Reduce Tradeshow Waste

  • Feb 20, 2020

By Alyson Hills-Martin

Think about the last show you attended, what promotional product did you take home? What branded item do you still use? Asking these questions before deciding on a tradeshow giveaway will make a lasting impression on your target audience and reduce tradeshow waste.


 Dye-Sublimated Lanyard with Bulldog Clip


Know Your Demographics

First, think about your demographic; have a discussion around who will be attending the show and how they can use your product in the future. In January 2020, Higher Promos was the lanyard sponsor for the Hemp/CBD Connex event. It made sense to scatter print green weed leaves on a black lanyard with “Higher Promos” imprinted near the clip. Everyone loved them.

It would have been very easy to put our logo, the event, and date on the lanyard. Considering what we would reuse, we found an appealing way to get our audience to do so. Now when a budtender is asked, “Where did you get that cool lanyard?!” our logo will be right there. We made the logo placement visible, as to not ask the receiver of the lanyard to fumble for the logo later.


Worthy Giveaways

Next, the product needs to be worth taking. New attendees will be so excited by the freebies, they will likely take anything (it happens to all of us!), but recurrent show attendees are going to ask themselves, “Do I really need this?”

Giveaways like recycled cotton bagslaser engraved USB drive or quality clothing with subtle logos will fly off your table!  Visitors pass up super-branded, dated or low-quality items. Reasons like limited space in the suitcase, airport security or the fact the attendee already has several of what is being offered, make your impact worthwhile. The quality of the promo item reflects the caliber of your company’s product or service.

A better way to keep costs low is to hand out fewer, but higher quality items to your most qualified leads. At the Hemp/CBD Connex event, Higher Promos handed out hemp hats with a subtle logo on the front and our logo ironed inside the hat, then we asked receivers to like our Instagram page. People really liked the hats and ultimately, our social media likes matched our hat giveaways.



Hemp Baseball Cap with Embroidery and Transfer


Participants who took a photo wearing the hat and tagged @higherpromos were entered to win a speaker. This got people talking and our booth had a lot of traffic looking for their own hemp hat.


Reduce Tradeshow Waste

Lastly, your booth has options for sustainability. When making artwork for banners, remove dates so there is an opportunity to reuse for subsequent events. Upload data to a USB drive to hand out instead of printed flyers. We are happy to share our creative ideas with your theme!

Being conscious of your impact has its benefits. According to Sustainable Brands, “when companies support social or environmental issues, consumer affinity overwhelmingly upsurges:

  • 93 percent of global citizens will have a more positive image of that company
  • 90 percent will be more likely to trust that company
  • 88 percent will be more loyal (i.e., continue buying products or services)”

If you are looking for sponsors or will be sponsoring an event, think about how you can reduce tradeshow waste. Ask your attendees to bring their own water bottle, coffee cup, stainless steel pint glass, and reusable utensils or ask for pre-purchase with the receiver in mind in the invite. We have hosted after-parties with reusable, stainless steel tumblers instead of plastic cups. If the event serves food, fill the water glasses after everyone has taken their seat.

Spending an extra moment thinking about the bigger picture, will help with a lasting impact for you, your company and your clients. Finding ways to ensure you are getting the most from your audience is how Higher Promos can help.

For more information on how to reduce tradeshow waste, check out the article "Afterlife of Promotional Products".


Alyson Hills-Martin is the Marketing Manager for Higher Promos.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Weber State University and has been with the company since 2018.  Alyson understands the importance of sustainability around promotional products and spends her free time traveling, hiking, and camping with her husband.



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