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Advantages of Single-Use Sample Products for Tradeshows and Networking Events

Of all the marketing opportunities that present themselves each year, trade shows and similar networking events are still among the best for a wide range of different reasons.


For starters, trade shows have nearly every other option beat in terms of volume alone. According to a report conducted by CEIR called “The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into the Overall Marketing Budget,” it’s estimated that 81 percent of show attendees in a B2B environment have buying authority. This means that out of every five people you see at an event, an incredible four of them are potential customers just waiting to be connected with. Another report indicates that 78 percent of trade show attendees travel an average of 400 or more miles to attend a particular exhibition, which means that more often than not, you’re getting a national audience for your brand.


When an opportunity this massive presents itself, it’s natural for marketers to pull out all the stops to connect with their target audience in any way possible. One time-honored tradition at these types of network events has always involved giving away sample products. People love free items, and this is a powerful, inexpensive and effective way to let someone experience what you’re offering on their own terms.

Along the same lines, single-use sample products for trade shows and other networking events bring a wide range of different advantages to the table that can’t be ignored.

Free Samples Are a Feedback-Generating Machine

Perhaps the number one benefit of single-use product samples for trade shows and other types of events has to do with the constructive relationship they establish with your target audience almost immediately. By letting someone try your product free, people can tell you what they feel you’re doing right — and more importantly — what you’re doing wrong.

Because someone didn’t have to pay for a sample, they don’t have a “horse in the race,” so to speak. They have no reason to sugarcoat their opinion or otherwise alter their feelings in any way for your benefit, which gives way to honest, raw feedback that you can use to strengthen your output moving forward.

Single-Use Samples Are Cost Effective

Another one of the reasons why single-use sample products are so beneficial to trade shows and other marketing events is because they’re so cost effective. Generally speaking, a sample will never be a “full” version of your product. Think of it as if it’s the trial version of a software program you downloaded. The trial version doesn’t have all the features — it has just enough to help you form an initial impression.

Because of this smaller size, however, sample products are a great, affordable way to create brand awareness and increase enthusiasm. Margaret Colebeck, trade show exhibition expert, says, “This smaller size allows your team to hand out more of your product and reach a larger audience, all for a cheaper cost.”

Sample Products Also Act as Calling Cards

In addition to giving someone an affordable (read: free) way to try out a product they may not otherwise have, single-use sample products are also great because of the marketing opportunity they represent. When designed properly, sample products can essentially accomplish the same thing as a business card.

Packaging for your sample products should always include both your company name and a point of contact, allowing someone to reach out as quickly as possible if they’re interested in pursuing a relationship after the show ends. Even consumable samples can include something with contact information, allowing you to accomplish two things at once from a marketing perspective.

They Broaden Your Audience Almost Instantly

Finally, one of the most important reasons that single-use sample products can be so beneficial in a trade show environment has to do with how they broaden your potential reach almost immediately. Make no mistake about it: People love freebies, and many people look forward to attending trade shows and other networking events for one reason alone: because of all the free items they’ll be walking away with.

Even if someone is on the fence about your company or doesn’t actually think they have any interest in what you’re offering, they’re much more likely to stop by your exhibit (or to hear about it in the first place) if you’re giving away something free to everyone who stops by. Not only are people who walk by more likely to stop if they know sample products are available, but this will create a word of mouth that will certainly help raise awareness all show long. In essence, sample products allow you to reach people you otherwise might not have in addition to rewarding your existing target audience.

The SLC Custom Packaging Approach

SLC Custom Packaging is proud to be your single, one-stop shop for all of the quality contract filling you need when you need it the most. To find out more about the advantages of single-use product samples at trade shows, or to learn more about the wide range of other services SLC provides to customers all over the world, don’t delay — contact us today for more information.