What’s Popular in Promo Products


The two leading trade shows for promotional products, the ASI Show and PPAI Expo, concluded earlier this month. But rather than try to predict what the tradeshow marketing trends for the rest of the year will be, we thought we’d review some of the more popular products and categories that have endured since last January.

Think Retail

Perhaps the biggest trend of the past year for integrated marketers was the effort to make promotional products look like they came straight off a retailer’s shelf. Even if the items don’t actually bear a well-known retail name, some of them are made to replicate the style. Marketers who can’t afford the actual brand they want can easily find one with a similar look.

Selfie Sticks

It didn’t take long for Disneyland to post signs against using selfie sticks on certain rollercoaster-like rides, then ban them altogether at the parks. The term “selfie” was dubbed Oxford Dictionary’s “word of the year” in 2013, and the practice has become a cultural phenomenon, even making a splash at the Oscars.

You can capitalize on the trend by adding your logo to a selfie stick, which would make a popular item to hand out at corporate events, parties, and any number of occasions that people might like to remember with a photo.

Phone Chargers

Computer and smartphone accessories are in great demand. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with creative new electronic promotional products that can bear your logo. We’ve previously mentioned customized USB drives and now you can add phone chargers to the list. The advantage of offering tech promos like this is that people use them all the time so your brand message can be visible on a daily basis.

Drinkware and Water

According to ePromos, more than 25 percent of consumers use branded (logoed) drinkware every day. The latest trend in drinking cup merchandise is diamond-cut drinkware, which offers a high-end feel.

Another option is to offer custom-branded bottled water. The water bottle idea may not be new, but with different colored caps or bottle shapes, you can put a new spin on it. People appreciate water when it’s given out at trade shows, concerts, races, other outdoor events.

Above all, the main trend to follow when choosing your promo product is to think retail. People only want (and use) the freebies that they’d be willing to buy. Need some creative new ideas? Check with your promo products supplier to discover what’s hot and what’s not.

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