Tired of pop sockets, phone wallets, or webcam covers?

And since when are pens not good enough? Kidding. (Kind of!)

Another year come and gone and with the rise in the number of events and competition, trying to differentiate yourself among the sea of other companies at a Trade Show can seem daunting.

However, coming up with the right giveaway idea can create “evangelists” so to speak when attendees are showing off their goods – Driving even more attendance to your booth.

 Best Trade Show Giveaway Ideas 2020 [hide]

Best Trade Show and Conference Giveaway Ideas

While some of these ideas may not be new to you, they do have a strong likeability factor among attendees.

Remember, you don’t have to have the priciest or most original Trade Show or Conference giveaway; you just need something that people WANT.

AND even though some of the items have a likelihood that other vendors will bring them, check the booth diagram.

If you are positioned closer to the entrance than others, you can likely get away with bringing water bottles, bags, etc.

(If not near the entrance, stay away from these items)

Light-up Bouncy Balls

Price: $2-4/each

One of the best performing giveaway items we have seen is the light-up bouncy ball.

What does someone do as soon as they pick this up from your booth?

…They start bouncing it as they walk around from booth to booth!

The ball lights up as soon as it makes contact with anything, so amidst the crowd of khaki and plaid, wonder and envy begin to set in as your balls light up the floor.

Of course, your logo will be on the ball, and for the price point, they aren’t too bad.

The only downside with these guys is literally everyone wants one. Even your booth neighbors.

Here is one of the top manufacturers we found on Google.


Price: $1-2/each

Ah, the tried and true bag. A favorite Trade Show giveaway item.

Everyone needs one to put their collateral and other swag items in.

It has a huge surface area to display your brand, they’re cheap, and of course, attendees carry it everywhere, even to the bathroom. Making them become several hundred walking advertisements for your company.

The bag is ALWAYS a great idea barring one thing…There might be a few vendors that bring them!

You should only focus on bags when the Trade Show or Conference allows a bag sponsor – Meaning, you will be the sole provider. OR, when you are the closest booth to the entrance. The chance your bag is the one to get displayed is even higher.

Your bags are folded and waiting for attendees at registration. There is obviously a cost associated with this sponsorship opportunity, but it’s worth considering.

Here is one of the top manufacturers we found on Google.

(Note: See our Registration Site Must-Haves)



Price: $5-10

Who doesn’t like free clothes?

Well, these people do exist, but you definitely won’t find them at a Trade Show. (ha!)

Seriously though, a T-shirt is usually the hottest item at any Trade Show.

The reason you don’t see more of them is the price point.

At $5-10/shirt, and attendees usually asking if they can grab more than 1 for “coworkers”, chances are the ROI is questionable.

Still, depending on your type of Trade Show, and how resilient your Sales guys are to attendees begging for more, this could be a great option.

Here’s one of Google’s top Manufacturers.

Reusable Water Bottle 

Price: $1.50-$10+

Reusable water bottles aren’t necessarily original, but there’s a chance you might be one of the only vendors with one.

But as I said earlier, look at the booth diagram.

If you are near or at the entrance, you should be looking at items like these, because even if other booths have them, you will get to the attendees first! (ha!)

Reusable water bottles are cost-effective, have a large space for branding, and WILL be used.

Here is one of the top manufacturers on Google.


Tumblers with your Branding

Price: $30+

Of course, this is one of our favorite items at J.Shay Event Solutions, because no one throws away a nice tumbler.

Especially if there’s a likelihood the recipient doesn’t have a wine tumbler (or whatever you choose) at home.

The downside is obvious…They aren’t cheap!

These gifts are always a fantastic idea if you have the mindset that they are exclusive.

Trade Show giveaway tumblers should only be for existing clients or prospects that will be at the event.

Your sales guys can even “pull it from the back” to let them know that these aren’t for everyone. It creates an exclusive feel that will be sure to create envy among other attendees.


Price: $0.25-$0.50

Don’t hate.

