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7 Best Promo Products for Trade Show Giveaways 2019

Setting up a presence at trade shows and conventions is an awesome way to meet new people, bring in prospects and revel in the uniqueness of your industry. Whether you attend them once a year or once a month, you want to add your own individual spin to your booth, a goal with which the right promotional products can really help.

However, ideally you can do it without harming the environment. Too many convention booths flood passersby with paper items, throwaway plastic gifts (keychains, anyone?) and useless tchotchkes that they simply toss when they get home. With the way the world is headed, we really can’t afford more waste. To wit:

The Need for Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Plastic is devastating to our environment. The U.S. alone trashes enough plastic water bottles in a single week to circle the globe five times. In the Pacific Ocean, there are six times as many pieces of plastic as there are plankton. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a floating island of trash – is as big as India, Europe and Mexico combined.

Paper is no picnic either. The world produces more than 300 million tons every year, much of which gets stacked up in storage warehouses, recycling centers or dumps. In a landfill, it doesn’t degrade any faster than plastic, due to the absence of necessary light and air. As of 2009, it represented a full 16 percent of landfill waste in the U.S.

Why do we care about this? Because paper and plastic are the two most common materials that companies hand out at trade shows and conventions. And frankly, they’re just not responsible choices.

Here are a few better promotional products for your next trade show.

Recycled Bags

Woven/Laminated Reusable Bag Material
Woven/Laminated Reusable Bag Material

Trade shows and conventions are notorious for handing out custom wholesale tradeshow bags. The better to carry your other swag in, my dear! However, those bags are often made of the aforementioned wasteful materials, draining the world of resources and providing only a briefly used receptacle that is soon to hit the garbage heap.

Instead, consider a recycled bag that gives your prospects and potential partners all the room they need to carry around paraphernalia, but doesn’t harm the Earth. Our rPET Bag with Recycled Poly Terephtalate is just the ticket. It’s available in 1-4 color silkscreen or CMYK 4 color Bag Magic and is made from 80 percent recycled water bottles. With both gloss and matte lamination options and the bright, beautiful printing, it’s the perfect choice for marketing your biz in style.

Other popular bags to consider

Eco-Friendly USB Drives

Did you know flash drives can be sustainable too? Yup. With outer casings made of non-plastic, recycled or recyclable materials, USB drives are the perfect way to convince a client or customer to stick with you over the long haul. Choose from round or rectangular shapes, and print a small, monochrome logo for best results.

Sustainable Pens

Beautiful pens made from sustainably harvested wood or cork, that utilize refillable cartridges, are an excellent way to make a splash while treading lightly on the Earth. Make sure to print your logo boldly in white or black ink, whichever contrasts most sharply with the wood, so that customers will continue to see them for months to come. Also, make sure to include an extra cartridge as well as information about refilling the pen if you want to make a strong impression.

Vinyl Bags and Totes

Let’s be honest: Part of the fun of trade shows and conventions is all the amazing swag. If you’re hoping to impress those valuable prospects, our clear bags and totes are a good way to do it. Prospects can tuck their goods into the bag, all while showing off your logo as they walk around.

If you like, you can pre-stuff the bag with eco-friendly goodies ahead of time. Just make sure those goods are made from environmentally gentle materials themselves, or else you lose out on green points. Think brochures printed on 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper and upcycled products, such as buttons made of bottle caps. If you’re going to go the swag route, you may as well go big!

Custom vinyl bags also make awesome raffle options, because they showcase the goods inside. If you’re putting a freebie into the raffle pool, this is a good chance to choose some of your favorite eco options (food is always a win) and stuff your bag to the brim. Plus, because vinyl bags are so useful, winners are likely to use them for beach totes and grocery bags for years to come … upping the number of marketing impressions you get from each item.

Canvas Totes

Hands-down, canvas totes are among the most popular trade show and convention items. They’re strong, durable and spacious. They do heavy-duty work carrying swag at the convention, but will still be sturdy enough to tote the dog bowl and tennis balls on a camping trip three years from now. A client, customer, vendor, and business partner win, for sure.

Canvas totes are also made from biodegradable cotton, which makes them an extra win. When you know your environmentally friendly bag is not only made from a renewable resource, but is unbleached and natural-looking, and will break down in the compost, you can feel great about handing it out.

Last benefit? The wide-open expanse for a beautiful logo. While you can certainly opt for multi-color logos on canvas, single-color branding is where it’s at with these floppy catchalls. Consider the plain cotton canvas tote bag, which is square-bottomed for easy loading and looks elegant with a dark blue logo.

Tee Shirts

Much like canvas totes, tees are made of sustainable cotton. Opt for fair-trade to do your part for the world, and print with beautiful, crisp inks to make them really stand out. Today you can also find bags made from t-shirt material called Rip Stop Polyester Bags & Totes.

Bottle Bags

Headed to a brewer’s convention or a wine-centric trade show? You can’t do better than to go armed with reusable wine bags. That way, when an interested party approaches your table and takes some samples or a small purchase with them, they can do it with flair. Our bags are perfect for boldly showcasing a logo, whether light ink on dark or dark on light.

You can choose from 6, 4 or 1 bottle bags, and from a variety of materials as well. For instance, we carry a wide variety of reusable fabrics, such as woven, nonwoven, insulated and wholesale laminated bags. If you prefer to go the paper route, you can do it in an environmentally friendly way by purchasing bags with corded handles and strong fibers, so they can be reused again and again.

The Marketing Advantage

In addition to being ecofriendly, the advantage of every one of these items we’ve listed is that it’s great for business. You may not know that each bag earns an average of 5,700 impressions over its lifetime. Bags earn a higher impression per dollar (1,000 impressions per dollar) than many other marketing materials, including tee shirts and office supplies. That said, the latter both earn 500 impressions per dollar, which is nothing to turn your nose up at. And all can be had in high-quality, reusable and long-lasting versions.

The takeaway? You want marketing materials that stick. That means your prospects won’t get home and toss them in the trash, but will rather use them again and again. If you want to start with the reusable grocery bags that are helping to save the planet, we invite you to get in touch with us today for help. Our team is standing by!


Written and edited by (RTB). RTB is one of the original U.S grown suppliers of eco-friendly wholesale reusable and recycled promotional product bags and totes available in custom sizes.

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