Welcome to my annual Trade Show Marketing Giveaways list of unique ideas. This list is based on what our customers are asking for, trend analysis shared by industry experts, and deep research on what your audiences actually want.
As 2020 brought a year of unprecedented changes to tradeshows and events, I’ve updated this list to help you pivot in 2021. Some aspects of the perfect trade show giveaways remain the same - budget-friendly, unique and portable in size. But as trade shows turn virtual, promotional product trends have shifted focus to things like event engagement, personal protection products and work from home items.
Whether it’s a virtual or in-person tradeshow, the key is to remain focused on giveaways that support your company’s overall marketing strategy, and activate your brand beyond just a pen.
Virtual Trade Show Marketing Trends
Promotional product trends for 2021 and the rise in virtual trade shows, have led to a change in the typical giveaway strategy. Companies are now investing more time and money in a few, high quality products that can easily be sent to attendees and that are more likely to be used longer by the recipient. Clients are also looking for products that will inspire action, emotion, and loyalty for their brand - not just another trinket with a logo in it. The need for brands to form a personal connection with customers has never been higher, and giveaways are helping recreate this human experience even in the virtual world.
I still believe that handing out or shipping cost-effective promos for trade shows is essential for generating a high volume of brand exposure. But today, your promo items need to have a higher perceived value in order to capture that brand connection.
Here is my 2021 list of popular unique trade show giveaways that will help you think beyond the pen and make a big impact on everyone who visits your booth - in-person or virtually.
The Touch Tool is a new and unique giveaway that will show your trade show attendees that you truly care about their needs in this new normal. It’s a small and compact tool that helps users avoid contact with highly touched surfaces like door handles and buttons. The Touch Tool allows anyone to press, pull, and turn objects safely. Plus, it’s an object that users won’t want to leave the house without, making it a giveaway that provides maximum brand exposure.
Available in durable, high-strength ABS plastic or in solid, antimicrobial brass, this tool can be easily attached to keys for quick and easy access. It can be customized with a full-color edge-to-edge imprint or engraved into the brass material.
2. Blue Light Glasses
Blue light glasses are a triple threat promotional item: useful, durable, and customizable.
In 2021, people will continue to spend more and more time looking at screens. As they do, they will need to protect their health and sleep cycles from the intense blue light that screens and other modern LED lights give off.
As promotional products, blue light glasses deliver an impressively low cost-per-impression because people will want to wear them everywhere. And as people wear their fashionable new glasses, they showcase your brand with tasteful messaging around the temples.
3. 2-ply Neck Gaiter
In the day and age of masks, you might consider giving a branded face covering to trade show attendees. We recommend choosing one that is both versatile and has longevity, so attendees can use it long after face masks are no longer a norm. This 2-ply neck gaiter provides the protection currently needed against outside germs, and offers a variety of styles and uses that go beyond the traditional mask.
With a reversible and fully customizable design, it offers endless style choices for the wearer. The tube-shaped accessory is most commonly worn around the neck, but it can also be worn a dozen other ways including as a scarf, a headband, a hood, or a hat. Customize the soft and breathable polyester material in a fun and versatile way to match your brand and leave a lasting impression on recipients.
4. Glitter Putty
One of the biggest benefits of tradeshow giveaways during virtual events is the added engagement they can offer to your attendees. This glitter putty is a great way to incorporate a stress relieving break into your event, or just add a fun and interactive activity for participants.
Made out of pearlized and glitterized material, this putty will keep hands busy and ease the mind as attendees enjoy stretching, squishing and squeezing it. Make it your own by choosing from a variety of colors and personalizing the container with a four color process imprint. The putty is CPSIA compliant and has no funny smell, so you can also rest assured that you're handing out a safe product.
5. Custom Journal
It may seem simple, but writing journals are currently in high demand, especially among millennials. Despite the rise in technology, planners and notebooks have risen in sales over the past few years. Infact, the Wall Street Journal reports that retailers like Target and Michaels have dedicated more and more shelf space for paper planners and notebooks over the past year because of this increase in sales. Jump on this trend and impress both the younger and older generations by investing in a professional looking executive journal like this one.
It comes bound with a 5x7 inch hard cover that can be customized with a deboss imprint of your choice. With an elastic pen loop and ribbon page marker, recipients will be able to easily take notes, and mark their place. Choose from solid, professional colors like navy or black.
With the rise in virtual trade shows, snacks and water breaks are crucial to ensure attendee engagement and keep up stamina among participants. Even during regular in-person trade shows, attendees will benefit from a quick way to keep snacks and water on them at all times. This hybrid snack and water bottle combo serves a dual purpose, saving space in the hands of your attendees, while also making sure they’re nourished and hydrated throughout the day.
It features two sides, one for liquid and one for dry food products. The liquid side has a screw-off cap and holds up to 12 ounces, while the dry side features a nap-off cap holding up to 4 ounces. The snack and water bottle combo is FDA approved, BPA free and dishwasher safe, so you can rest assured that you're giving away a safe and high quality item. Make it your own with your company name or logo pad imprinted on the center of the bottle.
7. Webcam Cover
Show your clients and leads you've got their privacy covered in a fun and creative way. Instead of just a rectangle with a logo, these custom shape webcam covers can be personalized to the exact design of your choice. They are a webcam cover that people will actually want to slide onto their electronic devices.
Because people spend so much time looking at screens, earning a spot on a laptop or monitor is a huge marketing win.
BONUS: Pair the webcam cover with a custom card
Expand on the messaging of the webcam cover itself with a fully-customizable card that the webcam cover comes attached to. The cover itself is a reminder of your brand every time your lead or customer looks at their device. The card is your space to explain why they should remember you.
8. 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.
9. Wireless Earbuds
As the world turns to electronic devices to keep them connected, headphones and earbuds are becoming an essential workplace tool for professionals. Consider giving custom branded earbuds that allow users to stay plugged in and connected without the hassle of cords.
These earbuds feature True Wireless Stereo technology with Bluetooth capabilities of up to 10 meters. With a 50 mAH battery for each earbud, this device has a playback time of 3.5 to 5 hours. They come in a compact and convenient charging box and case, allowing for easy carry and use. Customize it by adding your screen imprinted logo to the case for a professional branded giveaway item.