Promotional Products Ideas for Your Winter Trade Show

Got a Winter Trade Show? Your Checklist of the Best Promotional Products to Bring

If you’re a fan of The Office, you probably remember Michael Scott’s excitement over SWAG (stuff we all get). He’s not the only one who gets excited over promotional products at trade shows.

Whether you call it swag, or promotional giveaways, trade show attendees are always happy to get those free products you’re offering.

If you’re not already participating in trade show giveaways, you really should. 83% of attendees say they’re more likely to do business with a brand they received a promotional product from. Promotional products are an investment in the future of your business.

While these products are great all year round, if you have a trade show coming up for the winter months, it’s a good idea to add winter items to your creative promotional items. This is a chance to offer useful and timely items that will keep your brand in front of their eyes in a unique way.

The question is, how do you choose the right winter items for those upcoming trade shows? With the right planning and research, you can offer fun and creative promotional items at your next trade show.

We go over a few guidelines you can follow to help pick just the right items below.

Planning Trade Show Giveaways

Don’t make your trade show items a last minute idea. Trade show giveaways are an important part of the marketing strategy at these events. Make sure you put the proper thought and planning into the promotional items you choose.

Make sure you take the time to budget for promotional items when planning your trade shows. Giveaways are not an afterthought. They’re an important tool in the marketing strategy.

Reflect Your Company Image

When choosing promotional items, even winter items, make sure the products you choose reflect your company. Whatever you give to attendees needs to remind them where they got the promotional item from.

For example, if you’re in the wellness industry, you might consider a product like lip balm or hand sanitizer. This type of product stays on message and represents the idea you want to portray. On the other hand, you might want to steer clear of items like flasks.

You don’t want to confuse attendees with the promotional items you offer. This is important to keep in mind when offering trending items. While trending items are exciting, only pick the ones that fit in with your brand.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will make attendees think of your company even after the trade show. Make sure when they’re thinking of you it’s positive though. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to choose to do business with you.

Give Value to Attendees

The promotional products you choose need to be valuable to attendees as well. This doesn’t mean they should be expensive. But, it does mean the items you choose should be useful or fun.

Make sure your promotional product giveaways can be used right away or regularly. Even if you’re providing something just for fun, it needs to be something that will get immediate and/or regular use.

This is why items like pens, notebooks, and bags are popular items year ’round. These items can be used at the trade show, then attendees can use them at home or in the office for several weeks or months afterward. While these types of items may not seem very creative, they’re items that will be remembered.

The value can also depend on the region you’re visiting for a trade show. Products are valued differently depending on where you are. Make sure you do your research before you travel for a trade show so you know which products to choose.

The Best Winter Items for Promotional Giveaways

While you want to make sure the promotional items you choose reflect your brand, there are many options that can be used by almost any industry for trade shows. That said, providing winter items can add some diversity to your promotional product giveaways so you’re company stands out.

So, what are the best winter items to offer trade show attendees? Let’s take a look at the top choices.

Cold Weather Apparel

One of the easiest options to offer is clothing and accessories to help against the winter weather coming up. This is an option almost any industry can offer because your branding will be right there with them every time they need to keep warm.

Items like gloves or beanies can be used by anybody. This makes them a good option for almost any winter trade show. These items aren’t gender-specific and are usually purchased as one-size-fits-all.

Neutral items like this work well for trade shows that will have a general audience. Tweaking them just a little allows them to work for specific audiences, making these winter items versatile choices.

Another cold weather accessory that works well is scarves. Scarves are a great promotional item for areas that have colder weather throughout the winter season. While scarves aren’t necessarily gender-specific, women are more likely to use them than men.

This is something to keep in mind when making decisions on promotional products!

You don’t just have to do accessories, though. Long-sleeved shirts or sweaters are also good options for winter items at trade shows. These products may be more expensive than other promotional products. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding on the items you choose.

Other Cold Weather-Friendly Products

While you’re thinking cold weather-friendly, you might consider some of those common winter items that everyone needs, but often are without. Items that can be easily forgotten or misplaced work great for promotional products because they’ll likely get immediate use.

Most of these items will also stick around for at least a couple weeks before being misplaced again. Plus, attendees will likely remember that your company was there in a pinch.

Items like lip balm or hand sanitizer make great winter items. These are both options that are handy to have around but can easily get left behind during travel. Again, if you’re in the health industry, this is like a 2-for-1 item!

