Nothing beats free stuff! And that’s why handing out branded swag at trade shows is one of the best ways to promote brand awareness.

The attendees get free stuff that makes them happy. And you get your name in their heads every time they use your branded products.

It’s one of the few advertising platforms where your audience is actually thankful for your advertising. It’s a win-win!

But if you want to be the star of the trade show, you’ll need to have the best trade show swag. That’s why we’ve assembled this list.

Here we have the best promotional items to give away at your next trade show. Wow the crowds with these trade show giveaway ideas.

1. Smart Wallet for Cell Phones

The average American now spends 23.6 hours a week online. That’s an increase of over 60% since the year 2000!

Our time spent on technology is ever-increasing. That’s why technology-related giveaways are usually the top items at trade shows. Most items on this list are tech swag, like the Smart Wallet adhesive cell phone accessory.

The Smart Wallet sticks to the back of any cell phone, displaying your logo, and holds up to three cards. It can be used for credit cards, drivers licenses or business cards.

The great thing about swag items like this one is that they’re instantly valuable to the attendee. The second you hand out this Smart Wallet, the recipient can slap it on their phone and fill it with cards.

They’re also instantly valuable to you. From the moment they adhere it, your logo will be seen whenever they use those cards to pay for something.

2. The Petite Loop

This cell phone accessory is even better–probably the best item on the list! The Petite Loop is handy leash for your cell phone. It is simply a ribbon that attaches between the phone and the case to keep your phone securely around your wrist.

As far as instant value is concerned, this item is a huge help to attendees whose arms are full of free trade show junk. It keeps their phone right at their hand at all times. Now, they won’t have to set all their stuff down to fish their phone out of their pocket.

Best of all, it’s a ribbon, meaning you can typically purchase or produce these for very cheap.

3. PopSockets

Here’s another uniquely useful cell phone accessory. PopSockets are an adhesive phone stand/multiuse accessory.

They stick to your phone with a rinsable adhesive. This means they can be repositioned as many times as needed without losing their stickiness.

They give you a better grip on your phone for gaming or other activities. And, as a phone stand, they can be adjusted to any position necessary. They can even be used as a phone clip or cord-holder.

Slap your brand on these babies and give attendees a tool they’ll never get sick of.

4. Tote Bags

Speaking of freeing up hands, why not give attendees a bag to put all their stuff in? Then, as they walk around the trade show, they’ll show off your logo everywhere they go.

Canvas tote bags are super-cheap and super-convenient. They are immediately useful but also useful later as reusable shopping bags. Feel free to mention that reusable shopping bags are good for the environment because they reduce waste from disposable bags.

Also feel free to throw a few of your own items in there. Product samples are a good choice.

5. Reusable Water Bottles and Water Station

Here’s another eco-friendly option that’s sure to make you a hit! Attendees will definitely need to stay hydrated as they make their rounds.

But you know what they don’t need? They don’t need more plastic waste sitting in a landfill for the next 1,000 years. That’s where you come in.

You’ll help them reduce plastic waste with an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle. And you’ll have a water station with cold, filtered water at your booth so they can keep revisiting you for a refill.

6. Customizable Gifts

This is one of the cheapest, coolest and most versatile giveaway ideas there is. You can take almost any common, boring swag item and make it customizable. And that makes it awesome.

First, buy a bunch of cheap items, like plain, white T-shirts or hats. Then, simply set up a laptop, camera, and label printer and go to town! Attendees have their picture taken at your booth and get a memorable keepsake with their face on it.

You can even include your mascot, celebrity endorsers, or products in the photo. Or simply brand your logo or slogan in the corner of the pic with the name of the event at the top. The options at your disposal are limitless.

7. Portable Cell Phone Power Banks

There are several lists like this one on the internet that tell you to hand out branded, portable USB chargers at trade shows. Don’t do this, ever.

No one needs those. Most of us already have at least 2 of these that we bought for $1 at a discount store.

And, besides that, there will probably be at least 5 other booths at the trade show handing out more of them. They are one of the most common trade show items in existence. That leaves very little reason for attendees to take any more of them from you.

Instead, give them something they can’t have too many of: portable power banks for cell phones. These are like extra batteries that you can charge your phone with if you’re nowhere near a power source.

They are perfect for travel, camping, and emergencies. And recipients will look upon your company name and colors with much gratitude every time they use it.

Try These Trade Show Giveaway Ideas

The key to trade show success is standing out. To stand out and be remembered, and for maximum brand awareness, you must provide the top giveaways.

Your swag items must be both useful and unique. If it’s useful but common, attendees will already have 3 of them from the other booths before they get to yours. If it’s unique but pointless, then who cares?

Unless it’s both useful and unique, you will definitely get overlooked. Fortunately, the trade show giveaway ideas we’ve listed above are both of these things.

Don’t waste time and money pushing boring, crappy swag nobody wants. Stick with these cool giveaways and be a hit at your next trade show.

Want some more fun trade show ideas? Check out Trade Show Booth Games. The Secret to Being Remembered at a Convention is to have a memorable and fun Convention Display!

Carlos A. Espitia

Chief Marketing Strategist at CAE Marketing & Consulting, Inc.
Carlos is a digital marketing consultant with 18 years of proven internet marketing experience, and a self-proclaimed "data nerd". His digital marketing agency, CAE Marketing & Consulting focuses on SEO & PPC management, as well as conversion rate optimization. He has worked as a marketing consultant for small and large businesses alike.
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