Swag bags steal the spotlight at red-carpet events—sometimes as much as stylish starlets leg- bombing it. At last night’s Golden Globes, the swag bags didn’t disappoint. (And neither, we might add, did Halle, Eva, Lea and all the others in their thigh-slit gowns. How do they do it?)
But back to the swag. Nominees, presenters and guests all scored a great Tumi bag loaded with giveaways from brands such as Donna Karan and Bulgari. Guys also got some great goodies—their swag bags were filled with guy-friendly products from Godiva, Sprout watches and Nabila K body care.
Yes, the swag bags are always pretty spectacular at events like the Golden Globes, but any event can be kicked up a notch by swag bags. Conferences and tradeshows are ideal for handing out convention swag. If you’re participating in, sponsoring or organizing an event, you definitely want attendees to walk away with promotional products branded with your company logo.
Here are three ways to make sure your giveaways get talked about—not tossed out.
1. Give out cool stuff.
It seems obvious, but many companies are so concerned about giving out branded items that they forget to think about what attendees actually want. Consider your audience: What do they find cool or interesting? Will your giveaway catch their attention in a swag bag stocked with other giveaways? If it’s not cool or if other companies are giving out the same thing (think pens and keychains), you need to step it up with your swag.
2. Be strategic with your giveaways.
If your marketing budget is slim, you’re better off ordering a small number of promotional items and ensuring they get maximum exposure. Your swag doesn’t always need to go in a bag. Think about giving out 50 custom t-shirts to your VIPs or loyal customers and asking them to wear the shirts at the conference or event. You get exposure without busting the budget, and they get a cool giveaway. Promotional t-shirts are great for guerilla marketing.
3. Opt for seasonal swag.
Many companies give out promo items that can be used all year long, so a simple way to stand out is by using seasonal products. Sponsoring a winter event? Hand out custom hot cocoa packets or cute beanies. Summertime conferences call for items such as beach towels, lip balm or sunglasses. Attendees can use these items right away, which increases the odds of them hanging on to the swag.
Promo know-how tip:
Always consider the size of the items for your swag bags. Many people travel to attend conferences and tradeshows, so you don’t want to overload them with cumbersome items that they can’t easily pack in a carry-on bag.