Promo University

The Best Trade Show Giveaways for Your Industry

Alyssa Mertes

Published: October 28th 2020

Promotional giveaways, like water bottles, stress balls, and pens, are part of trade show history, but you shouldn't just have swag for the sake of swag! Come prepared with branded items that are relevant to your industry, within your budget, useful to your audience, and above all, unique.

What are the best giveaways for your industry? Which qualities should you consider while looking for these items? It's time to find inspiration for your next trade show appearance!

Stock Up for Your Show

In this day and age, there is a trade show for just about everything. Engineering, law, financeā€¦ you can pretty much find one no matter what you do for a living. No matter which trade show you attend, it's important to come prepared with eye-catching giveaways that will draw visitors to your booth.

Here are some recommendations by industry:

  • Arts & Crafts - notebooks, coloring books & crayons, sewing kits
  • Fashion & Beauty - lip balm, vanity bags, manicure sets
  • Education - pocket planners, supplies, backpacks
  • Food/Drinks - wine glasses, kitchenware, coffee mugs
  • Tech - chargers, speakers, flash drives
  • Construction - carpenter pencils, flashlights, multi-tools
  • Automotive - license plate frames, ice scrapers, roadside kits
  • Bridal - tote bags, sunglasses, shot glasses
  • Health & Wellness - hand sanitizer, bandages, hot/cold packs
  • Real Estate - housewares, keychains, travel mugs

Arts & Crafts

If you're in the business of DIY projects, knitting, or any other creative work, then arts & crafts trade shows are designed for you. Creative minds come to these shows to see what's new and exciting. Provide your guests with an outlet to express their creativity and create more attention for your display with awesome giveaways!

Check Out: Creativation, the largest and longest arts & crafts expo in North America.

Fashion & Beauty

Fashion and beauty experts can go to trade shows to see the latest in technology and trends. There are over 2,500 trade shows focused on fashion and beauty, so if you developed a color-changing nail polish or new skincare treatment, be sure to promote at these expos and bring along fashionable giveaways for the crowd.

Check Out: The Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show, a beauty trade show in operation since 1947.


Teachers, scholars, writers, and others with products/services designed for the classroom can attend education expos and talk about the latest in academia. The attendees are likely students or program directors, so arrive with the giveaways they need to be successful and watch how many flock to your display.

Check Out: The MLA Annual Convention, a large gathering of teachers, scholars, and academic minds.


Culinary wizards should leave the sanctuary of their kitchens to attend promotional trade shows. You can feature your signature dishes, trade recipes with fellow chefs, and listen to featured presentations from famous restaurateurs. Aside from bringing delicious samples, arrive with useful giveaways for your fellow foodies.

Check Out: The National Restaurant Association Show, an appetizing event for chefs, bakers, and industry leaders.


The world is becoming more digital every day. If you work in the tech field, it's important to advertise what sets your product or services apart from everyone else's. Tech trade shows give you a global stage to talk about your innovation and wow the crowd. Make sure your giveaways are just as impactful.

Check Out: The Consumer Technology Association's annual trade show in Las Vegas.


Hard work and attention to detail goes into construction, whether it's building a new home or creating another lane in the highway. That same kind of dedication should go to creating your display at conventions. Hand out tools for the trade that will help your attendees with future projects and attract people to your display.

Check Out: PCBC's annual conference for homebuilding professionals, contractors, and more.


Drive new customers to your business by attending automotive trade shows. These expos are a chance to display your products, network with others in the industry, and see some pretty cool cars in the process. Auto-themed giveaways help your brand stay top-of-mind during rush hour traffic and long commutes home.

Check Out: The SEMA Show, where 93% of exhibitors agree the show is worth the time and cost to attend.


Gown designers, boutiques, bakeries, and more attend bridal shows to advertise their services. These expos attract marrying couples, as well as planners looking for inspiration for the Big Day. Bring the wedding favor vibe to the convention hall by stocking your booth with stylish giveaways.

Check Out: The Luxury Bridal Expo, an event that takes place every year in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Heath & Wellness

Health & Wellness covers many industries, including nutrition, fitness, physical therapy, and medical services. Going to an expo will help you meet new prospects and advertise your clinic, products, or services. It's only natural to bring along giveaways that promote well-being and self-care.

Check Out: SupplySide West, the largest gathering of health & nutrition industry professionals.

Real Estate

Real Estate expos are great opportunities for realty firms, home inspectors, financial services, and anyone involved in property management. These events are a prime opportunity to build connections that will later help when working with clients. Win people over even more with awesome giveaways they'll use all the time.

Check Out: REALWORLD, an expo for realtors that takes place all across the country.

Of course, the industries listed above aren't the only ones that attend trade shows. No matter what, there are still plenty of awesome trade show giveaways to choose from. The main rule of thumb is to tailor your item choice to something that fits with what you do and will make a unique impression with the audience.

How to Choose a Trade Show Giveaway

Every business is unique, but there are a few key things to look for when choosing a giveaway for your next trade show. You can't go wrong following these criteria:

  • Choose an item that's relevant to what you do.
  • Make sure your item is unique and memorable.
  • Consider your budget.
  • Evaluate whether or not a person will actually use the item.


Relate your item to your industry, like water bottles for a fitness center or cell phone wallets for a credit union. Your attendees will think of your brand every time they use that item.



You can find items with a bit of flare, from LED lights to metallic colors. Better yet, display your items in a creative way or give them away after playing a memorable game.



The booth space already cost you a good chunk of change. Depending on the item, you can get a large quantity of giveaways to keep at your booth for less than $250.



There's no point investing in giveaways if your customers aren't going to use them. In fact, 69% of people pick up a branded product if they see themselves using it at home or work.

Why Do You Need Giveaways?

If you're thinking of skipping all the hassle and just showing up to the trade show empty-handed, you might want to reevaluate. An insane 85% of people do business with a company after receiving one of their promotional products. That's roughly 8 people out of 10 turning into a customer after taking away your trade show swag. Not too shabby.

Keep in mind, though, you can't just give your visitors cheap plastic pens and expect them to do business with you. Your promotional products reflect who you are as a company. Trendier items show you're ahead of the curve and treat your customers with respect, while useful items show you care about what your customers need.

Stats for Success

Stats 1 icon

52% of trade show attendees are more inclined to enter an exhibit that provides some sort of giveaway.

Stats 2 icon

34% of exhibitors credit awesome giveaways for bringing more people to their booth.

Stats 3 icon

80% of trade show attendees say free samples significantly help define their purchasing decision.

The Bottom Line

Your giveaways aren't just something you should check off a list. Take the time to really think about the message you want to send and what you want to gain from handing out freebies. Above all, choose something that people will actually appreciate rather than leave on the floor at the convention center.

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a super cool Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. She's a fan of diving into the history of some of the earliest promos on the planet. If you need her, you'll find her buried in research, in the middle of a phone interview, or singing way off-tune in her office.


10 Times. (2018). Trade Shows By Industry. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from

Sayler, H. (2018). Let the Facts Do the Talking: 25 Stats About Promotional Products. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from

Manfredini, (2018). 25 Insane (But True) Facts About Promotional Products. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from

Display Wizard. (2018). 20 Trade Show Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind! Retrieved October 2, 2018, from

ATN Event Staffing. (2017, December 29). 10 Experiential Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from

Milner, R. (2018, May 7). Do Event Swag Bags Really Work for Businesses? Retrieved October 2, 2018, from

Brackett-Panas, L. (2012, January 31). How Much Brand-Building Power Does Promotional Swag Carry? Retrieved October 2, 2018, from