9 Unique Swag Ideas for Your Next Trade Show

When you’re at a trade show, it can be hard to stand out. With hundreds of booths all vying for attention, you need to give show attendees something unique and intriguing to get them to engage with you instead of your neighbor.

Giving away swag is one way to catch the eyes of attendees. But you’re not attracting anyone with  yet another pen, water bottle, or sticker. You need to stock your trade show booth with unique swag that will set your brand apart.

Don’t provide swag show attendees will swoop in to pick up, toss in their bag, and never think of again. If you want your brand to truly stand out, add one of the unique swag ideas to your booth. Not only will it help boost your booth’s presence at your next trade show, unique swag will  provide an easy way to start conversations with people who stop by.

Giving away premium swag makes it easier to ask booth visitors to fill out a short form or survey. Offering unique and functional items people truly want or need makes the form-fill ask much easier and organic. Make your lead capture form easy to fill out and only a few questions to get the most submissions.

If you’re searching for new swag to offer at your next trade show, check out these 9 unique swag ideas real companies are using to elevate their brands.

1. Ensure People Keep Your Business Card

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Trade show attendees gather hundreds of business cards each and every show. Many of these cards end up getting thrown out (hopefully recycled) once the show is over. Ensure attendees are keeping your business card with this smart swag idea used by NetBlaze.

Consider filling with mints, chocolates, or gum to encourage people to place it in their purse, gym bag, or desk. An added bonus is that they can use it for their own business cards—after they’ve made contact with you, of course.



2. This Won’t Go in a Bag

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When a trade show starts, show organizers typically hand out a bag for attendees to collect business cards, pamphlets, and swag. Don’t let your branded items just be another tchotchke at the bottom of a bag. We’ve got a solution! This TogetherDigital bag features their logo and brand colors, and won’t be something people easily forget, lose, or give away.




3. A Low Maintenance Plant

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People love plants, but feel they can’t take care of them. Catch the eye of those who wish they had a green thumb by offering an air plant as part of your marketing. This incredibly unique swag idea was created by Post Typography for Terbium Labs.

Make it super catchy by involving plant related words, like grow, blossom, or bloom, into your marketing. This idea is perfect to use in the spring and summer months, when many people are thinking about the outdoors and seeing more green.


4. A Stuffed Animal With a Story

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Corgis are cute. Stuffed animals are awesome. Stories sell. This seems to be the thinking that drove Skyword to create stuffed animals based on their CSO’s real-life pet corgi, Maven. This item is a great conversation starter, since most people may not understand the connection between corgis and Skyword.

If your industry serves parents, this swag idea is a great one to consider. What child doesn’t love getting surprised with a new stuffed animal? Who knows, maybe that stuffed animal will become someone’s new best friend and get tons of exposure for your brand!

5. Functional Swag That’s a Step Above the Rest

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Functional swag like t-shirts and pens can get easily lost amongst the competition. Make your more traditional giveaway items stand out from the rest like Formstack.

Their t-shirts and jackets are super soft, which makes them a coveted item amidst a sea of traditional cotton tees. The backpack fits perfectly under an airplane seat, making it the perfect item for trade show attendees who travel often. High-quality functional swag will get people talking, driving more traffic to your booth to investigate your brand.

6. Local Sweet Treats

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Sugary items are always a people pleaser. When you give away locally sourced sweet swag, it’s even better! KabCo Kitchens did just this when they provided branded bags of The Fluff Factory Gourmet Cotton Candy at a recent event. Consider bringing in sweet treats from the city you’re headquartered in, or order something yummy from a local store in the city of your next trade show.




7. Sustainable Swag for the Win

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Eco friendly is the way to go! If your company has a strong culture of sustainability, then this reusable utensil set created by adplanet for Education USA should be part of your swag offering.

This reusable silverware pack is useful, Earth friendly, and long lasting. You could even add your logo or company name to the straw and silverware to get more bang for your buck.



8. A Phone Accessory They’ll Tote Everywhere

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Smartphones rule our pockets and purses. Giving away functional swag that pairs with a smartphone is a surefire way to keep your giveaways in the hands of prospective customers.

You could give away common items like a popsocket or charger, but we recommend pumping it up a notch like HubSpot. These wireless bluetooth speakers are bound to go lots of places with their new owners, sharing your brand’s colors and logo far and wide.


9. Channel Booth Traffic with Edible Branding

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People will be asking, “Where’d you get that cookie?” when they see a branded sweet like this cookie by TrustRadius being consumed on the trade show floor. Thanks to some expert icing, they’ll know it’s from your brand, and will just need directions to your booth to go grab their own.






Read Next: Why Your Lead Generation at Events Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)

Now that you’re inspired about swag, it’s time to consider one of the core reasons you’re giving it away: to bring in prospective customers. Don’t let those leads walk away with awesome new swag without providing some details first! If you’re in need of a simple and easy way to capture leads during your next trade show, it’s time to try QuickTapSurvey.

As the #1 rated offline survey app, we know a thing or two about lead generation at events. We have plenty of event lead capture templates waiting for you to try out. Start now with a free trial.

Lindsay McGuire

Lindsay McGuire

Lindsay is a digital content SEO specialist, splitting her time between developing SEO strategies and creating content. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and enjoys all facets of marketing.