Six Ways To Master The Trade Show Giveaway

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Anyone who has been to a trade show knows that the trade stand giveaway can be very important. You usually end up with a bag loaded with freebies, from the classic pen with a logo stamped on it, to branded snacks. You know you need some kind of freebie for your brand, but you also know that it needs to be memorable and in-keeping with your brand.

  1. Define your audience. A focussed objective for your giveaway will help you decide who should receive it. It’s a good idea to have different gifts for various visitors. You could have different quality gifts for different levels of customers. Have a more premium item for your key customers, something else for prospects, and something cheap to give to general passers-by.
  2. Set a goal. What do you want your giveaway items to achieve for you? Trade show promotion items should be chosen because they increase brand recognition, communicate something about your brand, encourage action, or just promote your business. Both the item and the message it shares should have some impact.
  3. Get the right item. There are an almost endless amount of possible items that you give away as a promotional item at a trade show, and avoid the obvious pen with your logo on. To choose the right item, decide on your objective. The item you choose should fit your brand, and be useful for the audience that you’re targeting. For example, if your business valets cars, you could give away a car freshener with your logo on from If you’re a real estate agent, give keyrings to people passing your stand.
  4. Add your message. Try to give away something that naturally complements your marketing message. Include the message on the item you’re giving away (if there’s room), alongside your company’s name, logo, and phone number. An important part of any promotional item is that someone can remember who they got it from when they get home. Don’t forget to hand out business cards too.
  5. Know the cost of a giveaway. The cost of trade show promotional items can soon mount. If you’re giving away a lot of quality items, or special orders, this can all have an impact on the costs associated with a giveaway. You will need to set a budget as part of your marketing plan for your exhibit. Think about ordering the same item for several different trade shows. There’s usually a lower cost per unit if you buy a larger quantity of items like this.
  6. Establish qualifiers. Set criteria for giving something away. There are a few ways to do this effectively.
  • Develop some screening questions for people who stop at your booth. If you find that your item would be useful to them and that they could become customers, then give them the item.
  • Give a freebie as a token of appreciation for a visitor who gives you information about their needs that helps you develop your products.
  • Target specific companies or people who work in industries that you cater to.
  • Know what other companies will be at the show. You may be able to offer their employees something.

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