Choosing the Best Trade Show Give-Aways

Make certain your give-away is more than just a novelty and that it has perceived value and/or function. The item should support your company’s primary marketing message. For example, if you’re selling computer-related products a branded USB flash drive, mouse pad or screen cleaner is ideal. If you’re in the health care industry hand sanitizer, a wellness calendar or health informational guide ties in seamlessly with your market.

The value of novelty items is short-lived and when the fun wears off, the items will be tossed or forgotten. A stainless water bottle, mug or calendar will follow recipients to their homes and offices and promote your message long after the trade show.

Don’t put all of your promotional eggs in one basket. Possibly give one item to a hot prospect or customer and another to a cold lead. You want to offer something of value to each person who visits your booth, but not every visitor will turn into a qualified lead. Consider rewarding your true customers and qualified leads a high-quality thermos, leather portfolio or branded cap. Other booth visitors can receive lower-cost items, like a t-shirt, pen or magnet.

Finally, make certain that your company logo, contact information, slogan and/or goods and services provided can be read on your give-away. The goal of your giveaway is to continually advertise your company to your customers and prospects. Make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you when a need arises.

Trade show giveaways are an investment in your long-term success. When incorporated into your overall marketing strategy they can increase booth traffic, qualify leads and communicate your message long after the convention hall lights are turned off.

Do you have any thoughts on what works for you and what doesn’t? Email us at to share your comments.