Givin’ it up: looking for giveaways for your next trade show?

Promotional giveaways are a proven way to attract attention to your exhibit booth and your product or service. But while the right giveaway can yield great results, a lame one can send the wrong message, waste your money, and fail to capture the attention you deserve. Here’s a list of the best and the worst items a company can choose as promotional giveaways.

Looking for giveaways for your next trade show?

The Best

Paper pad. Used on a daily basis, relatively inexpensive, and highly visible, the simple pad of paper makes your company’s name a daily part of the office environment. These pads are great at keeping your firm on the desk of the decision-maker. Just make sure that your company name is not so big as to make the paper unusable.

Custom sticky note pad. Made famous by the 3M company, but who knows that? Now if the name had been on every yellow square, you know it would be on the lips of every executive in a European-cut jacket. Placing your company’s name or logo on a custom-made pad of notepaper with a sticky backing is a good way of getting your name Out there. Everybody uses them, and you can never have enough.

Stress ball. No, not toys. Stress balls. No, not shaped like furniture or figures or stars or globes. Like spheres. Like round balls. Executives love these squishy giveaways, and research suggests that those that stay around the office are the plain, solid-colored ones with understated logos. Goofy animal characters and oh-so-cutesy hearts with bulbous eyes end up at home in Junior’s toy box next to the tiny stuffed lion from last year’s show.

Computer-top calendar. One of the best giveaway items is the small, flip-page calendar that either has Velcro or a double-sided sticky clip that attaches directly to the top of a computer screen. Handy, unobtrusive, functional, and low-cost, the calendar will be used yearlong, reminding clients of your existence on a daily basis.

Mouse pad. The best of the best, the computer mouse pad with custom logo is the item most likely to be used by corporate decision-makers in the office on a daily basis. Most of their planning takes place on or near the computer, and this item is a sure winner for keeping your company name close at hand with the powers that hire and rehire.

And Now, the Worst

Cup cozy. This condensation-foiling wraparound is cute and inexpensive, but one of the worst items to bank your firm’s name and reputation on. Primarily, these foam coolers are used to keep beers or other alcoholic beverages cold, and as such are not of much use in a corporate workplace. The majority of them end up in homes or dorm rooms, away from the decision-makers you want to reach.

Stuffed animal. Here’s an item that is at once expensive and forgettable. These cuddly, bug-eyed dust collectors are almost always taken home–not to the office–where they are immediately given to Junior. The same goes for any toy-esque item. Yourgiveaway should be of use to the recipient, and that recipient should always be a decision-maker.

Pocket-sized letter opener. Small and compact, utilitarian in function, they seem like a great choice. But consider this: Does your decision-maker open her own mall, or will this item be used primarily by her assistant–not on your decision-maker’s desk when she’s doing the hiring for her next project?

Coffee mug. Again, at first glance, these appear to fit the criteria: attractive, utilitarian, and desktop friendly. However, mugs with another company’s logo are not always PC in some corporate arenas. Not only that, but they tend to run on the more expensive side of the ledger, and have been so “done to death” many of them now fill the kitchen cupboards of homes across America awaiting the next yard sale.

Magnet. The worst of the worst. These end up attaching pizza coupons to refrigerator doors. Magnets make great giveawayitems when you want to say, “I just don’t care anymore.”


Here are a few more decent giveaway items, but remember that the success of these items will depend a great deal on the type of client you are targeting. Improper marketing of these items could have you going from show to show toting luggage loaded with lackluster, logo-laden loot.

Rounding out this collection of suggestions are the small, folding travel clock (your name and logo are the first thing that greet clients’ bleary eyes each morning of every business trip), the Swiss Army knife (not a near-miss knockoff, but the real thing! Yes, the client can tell the difference), and even key chains. But the key chains must be good looking; preferably with a clear, white-light option, not some rinky-dink copy of your logo pasted to an alien-red light bulb that is of no use unless you’ve lost your car in a photo darkroom.

One last bit of advice: Man the station. Don’t just have a tub of pens sitting on a table near the aisle way. People won’t even look your way, let alone stop. They’ll scoop up your free stuff and hit the next booth. Instead, have someone holding the item and handing it out. This will at the very least get someone to make eye contact with you. Remember, “thank you” can segue into an actual conversation.

Giveaways: Freebie favourites

1. Confectionery

Simple but very effective and an exhibition stalwart, as everyone loves a free chocolate. Sweet Temptations offers branded confectionery and its current clients include financial services firm Medex Direct, which uses its lollipop sweets, chocolate bars and chocolate fountain as a mainstay.


‘The chocolate fountain has proved an absolute show-stopper,’ explains Sweet Temptations director Colin Levene. He should know – he’s even managed to sell his products to dental clients for use on their stands in recent times.

