So you’ve booked your stand space at the next big trade show! Now you’re wondering how best to get the most out of your investment.

Nothing draws crowds like a freebie, so in this list we’ve collated the top 30 options from least effective/most boring to most effective/most exciting. Where possible, we’re also going to include a guide on how much you can expect each giveaway to cost you, so that you can choose the most effective giveaway within your budget.

So go fill that free coffee cup you got at last year’s show and get ready for the ultimate trade show giveaway guide!

Before we start… How many giveaways should you order for a tradeshow?

This is a tricky one. Determining how many of your promotional products you need to order for your trade show is a bit of a guessing game. Firstly, we recommend finding out how many attendees there will be at the show. For large events, with over 2000 guests, plan for around 25% of guests to visit your stand and receive a giveaway. For small events, plan for 75% of attendees to receive a giveaway.

So now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started.

#30 – Business Cards

We’re not sure if this is even classed as a giveaway, but you’re certainly going to be wanting to hand out as many business cards as possible. Of course, you’re not exactly going to have to manage the queue for these, but we had to include it in this article just in case you were going to forget!

Expect to pay – £14 for 50 cards
Get them from

trade show give away ideas list
tradeshow sweets giveaway idea

#29 – Sweets & Chocolate

Short-lived enjoyment, low brand recall. Attendees will happily grab these from your hands, but it’s not the most exciting giveaway and you can guarantee lots of other stands will be chucking mini bags of Haribo in their swag bags.

Expect to pay – £verylittle
Get them from your nearest supermarket.

#28 – Packets of Tissues

Useful, but generic and easily forgotten. We pick up a surprising amount of these at trade shows and they do stick around in laptop bags/car glove boxes for a while. You may get more luck with these in hay fever season or in the winter!

Expect to pay – £186 for 100 packs
Get them from

tissue pack marketing at trade show
stress ball giveaway idea at trade show

#27 – Stress Balls

Clichéd and not very relevant to most businesses. Another popular one that we’re not too sure of the effectiveness of- this will most likely end up at the back of the recipient’s desk drawer if it makes it from the show floor at all. If you do go down this route, be sure to get good quality printing- we’ve been handed these at shows before with the logo already flaking off!

Expect to pay – £170 for 50 balls
Get them here

#26 – Cheap Pens & Lanyards

Ahh, the branded pen. A favourite for sure! But overly common and easily lost. One good thing about branded pens is that they’re good to give to your own staff and clients outside of the show.

Expect to pay – As low as 95p per unit
Get them from

pens and lanyards giveaway idea at trade show
branded stickers giveaway idea at trade show

#25 – Stickers

Fun, but depends on design and target audience. If you’re lucky enough to be a cool brand that people might want to slap your sticker on their stuff, then this is a very cheap and effective giveaway. But for most exhibitors, stickers are probably not a great idea.

Expect to pay – £92 for 2000
Get them from

#24 – Magnets

Yet another fridge clutter candidate. This is essentially a more expensive version of #25. Not many people are going to put these on their fridge at home. And ask yourself, how many magnets are on your office fridge? Again, only one for trendy/popular brands.

Expect to pay – £205 for 500
Get them from

branded magnet giveaway idea at trade show
tote bag giveaway idea at trade show

#23 – Cheap Tote Bags

These often end up in forgotten corners at trade shows. Attendees usually end up with tote bags inside of tote bags. If you’re giving these away, just hope that you’re near to the entrance, else you’ll just be adding to attendees existing haul. These can be of use to brands outside of the show however.  

Expect to pay – £197 for 100
Get them from

#22 – Not So Cheap Pens

Yes, pens get two mentions in our trade show giveaway charts! There are definitely two types of pen- the sort you hand someone and they don’t even notice it, and the sort that people comment “ooh, that’s a nice pen”. If your budget allows, and you are wanting to give pens away at an expo- spend the extra on higher quality.

Expect to pay – £1037 for 100
Get them here

quality branded pen giveaway idea at trade show
water bottle giveaway idea at trade show

#21 – Water Bottles

A practical choice, but many attendees already bring their own. There are many different styles of water bottles- sports, steel, plastic, shaker, eco-friendly, so make sure you choose a style that both reflects your brand and is right for your target audience.

Expect to pay – £483 for 50
Get them here –

#20 – Plush Toys

These aren’t for every brand, and not every attendee will want one. But for those with young kids, you can almost guarantee a plush toy will make it out of the show and to the recipient’s home! If going down the generic, off the shelf route, plush toys are reasonably affordable. If you’re looking to have a bespoke plush toy produced, get ready for some eye-watering quotes!

