One of the more popular ways to attract attention to a trade show booth at a show is to provide small giveaways. Since people like to receive free things (often even mostly useless or random free things) this can be a good promotional tactic and a great way to drive traffic to your trade show booth when you are exhibiting at your next trade show. But, like many promotional tactics at the show, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about giveaways.
Let’s start with the wrong way and then we’ll move to the best way to provide giveaways at your trade show booth. When you have decided to give away some free stuff (or ‘schwag’ as it is commonly known), you want to make sure that whatever you are giving away as something to do with your company. It should either be applicable to the products that you make or the services that you provide. If possible, you should try to create a small giveaway out of one of your products. If this isn’t possible, just make sure that the item you are giving away is somehow related to your business.
Definitely don’t think that you can give away any kind of item as long as it has your brand or logo on it. Yes, there is a slight chance that attendees may keep the item and see your logo every once in a while. But, more likely it will just become garbage in a few days. If you must do this, try to make it an item that is designed to be disposable (or even edible) so it doesn’t just create waste.
The right way to do giveaways at your next trade show is to giveaway one of your own products (even better if it is a special or limited edition made only for that show) and to allow attendees to sample your wares. Try to stay away from giving away the more cliche items, like cheap pens or stress balls. If you have to giveaway an item that is not related to your company or your business, at least make sure that it is in some way unique. This will maximize the chances that your giveaway item won’t just end up in the garbage in the next few days (a feat which is admittedly tough to achieve these days).