10 best trade show giveaways and how to offer them! 🎁

When looking for ways to engage potential clients, it’s no surprise that free swag and trade show giveaways often acts as a lure too good to walk past!

By offering a freebie that is branded with your graphics, customers can take a piece of your business home or back to their office, helping to increase brand awareness and keep your company relevant in the minds of those who receive the items.

As for how you go about giving these items away, there are methods which can maximise brand engagement. For example, using gamification as a means of the customer choosing or winning their free gift is an excellent way of ensuring they also gain a fun and memorable experience, not to mention giving you the opportunity to educate them in your business whilst they spend time at your stand. With this in mind, you could include fairground style games or rented arcade machines (think spin-the-wheels, whack-a-mole or Pac-Man). You could also offer some free swag in return for engaging with your company’s mailing list or social media. Sharing a given post and tagging a colleague in it for good measure could be the exchange for what you’re giving away.

In terms of exactly what to giveaway, customised items featuring your branding, which the recipient would actually want to use on a day-to-day basis, are by far the most effective gifts. This said, be aware of how the product relates to your business and the trade show you’re exhibiting at. Whilst it doesn’t have to be directly associated with the industry you work in, and as obvious as it sounds, you wouldn’t want to give away food containing animal products at a vegan convention or sunglasses in the winter!

Here are our top 10 giveaways, as seen on many of the stands we’ve built for our clients:

Note books and planners

Tastefully branded with your logo, this gift will be a long lasting reminder of your business for either the 12 months of a planner, or for however long it takes the recipient to fill a notebook.


Be the hero of the hour by giving away large and good quality branded umbrellas. Always useful (especially in the UK!), this is another long lasting gift which can easily promote your company. 

Tote bags

This has the potential to be a good eco conscious gift, and a useful one too. You’d likely be giving them away at a time when the recipient is already weighed down with an armful of promo material from other stands, and would welcome a nicely designed bag which can be used for long after the show ends.

Food and drink

Always a winner, food and drink is an ever popular way of adding a bit of enjoyment to someone’s day. Whilst not being the longest lasting freebie on this list, food and drink packaging is customisable if bought from the right company, and ensures the recipients positive experience is associated to your brand. My personal favourite here is good tasting coffee provided in branded and recyclable coffee cups. The drinker will either drink it at your stand, giving you the opportunity to discuss business, or walk around the show holding it, offering a bit of free advertising, especially when others ask where they got it from! Hiring a coffee machine and barista might sound like a pricey option, but you’ll be surprised at how effective this can be at creating meaningful engagement and strong leads.

Luggage tags

This links back to the importance of offering giveaways that are actually useful to the recipient. Attendees often travel great distances to attend trade shows. Something as simple as a subtly branded luggage label is a freebie they’d actually want to use, not just for their return trip, but for many future journeys, again keeping your business in their thoughts.

Travel mugs / water bottles

Nearly everyone who travels for business can be accused of throwing away too many coffee cups which more than often are non-recyclable. A travel mug or metal water bottle is a great eco conscious gift which can be used by the recipient time and time again, and if tastefully branded, acts as free advertising as the user walks around holding it.

Portable phone charger

Practical as well as desirable, this is the perfect giveaway for the travelling business person who is spending long days at trade shows and are constantly using their phones for networking and taking photos and videos for networking and content. 

Microfibre cloth

This is a nice freebie which again acts as a long lasting reminder of your brand, whilst not breaking the bank to purchase. Eminently useful, nearly everyone visiting your stand would benefit in taking away one of these.

USB drives

Another gift which is easily branded and is useful to everyone, USB drives or other storage solutions can be a long lasting reminder of your brand and even gives you the opportunity to preload content and marketing material relevant to your business onto it before handing over to the customer.

The best Trade Show Giveawaysyour own products!

Lets not forget samples of products your own business produces. If you’re able to hand out a physical sample, then great, but it might be that a free trial or discount code to your digital service creates welcome leads, sales and networking opportunities.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re exhibiting and want to increase your reach in a way which gives you a fantastic return on your investment, embrace the ‘power of the free’ and look to invest in some giveaways!