Expect to pay – £194 +VAT for 50 cute 15cm dogs
Get them here –

best trade show giveaway ideas
best trade show giveaway ideas sunglasses

#19 – Sunglasses

Useful depending on the season and location but can be bulky. Who doesn’t want a spare paid of sunnies? A big consideration with branded sunglasses has to be ‘what style do we get’ and also consider you’ll need to cater for both ladies and gents. Would be most popular at outdoor events in the summer.

Expect to pay – Around £1 per unit
Get them here –

#18 – Phone Stands

A creative and cost-effective way to land your brand on attendees’ desks. These do sometimes fall into the ‘more plastic junk’ category, and the more eco-conscious guests become, the less popular these are getting. There may be eco-friendly versions available, but we’re yet to see one!

Expect to pay – £166 for 100
Get them here –

best trade show giveaway ideas
best trade show giveaway ideas

#17 – Luggage Tags

At international tradeshows, these are a popular choice, but competition can be high in this category. It’s a tradeshow giveaway that’s useful for some, but a small percentage of attendees are going to be travelling soon enough to remember to put this giveaway to use.

Expect to pay – £255 for 250
Get them here –

#16 Hand Sanitiser

We aren’t sure, but this one was probably born out of Covid. While people are still more conscious about sanitising their hands than they were pre-pandemic, it’s not as popular a giveaway as it has been. Having said that, people will gladly take this and use it while at the show (a lot of hand shaking goes on!)

Expect to pay – £110 for 50
Get them here –

best trade show giveaway ideas
best expo giveaway ideas

#15 Reusable Shopping Bags

A lot like the tote bag, a reusable shopping bag will be used by attendees at the show – if you get to them first! Attendees can keep these in the boot of their car for visits to the supermarket. Eco-friendly options are available.

Expect to pay – £630 for 100
Get them here –

#14 Bottle Openers

One for the beer lovers! Bottle openers, and in particular key-ring bottle openers have been a popular expo giveaway for some time. They’re relatively cheap to purchase and super useful. Be warned, if you’re at a Food & Drink tradeshow, you won’t be the only one giving these away!

Expect to pay – As little as 41p per unit
Get them here –

best expo giveaway ideas
best trade show giveaway ideas

#13 Flash Drives

Useful for some but seeing a decline in popularity due to cloud storage becoming more prevalent. If you’re going to go down this route, we think the most useful kind are the flash drives that can be attached to your keyring. The price for these varies depending on how much storage the drive has.

Expect to pay – £120 for 10
Get them here –

#12 Pop Sockets

There are A LOT of options when it comes to branded pop sockets. If you’ve never used one before, they really do make holding your phone more comfortable. A very cheap giveaway that is nice to use!

Expect to pay – £557 for 120
Get them here –

best trade show giveaway ideas
list of the best trade show giveaway ideas

#11 Branded Notebooks & Diaries

We put these a lot higher up the list than branded pens because we see a lot more of these in day to day use. Handy, inexpensive and will get your brand out and about.

Expect to pay – £222 for 100
Get them here –

#10 Keychain Torches

These rank so highly purely down to how handy they are. If you want to get your brand onto as many sets of keys as possible, this is the way! Cost-wise, they come in a little more expensive than the bottle opener at #14, but because they are more useful to more people, we had to put them higher up!

Expect to pay – £157 for 150
Get them here –

list of the best trade show giveaway ideas
list of the best trade show giveaway ideas

#9 Reusable Coffee Cups

Everyone owns at least one of these, and everyone uses them. There are lots of options when it comes to branded coffee cups, with an array of materials and you can really push the boat out and get thermal ones too!

Expect to pay – £254 for 100
Get them here –

#8 Wireless Earbuds/Bluetooth Speakers

These will get picked up quickly! A very very popular one with attendees but not so popular for exhibitors because of the cost. Maybe these could be a giveaway for everyone that books a demo/meeting? Bluetooth speakers have a larger space for your branding than ear buds.

Expect to pay – £550 for 25 (earbuds) / £633 for 100 (speaker)
Get them here –

list of the best trade show giveaway ideas
list of the best trade show giveaway ideas

#7 Portable phone chargers/powerbanks

A good option, especially for tech-focused events. Everyone that attends tradeshows has experienced the annoyance of having their phone’s battery run out at the event. Well you can be the hero that solves this problem! (only if the power bank has some charge in it when you hand it out however). Because the battery in phone chargers is a lot smaller, they cost less than a power bank.

Expect to pay – £572 for 100 (phone charger)/£803 for 50 (power bank)
Get them here –

#6 Clothing

T shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, beanies, socks and pants! There are lots of options when it comes to branded clothing. It’s certainly not going to be the cheapest trade show give away option, largely down to the amount you’re going to need, but it’s always a very popular one! To help keep the cost down, we suggest things that are ‘one size fits all’.

