My Top 5 Exhibition Picks

Earlier this year, I visited one of the largest exhibitions of promotional items in the UK. Held at the Ricoh arena in Coventry, it was a great opportunity to catch up with manufacturers, and find out what’s new to the market and what trends are anticipated for 2017.

Here, I’ve picked what I believe to be some real finds that could work really well for your own events and exhibitions, or as giveaways to clients and prospectives. Of course merchandise is tangible; it needs to convey a positive emotional experience and it needs to match your brand identity. Whilst not all these items may work for you, I feel it’s a good opportunity to show you what’s out there and I hope this may give you some inspiration.

1. Americana range
The Americana range of UK-wide drinkware is exclusive to the promotional market. It offers a wide selection of stylish designs, hard-wearing materials (single walled and doubled walled, opaque and translucent) and great print opportunities. Available in different capacities from the 250ml Primo designed specifically to work with hot drink vending machines, to the Grande Thermal 350ml capacity mug with handle.
Price: £2-£6 per unit
Target: The large print area and usability makes this a great item for your campaign.
Minimum order: Min quantity from 120 units (depending on mug style)

2. Smart Cube
This cube is a creative multifunctional desk set, it can hold pens, paper, paperclips and business card holder. It is a unique patented piece, that is ideal for campaigns that have complex messaging or a story to tell.

Price: Low
Target: Great for complex B2B campaigns, or educational promotions for office workers.
Minimum Order: 100 units (£3.5 + carriage and VAT)

3. RFID Cases
There is an estimated 92 million contactless cards in circulation authorising payments under £30 with a wave of the card. However it has been shown that mobile payment devices can read the cards up to 4 inches away, leaving you vulnerable to contactless theft. These RFID blocking cases for cards and phones, block any signal and prevent unauthorised contactless payments
Price: Low – Mid range
Target: Great for competition giveaways, or at exhibitions for customers and employees
Minimum order: depending on model – approx. 100 units


4. Short run print T-Shirts or Polo Shirts
In my opinion, this is a game changer, previously the high cost of short print runs were prohibitive to most campaign specific messaging. Now with the advances in printing technology, you can print designs directly on T-Shirts or Polo shirts after they have been assembled. This means you can have bespoke messaging for a particular event, or make your t-shirts campaign specific.
Price: low – mid
Target: Any marketing activity relating to your campaign – e.g. for exhibition staff to wear, or bespoke prizes or giveaways or for team building events.
Minimum Order: 5 T-Shirts at £32 +VAT per shirt

5. Denim Tote
Totes are a staple of the merchandise catalogue, however they are usually functional, and not particularly pretty. These new denim drawstring and tote bags are not only desirable but eco friendly too. Plus they have a great surface area for messaging, which when you consider most bags have a lifespan of a minimum of 7 months, gives longevity to your message.
Price: low -mid range
Target: Great for CSR and ECO messaging, for events and campaigns. Also available in a draw string bag
Minimum Order: 100 (approx. £3 per unit)

If you are interested in any of these merchandise items, or want to find out what promotional items could work for your campaign, then do get in touch Affinity call 0844 995 1495 or email

Director Affinity Merchandise