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7 Ways to Use Promotional Products at Trade Shows

Using promotional items at trade shows is a great way to market your business and build brand awareness. Trade show attendees love receiving promotional products because they can use them in their everyday lives. People are also more likely to talk about what they received with others – giving you an even bigger reach than just one person.


Beyond having promotional products on hand, you can also use them strategically to market your business. Here are seven ways you can use promo items at trade shows for branding, marketing, and lead generation.

1. Offer a Free Gift to Every Visitor

If brand awareness is your goal, you should consider getting promotional items into as many hands as possible. Promo items have staying power; most people keep promotional items for up to two years and 94% can recall which brand they came from. It’s a memorable, cost-effective way to draw eyes to your brand, even if it’s not highly targeted to your audience.

2. Hold a Drawing for High-Value Branded Gear

If you’re giving away high-value branded gear, a drawing can be an effective way to engage customers and boost your brand. It gives people a chance to win something special that they may not usually have access to. Plus, you’ll have a collection of leads to follow up with when the drawing is over.


A drawing isn’t just about the prize; it helps create an emotional connection between the customer and your brand. Everyone who enters feels seen and valued by you, which builds loyalty in the long run.

3. Personally Hand Items to the People You Engage With

You care a lot about your brand, so if you want other people to care about it too, make an effort to deliver your promo items directly into visitors’ hands. This makes it feel more like a personal gift rather than another piece of branded swag. It also gives you a chance to speak to more people directly, share more about your business, and create memorable moments.

4. Use Promo Items for Lead Generation

Promotional items can help you collect interested leads to follow up with after the show. For instance, you might offer three tiers of promotional items: one for everyone who stops at your booth; one for anyone who provides their contact information; and one for everyone who turns into a paying customer. With each tier, the item increases in value and “wow factor.”

5. Include a QR Code to Your Website

Quick Response (QR) codes can be scanned with mobile devices. They link directly to your website or landing page so users can gain more information (and take action). You can create targeted campaigns using QR codes on your promotional items. When users scan the code, they might see a coupon, special offer, or lead capture form so they can keep the conversation going after the trade show.

6. Offer a Free Gift When Visitors Book a Demo

Another way to generate leads at trade with promotional items is to offer a free gift when visitors book a demo or take some other desired action. This helps you separate genuinely interested leads from tire-kickers or curiosity seekers. You’ll have the opportunity to showcase your brand and deliver your demo or sales pitch to a captive audience.


It’s best practice to qualify candidates for your demo prior to handing out gifts. Otherwise, you might get lots of sign-ups from people who are only interested in the gift and not your business. Save your higher-value gifts for people who qualify for them so that any leads you collect will be ones worth your time.

7. Brand Your Entire Display

Many tradeshows will offer a generic setup: a table, a couple of chairs, and a backdrop or curtain. Most of the booths will look like this, which makes it harder for you to stand out. One of the best ways to fix this is to invest in branded tradeshow displays. These creative and cost-effective marketing tools ensure your booth looks like an extension of your business, not the exhibit hall.


Branded tradeshow displays allow you to create a unique atmosphere that captures visitors’ attention. By using your company colors, high-quality graphics, and eye-catching designs, brands can effectively draw people in.


If you need help building a cohesive trade show experience with booths and branded products, reach out today for a quote on our bundle packages!

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