Let’s Get Technical

I couldn’t tell you how many trade shows and conferences I have attended over the past few years, and while the theme of most of these conferences usually changes, there is one aspect that never seems to change—giveaway products! Now don’t get me wrong, I love getting free stuff (who doesn’t), but sometimes the items being given away exhibit what I like to call a “3B Freebie.” If you say it exactly how it is written, it rolls right off the tongue and is actually quite catchy. The three “Bs” stand for bleak, bland, and boring, and while that pretty much sums those particular products up nicely, I am being nice. In other words, some products are downright awful.


If you want to lure me (and other clueless attendees) to your booth or table, then you have got to up your game and give me what I want. Now, when I think of conferences, tradeshows, or anything with the term “con” acting as a prefix or suffix, I think of technology. Even if a particular gathering has nothing to do with technology, the fact remains that receiving a little, electronic doo-dad beats out a matte-finished business card any day.

A few years ago, I attended the NOPI Nationals Supershow, which is a custom-car fanatic’s dream conference gathering. Even though technology is being incorporated into cars in ways never before seen (my jaw dropped when I saw a completely custom Honda with a small television in each of the headlights), one wouldn’t expect to receive say, a USB key. However, that is exactly what happened to me. I can’t remember what company in particular was printed across it, but I do remember that the company dealt with tires. Even though tires relate to USB keys in no way thinkable, they provided me with a fully-functional and useful product that I still use to this day.

In fact, I have been seeing a lot of booths handing out USB keys, ports, and other promotional gadgets, and I think it is because almost every trade show attendee is carrying their laptop around haphazardly. With that being said an excellent product to giveaway that stays within the tech realm, at least in my opinion, would be a messenger bag or laptop case. A messenger bag, for example, would not only look attractive in the eyes of conference attendees, but it would also provide a relatively large canvas for a company to imprint their logo. Having a large canvas will not only stick out to the person receiving the giveaway product, but also to all those who see hanging from that person’s shoulder as well.


What is the one product that just about every person, young or old, has nowadays? If your answer was chronic stress, you would probably be right, but I am referring to the overabundance of smartphones carelessly slapping around in most folk’s pockets. Taking that into consideration, wouldn’t a shiny, branded cell phone case make a great promo product to hand out? I think it would. Given though, with such a wide variety of cell phone cases, it would be fiscally improvable, as well as virtually impossible to cater to each and every version of smartphone. However, Apple has done a wonderful job making a name for themselves and also at making the iPhone a household name. So many people are iPhone owners that an iPhone case would be a sensible option in terms of giving away cell phone cases.

USB keys, messenger bags, and cell phone cases are just a few of the very many options that conference and trade show vendors have. If you are set to be a vendor in the near future, don’t just limit yourself to those. There are so many nifty giveaway products that fall in the tech category that it would be ridiculous to stop at the three meager suggestions of a random tradeshow connoisseur. I’ve seen watches, stylus’s, voice recorders, and of course, mouse-pads given away. I will gladly accept anything you place in my hand, and if you feel it absolutely necessary, I’ll take your business card too!

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