Editor’s Note: Are your business’s tradeshow plans in flux due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Learn effective ways to reinvest your show budget and increase leads by reading Marketing Alternatives to Tradeshows in the Wake of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). And to discover ways to keep your marketing budget down and your staff active during these uncertain times, read Marketing During & After a Pandemic.
83% of exhibitors agreed that “Building, expanding brand awareness” is a high-priority marketing-related objective for tradeshows.– CEIR Changing Environment Study
The primary goal of tradeshow exhibitors is to attract leads that can be engaged and nurtured until they become customers. A secondary goal for many companies is to make an impression on booth visitors who are not willing to give up their information just yet. Building brand awareness with these prospects is important so that they’ll recall your business and look into your products and services when they have a need or pain point. For this reason, it’s become the norm to give away promotional products to attendees.
Believe it or not, there is some strategy involved when it comes to selecting giveaway items. Low-priced promotional products are more budget-friendly, but they’re also the type of items people either have already or won’t use, which will make it tougher to increase brand awareness. On the other hand, higher-end promotional products are more likely to be kept and used, but they’ll also be more of an investment for your company. With these kinds of items, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll build brand awareness, although there’s no guarantee a person who receives the item will actually make a purchase.
This article will help you make more strategic selections for tradeshow giveaways. It includes an assortment of products that will be popular in 2020, and we strongly suggest offering more than one at your next tradeshow because there are different types of attendees. We break down attendees into these categories:
- Hot Leads
- Warm Leads
- Freebie Snatchers
Giveaways for Customers – $5+ (Items 1-18)
Current customers already thought highly enough of your products and/or services to buy from you. A relationship has been established, and if it’s strong enough, they’ll continue to buy from you. You can afford to give them pricier giveaways if they stop by your booth.
Reusable Drinking Straws – Environmentally friendly and manufactured to have a long product lifetime, reusable drinking straws make your logo visible on a daily basis. Click here to see product example.
Lunch Coolers – Lunch coolers are sure to see frequent use at the workplace, company outings and picnics. Click here to see product example.
Lunch Container/Bag Combos – If a lunch cooler is good, a lunch bag that comes with a lunch container is even better. Click here to see product example.
Tech Sets – Keep your tech-loving customers connected with a charging cord, connectors and earbuds — all conveniently contained in a compact carrying pouch. Click here to see product example.
Collapsible Lunch Containers – Here’s another daily use product that will give your company plenty of exposure. Click here to see product example.
Stainless Steel Tumblers – Pretty much everyone starts their morning with coffee or tea, so stainless steel tumblers are always in-demand. Click here to see product example.
Trunk Totes – A trunk tote is a perfect solution to help keep a vehicle organized whether an individual is traveling for work or pleasure. Click here to see product example.
Wireless Chargers – Keeping mobile devices charged is a priority for everyone, so a wireless charger is definitely a much-appreciated giveaway. Click here to see product example.
Bluetooth Speakers – A Bluetooth speaker enables individuals to listen to their podcasts, audiobooks or music in high quality wherever they are. Click here to see product example.
Power Banks – Here’s another way you can help keep customers’ devices powered up. Click here to see product example.
Tumbler/Travel Mug Sets – A tumbler/travel mug set will ensure your brand will get exposure regardless if the drink of choice is hot or cold. Click here to see product example.
Tool Kits – You never know when you’ll need a particular tool, and a tool kit will keep the essentials at your customers’ fingertips. Click here to see product example.
Home & Auto Charging Kits with Accessories – Perfect for the customer who travels frequently, a home and auto charging kit will keep their batteries charged whether they’re in the car, at the office or at home. Click here to see product example.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles – Customers who are physically active will be glad to have a stainless steel water bottle to stay hydrated during their workout.
Padfolios – Padfolios are excellent business tools that help people stay organized. Click here to see product example.
Journals – People who take notes the old-fashioned way — with pen and paper — will appreciate having a new journal. Click here to see product example.
Slim Charging Pads – A slim charging pad will not only keep a customer’s device powered up, but also is easy to store and transport thanks to its compact and lightweight design. Click here to see product example.
Premium Stainless Steel Water Bottles – Show your VIP customers you really appreciate them with a top-of-the-line stainless steel water bottle. Click here to see product example.
Giveaways for Hot Leads – $2 – $4.99 (Items 19-34)
The next tier of tradeshow giveaways applies to leads who are close to doing business with you. Give them a good item that they’re likely to use and be impressed with, but reserve the premium items for when they’ve committed and signed on the dotted line.