Expect to pay – £alot
Get them here –

list of the best trade show giveaway ideas

The Top Five!

Now before we start with the top five, we need to highlight an important factor. None of the previous 25 giveaway ideas give you any opportunity to capture data other than asking for a badge scan when you have over the loot. They are simply giveaways that will prove very little, if any ROI. The next five trade show giveaway ideas are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest because both you and the attendee get something out of the deal. They get the freebie; you get the data!

One of your main goals at any trade show or expo should be to capture leads and data for potential future business use. Some of the following ideas will still require a badge scanner (speak to your event organiser about these) and some don’t. Bear in mind, that a badge scan will only collect certain data, and you won’t be able to specify what data you want to capture.

top five list of the best trade show giveaway ideas

#5 Interactive Game Hire

Let’s face it. Tradeshow stands can be very dull. A great way to inject a little fun can be to hire an interactive game.

From retro arcade machines and VR experiences, to huge Scalextric tracks and shoot-em-ups these always offer attendees a chance to let off some steam and have a little fun. Pricing options for interactive game hire varies wildly depending on the size of the same.

Expect to pay – £500 to £1800 per day depending on the game. Mains power may also be required (at an extra cost).

We’ve seen these guys at shows before –

#4 Free Coffee

If there is even a sniff of free coffee (or even better, a free Espresso martini) attendees will hunt down the source! At larger events, there will be more than one stand offering attendees free coffee. While this giveaway is very popular and is here to stay, from a branding point of view there isn’t really any opportunity for you other than attracting people to your stand. Once they’ve drank the coffee, the giveaway experience ends.

Expect to pay around £1900 per day for two baristas serving up to 300 coffees per day. Offering coffee as a giveaway will also require mains power access (at an extra cost) and badge scanners (another cost). You’ll also need plenty of room.

We’ve seen these guys at shows before –

top five list of the best trade show giveaway ideas
top five list of the best trade show giveaway ideas

#3 Cocktail Bar

In many guests’ eyes, this choice would sit at number one! But as an exhibitor, you have to seriously think before committing to this option because of the cost involved. As well as requiring a lot of room, power and manning by trained bar tenders, you will also be buying quite possibly the largest round ever! Cocktail bars for tradeshows charge per drink, and you can be sure that your guests will be queuing up for this freebie. If your budget allows, this is a great option for making the stand busy but offers little in return for you.

Expect to pay – around £1000 for the bar per day, £500 for the bar tender per day and whatever your guests drink! This is easily the most expensive option on this list.  

We’ve seen these guys at shows before –


#2 High Value Raffle

Its an age old tradition, isn’t it? You always have to keep a spare few business cards in your pocket at a trade show in case you see a large glass vase with the words “win an [insert prize here]” stuck across it. We’ve slipped over a hundred business cards into these over the years but have yet to win anything! A high-value prize raffle will certainly win you a few contacts. We’ve seen all sorts of prizes over the years, from iPads to weekend breaks. One of the best parts about this giveaway is that you can set your own budget/prize and everyone at the show gets a chance to win! Nowadays, there are better ways to collect data that the business card in a bowl system too. The trade show raffle isn’t going anywhere.

Expect to pay – £whateverthecostofyourprize

trade show giveaway best ideas
Expo Headshot Booth Learning Technologies
Expo Headshot Signup

#1 Professional Headshots

Okay, we might be slightly biased, but let’s talk about the ultimate trade show giveaway: a free professional headshot. If you’re exhibiting at a B2B show, expect to be the most popular stand at the show.

A headshot booth on your stand grabs A LOT of attention. This is largely due to the huge flashing lights that we use and the crowds that gather to get their free headshot. It’s eco friendly, you don’t need much space, you don’t need to pay for power and the (custom) data capture is built in to our workflow. It will also most likely be the highest value giveaway at the show (a session with James costs a minimum of £150 for one person). With most people on LinkedIn these days, who’s not going to join the queue for a FREE updated headshot?

Expect to pay – £1650 for one day, £2805 for two days.
Find out more here: Trade show Headshots



So there you have it. Those are the top 30 trade show giveaway ideas! We’ve covered everything from pens and pads, to bags and tags! Ultimately, your choice will most likely be determined by your budget. We advise choosing the most effective/rewarding giveaway that you can within your budget. And please do consider if it’s likely that a lot of other stands will be offering the same giveaway. If you’re planning your first trade show, there will be an element of trial and error. Just make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the show, wear comfortable shoes, and most of all, have fun!

Want to find out how a headshot booth could magnetise your trade show stand?

We have delivered highly engaging headshot booths at almost every major venue in the UK and every time it is a huge success. Get in touch for a free consultation.

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