The Trade Show Swag People Actually Want

January 17, 2024

Nashira Edmiston

Nashira Edmiston is the Customer Service Manager at Stomp Stickers, an e-commerce business offering high-quality custom labels, stickers, boxes, canopy tents and more to fit every industry’s needs. Her passion is helping her customers brand and market their products through a variety of custom-printed items.

In the whirlwind world of trade shows, where hordes of companies are elbowing their way into the spotlight, making your mark is like a real-life game of “Where’s Waldo.”

Amid the frenzy of companies vying for attention, it might seem like a waste to offer trade show swag for fear of it ending up in the trash. However, well-executed and unique swag that promotes your brand is worth the effort. So now we come to that question in the minds of everyone running a trade show booth: How do I offer event swag that people actually want? 

Why Trade Show Swag Matters 

trade show swag

At conventions and trade shows, free swag is as common as the buzz of conversations and the shuffle of footsteps. As attendees weave through the exhibition floor, they accumulate a treasure trove of branded items, usually stashed in a branded tote bag. With such fierce competition, the key to success lies in selecting swag items people will actually use, either during the event or afterward. 

While some companies may attempt to dazzle potential customers with extravagant giveaways like AirPods or power banks, these high-value items don’t always leave the most significant impression. The goal isn’t just to give something away but to offer something that will resonate with attendees, foster engagement and ultimately lead to a sale. 

5 Types of Trade Show Swag Your Customers Will Notice 

Whether you’re a tech startup showcasing groundbreaking innovations or a seasoned industry leader presenting your latest products, trade show swag can be a powerful marketing tool to draw visitors to your booth, spark conversations and leave a mark that extends beyond the event itself. Here are several types of trade show swag that you can use to excite and engage attendees.  

Hand Sanitizer: At trade shows, attendees often find themselves touching various displays and interacting with dozens of people. Hand sanitizer with a custom label not only helps them stay clean during the event but also serves as a tangible reminder of your brand afterward. Every time they use it, they’ll think of your company and its commitment to their wellbeing.

Pens: Branded pens consistently rank among the most desired promotional items customers want to receive. Why? Because pens are practical and versatile tools that anyone can use. When attendees jot down notes or sign documents with your branded pen, your company’s name and logo are right in front of them.

trade show swag

Custom Water Bottle Labels: Trade show venues can get hot and crowded, making hydration a priority. By offering custom water bottles with your branding proudly displayed, you can entice people to visit your booth and ensure they carry your logo around during the entire event. This constant exposure enhances brand recognition and fosters a positive association with your company.

Bottle Opener Keychains: Bottle opener keychains are simple yet effective swag items that people genuinely appreciate because they’re practical tools that often come in handy. When one of these keychains finds its way onto a prospective customer’s keyring, it could remain there for years, reminding them of your brand every time they open their door or start their car. 

Loyalty Card: Boost attendee engagement and incentivize sales by offering a loyalty card exclusive to the trade show. This card can provide special promotions or discounts, encouraging potential customers to take action and visit your brand even after the trade show ends.

Boost Your Business With Trade Show Swag

Trade show swag isn’t just about getting people’s attention. It’s about building customer relationships and fostering brand recognition. When you choose swag items that attendees genuinely want and can integrate into their daily lives, you create a lasting impression that goes beyond the hustle and bustle of the trade show floor.

So, when you’re gearing up for your next trade show adventure, be sure to pick swag items that truly tickle your customers’ fancy, and get ready to ignite buzz around your brand that will have people talking long after the show is over.


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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact