Exhibition giveaways are very common and are a great way to help foster good participant rapport and build brand awareness, as well as give attendees a little more insight into new product launches.

Using giveaways at an exhibition is a strategic and effective way to attract attention, engage with potential customers, and promote your brand.

Exhibition giveaways help increase footfall to your stand and improve your brand visibility. If the goal is to generate buzz and attract a larger audience, giveaways can be effective. Just keep them exciting and different.

However, the success of a giveaway depends on how well it aligns with your overall marketing goals and the nature of your business. To make sure your giveaways at an exhibition are the ones people remember and the ones people will benefit from, we put together a few ideas.

Exhibition giveaway ideas

Before you decide to overspend and potentially under-deliver, consider what you may wish to give away at your exhibition. Think about the purpose of your giveaway. Is it to drive future business? Do you want it to help make your brand memorable? Will you need extra team members to facilitate the issuing of it?

Those three points are, of course, vital, but you should also think about the type of item you may want to give away too. Will you be giving them to everyone? Do you operate the giveaways at specific times? Do you have multiple branded exhibition giveaways you wish people to grab a hold of?

Once you have thought of those, look at the items you could use. Popular exhibition giveaway ideas include:

  • Branded mugs
  • Branded Stationary
  • Branded drinks bottles
  • Branded tote bags
  • Branded notebooks
  • Branded USB sticks

Of course, there are many more and, the possibilities are endless. It all depends on what you want to achieve from your promotional exhibition giveaways. With a shortlist of potential ideas, you should then look at your aims. Do the items you’ve selected answer any of the questions we raised above? If so, how does it answer them, and what will the end result of it be?

With your exhibition giveaway ideas now narrowed down, perhaps ask yourself a few more questions to ensure you get the best exhibition giveaways for your budget, your audience, and the type of exhibition you are attending.

How to make sure you have the best exhibition giveaways

You’ll now have a shortlist of items that you may feel will work well for you as exhibition giveaways at the next event you attend. Before you place the order with a product designer or stockist, give one last thought to the points we have listed below:

Is the giveaway relevant to your brand and audience?

Ensure that the giveaway items are relevant to your brand and the interests of your target audience. This ensures that people who receive a giveaway are genuinely interested in your products or services. If for example, you are a pet shop brand, a giveaway of a dog bowl, a cat collar, or some free pet food samples is more likely to work for both brand and audience than a pen, a mouse mat, or a notebook.

If your giveaway is in the form of a competition, think about the lure of the prize, the audience, and your brand. Is there a synergy between them all?

Could you the giveaway as a tool to collect leads

Could you use the exhibition giveaway as a chance to collect contact information from potential customers? This can help you build a database for future marketing efforts, and help you follow up after the show. Perhaps to claim an item, or enter a competition, your visitor could scan a QR code at your exhibition stand. This could prove very useful in the future when your marketing campaigns hit inboxes.

Are you thinking about budget considerations?

Branded exhibition giveaways are an additional expense to those you are already incurring.  Make sure you determine your budget. Include the item cost, the packaging, and any further expenses. Make sure the investment aligns with your overall exhibition or events budget and objectives.

Giving away 1000 items for free, over the space of an exhibition may not prove to be so beneficial if zero leads are generated, or nobody takes chooses to use your company after the event.

Make the giveaway interactive and engaging!

Consider making the exhibition giveaway interactive if it is a prize draw, or engaging if it is an item for them to take away. This could involve having participants perform a certain action (e.g., taking a survey or sharing a social media post) to enter the giveaway, increasing the level of engagement. Encouraging the sharing on social media is a great way to help promote the brand and it has the potential to reach a new audience without you having to do much at all!

Make distribution practical

Consider how easy it is to distribute the giveaway items at the exhibition. Complicated or bulky items may pose logistical challenges. Can they be handed out or stored easily during the event? Could you be struggling with damages if they are not stored correctly? If doing a prize, is it something that can be easily distributed to your winner?

After the exhibition

Create a follow-up strategy

Plan a strategy for following up with individuals who participate in the giveaway. This could include sending personalised emails, offering special promotions, or inviting them to connect on social media. With their giveaway item hopefully still in use, when you reach out to them, the brand should be sticking in the memory.


Giveaways can be a valuable marketing tool at exhibitions if they align with your brand, goals, and target audience. With thoughtful planning and execution, an exhibition giveaway can be an excellent tool for your promotional strategy, and see you garner new customers, enhance reputations with older ones and potentially find a new route to successful lead gen for the future. If you are looking to attend an event as an exhibitor, speak to the team at Starlight Design, we are the experts in creating sustainable exhibition stands and reconfigurable stands ideal for all exhibitions and events. With a team of designers on hand, we offer a free exhibition stand design service too so you can stand out at your next event. Contact our team today to find out how we can bring your exhibition attendance to life!