Trade show success: Marketing tips and giveaway ideas

Giveaways play a crucial role in any business’s marketing strategy, especially in trade show marketing. These small tokens of appreciation can leave a lasting impression on potential customers and help create brand awareness. But with countless options available, how do you decide which marketing ideas and giveaways will make your booth stand out from the crowd?

This two-part article will explore some exciting and impactful trade show giveaway ideas that will attract attention and generate buzz around your brand. Your trade show marketing strategy will be a hit for existing and new customers!

Why should you go to trade shows?

Trade shows are a valuable platform for businesses to showcase their products or services to a targeted audience.

Whether you’re a new business, an entrepreneur just starting out, or an established company in the market, trade shows provide an opportunity to connect with existing customers, meet new customers, build relationships with industry peers, and gain beneficial insights into the latest trends and innovations. Trade shows are especially effective for small businesses looking to expand their marketing programs and generate sales.

Observing competitors’ trade show tactics

One of the most significant advantages of attending trade shows is seeing what your competitors are doing. It’s like peeking behind the curtain – witnessing firsthand their marketing strategies, booth designs, and even their choice of giveaways. Gathering intelligence, if you will. 

Observing your competitors allows you to gauge where your own business stands in relation to others in your industry. 

Here are some questions businesses should be asking themselves about their competitors’ trade show tactics:

  • Are they offering unique giveaways that draw attention? 
  • How are they engaging with attendees? 
  • Are there any exclusive partnerships or collaborations they have formed to boost their brand presence?
  • What kinds of content are they producing to engage their audience?
  • What other industry events do they participate in?
  • How is their customer service experience and exhibit design different from yours? Do they have banners and do they stand out?
  • Do they have a loyalty program?
  • How do they handle customer feedback?
  • What sustainability or eco-friendly initiatives do they have in place, if any?
  • What cross-selling or upselling techniques do they employ?
  • What other promotions do they have, or are they focusing on direct selling?

From identifying best practices and differentiating your brand to making strategic decisions and avoiding mistakes, this knowledge offers an excellent opportunity to improve your products and services and your trade show presence.

Are trade shows a good way of marketing?

Trade shows offer a variety of benefits that other marketing channels simply cannot replicate. 

For example, unlike online advertising or cold calling, trade shows allow face-to-face interactions, creating genuine connections and memorable experiences for exhibitors and attendees. 

In addition, trade shows provide a captive audience – people who have actively chosen to be there because they are interested in the products or services on display.

Here are some other fantastic reasons why trade shows are great for marketing products and services:

  • They provide a public platform for businesses to showcase their expertise in the industry.
  • Trade shows are typically more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods.
  • Exposes your brand to a global audience of travellers and business people.
  • To meet vendors in the same industry with expertise in selling at trade shows. 
  • Many trade show attendees are prepared to make purchases before walking through the door – meaning trade shows allow immediate sales.
  • You can create a memorable experience with a creative booth design.
  • High-profile trade shows attract media attention.
  • Trade shows offer a great space to announce a new product launch.

How do I market myself for a trade show?

Marketing yourself effectively at a trade show requires careful planning and execution. Here are a few tips to help you maximise your impact:

      1. Define Your Objectives

Determine what you want to achieve by participating in a trade show. Is it to generate new leads, showcase new products, or build brand awareness? Clarifying your goals will help inform your overall trade show marketing strategy.

      2. Design an Eye-Catching Booth

Your booth should be visually appealing and represent your brand effectively. Use bold colours, engaging visuals, and captivating displays that draw attention from the other side of the room! Think up some outside-of-the-box booth designs to impress trade show attendees.

Pull-up banners can make your brand stand out in a crowd! A lot of trade show marketing is about getting attention, and if your pull-up banner is done right, it’ll draw attendees towards your booth. 

The ease of setting up retractable banners makes them an attractive option for virtually any networking event or exhibition. Ideal for situations where you have a uniquely shaped space to fill or limited control over which modifications can be made, pull up banners offer mobility and flexibility at a low cost.

Consider where your banner will be positioned, how often you will use it, and what you’re using it for. This will help you decide whether to invest in deluxe banners, which marketing imagery to use, how big you should get your pull up banner and whether single or double sided banners are best for you.

      3. Engage with Attendees

Encourage participation by hosting interactive activities or demonstrations at your booth. This not only keeps attendees engaged but also provides an opportunity for you to capture valuable leads.

      4. Get Social

Leverage social media platforms to promote your attendance before the show and engage with attendees during the event. Create buzz by creating event-specific hashtags, offering sneak peeks of what to expect at your booth, and promoting any special promotions or giveaways.

Encourage followers to share relevant stories and posts with their networks for their chance to participate, win a prize, or be featured on your page. Get creative with your socials. 

Mastering Your Trade Show Experience: Expert Tips and Marketing Strategies

Now that you understand the importance of trade show marketing and how it can benefit your business, let’s dive into some practical tips to help you maximise your trade show experience.

