It is fair to say that most people appreciate it when they are given free items at a trade show or in a department store, especially when they did not expect it. They will usually be happy to pick up a pen or a fridge magnet with the logo of a company emblazoned on it, regardless of whether they are familiar with the company or not. Of course, these promotional products are an important merchandising tool to get a company's name out to the general public.
The types of items that are often used as promotional products include T-shirts, pens and pencils, mugs, reusable canvas bags, memo pads, fridge magnets, and calendars. All of these are reasonably inexpensive to produce and are items for which everyone can find a use, be it at home or in the office. They tend to be given away at trade shows, sent to corporate clients, given to employees as a reward, or mailed out to targeted lists of potential customers. Many printing companies take care of the entire process, from designing to printing to distribution.
It is important that a promotional product appeals to people, as it will be discarded very quickly if it does not. A promotional item must obviously include the company name but it should also have a unique picture or phrase that will set it apart from others. Working with a printing company that has a lot of experience designing promotional products will almost guarantee that the items will appeal to the widest variety of potential customers.