What Is the Best Promotional Giveaway for an Event?

Insights What Is the Best Promotional Giveaway for an Event?

So you have an exhibition coming up – you have decided on the theme and the messaging, now are considering a branded giveaway. But which promotional product works best? Clearly you want something that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces your brand long after the event is over. So let’s look at the factors to take into consideration


There no escaping the fact that choice of event giveaways is governed by budget, to say otherwise is just not realistic. The thing to think about though is whether the budget is better spent on a large number of small items or fewer expensive gifts. This of course depends on the nature of the event and the strategy being pursued but we believe that a combination works well. So choose a small item you can give liberally and keep back a few really nice gifts for those VIPs.

Relevance to Your Target Audience

The key to a successful promotional giveaway is understanding your target audience and providing them with an item that resonates with their interests and needs. Consider the demographics, preferences and lifestyle of your attendees. For example, if you're targeting tech-savvy professionals, a portable phone charger or a smart device accessory could be an ideal giveaway. If the audience is an eco-conscious group then obviously the gift needs to reflect this.


Promotional giveaways that are practical and useful tend to have a higher perceived value and are more likely to be retained by recipients. Items such as reusable water bottles, tote bags or USB flash drives are not only handy but also provide ongoing exposure for your brand as recipients use them in their daily routines. Retention is the most important aspect of promotional products at any time but at events there is a danger that the delegate, returning to the office with a bag full of items, will consign nearly all but the most useful to the bin.

Durability and Quality

The quality of your giveaway speaks volumes about your brand. Opt for high-quality items that can withstand regular use, ensuring that your brand remains visible for an extended period. A durable giveaway demonstrates your commitment to excellence and enhances the perceived value of your brand. It also ensures retention for a longer period. There is of course a balance with the budget available and the comments made above.


A recent experience had a client choose a mug for an event giveaway. In order to have sufficient product this required moving a pallet of mugs to a large exhibition hall. Interestingly since only around two thirds were used this also involved having the pallet returned. Whilst we are not saying this is a bad idea, what we are saying is to give some thought to the logistics of moving product to and from your event and storage at the event. So size and weight is important.


T shirts, hoodies and shell jackets are great promotional items. But at an exhibition we have the issue of an unknown audience and the problem of sizing. PDI can give you a recommendation of the average spread of small to 3XL but, inevitably, this will be problematic at an event where your audience is unknown. Caps and socks, where there is universal sizing, work and having the stand team in a corporate polo looks great as well.


Finally, events and exhibition take a lot of thought and work, and the giveaway may not rate highest in the thinking process. However, too often we have found ourselves sourcing products the week or two before. This leads to having to compromise on the utility, quality and relevance to the chosen market as well as budgets. Planning can make all the difference.


By: David Platt