Great Swag Ideas for Your Next Event

Choosing the best swag for your next trade show is an important part of planning, and attracting people to your booth.

When event swag is good, it can bring crowds to your booth and delight attendees. When it’s bad, it can take your precious marketing dollars and put them right into the trash. Spending a bit more per promo piece can really make an impact. All too often, show attendees loaded down with keychains, pens, and stress balls simply leave them in the hotel.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite swag items, along with a few that didn’t make the grade.


  • Portable phone charger

Everyone could use an extra battery. Portable chargers are useful, universal, and can slip easily into a pocket, purse, or suitcase, so you know they’ll be going home with your prospects.

  • Food or snacks

With a jam-packed schedule, finding time for a meal can be tough. Give your prospects what they want: food! Food is a natural conversation starter at your trade show booth, and something they don’t have to cram in their luggage.

  • Seasonal or regional items

Unique gifts are another way to stand out in the crowd. Don’t just order more cups or another roll of stickers. Choose something that showcases your company’s identity. For us Baltimoreans, we might pass out Berger cookies, Ravens gear, or a fun bottle opener/crab mallet.

  • Reusable water bottles

Water bottles can be used long after the event is over. They’re also environmentally friendly, and can really help start a conversation.


  • Pens

I mean, why not just put up a big sign saying “I put zero effort into this”? No one needs another cheap Bic.

  • Keychains

Once trendy, these are better left in the warehouse. Not useful, and not unique. Even ones with a bottle opener or whistle are passé.

  • Backpacks, Tote bags, & Larger Items

Don’t make it hard for your prospects to take your swag with them. Tote bags and backpacks are often stuffed into drawers and left for dead, while larger items are simply left on the hotel floor.

The key takeaway is to make sure you’re handing out something that adds value to your prospect’s day. Don’t hand out logoed items just to have something to hand out. Instead, consider your value proposition, market position, and of course your budget, and go from there. Don’t be afraid to invest in swag that will keep you top of mind for a long time after the show.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Adler Display brings over 78 years of experience to its clients in need of recognition displays, lobby and corporate interiors, custom exhibits, historical timelines, trade show displays, and signage and graphics.  For more information about Adler Display, please visit our website at or call us at: 855-552-3537.