2. Goody bags

goody bags

Not only will most people gladly accept goody bags, but they also attract attention as recipients carry them around. They can be as exclusive or mass market as you like, and the latter option doesn’t mean skipping on creativity. Julia Harris, partner at Ultimate Promotions, says: ‘One of our clients makes inflatable beds and exhibited at this year’s Ideal Home Exhibition. We created 300 gift bags for the press day containing eye-masks, ‘do not disturb’ signs and chocolates and they proved a real hit.’

3. Colour-Change products

Perhaps not the most obvious choice, but a great way to go beyond the norm. B&H Colour Change supplies clients such as Kingfisher Gift Vouchers.

Kingfisher recently ran a competition on a pre-exhibition mailer containing a colour-changing ice cream spoon to bring to the stand. They received free ice cream and if the spoon changed colour from pink to blue when placed in it, the recipient won incentive vouchers.

4. Funky info packs

Everyone needs to get their details out there, but with delegates swamped with unwieldy information, how do you stand out? One solution is the iKyp – a pocket-sized data holder featuring retractable information cards.

Recent users include The Kennel Club at last year’s Discover Dogs show.

‘We needed a device that communicated lots of information to both children and parents,’ says Kennel Club marketing manager Fiona Pearce. ‘The iKyp’s huge capacity for information provided the perfect solution.’

5. Business cards

With all and sundry dishing out their cards at shows, the challenge is to get yours noticed. One way to leave a lasting impression post-exhibition is with Mint Cards – credit card-sized containers filled with sugar-free mints – from Propaganda. Available in a variety of colours, they can be printed in up to four colours. Recent fans include consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz, which has been using them successfully at exhibitions to drive brand awareness.

6. Clothing

Free caps, t-shirts and badges may not seem the most inspiring choice, but when a megabrand such as Microsoft puts its weight behind promotional clothing, it’s fair to say that it must work for them. Since 2001, BTC Group has produced merchandise for Microsoft’s annual TechEd conference and exhibition, which attracts 7,000 delegates. BTC decks out Microsoft’s exhibition staff as well as producing caps, pens, stationery and party items, which the supplier says form a vital part of reinforcing Microsoft’s position as show organiser.

7. Interactive information

Described as a cost-effective giveaway by supplier Propaganda, the Web Key creates an instant link to your firm’s website via the USB socket to provide post-event brand recognition. It’s available in a range of colours with a large print area for personalisation. Recent exhibition users include IT specialist Computer Services.

8. Pens

Perhaps the most dependable of giveaways, the pen may seem obvious, but it needn’t be uninspiring. The Yoropen may look odd but it is surprisingly comfortable and easy to use. It offers finger support, adjustable grip, extra visual space so you can see what you’re writing, and supplier Coles says it’s also ideal for left-handed people. Converts include London-based courier and transport company Addison Lee at shows such as Olympia’s Business Travel Show.

9. Recycled products

With environmentally friendly premiums in demand, suppliers have stepped up their efforts. CN Promotions has sourced lines from Remarkable such as mousemats made from recycled tyres (right), which CN business development manager Christine Eden says have been a huge exhibition hit. ‘We work with a lot of environmentally-minded bodies and it’s great that so many innovative recycled products have come on stream.’

10. Electricals

High perceived value means that almost everyone loves a gadget. A 64-megabyte USB memory stick keyring from the Electrical Incentive Company (EIC) costs from pounds 7 per unit and was given away by the firm to draw customers to its stand at last year’s National Incentive Show. ‘We demonstrated its abilities and handed them out with our price file and product details pre-saved on them,’ says EIC director Ray Jobz. ‘The show proved to be a great success for us.’

Creating Giveaways as a Marketing Strategy: Good or Bad?

GiveawayA lot of businesses create various marketing stratagies in order to promote their products and services. It is very important to do these marketing strategies so you can boost and promote your business without paying a lot. One of the marketing strategis that is popular nowadays is giveaways and promotions.
The prices can be anything: from a new product that will be launched to the latest service that can be availed for free when you join and win the giveaways.  This is one great strategy where you can get information of potential customers and, at the same time, develop and long term relationship with them.
If you are a small business (or any business for that matter) and want to promote your products and services without ease, doing giveaways as a marketing strategy is one of the best. And we will tell you why as you read on.

Giveways as Marketing Strategy

As we have mentioned, giveaways are very popular marketing strategies among businesses and it has never failed in promoting them, no matter how small or big. Here are some information you need to know about giveaways as marketing strategies.

What is a Giveaway?

First of all, what is a giveaway? A giveaways is a marketing promotion where establishments and businesses give away something for free—whether it is a product and service. They are used to spread the word about the business and make a name for themselves to the customers. This is also done so customers will continue to buy the product. The more people join the giveaways, the more possible customers the business will get. Giveaways come in the form of sweepstakes, contests, raffles and freebies.

