Survey Says: Our Clients Share 3.5 Giveaway Ideas for Trade Shows

April 13, 2018

Survey Says: Our Clients Share 3.5 Giveaway Ideas for Trade Shows


A successful giveaway for your next trade show isn’t necessarily a branded promotional item but it could be. We had to say that, right?

We have giveaway ideas gathered from the best source: our clients. Our clients are big and small and in the trade show trenches month in and month out. Some have ‘help’-- a marketing team or an agency. Some companies have a person in marketing who gets help from other company executives. Either way, here’s what our clients have to say.

  1. Trade Show Sweepstakes Get a name and email to enter clients or prospects in a drawing. Cash. One of our clients says at least 4 digits--ha!  “If it’s not at least $1000, don’t bother” she says. Another client says they split it up and do $300 per day.

  1. Grand prize giveaway. One of our clients had a drawing for the Amazon Echo at their booth. There were those who didn’t know about ‘Alexa’, but conversation was opened to engage prospects and keep them in their booth longer.

Best advice: know what might tempt your audience.

Another client told us their biggest success was giving away a long weekend at a coveted bed and breakfast within a two hour drive of their company headquarters. In that same vein, another customer gave a spa weekend at a mountain retreat. He said prospects were lined up to enter the drawing. And that’s what they wanted: a full house!

  1. Branded merchandise. You knew this was coming, right? This is not swag that is recommended to give to everyone stopping by your booth. Our clients recommend this type of nicer swag as a ‘trade’ type gift: prospect sets up an appointment, or watches a video, or does an account review with reps. That triggers gifting a nicer swag item.  

We received responses from 50 clients and compiled their recommendations for this category of swag gifts at trade shows:


Power Banks/ Mobile Chargers

Tote Bags/Backpacks

Leakproof Travel Beverage Tumblers   

TShirts/Polos/Jackets: our clients agree with us--this is a tough one due to sizing challenges, but can be very effective depending on your target market. TIP: choose a quality t-shirt but really nail the graphics. (Hint: Your logo printed left chest isn’t likely to be a big draw, well, unless you’re Tesla or SpaceX!)


3.5 Budget Friendly Booth Giveaways One of our clients suggests that for the less expensive giveaways in your booth, to do something different every quarter. If you give out custom mints in 1st quarter, go with gum in 2nd quarter, promo hand sanitizer in 3rd quarter and customized lip balm in 4th quarter. Why?

You will not please everyone with your choice of tchotskes -- not your marketing team, corporate staff, prospects or even clients stopping by the booth. By having something new each time, you have the best opportunity to appeal to a wider audience.

One of our financial clients has the opposite advice: they say find something you’re known for and stick to it. They give out customized mints at every trade show.

Two of our client’s recent success stories for tradeshow giveaways both centered around security items. Their businesses were perfect for this type of tech giveaway.

One chose an inexpensive web camera cover. Hey, if tape worked for Marc Zuckerberg, these were a definite step up.

The other chose a cool tech giveaway, a data blocker. Both have reordered based on the wonderful response they received to these cool tech giveaways. When the crowd approves….

What's the best advice our clients have? And the answers are:




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