People love free stuff, which is why gifting a swag bag at your next event is a genius way to not only get noticed, but instantly get on potential customers’ good sides from the beginning. A swag bag, in case you’re not familiar, is a goodie bag full of items like branded goods and samples. They’re usually handed out to folks at events, corporate parties, and other sponsored gatherings. They are a great way to thank guests for attending and making sure they remember your brand.
In short, it’s hard not to love a swag bag. But if you’re going to do one, do it right. After all, your brand or logo will be all over the items inside it—each item is a mini representation of your company. As such, you don’t want to just throw whatever cheap items into it. Your swag bag should be obviously connected to your brand, while being thoughtful and useful.
Sponsored swag bags are also a smart way to stand out in a crowd, especially when trying to win over the crowd at a conference or trade show when throngs of brands are all vying for customers’ attentions. Rather than throwing a few free typical items like pens or water bottles across your booth, switch it up with the conference equivalent of a party favor. Below, we offer 10 of our favorite items to stash inside a swag bag.
Cool Tradeshow Giveaway Ideas
Giveaway #1: Reusable Water Bottles
Limiting single-use plastic in favor of more sustainable options is a growing movement around the country, especially for millennials. A sustainable, reusable water bottle is a great way to exhibit your corporate responsibility to the environment in a very trending way.
Giveaway #2: Wireless Charging Pads
Looking to excite a tech-friendly crowd? Consider throwing a wireless charging pad into the swag bag. They’re small and lightweight, making them easily fit inside a bag of (nearly) any size. And frankly, they’re neat and unique—a nice upgrade from the standard cord charger. They’re also versatile, working well in the office or at home.
Giveaway #3: Tote or Drawstring Bags
When putting together a swag bag, all your attention will likely go into what you ought to put in the bag but don’t forget—you actually need a bag. Rather than using a bag that will end up in the trash, why not opt for a branded reusable bag (hello, sustainability)? Reusable bags are a favorite promotional giveaway, as they have a strong lasting power. Fill one up with goodies? Even better.
Giveaway #4: Pens
The promotional pen may get an eye roll for being an old standby but they’re actually incredibly useful. With nearly all our communication these days being digital, folks rarely think to carry a pen with them, despite it being an office/desk staple. Simply put, having a pen in your swag bag will come in useful for attendees.
Giveaway #5: PopSockets
You might have seen this useful accessory attached to phones recently. Although trendy, PopSockets help improve grip on expensive mobile phones. Tradeshow attendees (and their kids) will appreciate an affordable yet practical piece of mobile tech applicable in daily life. Plus, when the PopSocket becomes attached, it creates a walking billboard of your brand or logo for whoever can’t put down their phone.
Giveaway #6: Lunch & Cooler Bags
Multi-day conferences and tradeshows can get expensive for attendees (especially if not work-sponsored). Multiple bottles of water, snacks throughout the day, breakfast, lunch…it adds up fast. It’s not uncommon for folks to bring their own snacks, but they often end up squished and crumpled from laying in the bottom of a bag all day. Help folks out by gifting them a lunch bag—an easy way to carry snacks and even meals with them during the event.
Giveaway #7: Lip Balm
Lip balm is kind of a phenomenon…and a multimillion-dollar industry. As a cold-weather necessity, women are almost never without some on hand. This is a swag-bag item that’s not only going to get some love, but a long-life—folks will likely use it until it’s used up.
Giveaway #8: Baseball Hats
T-shirts are a favorite promotional item because folks tend to keep and wear them for a long time to come, but they can be tricky when you’re trying to appeal to folks in a one-size-fits-all manner. Swag bags need to be stuffed and ready to go prior to the event, so you can forget tailoring them to each attendee (can you imagine trying to check each person’s size preference at a huge event?). Enter the baseball cap. Same principal as the t-shirt, but much more universal and easier to fit all most attendees.
Giveaway #9: Web Cam Covers
Technology is fantastic but like all good things, it has its bad side, too. Privacy is a huge issue when it comes to computers, especially with the threat of hackers who can break into webcams. Conspiracy theories aside, it’s also far too easy to accidentally turn your webcam on during a team meeting—and suddenly everyone sees that you’re running it in your pajamas at home. To avoid these mishaps, many folks place tape, a sticky note, etc., over the webcam on their computer. Gifting a real web cam cover in a swag bag will delight guests (and likely make them wonder why they’ve been using a sticker all this time…).
Giveaway #10: Notebooks
Like a pen, paper has been largely traded in for its digital counterpart (much to the relief of forests everywhere). That said, there are plenty of times you still wish you had a piece of paper handy, especially when at an event like a conference or tradeshow where it’s difficult to lug around a laptop. A notebook is a great way for folks to jot down notes while on-the-go or while listening to presentations. Placing one in a swag bag is like gifting the thing folks didn’t know they needed—but do.
We hope these ideas for swag bags have got your wheels turning as you prepare for your next event. Just remember, while folks love free stuff, it’s the quality/functional/thought-out items that they’ll actually use and keep—and everything in your bag (including said bag) is a representation of your brand. Make sure it’s giving off a message that’s on track with your brand, its values, and voice.