Trade shows and conferences are an important marketing activity, and one of the objectives is to maximize the in-person communication opportunities.

If you are in charge of coordinating the event, you probably want to be the booth with the coolest swag. The kind that no one else on the floor is giving out, that puts a smile on people’s faces and sparks a conversation.

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” type 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 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. Hand Sanitizers

Antibacterial products are probably the most wanted little things at Trade Shows and Conferences. Anytime we have to be among crowds we expose ourselves to germs, and being able to quickly sanitize our hands at any given moment is a great convenience.

They come in a variety of styles and presentations including refillable.  Some have nice large areas for your company’s brand full-color customization. Best of all, the price is right.

brand name Sanitizers

2. Cable Organizers

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 options on the lower end of the price spectrum, such as these here.

branded cable organizer

3. Popsockets

This is the higher priced item on the list.  We decided to include it because it can be a winner as a giveaway for conferences, and 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.

The PopSocket sticks 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. 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.

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. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Microfiber cleaning cloths are ideal to clean glasses, computer screens, and phone devices, and despite their usefulness, they are the type of thing that hardly anyone buys for themselves.  They come in a variety of fabric thicknesses and sizes, and for a giveaway, 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. 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 lip balm so desirable. With a price point as low as under $1, the large full-color printing area, and it’s 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.


Cdredits: Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash