trade show

Once the trade show season rolls around, it’s time to consider which promotional products your company should invest in. Just think about all the promotion exposure you can get from quality items in swag bags or on display tables! But not all products are created equal — some are destined to be consigned to a garbage heap, while others get banished to an office drawer forever, never to be seen again. The key is to order promotional products that will serve the trade show attendees in useful ways, hopefully in the long term. Here are some of our top picks for the best types of products you can order to guarantee your company’s trade show popularity:

Office Supplies

Think office supplies are boring and overdone? Not in the trade show environment — everybody needs notepads and pens, so take advantage and use these items to your promotional advantage. Magnets are another smart idea, because they can live for a long time on an office fridge or at home. If you really want to up the ante, think business card holders — either stand-up ones for a cubicle desk or portable ones that can stick to the back of a smartphone case.

Personal Hygiene

At a trade show, people are going to be doing a lot of mingling and conversing. Nobody wants to be caught with bad breath, so tins of mints with your company’s logo are an excellent idea. If the trade show is taking place in the conference center area of a hotel, you can even provide extra toiletries in bottles branded with the company logo, just to make sure the attendees won’t run out. For extra swag, consider the fact that trade show attendees likely travel a lot, so provide them with a handy travel bag for their toiletries.

Drinking Supplies

Trade show attendees love their coffee, so offering promotional products in the form of high-quality coffee mugs will make your company a star (think good travel mugs, too). But it’s not just caffeine that people need while attending panels and keynotes — getting plenty of water is important, so consider getting well-made water bottles as part of your company’s promotion. As with any branded products, you’ll want to provide attendees with items that they can keep using long after the trade show has finished, which means you’ll want to ensure that they have a long lifespan.

Portable Tech

A Content Marketing Forum infographic lists these as “business survival,” which is definitely understood by anyone who’s been to a trade show. Think promotional products like phone chargers, portable USBs, battery packs, Bluetooth speakers, or plugs to allow attendees to charge their devices. Given how connected everyone is to their smartphones and tablets, you can almost guarantee that these products will be used time and time again – and it’ll be your company’s logo on them!

Articles of Clothing

Two important things to remember when it comes to using clothing as promotion, you’re going to want to order branded clothing that’s actually fashionable (and not, according to Content Marketing Forum, provoking a reaction of “fat chance I’d be caught wearing that thing”), and you’ll want to have a number of sizes on hand. Many trade show tables will give out uniform t-shirts all in size large or extra-large, but that’s missing out on a number of attendees. Whether you’re looking at ordering hoodies or polo shirts, it’s smart to carry a wide range of sizes to suit anyone who visits your table.

Tote/Shoulder Bags

People attending trade shows will likely be bogged down with all the swag they can grab at the tables, so do them a favor and provide them with a handy tote bag to carry all their goods. As a bonus, if it’s a really cool bag, you’ll be turning attendees into your own walking advertisements for your company. If you want to go all out, order some great shoulder bags or laptop bags — these will definitely find use outside of the trade show environment, and they’re a prime example of a utility promotional product.

Good Products for a Good Reputation

With so many promotional product choices for your next trade show, it’s easy to get overzealous and either order too many branded items, or else make a bulk order of products that nobody will want. Instead, really focus on items that attendees will find useful both in the moment and months afterward. If you can provide tchotchkes that have “stickiness” and a long lifespan, it’s a good bet that your brand’s name will be hanging around long after the trade show has ended.