Brand Swag Trash

Brand Swag: When is it not a waste?

For those of us that have been to our fair share of trade events, we’ve seen so much money wasted on merchandised junk. In fact, most attendees will end up leaving show merch in their hotel rooms and seasoned attendees won’t even take the offer. It makes us wonder why companies are still wasting the money and littering the landfills…

We know trade show managers are often very busy, so the idea of tying in promotional items that go beyond just a cheap throw away with a logo and tag line and are actually useful and recyclable, is a tall order.

We’d like to offer some things to consider to ensure your show giveaways are worthy of a line item in your budget.


  • Does it fit into the event theme or current campaign?
  • Does it fit with what your attendees would enjoy?
  • Is it a keeper or something to toss?
    • If it’s a tosser and you are at a natural show, you are not setting a great example.

We recommend you put your attendee hat on and obey The Keep Toss List.


  • Items that can actually be used on an everyday basis
  • Trending must-haves
  • Goodies made from recycled / sustainable materials or practices
  • Branded gift cards for your own products or for popular stores everyone will appreciate


  • Items that won’t pass airport security
  • Collateral that can be found online
  • Branded apparel that you wouldn’t wear yourself
  • Branded clutter that you don’t want in your home
  • Hard to carry or cumbersome, large items

Here’s a shortlist of our favorite event giveaways that are sure to make a memorable impression and a tiny footprint:

  • Organic lip balm
  • Bamboo USB with all your announcements, collateral and deals
  • Recycled gift bags filled with eco goodies & a logo sticker
  • Product samples in small easy to pack sizes
  • Great artwork by local artists or art for a cause (with or without understated logo) on stickers, hemp or bamboo t’s, hats or even bandannas – if it’s cool and there is buzz around it, they will remember…
  • Eco friendly cardboard, bamboo or recycled pens
  • Non-GMO seed packs with packaging tied into your campaign
  • Hemp or recycled material water bottle slings
  • Eco friendly, travel size hand sanitizers
  • Eco tote bags
  • Eco bottles / drinkware


Leave a reply below so we can all get in on the goodness!

Need help integrating your gifts into your events or in-store programs?

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