Another good option is an umbrella. This is especially useful in areas that get a lot of rain or snow throughout the winter. Umbrellas don’t have to be just for winter months, but they do make a great winter item choice.

Blankets are another winter-friendly option. While a little more expensive than some of the other winter options, blankets can be a great promotional item. You can even use blankets as a special giveaway at trade shows.

Having something special to offer for people that participate in a competition is a great promotional tool. These types of promotional giveaways work well for collecting information from prospective customers.

Drinkware Options

Another option for your winter giveaway is drinkware. These are items that can be used regularly and often, so it’s a great way to keep your product in front of attendees’ faces, literally.

Items like water bottles, cups, and tumblers can be used year ’round while being valuable any time they’re used for promotional product giveaways. Koozies and coasters are other year-round options.

For a more specific winter giveaway, you might consider coffee mugs. While coffee mugs can be used all year, they’re even more valuable as a winter item. Another great winter item is a thermos.

The people you give these options to will use them throughout the winter months. They may even share them, which puts your brand in front of more people.

Holiday-Themed Items

If you’re attending a trade show before the holidays, you might consider holiday-themed items for your creative promotional items. While these items won’t be used as long as others, they still have long-term value.

Custom ornaments are one idea for a winter giveaway. These can be pulled out each year which will be a long-term reminder of your brand.

You can also offer small gadgets and toys as winter items. Things like fidget spinners, coloring books, or yo-yos can be used as stocking stuffers, which is a great way to keep your brand in mind.

Candles can also be used as a winter giveaway. While they aren’t holiday specific, candles make great office gifts. This is another chance for your brand to reach more people.

A Winter Giveaway for Sports Fans

Winter trade shows are a great chance to show your love of basketball. Since this is the sport of choice in the winter, you could offer a mini basketball as a winter giveaway. These are fun items that will get a lot of attention.

A mini basketball can be customized for a specific team or left generic with just your brand info. If you’re going to use a mini basketball as a giveaway, make sure you consider where the trade show will be set up. You don’t want to give out an LSU Tigers basketball if you’re at a trade show in College Station, Texas.

If you’re a stickler for rules, you might consider a full-size basketball instead of a mini basketball. A full-size basketball has the same customization options as the mini version, but you’re branding material is more noticeable.

You can even use these basketballs for competitions that keep attendees at your booth longer. Having a mini basketball competition where the winner gets a free basketball gives you a chance to chat more with prospects.

Other Winter Item Options

We all know winter is a season of change. If you’re attending a winter trade show, you can also use promotional products that fit in with this time of change.

Items like planners or calendars are great winter items. People are already thinking about the new year, and most people welcome calendars and planners. These items are a great way to keep your brand in front of attendees all year long.

Any items that can fit in with those lofty goals of productivity and planning that come with a new year can make a great winter giveaway item. Journals are a great example of productivity and planning items.

A bonus to items like calendar, planners, and journals is that they feel more valuable than some giveaway options. While they won’t cost you much to give out, attendees will feel like these items are more valuable than other items offered.

Don’t Get Stuck on One Idea

You don’t have to pick just one item for your winter giveaway. While it might seem easier to just pick one item and stick with it, having more options makes it easier to have promotional products that will appeal to diverse groups.

If you pick several winter items for your trade show giveaways, you also have the chance to analyze what works best. If it’s your first time doing a giveaway, try choosing several options so you can determine what to focus on for next time.

Having several options to choose from can also make attendees feel special. If they get to pick out the item they want, they’ll feel valued. This helps establish relationships with the people you meet.

If you’re doing several trade shows through the winter months, you might also want to stock up on different items so you can choose what will work best for each region you visit.

You might even want to pick out some options for special giveaways to customers that visit your booth. This will show your returning customers that you value them and want them to stick around. Making returning customers feel special will make them want to keep working with you.

From Winter Items to All Year

While bringing specialized winter items for those winter trade shows is a great idea, you don’t want to neglect your trade shows throughout the year. Creative promotional items don’t have to be season specific.

While choosing your winter items, you might think about stocking up on other promotional items that can be used all year. If you need more inspiration for creative promotional items, or you have questions about the products available, we’re here to help.

We’re happy to help you make the best decision for your promotional product needs!

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Patrick Black
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Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.