Skip to content
A set of branded merch. A custom pin badge, branded socks, and corporate lanyard.

Use Branded Merch to Stand Out At Networking Events & Trade Shows

Networking events are a great way to connect with potential clients, partners, and industry professionals. But with so many people vying for attention, how can you stand out and make a lasting impression? 

The answer is simple: branded merchandise.

Branded merchandise, also known as branded swag, custom swag or merch, is a powerful marketing tool that can help you leave a lasting impression on attendees at networking events. 

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using branded merch for trade shows and events and provide tips on choosing the right items for your brand.

A Tag Heur pin badge made to look like the face of a very expensive watch.

Why Use Branded Merch for Networking Events?

Branded merchandise is a tangible representation of your brand that can leave a lasting impression on potential clients and partners. Here are some key benefits of using branded merch for networking events.

A minature IKEA bag with a branded pin badge on the handle.

Personalised Merch Increases Brand Visibility

Networking events are an excellent opportunity to get your brand in front of a large audience. By providing attendees with branded merchandise, you are essentially turning them into walking billboards for your brand. This can increase brand visibility and awareness, ultimately leading to more business opportunities.

Make Your Business Memorable and Unique

In a sea of business cards and handshakes, branded merchandise can help you stand out and be remembered. By offering something unique, you are more likely to make a lasting impression on attendees, which is beneficial in a competitive industry where everyone vies for attention.

Create Cost-Effective Marketing Tools

Branded merchandise can be a cost-effective marketing tool, especially compared to traditional forms of advertising. With a relatively low cost per item, you can reach a large audience and potentially generate more leads and business opportunities.

Build Brand Loyalty With Long-Lasting Swag

Giving away branded merchandise at networking events can also help build brand loyalty. When attendees receive a useable and high-quality item, they are more likely to perceive your brand positively and become loyal customers.

A multi-coloured printed branded patch

Choosing the Right Branded Merch for Networking Events

When choosing the right branded swag, there are a few key factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you choose the best items for your brand:

Consider Your Audience

The first step in choosing the right branded merch is considering your audience. Who will be attending the networking event? What are their interests and needs? 

By understanding your audience, you can choose items that will be useful and appealing to them.

Consider Useful Items

The key to successful branded merchandise is choosing useful and relevant products for your audience to ensure that your merch is kept and used, increasing brand visibility and awareness.

Some popular and useful items for networking events include hats, socks, drawstring bags, and lanyards. These practical items have a high perceived value, making them more likely to be kept and used.

Quality Matters

Quality matters when it comes to branded merchandise; you want to choose well-made items that will reflect positively on your brand. Cheap and poorly made things can have the opposite effect and may even damage your brand's reputation.

Trusting Made by Cooper to produce your branded swag will ensure your merch is well-received and positively impacts your brand.

Keep Your Branding Consistent

Consistency is vital when it comes to branding, and when you're choosing branded merchandise, be sure to keep your branding consistent across all items. Consistent branding means using the same logo, colours, and fonts on all items to create a cohesive and professional look.

Don't Forget About Packaging

Businesses often overlook branded packaging when creating custom merch, which can significantly impact brand visibility. Consider using branded packaging for your items, such as backing cards for pins and patches, branded tags for hats and caps, or card headers and wraps for custom socks. 

Three Ooni patches featuring the Ooni logo, a pizza society logo and the backyard pizza club emblem.

Examples of Branded Merch for Networking Events

To give you some inspiration, here are some real-world examples of branded merchandise we've created for businesses to use at networking events and for brand awareness.

A white drawstring bag with black strings and the Made by Cooper logo and pattern.

Drawstring Bags

Drawstring bags are a popular and practical item for networking events that potential clients can use to carry other items received at the event and are often kept and used long after the event. You can bet your bottom dollar if you walk around a trade show with one of these on your back you'll continually get asked "Where did you get that bag?".

Some white custom socks with the Lead Mill love heart logo and an attached heading card.

Branded Socks

Socks are a unique product that can draw a lot of attention to your brand. Everybody loves a fun pair of custom socks, and they can often be a conversion starter with your brand taking centre stage.

A black baseball cap with the Made by Cooper logo embroidered on the front in white thread.

Hats & Caps

Custom headwear is the perfect branded product for sports conventions and outdoor pursuits tradeshows. Hand out caps and hats with your corporate logo on the front, and people will literally walk around showcasing your brand to your exact target audience.

A custom lanyard with the Pier logo and blue, red, green, and yellow wavy lines.


Branded lanyards can be more than just a tool for security passes and identification badges; they can be an advertisement for your business that people carry around with them at all times.

Two PVC custom pin badges featuring the Vox Fresh logo. One badge is bright orange and the other is a vibrant pink.

Pins & Patches

While pins and patches don't have any functional value, they are classic and cost-effective branded products that have proved invaluable at tradeshows and networking events for spreading the word about brands and businesses. You can add backing cards to enamel pins and patches and uses them as unique business cards that will pique the attention of those you give them to.

Key Takeaways

Branded merchandise is a powerful marketing tool to help you stand out and make a lasting impression at trade shows and networking events. Choosing useful, high-quality products can increase brand visibility, build brand loyalty, and generate more business opportunities. 

Remember to keep your branding consistent and involve other departments in decision-making to ensure the best results.

If you're ready to increase your brand awareness, get in touch and we'll show you how you can utilise our FREE design service to make trade show swag that is a step above the rest.

Made by Cooper
15 May 2024

Made by Cooper uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve your experience. By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy.