Giveaway Ideas for Virtual Trade Shows

  1. Webcam covers
  2. Face masks
  3. Stemless wine glasses
  4. Drink koozies
  5. Bumper stickers
  6. Post-it Notes
  7. Reusable grocery bags
  8. Kitchen utensils
  9. T-shirts
  10. Mini notebooks
  11. Slippers
  12. Sleeping masks
  13. Beach towels
  14. Playing cards
  15. Fandanas
  16. Pedometers
  17. Safety items
  18. Cosmetic bags
  19. Luggage tags
  20. Novelty pens

The COVID-19 pandemic was basically like Godzilla. It stomped into 2020 and destroyed a ton of things in its wake, including way too many small businesses, the state of public health, and a lot of toilet paper!

Unfortunately, trade shows and conventions were also in COVID’s destructive path. For the last few months, exhibitors have needed to be creative in order for the show to go on. This has led to the rise of the virtual trade show.

Digital trade shows may be here to stay! With that, it’s best to figure out how you can adjust your trade show game to fit this new way of exhibiting.

What is a Virtual Trade Show?

A virtual trade show is an event that is conducted online using virtual conference platforms like Socio Events, Cvent, or Comminqué Conferencing. These conferences are basically like webinars and are hosted for a brief period of time.

With virtual trade shows, companies in a specific industry have the chance to live chat, watch keynote speakers, and showcase their products and services to an audience. This is all done from a distance, with is better when it comes to health and hygiene in a post-COVID world.

What Are the Best Promotional Items for a Virtual Trade Show?

You may not physically be in the convention hall, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still hook everyone up with swag! Here are 20 of the best promotional items for virtual events. You can send these giveaways out via direct mail before the show starts.

#1: Webcam Covers

Shop: Custom Webcam Covers

It’s estimated that about 25% of Americans will be working at home full-time in 2021. We all need to turn Zoom off every now and again, and the last thing you want is for your co-workers to accidentally see you walking around in your underwear! A webcam cover is sure to provide much-needed security for remote employees, making it a valuable promotional gift for your virtual expo.

#2: Face Masks

Shop: Bulk Face Masks

You’re probably tired of hearing the phrase “the new normal,” but that’s the best way to describe wearing face masks in public. In fact, CNBC reports that some countries have already made it a habit to always wear masks in public. COVID-19 made us question the way we handle global health, so it’s very possible that masks are here to stay! Use them as promotional items for your virtual trade shows, and everyone who receives one will be ready for the future.  

#3: Stemless Wine Glasses

Shop: Stemless Wine Glasses

These promotional items are the only one on the list that aren’t flat and as easy to mail, but it’s worth the effort. A staggering 75% of adults drink wine, and often do so every single week. Give the winos something to sip from by ordering stemless wine glasses as virtual trade show giveaways. You can even print a funny saying on the front, offering a moment of levity after a really tough year.

#4: Drink Koozies

Shop: Custom Koozies

The best promotional items for virtual trade shows are cheap, flat, and useful. Koozies check off all those boxes! They’re often under $1 each and can be folded down to fit inside of shipping boxes. Since the start of the pandemic, 37% of consumers are more excited to open their mail every day, and a koozie is a lot more exciting to receive than a promotional flyer or a utility bill!

#5: Bumper Stickers

Shop: Custom Bumper Stickers

Finally, after months and months in quarantine, we’re finally getting back out there in the world! Mail out bumper stickers to the attendees a few weeks before the trade show. 60% of car owners have put a bumper sticker on their vehicle, which means these virtual trade show gifts will get a ton of use. Plus, they may even get other drivers interested in your company.

#6: Post-it Notes

Shop: Bulk Post-it Notes

We can all feel scatterbrained every now and again. 23% of adults even end up paying their bills late due to disorganization! Help everyone stay on track, whether it’s at home or the office, by mailing out custom Post-it Notes as pre-show gifts.

#7: Reusable Grocery Bags

Shop: Reusable Grocery Bags

Over 85% of Americans have changed their food habits since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. That’s 8 in 10 people out there trying to make better choices with their diets! It’ll be easier to continue buying fresh produce with reusable tote bags they can bring back and forth to the grocery store. Virtual trade show platforms may have a different registration process than live events, but these bags will still be a welcome surprise.

#8: Kitchen Utensils

Shop: Custom Kitchen Utensils

As mentioned, people have totally changed their eating habits during the pandemic. 55% of people are eating at home more frequently, and this is in large part due to the fact that many restaurants were temporarily closed during the shelter-in-place order. Encourage anyone taking part of the virtual trade show to continue cooking by mailing out promotional kitchen utensils!

#9: T-Shirts

Shop: Custom T-shirts

Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt? Win over virtual trade show attendees by mailing everyone a soft branded t-shirt! Black, white, navy, and gray are usually regarded as the most popular t-shirt colors. Stick with these neutral colors, and print your brand name or logo in full color smack dab in the middle!

#10: Mini Notebooks

Shop: Bulk Mini Notebooks

Mini notebooks are small enough to fit in envelopes and won’t cost you much to mail as virtual trade show giveaways. Plus, according to an article in Vox, many people started journaling to deal with anxiety during the pandemic. Pocket-sized notebooks help them always have a place to jot down their thoughts.

#11: Slippers

Shop: Custom Slippers

Do you want potential customers to feel warm and fuzzy every time they think of your brand? Mail out custom slippers as virtual trade show gifts! Cleveland Clinic released a report about the impact COVID-19 has had on sleep. It states: “From loneliness to economic hardships to juggling work and homeschooling, there are multiple factors in our lives as a result of the pandemic that have caused sleep hours to plummet.” People might be more inclined to rest and relax with a comfy pair of slippers to wear.

#12: Sleeping Masks

Shop: Custom Sleeping Masks

Let’s circle back to COVID-19 affecting sleep. Not only did Cleveland Clinic report on this topic, but the National Institutes of Health also did their own study finding that there were high rates of clinical insomnia early on in the pandemic. Your brand can help everyone catch those much-needed Z’s with a silky soft custom sleeping mask as a virtual trade show gift.

#13: Beach Towels

Shop: Custom Beach Towels

Annie sang it best – “The sun will come out tomorrow!” We spent a majority of 2020 cooped up indoors, leading to a lack of all the vitamin D, better sleep, increased focus, and feel-good vibes that come with being outside. Now that beaches, water parks, and swimming pools are starting to open again, it’s the perfect time to mail beach towels to everyone as virtual trade show swag!

#14: Playing Cards

Shop: Playing Cards

Family game nights have been on the rise since the start of COVID-19. Not only did video game sales soar, but puzzles and board games also saw an increase in demand. ABC News reports that Hasbro alone saw a 20% jump in sales on games like Monopoly, Clue, Jenga, and Twister during the pandemic. Your company can get in on the action by using custom playing cards as promotional items for virtual trade shows.

#15: Fandanas

Shop: Custom Fandanas

Marathon runs, gyms, sports leagues, and other fitness focused industries were negatively impacted by the pandemic. Experts believe the US fitness industry lost $13.9 billion from mid-March to August 2020. People are starting to exercise again, so a fandana from your brand is sure to come in handy. It can be worn as a sweatband, face mask, or scrunchie as everyone gets moving!

#16: Pedometers

Shop: Bulk Pedometers

Health experts recommend aiming for 10,000 steps every single day. You can clock in a lot of walking time at an in-person expo, but not so much at a virtual one. Pedometers are great virtual trade show swag since they’re a daily reminder to get the body moving!

#17: Safety Items

Shop: Bulk Safety Items

A silver lining to all the COVID chaos has been less cars on the road. According to an article in “The New York Times,” decreases in traffic and better air quality have been reported around the world as a result of the pandemic. There have also been new “pop-up” bike routes in many areas throughout the U.S. Reflective vests and flashing lights are great promotional items that will help keep everyone safe.

#18: Cosmetic Bags

Shop: Cosmetic Bags

We haven’t had many opportunities to dress up recently, whether it’s for a wedding, a charity gala, or just looking our finest at the office. It’s a shame since psychologists claim that wearing a beautiful dress or sharp suit can make you feel smarter, happier, and more in control of your life. Formal events are slowly starting to be planned for 2021 and beyond, which is exactly why cosmetic bags are great giveaways for virtual trade shows.

#19: Luggage Tags

Shop: Bulk Luggage Tags

A vacation sounds really good right about now. It’s no wonder 58% of people plan on traveling in 2021. Face masks and hand sanitizer are important for safely navigating airports and public transportation, but don’t forget about luggage tags. The last thing someone wants is to finally go on a trip, only to have it ruined by lost suitcases!

