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Jul 18

Top 10 Green Business Gifts

Trade shows are a fantastic opportunity to network, meet potential clients and get your message out in the open with a bit of corporate branding.

However, the benefits to these exhibitions can also sometimes be their greatest downfall. Because you are likely to meet so many suppliers, chances are they are all going to be relatively similar to one another, particularly in niche shows.

So how do you stand out amongst the crowd and become remembered long after the show has been packed up and business returns to the office?

Sustainability has become a selling point in the past few years. Both consumers and businesses alike want to invest in a greener future, not just for financial reasons, but for the sake of the environment.

With this in mind, your potential customers will be savvy to eco-friendly methods and will be opening up to this changing world. With this in mind, it’s a good opportunity to review your corporate social responsibility and break out of old habits.

Exhibitions feature plenty of goodie bags and giveaways in the name of promotion, but they are not always as eco-friendly as they can be.

Here are 10 common giveaway gifts that are available in a more sustainable format. But remember, something that is both useful to them and eco-friendly will help keep your branding in front of them for longer. Keep it green and keep them keen.

  1. Calculator – For those that prefer to use the good old-fashioned calculator as opposed to the smartphone variety, try a solar powered version. Most calculators now have a small solar panel built in to further power the battery life via natural energy. With a longer shelf life, waste to landfill is reduced.
  2. Torch – Torches are becoming more popular at trade shows because it’s something everyone likes to keep handy, whether it’s in the tool box at home or in the draw at the office. Dynamo powered torches are on the up, where power is generated through a wind-up mechanism instead of using wasteful one-use batteries.
  3. Stress ball – Popular in most offices, there are now greener alternatives of these fun desk frills. They are more often than not made from recycled products now, and if you want to make sure that you take care of the whole life cycle, look out for ones that are bio-degradable too.
  4. USB drive – Not only can a USB be incredibly handy to have around, but it gives you the opportunity to store company information for prospective clients to read later at their convenience. Go green in this area by selecting a wooden flash drive instead of plastic. With a wooden casing, you should stand out amongst the crowd.
  5. Bottled water – As exhibitions are incredibly busy, most will be looking for a short coffee break rather than a full lunch. Have branded bottled water available on stand to attract visitors. Make sure the bottles are recycled and recyclable though!
  6. Desk clock – In a similar fashion to solar panelled calculators, desk clocks can make the most out of their batteries through renewable energy. They are even available powered by water. Branding desk clocks can be a fantastic way to keep your brand firmly in the mind of potential customers.
  7. Mugs – Offices with plenty of staff will happily take away your mugs, even covered in branding. If you want to become more eco-friendly though, at least try and go organic, ensuring that the materials were produced without the use of artificial chemicals. It may not have the ‘green’ credentials of a recycled bottle, but it’s heading in the right direction.
  8. Mouse mat – These are now widely available created from recycled tyres and are a blank canvas ready for whatever message you may want to portray to others.
  9. Pens and pencils – This is an item that will most likely hang around the longest with your recipient. Who doesn’t need another pen or pencil in the office? Pens can be made from recycled material, and pencils can be made from almost anything! Their materials range from ethically sourced wood to recycled CDs.
  10. Awards – Exhibitions will have plenty of sponsored events. Some of these will most likely be awards. Consider sponsoring one, and request that the award itself is made from recycled glass – and don’t be afraid to say that this was done on purpose! Not only will this ensure that your logo is widely seen, but an award is not just likely to be used, but to be displayed for all to see. You will also be seen as an authority and as a responsible company by thinking green.

Article contributed by Jane Spenser on behalf of Merchandise Mania. Jane is an eco-warrior and keen supporter of PETA’s fight against the fur industry. Follow them on Twitter @brandmerch

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