But ensure you choose good quality blankets as inferior quality items can negatively affect your brand image.
#9 Duffel Bag
Many company representatives regularly travel to various cities to attend trade shows. Distributing customized duffel bags is another great way to stand out from the crowd and offer something useful and memorable to the attendees.
#10 Gift Basket
People love gift baskets filled with exciting little gifts. So you can give your booth visitors gift baskets with goodies like chocolates, snacks, tech accessories, gift cards, etc., to woo them to visit your booth. But as this is an expensive giveaway item, ensure you only give it to visitors who matter.
#11 Beach Kit
Is the trade show in a beach city, say, Miami? Then, a beach kit can be a great giveaway idea. The kit can include a duffel bag with an umbrella, sunglasses, hat, beach towel, and other small products to make the beach visit more comfortable.
#12 Wireless Earbuds/Headphones
If you're looking for cool trade show promotional items, wireless earbuds and headphones are also excellent choices. Customize the audio accessory itself or its case with your brand name for better recall.
#13 Digital Gift Cards
Now this is one of the best giveaway ideas for trade shows. While you can give chargers and headsets and stationery, chances are most visitors already have them. But a gift card is one item visitors will almost always find useful. There are various strategies you can deploy here.
For example, if you run an e-commerce store, you can give a gift card applicable to your store. Even if you don't, you can offer discount coupons for your service or product. Lastly, you can also offer popular gift cards such as Amazon. The best part about digital gift cards is that they also become your lead magnet. Ask trade show attendees for their emails and email them your branded gift cards.
A word of caution
Some giveaway ideas can cost you dearly and make you go overboard. For example, digital gift cards can be expensive if you're distributing them without qualifying the attendees. You certainly don't want to give away these cards to every person walking by your booth, right?
Don't worry; we've got a way out of this.
Combining Trade Show Giveaways with an Interactive Activity
To take your engagement strategy further and use your giveaway budget effectively, combine it with an interactive and fun activity, such as a custom trade show quiz at your booth. This enables exhibitors to not only qualify the attendees and offer giveaways to the right audience but also engage with the audience at a deeper level and make it fun for them.
And who says you only need to have one giveaway? You can also have different levels of giveaways based on specific qualification criteria. For instance, anyone walking past your booth and spending less than a minute can get a stationery item. And anyone playing an interactive game like a trade show quiz and spending longer at the booth can be gifted digital cards sent to their email. The idea is to make it rewarding for the attendees that spend time at your booth and interact with your booth staff.
Register for a free demo to see how our custom trivia challenge can contribute to your trade show's success and be combined with an effective trade show giveaway strategy.
While there's no lack of trade show giveaway ideas, proceed cautiously, as not every item will deliver the expected results. Instead, focus on your budget, brand, and target audience to select a unique and useful giveaway item.
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