Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated with fresh ideas to inspire your trade show marketing in 2019.
Since I first posted this article a couple of years ago, promotional product trends have shifted. Companies are focusing on giveaways that support their overall marketing strategy, connect with their audience, and elevate their brand. Of course, there are some aspects of the perfect trade show giveaway that will never change: they need to be budget-friendly, easy to transport, and attractive to potential booth visitors.
Think Beyond the Pen
An emerging promotional product trend for 2019 is that prospects are expecting higher-quality giveaways. I still believe that handing out cost-effective promos at trade shows is essential for generating a high volume of brand exposure. But today, your promo items need to have a higher perceived value to attract quality leads to your trade show booth. Brand awareness is important, but leaving the trade show with a full list of highly qualified business leads is even better.
Here is my updated list of favorite unique trade show giveaways that will help you think beyond the pen and make a big impact on everyone who visits your booth.
This trendy, multi-use mobile accessory is quickly rising in popularity among trade show exhibitors and attendees alike. PopSockets adhere to the back of your smartphone or tablet with a rinseable gel and can be used as a phone stand or grip. Be sure to mention to prospects that this stand is ideal for texting or video chatting to make it applicable to their lifestyle. Leverage full color imprinting and brand this product to make for a worthwhile giveaway that will be useful to your recipients.
2. Tuscany™ Card Holder with Metal Ring
Cell phone accessories are never out of style when it comes to trade show giveaways. The Tuscany™ Card Holder elevates the typical mobile accessory to a new level with sophistication and style. This phone pocket, made of polyurethane leatherette, includes a rotating metal ring that can be used as a grip or a stand. Credit cards, IDs, business cards and more can be inserted into the useful pocket. With several attractive color options, your company's imprinted logo is sure to stand out.
3. Reusable Metal Straw with Case
Plastic straws may be a bit controversial at the moment, but this eco-friendly reusable metal straw will be a hit with any recipient. The extendable design can become any length you need, and the rubber tip makes drinking from this straw enjoyable. Recipients will love the carrying case that allows them to keep this straw in their bag and use it at a moment's notice.
4. Matte Sunglasses
Looking for a stylish giveaway that feels high-end without going over budget? These promotional sunglasses are the ideal solution! With the perfectly on-trend matte finish, sturdy frame constructed from polycarbonate, and soft rubberized finish, these sunglasses consistently impress recipients.
Bonus! Custom Microfiber Sunglass Pouch: Pair your sunglasses with a customizable full-color sunglass pouch. Not only will you help to protect your recipients' brand new shades from nicks and scratches, but the pouch instantly upgrades you presentation and makes your giveaway feel more like a gift.
5. Webcam Cover
Technology-focused promotional giveaways are always a popular choice, and this sleek, modern webcam cover is sure to become a go-to trade show giveaway. The product comes adhered to a fully customizable card where you can display your bold brand and messaging. The cover includes an easy-slide opening when you choose to use your camera, and a large adhesive area to ensure a firm grip on your device—works with laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Using our four-color process imprinting, prominently display a company name or logo to show customers that you've got them covered!
6. Microfiber Cloth with Full Color Booklet
Why settle for a typical pamphlet when you can combine it with a promotional item? The Tek Booklet with Microfiber Cloth is versatile, portable, and the ideal way to get your message across. This handy item comes in single- or double-fold options, providing fully customizable brand exposure. The microfiber cloth, a must-have for cleaning screens, cameras and glasses, comes packaged neatly in a PVC pouch. Your logo and branding will pop with a beautiful full color process imprint.
7. Matte Soft Touch Steel Bottle
Your recipients can sip in style with this 17-ounce matte soft touch bottle. With double wall stainless steel construction, vacuum insulation, and copper lining, this polished bottle keeps your favorite drinks hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 48 hours. Choose from a selection of fun, eye-catching colors, and imprint your brand logo or message with a direct imprint method.
8. Custom Mints in Tin Box
These mints are seriously cool! Custom mints come packaged in a tin box with your logo or message. But the best part is that the mints can be molded into any shape and embossed with a custom imprint. The options for creativity here are endless. Plus, when the mints are gone, the tin can be repurposed. Imagine your recipients' delight when they receive this delicious and creative giveaway.
9. Custom Pantone Matched Socks
One of our clients who ordered socks from us as a trade show giveaway actually won an exhibitor award at a recent event for having the Best Promotional Products! I'm recommending logo socks as a trade show giveaway because they are inexpensive for an apparel item, yet highly effective for making big impressions.
Customers want apparel items they'll actually wear, and socks are a gift that universally pleases everyone. Just select up to three colors, and your socks will be custom-knit with a unique design. Use socks as trade show giveaways, but don't forget to order some pairs for your employees as well!
BONUS: Complete the look with a custom hang tag
Add an even more personal touch and give your custom socks a true retail feel. Full-color hang tags allow you to include your tagline or any other message. The included tab for hanging means you can create a showstopping display at your next trade show.
The key to the most successful trade show giveaways is finding something that hits the sweet spot between unique, attractive, and useful. These products are just a glimpse into the world of promotional products beyond the pen. For more ideas, explore our promo search website 🚀