#20: Novelty Pens

Shop: Novelty Pens

Across the board, COVID-19 has been associated with negativity and hopelessness. Bring the laughs back by ordering unique or weird pens as virtual trade show gifts! A Swedish study found that people can’t help but react with a smile when they see someone else smile. A cute pen with crazy hair, or one shaped like a unicorn, is a small thing your company can do to make happiness spread like wildfire! 

Final Thoughts

Social distancing probably won’t be around forever, but in the meantime, there are virtual trade shows to attend! You’ll be the company everyone pays attention to if you mail out swag and personalized business products ahead of the show.

Promotional gifts are a great way to get on everyone’s radar early, make a positive impression, and ultimately, stand out from the rest of the exhibitors. Download a virtual trade show platform and then give any of these promotional mailer ideas a shot!

References

Courtney, E. (2020, December 31). Remote Work Statistics: Navigating the New Normal. Retrieved from, https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/

Farr, C. (2020, October 24). Will Masks Become the ‘New Normal’ Even After the Pandemic Has Passed? Some Americans Say So. Retrieved from, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/24/will-masks-become-the-new-normal-even-after-the-pandemic-has-passed-some-americans-say-so-.html

Gitlin, J. Wine Study: How Often People Drink Wine and Why They Enjoy it. Retrieved from, https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/wine-study/

Allard, R. (2020, August 5). 5 Ways Coronavirus Has Changed Media: The Direct Mail Opportunity. Retrieved from, https://unionstreetmedia.com/direct-mail-opportunity/

Business Wire. (2019, November 13). Sixty Percent of Car Owners Have Put a Bumper Sticker on Their Vehicle. Retrieved from, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191113005514/en/Sixty-Percent-of-Car-Owners-Have-Put-a-Bumper-Sticker-on-their-Vehicle

Organized Interiors. 35 Surprising Home Organization Statistics That’ll Inspire You to Tidy Up. Retrieved from, https://www.organizedinteriors.com/blog/home-organization-statistics/

Murphy, J. (2020, June 12). How COVID-19 Has Changed How Americans Eat. Retrieved from, https://www.mdlinx.com/article/how-covid-19-has-changed-how-americans-eat/7m3f7Ek2uPtTIYOgAUWkvT

Redman, R. (2020, September 11). Pandemic Sways Most Americans to Eat at Home More Often. Retrieved from, https://www.supermarketnews.com/consumer-trends/pandemic-sways-most-americans-eat-home-more-often

Phadke, M. (2020, November 9). When Nothing Makes Sense, I Journal. I’m Not the Only One. Retrieved from, https://www.vox.com/the-goods/21542132/journaling-bullet-journal-coronavirus-pandemic

Cleveland Clinic. (2020, September 30). How the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Impact Your Sleep. Retrieved from, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/covid-19-insomnia-tips/

Sharp. (2020, May 19). 5 Ways Being Outdoors Can Make You Healthier and Happier. Retrieved from, https://www.sharp.com/health-news/5-ways-being-outdoors-can-make-you-healthier-and-happier.cfm

ABC News 7. (2020, October 27). Coronavirus Impact: Board Game Sales Soar as Families Seek Out Quarantine Fun. Retrieved from, https://abc7news.com/board-games-family-fun-quarantine/7394528/

Rizzo, N. (2021, March 2). COVID’s Impact on the Fitness Industry. Retrieved from, https://runrepeat.com/pandemics-impact-fitness-industry

Jacobs, B. (2020, December 1). How Dressing Up Can Make Us Happy. Retrieved from, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201127-how-dressing-up-can-make-us-happy

UC Davis Health. (2020, September 23). COVID-19 is Wrecking Our Sleep With Coronasomnia – Tips to Fight Back. Retrieved from, https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/covid-19-is-wrecking-our-sleep-with-coronasomnia–tips-to-fight-back-/2020/09

SCL Health. The Health Benefits of Smiling. Retrieved from, https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/06/the-real-health-benefits-of-smiling-and-laughing/

Willardson, M. (2021, February 26). Survey Says 58% of People Plan to Travel in 2021. Retrieved from, https://www.kulr8.com/news/survey-says-58-of-people-plan-to-travel-in-2021/article_f5ad80c0-781f-11eb-bf7a-7ba9bd97fc97.html

Bubnis, D. (2019, March 8). How Many Steps Do I Need a Day? Retrieved from, https://www.healthline.com/health/how-many-steps-a-day

Mohn, T. (2020, June 5). The Traffic Trade-Off. Retrieved from, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/04/climate/coronavirus-traffic-air-quality.html

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.