Giveaways, freebies, perks, favours. Call them what you like, everyone loves something for nothing.

The corporate event business love to hand out little tokens and trinkets to aid business or make people feel good about their brand. But what’s the best and most effective of all products when doing this?

I’ve received (and picked up) many small bits and bobs over the years, some have lasted longer than others. So, I wondered from your experience, what have been the best and most effective giveaways for your business? There’s loads of different categories.

On the desk – Mouse mats, coasters, mugs, sticky notes, pens. So, so popular – yet so unmemorable. I’ve had hundreds of free pens – couldn’t tell you a single brand that was on one of them. I’ve had a few coasters on my desk that have had longevity, one for a printing firm whose coaster was my reference to their phone number. Mugs, an office can never have enough and they’ll stick around.

Chocs and sweet things – everyone loves a bit of chocolate or a treat but these aren’t very long lasting. Taken away, consumed (sometimes immediately) and then discarded with your brand, never to be thought about again. Right?

Apparel – T shirts, hoodies and hats – I wonder about these giveaways, yes they are effective at getting your brand out there. Walking, talking advertising. But the issue is getting them to physically wear it. I’ve been given many a T Shirt and many times I’ve never worn it – usually because either it’s poor quality, too gordy or most often way too big. No point in giving a large t shirt to someone who wears a small. Small size quality T shirts I’ve worn quite a lot *hint, hint*

Tote bags – Since the charge of 5p for a plastic carrier bag these are more effective! A proper cotton ‘bag for life’. If your brand is going to be recognised in the supermarket, this is a winner!

Tech – USB flash drives are by far the most popular of all the tech freebies. We all use them; we all need them but often they don’t hold enough storage for everyday use. In an age where we download HD TV shows at 1GB a pop, a 1GB drive is going to be assigned to the bottom of the desk draw. 8GB upwards will get used every day – don’t miss the opportunity to put some marketing on the drive too. Consider alternatives – Phone charging cables! We all need more of those!Promotional-Items-300x300

Tins of mints – You know, the fiddly ones to get in to. Does anyone actually find them minty enough?

Stress balls – landfill I like to call them

The public’s appetite for free stuff can be insatiable, but what’s the most effective thing you have used as a giveaway? Or what’s the most innovative you’ve received? Tweet us at @rbgroup to let us know