How Effective is it?

Businesses invest a lot on giveaways because they know it is an easy way to attract customers and even develop a long term relationship with them.  It is a powerful and effective tool in making sales and making sure your brand is known to everyone. When you offer giveaways to your consumers, it can result into a flood of new and repeat customers who will always go back to your shop and buy more of your products and services.
The reason why giveaways almost always work is because it is on a two-fold aspect. For one thing, if those who win yoru products or services test it without them spending anything, they recognize the value of it more and will continue purchasing the product even after the giveaways end. There may even be a chance when they will get hooked on the product or service being given aways and will more often go to your shop and business to get more.
Second, becuase the product or service was give to the customer/consumer for free, there will be some sort of a psychilogical pressure to return the favor by continuing to purchase the products and services. Plus, aside from the free gift that they got, they  might be obliged to try other products and services too as a way to try it or say thank you for the free gift. We think the “Law of Reciprocity” applies here where people naturally feel obliged to return the favor as a way to say thanks.
But doing giveaways is not just about giving free gifts or holding contests just to increase your sales or develop customer service. You must think well about giveaways and what you must remember in order to have be successful in this strategy. And we are here to help you with that.

Things to Remember When Doing Giveaways

There are things you mus remember when doing giveaways so you can successful and get the sales that you need:

1. Information is key

Together with the giveaway, you should also give information regarding the giveaway and the product you plan to give.  It is not enough that you just say you have a giveaway, but do not provide all the details. There are a lot of social networking sites out there that you can use to promote your giveaways and products.
One example we can give is from Weaver Optics, an outdoor gear/sporting goods store that sells one of the best rifle scope and various guns. They held a giveaway where they gave out various gun accessories and one of them is the Weaver Grand Slam Riflescope and promoted it in their Facebook page. When people saw this, they looked for rifle scope reviews of this product and joined the giveaway after seeing its positive results.
As you can see, information is indeed key and you must give that to your customers.

2. Too Good To Be True

Don’t make your giveaways too good to be true or people will be skeptical about it. To avoid this, always explain how you can offer such a great deal and why you are offering them. Whether you are overstocked, got a great deal from your supplier, or you just want to say thank you in a meaningful way, just explain to them why the giveaways is great.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • When doing giveaways, it can result to improve in sales or traiff of expenditure.  This is one of the best ways to attract customers into buying or getting the store’s products and services.
  • It is also a great stand-alone advertising medium because it promotes the business, brand, product, services and the giveaway itself.
  • It can be added to the media mix and social networking, creating a huge impact on both the business and the consumer.
  • It gives a positive and great overall image to the business because it means they value the customers a lot. It leads to a higher likelihood of buying the products and availing of services again and again.
  • Allows repeared exposure to the compant’s message based on the repeated promotions and the lenght of time the products are used.
  • It offers a better perception of the business or store.
  • Repeated promotions of the giveaway makes the customers remember and recall the business/store name.
  • And when you do giveaways, you provide a higher likelihood of customers recommending it to others and haveing your customer base increase more.


  • When you do more giveaways than usual, there is the possibility that customers will expect more free products and promotions consistently.
  • When the giveaways stop, customers become disappointed and unsatisfied, thus your sales may drop and not do good to your store.
  • If you don’t plan giveaway well, this can decrease your sales and you may even lose money. You must avois needless pending along with wasting of income.
  • It is very diffciult to satisfy people so it is good to pick the right products for giveaways.
  • There are products that are sometimes hard to give as freebies like for instance, customized shirts or keychains. For examplein customized shirts, it is difficult to find the right shirt that will fit for customization. For keychains, it may not be the best promotional material because they are hidden and not often seen by people. Choosing the wrong type of product that does nothing to change customer perception of your business will waste money on an unsuccessful marketing campaign.
  • Many giveaways or promotional products are given or thrown away or used just once.


All in all, giveaways as marketing strategies is great and will make your business good. Just make sure to plan it and that it won’t affect your store or business. Let our guide help you with that.

Boost Sales In The Days Of New Year

After Christmas, sales are going down and the same goes for revenue. The question that is in consideration is: Whether giveaway is regarded as a good way to conduct in term of boosting sale? There are a lot of different opinions. Some businessmen said that it is a good choice while others give completely opposite takes on. And what do you think? If you are in charge of head position like marketing manager or business manager, this considered thing is not strange to you. But if you just run your own business, you have to spend time in order to study about the effect of doing giveaway to the sales as well as revenue your business will make.

Giveaway will cost you fairly larger amount of money

This is the fact that giveaway is one of the most costly marketing methods. Moreover, it also costs a lot of time and energy, too. Just make a simple calculation, for one hundred targets in an area for example a town, you will have to give out one hundred products your operation made as gifts. Assuming that the average cost of each gift is only 5$, leading you to a total expense is 500$, just for 100 targets in a town. However, you have to make the larger number, not 100 targets only because the 80/20 rule affects quite accurately in business. So, now, let’s calculate the total amount of money spent on giveaway campaign. You’ll absolutely have to take a twice or even more on this marketing manner.

