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June 21, 2017 Amelia Wilcox

Complete Guide to Trade Show Giveaways

Are you planning for an upcoming trade show? One of the most important things to think about is how to draw people into your booth. The simplest way is to offer some sort of giveaway because people love free stuff. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about trade show giveaways.

Trade Show Giveaways: The Total Picture

Things to Remember about Trade Show Freebies:

Before we dive into giveaway ideas, there’s a few things you should remember:

Know your audience

Your market: You’ll want to keep the type of trade show in mind. If health professionals are your main audience, give away something that will specifically be useful to them.

Your brand: If you want your company to come off as professional and helpful you’ll give something different away than if you want your company to come off as fun and exciting. As you decide upon a giveaway, keep your company’s image in mind.

Related: Trade Show Massage: 5 Tips for a Better Booth

Your location: If most attendees have traveled from far and wide, you’ll want to be sure to give them something that will travel easily—or a service that they’ll appreciate but won’t need to take with them. It’s an important consideration.

trade show giveaways

Bigger actually is better

You may be tempted to cut costs and offer the traditional pens, temporary tattoos, and stickers of the past. Spend your money where it’ll both matter and make a difference. You want to purchase something that attendees will be compelled to keep so make it valuable and useful. Even if those items are more expensive, they’ll make a bigger splash and will be far more worth it.

Trade Show Giveaway Delivery Makes a Difference

There are multiple ways to give away things at the trade show and the way you decide to do it really matters. Before you select a method, consider your goals for the trade show. Are you simply looking for brand awareness? Do you want to collect contacts? Here’s the pros and cons of some common methods:

1. Offer a variety of items and let people take what they want

This is the most traditional way to giveaway things at a trade show and it’s simple and easy—lay out the goods and give the people what they want.


  • There’s no waiting time
  • People can choose what they find valuable


  • It’s not as attention drawing as some of the other methods

2. Spin a Wheel

Maybe it’s all of the TV game shows we’ve all watched, but there’s something exciting about spinning a big, colorful wheel.


  • You can give away a few bigger items and let fate choose who receives them.
  • People are excited by the unknown.
  • A giant, colorful wheel is really attention-grabbing
  • The fact that people have to stop to spin gives you more time to talk with them and make a connection.


  • It can hold up the flow through your booth. As people stop to spin the wheel, it takes a minute or two and can back up the traffic.

3. Hold a drawing for a bigger item.

Some people aren’t willing to stop by your booth for something small, but they might be interested in entering a drawing for a bigger prize.

trade show giveaways


  • Great way to collect contact information, if that’s what you’re after.
  • Great way to give away a trial of your service or samples of your product


  • Unless you’ve got great imagery, it may not draw people in as well as some of the other options.

It doesn’t really matter which way you choose to do things—you could even decide to use a combination. Just be sure to do whatever will draw in your ideal customer.

Trade Show Giveaway Ideas

Fun Items

No matter what you decide to give away—big or small— it should be memorable. The idea is that you’ll give trade show attendees something that they’ll find useful. Here’s a few fun, generic ideas. 

Branded Freebies:

This can be a wide range of things — t-shirts, reusable water bottles, socks, m&m’s, mugs, sunglasses, 


Days at convention can get very long and people will get hungry. Offer them some sort of snack, whether it’s candy, pretzels, or something a little more filling. 

trade show giveaways

Handy Show-Related Giveaways

One of the best ways to speak to a trade show audience is to give them something they may really need in the moment. Here’s a few handy ideas:

USB Portable Chargers:

While people are traveling, they’re generally using their phone more than usual so their phone will running out of battery power more quickly. By handing out pre-charged, branded, portable USB chargers you’ll be one of the most popular booths at the trade show.


Headphones are a must for traveling, and people often forget them! Even an inexpensive pair of headphones is better than absolutely nothing.

trade show giveaways


With so many people packed into them, conference centers can often overheat. Guests will appreciate any sort of airflow, whether its from a small, electric fan or a folding paper fan.


If you know your guests are going to be traveling a long way to get back home, you may want to give them something that they won’t have to carry back home — a great experience. Here’s a few useful ideas:

Charging Station

If you want to keep people sticking around your booth for a little while, a charging station is a great way to go. Provide a nice lounge where people can sit and charge for a little while.  They’ll love the opportunity to get off their feet, give their phones a charge, and connect with the outside world.

trade show giveaways

Coffee Bar

Trade show attendees need a pick-me-up just as much as their devices do. Offer free coffee with all the fixings. Attendees will be delighted and won’t soon forget the favor.

Trade Show Massage

Massage is a great treat for trade show attendees who have spent all day walking around the convention center.  Guests will be thrilled to spend a few relaxing minutes off of their feet.

Related: 4 Keys for Smooth Chair Massage Event Scheduling

Clearly, we’re a little biased, but we believe that massage is one of the greatest trade show giveaways you could offer. It’s a high-value service that can work for any budget.

Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)