Giveaways will move away from simply “things” and focus more on experiences, personalisation and points of difference.


“Experiences deliver more-lasting happiness than things,” a 20-year study conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University has shown. This article by Entrepreneur focuses on the power of experiences and how they become part of our identity.

So, how can tradeshow and exhibition giveaways fulfil this need?

This article by Forbes: It’s Time To Rethink Your Branded Giveaways shows a great example of utilising experiences for attendees, including hosting an on-site service. In this case a massage for attendees, which as well as being a crowd puller, also promoted the brand’s message – ‘We take the pain out of the insurance process’.

“Keep people engaged with your brand by creating an experience instead of a booth. That could mean showing an interactive demo, bringing in a food truck, hosting a contest, or offering an on-site service. At a recent event representing my digital insurance agency, we brought in masseuses to give attendees five-minute chair massages. Not only did the masseuses draw a huge crowd, they pushed our brand’s messaging: We take the pain out of the insurance process. Whatever experience you provide, make sure it naturally drives conversations about what your company does.”

Small Business Trends have some good advice on focusing on “upgraded” giveaways in exchange for a completed questionnaire, and also limiting the amount of marketing collateral you give away. Consider perhaps focusing on one or two key pieces of information in exchange for their contact info to send a personalized information kit after the show. This will allow you to follow up after the show, and send them something personalised and most importantly memorable.

The Delta marketing groups article 9 Inspiring Trade Show Giveaways has an interesting the idea of using digital reward promotions as an alternative giveaway, allowing the recipient to choose what they want:

“While everyone else at the trade show is giving out boring pens and magnets, you can give your prospects something they’ll actually be excited to receive. Imagine offering your prospects free music downloads, restaurant rewards, digital movie rentals, eGift cards, eBook downloads and more.”

Consider making your tradeshow giveaways eco-friendly. Trade Show News Network have some excellent advice on how to do this in their article – 5 Ways to Make Your Trade Show Giveaways Eco-friendly including choosing something reusable, using recycled or sustainable materials and going digital.

“Tradeshow takeaways are proven to leave an impression with your customers and if done right they can even drive traffic to your booth, so giveaways are a necessary marketing tool. Getting branded gear in your customer’s hands will definitely increase your brand awareness and recognition, but they are also an opportunity to reinforce your company’s stance on environmental issues.”

Whatever route you take, try to make your giveaways enticing but more importantly, memorable.

Leave a Reply