However, it’s worth this price. Equaling to the large amount of expense, giveaway can totally bring you a much more profit if you know exactly how to do and use it smartly. The word “smart” here means that the way you use this marketing method must suit your business as well as your targets, and the areas of doing business, of course! I will talk about the other side of giveaway marketing method right now.

Giveaway can touch the potential customers’ emotions

Yes, it is! Especially, when you are launching a new product even a new line of products, the giveaway method will be the best way for you to conduct in order to gain more profit in the future. But, the question still considered is that for the old product, will it work? It depends on the extend of “old”. How long have you launched this type of product? If it is about 2 or 3 years, you should not use this method because it will cost you a lot of money but not bring you the expected result. And if it is only 1 year and less, you should consider the giveaway. I tell “consider” because whether you conduct this method or not, it depends on the budget your company have and can expense for the giveaway marketing campaign. Back to the main thought, giveaway can touch the potential customers’ emotions very well. It is very easy to understand because the sample (the product in small size/amount/… is given to the targets as gift) presents the product that you want to sell, or more accurate, you exactly want them to buy it. When the potential customers use the samples, they will absolutely have their live experiences on the product. This action will lead to the emotion of the potential customers for the product. For example, they will like to use it one more or even they will love it. Only a little “more” can give you a big success in your business with the launched product.

In fact, I have used this marketing method to boost sales of the gaming chair products. Like other products in the market, their sales often lower than the last days of the year and slowly number out during a few months at the beginning of the year. To make this campaign a big success of my own business, I combined it to the available reviews for example putting a gaming chair reviews tab on my official website for the potential customers. The reviews are very useful, especially giving the potential customers the feelings they do not have when they experienced the sample. Little by little, it will encourage them to buy the product.

Discounting craze: quick fix, long headache

For the past 10 years, food-service operators have been relying on couponing, discounting, games, promotions and just plain giveaways whenever the going gets tough. The idea is to build customer counts and avoid empty seats. With traffic ailing this year, the discounting trend has zoomed.
Price cutting or dealing has sharply accelerated and has cut earnings without appreciably improving traffic in the long run. It is like trying to halt a leak in the dike with a Bandaid — strictly a stopgap measure.
Endless discounting has been grabbed as a quick solution by Burger King, Wendy’s and others. While the technique is indeed building traffic, profit margins are suffering. The price-cutting giveaways are too much for most bottom lines to absorb.

A Practical Giveaway for a Man

Giving gifts to a woman is quite easier than giving gifts to a man. It is because you need to take a lot of considerations if you want to give gifts to a man. Some of the things and considerations that you need take include his hobbies, his likes and fashion where he may be interested in and his work up to this moment. All these factors may certainly affect the desires of a man when it comes to gifts or giveaways. So, it is essential to know all his likes, tastes and preferences when it comes to gifts and surprises.

Choosing a practical giveaway or any kinds of gift for man would be challenging for you, especially if you are after for cheaper price but quality items. Once you already know the taste and preferences of a certain man, then you already know what specific type of gifts you will give to him. You can choose any types of gifts or giveaways through online if you want an easier way to find a gift for man.

Actually, there is a wide array of selections when it comes to gifts and personal giveaways. So, you don’t need to worry about the specific item that you will select. You can probably give personal gifts like perfume, t-shirts, souvenirs and any kinds of items as long as that it will catch his attention. If you think that he is fond of doing some household chores or any kinds of gardening works, then you can also give him a gardening tool for his garden or yard maintenance. Try to look for the best weed wacker in the marketplaceand give this equipment to him. This would be a practical giveaway which you can give to a man since it can be used for cleaning and proper maintenance of his garden or yard.

If you think that weed wacker is a good option, then you need to choose the best and high quality type of it. Don’t just pick a specific type of product which you don’t know if it’s high quality and can provide you long life span. As much as possible, go to a reliable site and be able to explore the best features and remarkable services of the product. You can visit to and read some product reviews there. In that site, you can have a chance learn how to buy the best product in the market and what specific type of weed wacker is good for you. Continue reading

Canada Giveaways That Are Yours for the Taking

With the summer season upon us, it’s only inevitable to see summer-themed deals available online. And they are only available during the summer as a way to clear the inventory before the next season.

This is also often viewed as the reason that’s easiest to explain why Canada giveaways come in close to the deals seen online. There are usually 2 deals that you end up seeing in your newsletter – discounted/marked down deals of products or freebies that come upon purchase of certain products.


That come with a free pail doesn’t make sense until you realize that it’s a lot harder to take home Continue reading