Guide To Event Merchandising And Product Promotions

Event Merchandising

When it comes to marketing, you might think in broad terms such as advertising campaigns, radio spot, print ads, or social media marketing. However, successful branding efforts often come down to branded products and giveaways.

Marketing can be something as simple as a keychain or pen with your logo or company name on it. Marketing can also take the form of a vendor booth at a trade show, conference, home show, or community health fair.

No matter the venue, event merchandising should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. If you’re looking to produce promotional products in the Largo, Florida area there we have plenty of ideas.

Let’s go over some of the options to get you started.

Defining Event Marketing

Before we discuss event merchandising, it might be helpful to understand event marketing as a whole. The purpose of event marketing is to brand, entertain, and engage with potential customers or clients. Whether the event is a local back-to-school fair or huge trade show that attracts thousands, the goal should be to “sell” your services or products to attendees.

Most marketing efforts are more of the “remote” variety, meaning there is little to no personal contact. An event is your chance to make real connections and to talk about your products or services to people who could potentially buy them.

Benefits of Event Merchandising

Event merchandising is all about promoting your brand at the event and beyond.

Merchandise can promote your values and drive awareness to attendees. However, promotional products for eventsalso have the potential to reach people after the big day. A T-shirt or goodie bag with your logo on the outside can become a walking billboard for your company or organization.

Custom merchandise can help engage the audience you hope to attract. Maybe the products are meant to grab attention in a crowded venue. Or they can simply be for fun or be useful in some way.

Event products can get your audience to come to you. Even small community events can attract quite a crowd. The products you sell or give away represent an opportunity to get potential customers/clients to stop and talk at you.

In the end, promotional products can help you gain top of mind awareness with potential clients/customers. Every time they use one of your products, they’re seeing your name and remembering what you can do for them. 

Types of Events

So, where can you make use of merchandising products? Honestly, the occasions where you can promote your brand is almost limitless. You can put together your own event, sponsor one, or set up a vendor booth that attendees can visit.

Traditional venues can include:

  • Exhibition & trade shows
  • Conferences
  • Home & garden shows
  • Corporate events
  • Community events
  • Health fairs
  • Craft fairs
  • Back-to-school fairs
  • Youth fairs
  • Sporting events
  • School events
  • Fundraising events
  • Business meetings
  • Business pitch/leave behinds
  • Industry networking events
  • Book shows

You can probably think of other venues, especially those that are unique to your business or industry. The point is to find places where your target audience is likely to be.

Choosing Promotional Products and Booth Displays

Choosing promotional and giveaway products can be a challenge. There are so many ideas that it can be hard to narrow it down. You also want to think about what you’d like for a booth display.

You can start by considering the type of venue and where the event will take place. Will it be outdoors or inside? In a huge civic center or meeting room in a hotel? What other vendors will be there?

Research the event to understand who will be in attendance, as well as the venue so you can visualize what you want the booth to look like.

Ask yourself a few questions about the attendees:

  • What is the age range of attendees?
  • What is their average income?
  • What is their interest in attending the event?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • What products would be useful or helpful for them?

You then want to consider the theme of the event, as well as the theme for your display. This will help you determine which exhibition merchandise and booth display items to produce.

Merchandise Ideas

Now that you’ve considered your reason for being part of an event and the type of attendees, it’s time to think about the actual products to sell or give away.


  • T-shirts & Polos
  • Hats & baseball caps
  • Visors & sunglasses
  • Jackets & sweatshirts
  • Socks

Tech Tools:

  • Wireless charging pad
  • Portable phone charger
  • Stick on wallet for cell phone/credit card protector
  • Flash drive
  • Earbuds
  • USB hub
  • Screen cleaning cloth
  • Mouse/mouse pad

Bags & Cases:

  • Duffel bag
  • Reusable grocery bag
  • Business attaché case
  • Backpack
  • Sling bag
  • Wallet

Travel Merchandise:

  • Travel alarm clock
  • Airline-approved containers for liquids
  • Hand sanitizer/sanitizing wipes
  • PPE travel kit
  • Kleenex pack
  • Luggage tags
  • Organizer bag
  • Tech travel organizer
  • Travel sleep mask/blanket/pillow
  • Neck wallet

Office products:

  • Pens
  • Notepads & sticky notes
  • Stationary
  • Coffee mugs
  • Planners

Misc products:

  • Water bottles
  • Battery-operated fan
  • Lanyards
  • Lapel pins
  • Keychain
  • Face masks
  • Stress reliever balls
  • First aid kit
  • Portable sewing kit
  • Handheld games & puzzles
  • Yo-Yo
  • Fidget spinner
  • Cell phone holder
  • Stuffed animals
  • Silly putty
  • Pill organizer
  • Calendar

Again, think about the type of event and who will be attending. This will help you decide what to produce and sell or giveaway.

Decking the Booth

Don’t forget to make the vendor booth part of your marketing efforts. You can take a simple folding table and chairs, and transform the space into a fun, educational, and interactive display.

Vendor booth ideas:

  • Tent
  • Fitted table covers
  • Counters
  • Retractable banners
  • Backdrops
  • Signage
  • Directional signs
  • Flags
  • Posters
  • Wall displays
  • Interactive displays
  • Hand sanitizer station

Don’t forget informational giveaways such as business cards, brochures, flyers, and postcards. That’s the whole point of participating in events.

Let Us Help Promote Your Business or Organization

If you want to put your best foot forward at events, we can take care of your event merchandising needs. We turn the most challenging products into reality. Our team will work with you to produce beautiful, high-end displays and branded promotional products.

Contact us to discuss your needs.