What to Hand Out at Trade Shows

Handing out samples at an event

Planning for an upcoming trade show event? If you’re looking for ideas on what to hand out at trade shows, then you’re likely in the early planning stages of your booth. Read on below and learn the dos and don’ts of trade show giveaways and become the coolest booth on the block.

Flyers, Business Cards, and Brochures

Even in the digital age, every booth should have a paper trail when it comes to marketing. Keep a stack of business cards handy, as well as flyers for product or service promotions. A flyer is your chance to make a quick pitch. What makes you stand out from the rest? What is your unique point of view? Here is your chance to make an impression, so make sure that your branding is hashed out and you have consistent colors, fonts and imagery on all printed materials.

Product Samples and Free Tools

People are likely coming to your booth because your company has sparked their interest, so be sure to give them something to try out. If you sell products that can easily be sampled or handed out, such as beauty products, food, accessories or clothing, then don’t hesitate to give people a small taste or trial of what they could be buying from you.

If you sell services or products that are not easily sampled or handed out—like electronics, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, etc.—then consider handing out branded items like keychains, pens, coffee mugs and other small tokens.

Be Careful with Unrelated Giveaways

When we think about a successful tradeshow, it’s not always about the number of people that visit your booth—it’s the level of engagement you can earn. Ultimately it’s about meeting more people and finding out not only more about your industry but how you can continue the conversation with the people who want to know more about your product or service.

With that being said, be careful about those glitzy giveaways that anyone would want like a vacation or a new tech device. They may turn some heads but they may just be giving out their email and name for the raffle ticket—and that means more work cleaning email lists and qualifying leads later.

Raffles and giveaways are a wonderful way to get people to your booth, but keep it for products or services that your company sells to reap the biggest long-term reward.

Sometimes There’s a Place for Whimsy

It really is all about balance. If your industry trade show is in the tech, safety or finance industries, for instance, you may want to provide something that will refresh or excite your visitor after an afternoon of “info. overload”.

Handing out swag or treats that are unrelated to your brand can benefit you if it serves a specific, calculated purpose. If you’re in the booth that’s seen as an oasis because you’re giving out craft beer or gourmet chocolate confectionery, for instance, your booth will begin to earn some buzz. This tactic works especially well if your trade show generally attracts people in the same industry because it opens up a chance to network with your target market. It’s a win-win!

Make Your Giveaways Work for You

Be on the lookout for social sharing opportunities! Tag any prize winners and post to your social media as soon as possible. This way if someone is following you on Twitter or Instagram, they have a chance to catch you at your booth, too. Post frequent updates showcasing any cool items you’re giving away and the smiling faces behind your booth.

Now that you have a better idea of what to plan for when it comes to tradeshow giveaways, don’t forget the one thing you definitely need for your booth—exhibitor insurance. We specialize in coverage for trade shows, so contact us to find out more and start the application process.