Hello From the Other Side: How I’d Spend $5,000 on Trade Show Giveaways

February 09, 2016

Hello From the Other Side: How I’d Spend $5,000 on Trade Show Giveaways


I’ve owned PROMOrx for years. I know what’s out there in the land of promotional products, advertising specialties, branded items--whatever you call them. I’ve been on your side--ordering the booth giveaways.  Hello from the other side--now I'm helping clients wisely spend their marketing dollars. We ask clients what’s working and watch what they reorder as well as track marketing and branding trends. I know ‘the space’.

A new client asked me if I had an upcoming two to three day,  B2B trade show, what would I buy for the trade show booth? Ah, yes, there's a blog post for sure!


How are you drawing people into your booth? I would start with a pre-show mailer, which would take additional budget with postage and packaging. Give trade show attendees a hint about what’s going to be announced at your booth, if that’s part of your trade show marketing plan.

Have a ‘grand prize’ drawing or contest. Give away something unique yet useful or just plain fun like a weekend getaway package. For unique and useful 'grand prizes', our clients have used some of our suggestions with great success: a technology package (charger, usb hub, etc), genuine leather luggage, the Amazon Echo + a gift card or a really cool pen like this astronaut pen.

And when those attendees show up at your booth... have a charging station and something fun to do while they wait--like clever puzzles. Or wait, your booth staff could actually engage with prospects at this point. What a concept!


Basic Booth Giveaways.  I would order this branded earbud set. The pouch doubles as storage and a screen cleaner for your phone. 

For a unique promotional pen, this one is my pick. Watch our content manager, Jill’s video for the scoop:


 Level 2 Trade Show Giveaway: For those who watched a video, set up an appointment, made a purchase--whatever my focus was, I’d choose a mobile charger. Why? With over 90% of Americans owning a mobile phone, it’s a sure bet it will be used. 

And that’s what you want to happen with your marketing dollars, right? You want brand awareness. This power bar charger would be my choice--enough mAh to charge typical smartphones once or twice. Also, any that are left over from the trade show make great client thank you gifts!

Throw in around $250 for shipping (can’t figure exact charges since we don’t know where these branded items would be shipped!)  and you have a bit left over. What would I do with roughly $500? I would purchase one of the booth prizes mentioned above and/or get a charging station set up.

BONUS TIP: I’d set up some social media hashtags that were specific to the company and the event. I'd make sure the social media campaign was up and running well before the trade show. I'd also plan the social media tie-in during the show--perhaps a selfie booth. Ask attendees to post pictures using the hashtag. 

Next I'd purchase cushioned insoles (seriously!) and give the booth staff an insulated water bottle and breath mints. Happy, well trained staff means they’ll engage prospects. Those engagements and leads are your bread and butter and the focus of any trade show!


Contact me for a free 15 minute branded giveaways consultation. OK, 17 minutes--I'm a Southerner y'all!  888.553.9569 extension 3 or email Vickie at PROMOrx dot com

Blogger: Vickie MacFadden, the PROMOrx.com owner. I'm a tell it like it is Southerner who loves apple butter (when there's enough cinnamon), red convertibles and the color purple. I'm into details which is a huge asset in the promotional products business!