…Don’t even think about hating!

Everyone should have pens in their arsenal of giveaway items.

While it is not unique, or original, EVERYONE grabs pens. And you really should have a cheap-ish item to hand out so your best giveaways are not taken immediately.

They may get put in a drawer and not seen again for months or years – I know.

However, people don’t throw away un-used pens.

They tend to float around until the ink is gone.

At some point in time, and depending on your pen’s quality, they’ll get used.

I still have a pile of Trade Show pens in front of me on my desk from 5 years ago.

And I still occasionally pick one up and think…Oh yea, those guys!

Plus, the price point: How can you beat it?

Here is one of the top manufacturers on Google.

Custom Socks 

Price: $4-10

Another pricey clothing item, but they stand out.

This isn’t an item you hand out to just anyone. Keep them hidden for prospects or current customers only.

With the right amount of funky design and your branding, these can be an exclusive item.

For example, every year you come out with a different style of sock or item and give those to the same customers.

It almost creates a “club” feel that will again, create envy among other prospects when they see your current customers talking about the new item they got from your company this year.

Here is one of the top manufacturers according to Google.


How to Choose the Right Trade Show Giveaways

We’ve given you some giveaway ideas to get you started, but how exactly do you go about choosing the items that will appeal most to your audience? Follow these guidelines:

  1. Determine Your Goal

Before you hit the internet to scour pages and pages of possible promo products, you’ll want to first identify what your overall event goal is. Are you trying to spread brand awareness? Start up more conversations during the event? Draw more crowds to your booth? Knowing what you want your giveaway to accomplish should absolutely be your first step in making your selection.

  1. What Will Your Setting Be?

Where is the trade show taking place? Will it be an indoor or outdoor event? What season will it be occurring in? The answers to these questions can help begin pointing you in the right direction.

For instance, if the tradeshow will be hosted outdoors during a summer month, a reusable water bottle filled with ice-cold water will DEFINITELY attract people to your booth! Happening indoors during winter? Some warm and comfy socks will surely be appreciated!

  1. Know Your Audience

To really make a lasting impression (a good one!) with your prospects, you’ve got to know WHO they are. Are you targeting baby boomers or millennials? Is this a B2B show or a B2C show? Are you targeting a certain profession? Having your target market in mind will help you choose items they can actually use and benefit from!

  1. Make Sure it Aligns with Your Brand

We’ve worked with a lot of companies who tend to just go with whatever giveaway is that season’s biggest trend. The problem is, no matter how cool that item seems, if it doesn’t align with your brand and it’s completely irrelevant to your market, you’re just wasting money.

  1. Think Quality

It’s not a good idea to just give something cheap away for the sake of having a free giveaway. If your promo item is thought of as “lame” by your audience or it breaks easily, it’s just going to get tossed and, again, you’ve wasted that money.

There are ways you can order quality items for your event and still come in under budget. Need some help in this area? Just give us a holler.

  1. Be Selective

One way to hand out really quality, impressive items but cut down on costs is to be selective with whom you are giving the items to. There is no hard and fast rule that says you MUST give a free item to each and every person that comes up to your booth. You can absolutely give your gifts only to those people who fit your qualifications.

For example, consider only giving freebies to those people who stayed for a presentation or demonstration. Maybe you choose to give a gift to those individuals who helped you gather data by filling out a survey.


The Wrap

Every year the challenge is creating a new swag item to draw people in, but some times you don’t have to recreate the wheel.

Attendees will always need bags, pens, and reusable water bottles – Depending on where you are positioned in the floor plan (and how close you are to the entrance) will depend if and when you invest in these Trade Show giveaways.

For those times when you DO need a unique Trade Show giveaway, you should consider spending a little more.  And again, if you have a tighter budget, then consider being selective when giving out your freebies. Not everyone has to get a gift and in fact, being selective is a great way to reach your event goals.

For Trade Show event management services, please contact us to see how we can help!

Corporate Event Management