Lunch Tote Bags – A lunch tote bag is likely to be used often, which means your brand will remain top of mind. Click here to see product example.
Tote Bags – Same line of thinking as the previous item, but for non-food items. Click here to see product example.
Phone Card Holders with Rings – Make your lead’s cell phone more versatile with this accessory that holds approximately three cards and has a metal ring that doubles as a phone holder or stand. Click here to see product example.
Phone Holders – Cell phones can be awkward to hold onto. A phone holder is a solution that makes it more comfortable and prevents drops. Click here to see product example.
Mini Auto Trash Cans – An auto trash can is the type of item that is likely to be used and seen on a daily basis. Click here to see product example.
Keychain Flashlights – A flashlight is a must-have item for any household, so this is one giveaway leads aren’t likely to turn down. Click here to see product example.
Mint/Lip Balm Combos – Sometimes, the simplest items like mint/lip balm combos are the most popular because they’re things that are used daily.
Tracking Tags – A tracking tag is a unique item that will definitely be put to use. No one wants to lose track of their items!
Designer Pens – Standard pens are a dime a dozen, but a designer pen will show a hot lead you’re the type of company that goes above and beyond.
Pull-Apart Keyholders – A pull-apart keyholder is a step up in quality and value from a keychain and allows a lead to see your logo frequently. Click here to see product example.
Thermal-Lined Grocery Totes – For leads who aren’t yet customers, you don’t need to spring for the top-dollar grocery totes. A more affordable option will suffice. Click here to see product example.
Cooler Totes – Here’s a cool idea for hot leads. Cooler totes will allow them to keep their cold lunch items chilled. Click here to see product example.
Car Tech Sets – Your leads will think of you when they pull out their imprinted car tech set to charge their phone while on the road. Click here to see product example.
Mobile Accessory Sets – Here’s an alternative option to the last product that is great for people on the go. Click here to see product example.
Flashlight/Bottle Opener Combos – A flashlight/bottle opener combo is a unique item that will generate buzz and get lots of use.
Luggage Scales – A luggage scale is another unique item that hot leads will appreciate having, especially if they are frequent flyers. Click here to see product example.
Giveaways for Warm Leads – $1 – $1.99 (Items 35-43)
Next are giveaways for the attendees who are willing to give up their contact information. They’ll likely need a good amount of nurturing before they’re ready to buy, but at least they’re willing to let you contact them down the road to learn more.
Pen/Highlighter Combos – A pen/highlighter combo is a solid middle-of-the-road promotional product for warm leads. Click here to see product example.
Stain Removers – A stain remover is a unique giveaway that people will keep on hand, which means a boost in awareness for your company. Click here to see product example.
Stylus Gel Pens – Here’s another good pen option to give away to your warm leads. Click here to see product example.
USB Flexi-Lights – If you want an outside-the-box promo item, a USB flex-light is one to consider. They can be used in the car or as a laptop accessory. Click here to see product example.
5-Color Highlighters – Some people like to use highlighters to keep their notes organized. A five-color version will give them plenty of options. Click here to see product example.
Bottle Jackets – Stay on the minds of leads even when they’re relaxing by providing them with a bottle jacket they can put on their cold drink. Click here to see product example.
Lunch Coolers – A lunch cooler is a good giveaway for attendees of all kinds.
Mini Spiral Notebooks – A mini spiral notebook is a tradeshow giveaway that should at least get some short-term usage. Click here to see product example.
Magnetic Clips – A magnetic clip is the type of giveaway that is simple but can be used in a variety of different situations. Click here to see product example.
Giveaways for Freebie Snatchers – Less than $1 (Items 44-47)
At every tradeshow, it’s inevitable that there will be attendees who visit every booth that is giving something away with no intent to do business or even learn more. They just want free stuff. For the freebie snatchers, low-cost promotional products will suffice.
Stylus Pens – A stylus pen is a basic giveaway that has its place in today’s tech-heavy world. Click here to see product example.
Whistle/Light Keychains – A whistle/light keychain is a step up from a standard keychain, which makes it more appealing. Click here to see product example.
Bottle Opener Keyrings – Here’s another keyring option that offers a secondary use. Click here to see product example.
Toothpick Carriers – No one wants to have food in their teeth during a big meeting. A toothpick carrier is an ideal solution for this situation. Click here to see product example.
Have additional questions about promotional products or want to learn even more? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us.