These Are the Best Trade Show Promotional Items

close-up of hands handing off a business card

Last updated on April 2nd, 2024 at 04:54 pm

Trade shows may have been put on pause for a little while, but slowly and surely they are coming back and that means you’ll want to make sure you update your inventory of freebies to give away. While it’s tempting to go overboard and order a bunch of different items with your logo on them, you should take some time to consider which items will benefit you the most. Make sure your promotional items are something your audience will appreciate, while also fitting your business. These are some of the best trade show promotional items you should consider investing in this year.

blue and white trade show business cards in front of a stack of cards

Business cards

Whether you are going to a trade show or not, business cards are something you should always have on hand. You never know when you are going to run into someone or have an opportunity to network. A business card is super convenient to stash in your wallet, pocket or display on your table, so whether you are stationary or making the rounds, you can have a stack of them at the ready. What’s even better, is you don’t have to order a special set of trade show business cards just for events, you can use the business cards you already have! If you have never made a business card before, or you need a revamp and are not entirely sure what to include, check out our article here for how to design effective business cards.

pouring hand sanitizer into hand

Hand sanitizer 

Given recent circumstances in the world, you can never have enough hand sanitizer. Although regardless, it is always good to have on hand to keep things sanitized. Personal sized hand sanitizer bottles can be stashed anywhere, from your car to your purse to your desk drawer. If you hand out branded hand sanitizer bottles, not only will everyone love you and flock to your table for one, they will be thinking about you for months to come. Everytime they grab that little bottle, they will see your logo and be reminded about how thankful they are for this tiny seemingly unimportant bottle of hand sanitizer.

Not only have you helped someone by giving them something of value for free, you are also creating a positive connection between your brand and an individual. Plus, the labels you use for your hand sanitizer bottles can be designed in such a way that you can reuse them for other small products, or even on their own as fun little stickers! Who doesn’t love a two for one situation like this?

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Another item that is always useful to have on hand. Especially at a trade show when you will be networking and likely need to take notes. You can use these lovely branded pens to write notes on all of the business cards you hand out. Useful items will leave a stronger and longer lasting impression on someone than an item they may grab just for the sake of grabbing but have no intention of using. Many freebies are likely to get thrown out or tossed in a drawer never to be seen for the next five years. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t waste your money on giveaways that no one wants. 

Custom calendar open to December


A calendar may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but you should not overlook this one. You certainly do not have to break the bank by printing out hundreds of fancy wall calendars, although if you want to by all means go for it. These calendars could look like anything. You can choose to condense the 12-month look onto a single one page postcard, leaving some space on the back for notes or other helpful information. Or you could print up a mini pocket sized calendar someone could store in their purse or car and easily flip through.

Regardless of how you design your promotional calendars, they will be useful. Not many people are able to tell you exactly what day a certain date falls on, or keep track of events without writing them down in their calendar. Smartphones are helpful and all, but sometimes having a physical calendar to look at is so much easier to digest than scrolling through your tiny phone screen trying to find a date. These days, many people may not be able to justify purchasing a calendar or date book, so offering one as a freebie will certainly make a statement. 

Tri-fold brochure partially opened


While you want to hand out branded promotional items at trade shows, you also want to ensure the people you network with not only remember you, but what you do. What good is that branded pen if the person you gave it to can’t even remember what your brand is or does? That’s not a very helpful situation. Along with all of the fun items, make sure you include something that provides a little more detail into what you offer as a company.

Consider bringing along some brochures that highlight your main services or products. Focus on the information that will easily help someone understand who you are and what you do. Dedicate one section to a brief overview of your company. Save the life story for your website, but make sure you include enough detail to give some background. How can someone get in touch with you or make a purchase? Make sure you cover all of the basics such as contact information and location if you have a brick and mortar storefront. Wondering what else you should include in your brochure? Check out our tips for designing your company brochure.

architectural coloring book cover and inside spread

Coloring Books

Give attendees something memorable takeaway that keeps your brand in potential clients hands and minds. Get a little creative and make a coloring book to pass out. Each page can highlight your logo, products, services, and/or scenarios related to your industry. They’re perfect for all ages, ensuring your brand’s reach extends beyond the trade show floor. Including coloring books in your promotional strategy adds a fun, interactive element that distinguishes your brand, making it unforgettable to current and potential customers alike.

While trade shows are much more than just the free swag, this free swag should not be overlooked. A highlight of visiting a trade show for many people is walking around and collecting all of the fun freebies companies are giving away. Do not be that company that doesn’t stand out, or even worse, does stand out for the wrong reason. That reason being not having any freebies at all. Up your trade show game this year by investing in useful promotional items. 

Contact Printivity at 1-877-649-5463 if you have any questions or are ready to place your order.


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