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The Best Promotional Items for Your Trade Show Exhibit


January 20, 2020

Trade shows are an excellent promotional medium for companies looking to break into a certain industry, and also represent an exemplary medium for networking with industry professionals. Whether you’re walking around or grounded at a booth in the expo hall, it’s important to put your best foot forward in order to make high-quality contacts and obtain business leads.

Besides pamphlets, displays, and business cards, it is always necessary to stock your booth with promotional items emblazoned with your company’s branding and other relevant information. But not all promotional items are created equal–here are the best promotional items for a trade show.

Business Card Holder

Custom business card holder giveaway

If you’re at a trade show, chances are pretty good that people are exchanging business cards like it’s going out of style. Make everyone’s lives a little bit easier by giving away a promotional item that will help them organize their own business cards, and the cards they’re receiving in return. You can even put yours in to start them off and give them an easy way to contact you after the convention!

Bottle Openers

Custom bottle opener giveaway

Regardless of your industry, bottle openers make a great giveaway. They are durable, portable, and come in handy most when people are enjoying themselves–great brand association. situations. High-quality and well-designed bottle openers, such as the ones created by Custom Vintage Bottle Opener Co. as shown above, are even that much more appealing. You can use these for high-quality leads by offering the only to the attendees who participate in your exhibit’s events.


Custom journal giveaway

Almost every job requires note-taking of some sort. Even in today’s world of laptops and other smart devices, notebooks are used at work every day, and they’re even better when they’re free. Better yet, they’ll work your brand into attendee’s daily work habits and you’ll be top of mind once they get back to the office. 


Data Driven promotional t-shirt

We bet you already expected this one! Despite being on the pricier side when it comes to trade show giveaways, t-shirts remain the #1 promotional giveaway at any trade show event. They leave a larger and longer-lasting impression than many others on this list. You can even use them as an incentive to get someone to set up an appointment to talk with a member of your sales staff, or sign up for a free trial. Everybody wins!

Rush Order Tees has plenty of tools to help you design a winning t-shirt, and the capacity to ship rush orders if you’re a little behind on planning.


Custom Headphone giveaway

A step up from t-shirts in terms of budget are branded headphones. These work great at technology conferences or at conferences where people from all over travel to–they may have forgotten to bring a pair. Promotional items that are inherently useful are an excellent tool for creating goodwill between a prospect and a company.

Travel mugs

Creative Canon promotional mug

Anyone can offer these promotional items, but they provide an opportunity to get pretty creative. The in example shown above, the Canon travel mugs, guised like camera lenses, served as both a buzz-worthy and useful giveaway. Your containers don’t have to be as complex as this–it’s impossible for coffee or tea-drinkers to have too many travel mugs, no matter what they look like!

A free trial or sample of your product

What better way to get people interested in what your company does than by giving them the chance to experience it? When you give away a free trial or sample of your product, you help build trust and are more likely to convert them to a short-term sale than some of the other promotional items listed above.

Regardless of what you choose, pick a promotional item that makes sense for your company and who you’re trying to connect with. If you know even a bit about your trade show attendees’ interests, you’ll be able to pick a promotional item that resonates with them. 

What are some of the best promotional items for a trade show that have worked for your company? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.


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