After a long hiatus, conferences, trade shows, and other company events are back, with COVID precautions, of course.  As much as people are looking forward to getting together in person, COVID precautions are still always,  and one of the objectives is to maximize the in-person communication opportunities.

If you are in charge of coordinating your company participation in a trade show, you’ll want to be the booth with the coolest swag, the kind that no one else on the floor is giving out. This is a surefire way to attract people to your space and spark a conversation and your swag can achieve that. The same thing is true for a business conference or an internal company event, the right giveaways will make the event memorable in a positive way.

Finding the right giveaways can be a challenge. As you brainstorm swag possibilities, all the cool stuff you find is way over the budget, and your options seem to go down to the same old pens, note pads, stress balls, and magnets. Not very memorable and likely to stay in the event bag until the next spring cleaning day.

The good news is, there are plenty of useful, budget-friendly items that people will appreciate and use. To help you with this task, we have put together these 7 ideas that can be used in any event, in any industry, for any audience.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of really cool things for specific audiences and themes.  But for the purposes of this post, we’ll share these “universal” types of giveaways.

The items we’ve curated on this list are under the $2 mark,  except for one. We thought we include it because it can be a great option for certain situations.  They are also lightweight, which is a very important consideration. Keep in mind you have to haul them to the venue, and your recipient has to carry them back home, and this might involve a flight.


1. Branded Hand Sanitizers

Antibacterial products have always been one of the most wanted little things at Trade Shows and Conferences. In this post-pandemic time,  we are more aware than ever that when we are amongst groups of people we expose ourselves to germs, so being able to quickly sanitize our hands at any given moment is a great convenience.. Customizable hand sanitizers come in a variety of styles and presentations including refillable.  Some have nice large areas for full-color customization. Best of all, the price is right.

brand name Sanitizers

2. Cable Organizers With Your Logo

Keeping cables neat and out of the way is one of those things that seems almost impossible to achieve. That’s why receiving a gadget that can help with this common challenge is always a winner. There are several cable organizer options on the lower end of the price spectrum, such as these here.

branded cable organizer

3. Custom printed Pop sockets

This is the higher-priced item on this list but there are some lower-priced branded pop socket alternatives in the market. We decided to include them because they can be a winner as a giveaway for conferences, and are worth the investment.

The PopSockets® are patented handy items that provide a stand for your phone, a place to hold it, and a to warp the charger cord.

They stick flat to the back of the phone, tablet, or case with its rinsable, repositionable gel.

Once extended, it becomes a media stand for video chat, or a photo or texting grip.

It can be used on almost any brand of phone or phone case.

custom popsockets

4. Branded Mint Dispensers & Gum Packs

Sugarless breath mints and gum are always a welcomed freebee, one of those things people will be glad to receive and consume. They are inexpensive and they come packaged in a variety of containers from plastic to metal tins.  I addition, some have a nice large printing area that can display your full-color design. Here are a few examples of custom branded mint dispensers and gum packs that look great and don’t cost much. 

Mint Dispensers printing

5. Phone Loop Holder- the kind that’s a strap

How many times have you dropped your phone? If you’re anything like me, more than you’d like to admit. That’s why this little loop is so handy.

Many people like to carry their phones in their hands at all times, and it just gets in the way if we have to hold or carry anything else, so this loop makes it so much easier.

It’s designed to be securely held by your phone case and can hold as much as 35 lbs. It’s discrete, your brand can be printed in full color, doesn’t add bulk to the device, and doesn’t interfere with chargers.

phone loop holder

6. Custom Printed Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

These come in handy to clean glasses, computer screens, tablets, and phone devices.  But despite their usefulness, they are the type of thing that hardly anyone buys for themselves.  Custom printed microfiber cleaning cloths come in a variety of fabric thicknesses and sizes and for giveaways we recommend a 6 x 6 thinner, silkier kind. They are lightweight, not too big or too small, and can be printed in one color over a standard color cloth, or print the entire surface in full color. As an option, they can be presented nicely packaged in a plastic case where you can include your business card.


7. Branded Lip Balm

Spending hours walking a show floor or sitting in a conference auditorium subjected to the drying effect of air conditioning or heating, can certainly make lips dry and uncomfortable.  That’s what makes a custom branded lip balm so desirable. With a price point as low as a $1, the large full-color printing area, and its undeniable usefulness, this makes a perfect inexpensive giveaway.

Lip balms come in a selection of flavors and ingredients, just as you would find at the drugstore,  to please every preference.

Lip balm

And there you have it!

When in doubt, including any of the items on this list will ensure not only that your giveaway won’t end up in the trash, but also that your company will be regarded as thoughtful and the kind of company worth doing business with.

These are some of our favorite trade shows and conferences’ inexpensive giveaways at KSM Promotions that will appeal to every audience. That being said, we also love to look for a theme and audience-specific giveaways, that can also be budget-friendly but they might drive the point of your message home with more of an impact.

If you are planning a Trade Show or Conference for your company, we’d love to help you with ideas and execution with any and all of the components that will ensure a successful event.

Contact us to set a time to discuss your project and have a brainstorming session.

Editors Note: This post was first published in March 2018 and has been updated for relevance with the times.

Photo by M. Duran