      1. Always Plan Ahead

Preparing well in advance is vital to a successful trade show. Research the event thoroughly, take note of important dates and deadlines, and create a detailed timeline leading up to the show. This ensures you have enough time to design and order your giveaways, create promotional materials, and prepare your event booth.

      2. Know Your Audience

You must understand your target audience to offer giveaways and educational information that customers find valuable. Consider their preferences, needs, and interests. Are they more likely to appreciate functional items or items with novelty value? Tailor your giveaways accordingly to maximise their impact based on your target demographic, geographic, and psychographic. 

      3. Align Giveaways with Your Brand

Ensure that the giveaway items you choose align with your brand identity and business values. Consider items such as branded USB drives or phone accessories if you’re a tech company. Opt for gym towels or exercise bands if you’re in the fitness industry. By choosing items that resonate with your brand image, attendees will remember your business long after the trade show ends.

      4. Quality Matters

Invest in high-quality giveaway items that reflect positively on your brand. A well-crafted item speaks volumes about your commitment to excellence and serves as a reminder of the quality customers can expect from your products or services. Taking environmental factors into consideration when choosing the quality of your products is well-respected throughout many trade shows and events. 

      5. Be Unique

Stand out from the sea of standard promotional products by offering something unique and memorable. Look for unconventional ideas that align with your brand message or industry niche. Creativity pays dividends when it comes to leaving a lasting impression. 

Creative Trade Show Giveaway Ideas

Let’s delve into some exciting trade show giveaway ideas that will captivate attendees at any event.

  1. Tote Bags: Practical and versatile, tote bags offer ample space for branding and act as walking billboards for your business.
  2. Stress Balls: Perfect for relieving stress, stress balls can be customised with your logo and are a great conversation starter.
  3. Hats: Stylish branded hats not only protect attendees from the sun but also provide lasting brand visibility when worn outside of the event. Hats are a trendy event and trade show giveaway Australia-wide. 
  4. Pens: A staple in trade show giveaways, pens remain popular due to their utility and constant exposure to your brand every time they’re used. You can never have too many pens.
  5. Umbrellas: Provide shelter from unexpected rain showers while subtly promoting your brand with a custom-designed umbrella. In Australian states like Melbourne, umbrellas come in handy at the best and worst times. 
  6. Water Bottles: Encourage healthy hydration habits with prominently reusable water bottles that display your logo.
  7. Coffee Mugs: Everyone loves a good cup of coffee or tea! Branded mugs will remind recipients of your business during their morning routine.

Follow Up After the Trade Show

Don’t waste all the hard work after the trade show ends! Here are some tips for active follow-up from the marketing team:

      1. Timely Contact

Reach out to key customers and sales leads promptly after the event while your interaction is fresh in their minds. Send personalised follow-up emails or make phone calls to express gratitude and continue building relationships.

      2. Nurture Relationships

Leverage the connections you made at the trade show by adding them to your customer relationship management (CRM) system and implementing nurturing strategies like email campaigns or targeted content offers.

      3. Measure Results

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as lead conversion rates, sales generated, or social media engagement following the trade show. This data will help evaluate the success of your marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement in future events.

      4. Re-Post on Socials

If you had a specific hashtag you were using to boost engagement and awareness about being in the trade show or were mentioned in social posts and stories – re-share them! This is a great way to build new connections and show your followers and customers that you appreciate them. 


Here are all the answers you need to address some common questions about trade show giveaways.

What is a trade show giveaway? 

A trade show giveaway is a promotional item or gift that businesses distribute to attendees at trade shows as a means of building brand awareness and engaging potential customers.

What is a good giveaway for a trade show? 

Good giveaways for trade shows are those that align with your brand, resonate with your target audience, and offer utility or novelty value. Items like pens, tote bags, or unique technology accessories are excellent choices for practical and useful trade show giveaways. 

Should you have giveaways at trade shows? 

Yes! Giveaways can attract attention to your booth, create a positive impression of your brand, and serve as a memorable reminder for attendees after the event. They can be effective in driving engagement and fostering relationships with potential customers. 

Do trade show giveaways work? 

When thoughtfully chosen and executed in alignment with your marketing strategy, well-targeted trade show giveaways can definitely yield positive results. They help create brand visibility, generate leads, and leave lasting impressions on attendees. According to, more than half of the attendees at a trade show are attracted to booths that offer giveaways and freebies. 

How Many Giveaways Should You Order for a Trade Show? 

The number of trade show marketing giveaways to order depends on factors such as the expected attendance, duration of the event, and budget. It’s better to have more than run out during the event, especially at major trade shows. Aim for a sufficient quantity while considering potential reusability or relevance beyond the specific trade show.

The Power of Trade Show Giveaways

In conclusion, trade show marketing offers valuable opportunities to leave an unforgettable mark on potential customers while showcasing your brand. By carefully selecting unique and useful items aligned with your target audience’s preferences, sales representatives can create lasting impressions that will set them apart from competitors.

Are you looking for top-quality trade show giveaways for your next event? At Payless Promotions, we have a wide range of products to choose from every business. From small keychains to reusable coffee mugs, stubby holders and more, contact Payless Promotions to get your promotional products sorted.