People love free giveaways. So it’s not surprising that for most attendees, the swag bag is a topic of conversation for days after an event.

What you include in your bag is a key component of creating a memorable experience for your fans — one that also has the potential of getting seen by many people beyond your attendees. Get it wrong and event goers will feel cheated.

13 creative swag bag ideas for #eventprofs to thrill attendees Click to Tweet

To help you get it right, here are 13 unique swag bag ideas to thrill your attendees.

Swag bag idea #1: T-Shirts

The t-shirt is one of the most popular items given away at events. In fact, people in the U.S. own more promotional t-shirts than any other type of swag. But too often they get relegated to the pajama drawer, deemed unworthy of regular use.

To entice your attendees to wear your t-shirt out of the house, you need to make sure that the design is interesting and that the material is comfortable. A fashion, blended fabric style t-shirt wins over the traditional box cut for most fans every time.

Unit price: $8-12

Swag bag idea #2: Travel tags

If you’re a travel or hospitality brand, or your industry travels a lot, consider giving away a branded travel tag. Not only will attendees appreciate it, since it will be something useful for their daily lives, but your logo and company name will get a lot of visibility wherever your attendees go.

Think beyond the flimsy paper tags that only get a few uses before getting tossed and opt for something a bit more sturdy. Plastic tags are a cost-effective choice, but there’s also the option to go as upscale as leather.

Unit price: $1-$15

Swag bag idea #3: Socks

If you were a kid who hated getting socks as a present during the holidays, you weren’t the only one. But as an adult, socks are always a welcome present. Especially if you’re low on matching pairs!

Fairly cost effective and available in a variety of colors, socks are a great alternative to the event t-shirt. Along the same utilitarian vein, socks aren’t as often seen in the swag bag and can help you make a lasting impression.

Unit price: $2-4

Swag bag idea #4: Sunglasses

It’s always handy to have a second pair of emergency sunglasses around. While cheap plastic frames might be easier on your budget, polycarbonate material frames with UV400 lenses provide better eye protection and are likely to get more brand impressions. The higher quality your sunnies are, the greater chances of your fans wearing them.

Unit price: $7-11

Swag bag idea #5: Pens

At 1/10th of a cent per impression, it’s easy to see why pens remain the go-to item for event swag. In fact, 50% of U.S. consumers own promotional writing instruments. But they’re also the kind of item that’s far too easy to throw away or get lost.

To set your swag bag apart, make sure to offer a pen that’s nice quality. Narrow your search based on budget, then sample the pens you like. If you don’t enjoy writing with it, chances are your fans won’t, either.

Unit price: $8-12

Swag bag idea #6: Tumblers

Half of U.S. consumers who own drinkware with a logo on it say they use it 2-3 times a week or more. That’s a pretty convincing argument for spending a bit more on high-end drinkware for your swag bag.

Tumblers can be used for anything from iced tea to water glasses to alcoholic beverages. They come in all shapes and sizes, including shot glasses. This is a great option if your event lends itself to it.

Unit price: $20-22

Swag bag idea #7: Beer glass

Think about your own collection of glassware: how many brewery-branded glasses do you own? Loyal beer fans take pride in owning beer glasses with their favorite breweries’ logos on them, but offering branded beer glasses isn’t just reserved for beer festivals.

If your attendee demographics are the right fit for offering a beer glass branded with your own logo, go for it.

Unit price: $3-5

Swag bag idea #8: Experiences

You don’t want your branded swag to end up in the trash can, which is why offering an experience in your bag can be a unique differentiator for your event.

For example, you could include a voucher for a special, VIP experience at your own event, or tickets to a nearby attraction, like a zip line ride. This especially works well if your event is taking place in an attraction-rich locale like Las Vegas.

Unit price: Flexible

Swag bag idea #9: The bag

The pen may have the lowest cost per impression, but the bag gets more impressions with an average of 5,700. That’s because unlike other items, bags are often seen in public places. In fact, 50% of U.S. consumers say they own a bag with a logo on it.

Whether a backpack or a tote, another reason to consider the bag is that they’re always in high demand at events where lots swag is given out. After all, attendees need a place to put all those giveaways they’re collecting!

Unit price: $8-12

Swag bag idea #10: USB charger

Small, easy to carry, and useful, USB chargers are becoming a standard giveaway at tech conferences, especially for events with attendees who are often on the road. These little sticks hold a charge and then plug into your phone for charging on the go.

While you might offer a charge station at your event, including pre-charged USB chargers in your swag bag makes it easy for your attendees to participate digitally in your event and share photos on social media. What’s not to like?

Unit price: $10-20

Swag bag idea #11: Seasonal items

Depending on the season your event takes place, offering something to tie into the time of year can be a real crowd pleaser. In summer, for example, you can offer branded flip-flops or a frisbee. In winter, you could offer hot cocoa kits and a warm hat. Most companies don’t give out seasonal items, so this could be an easy way to help your swag bag stand out.

Unit price: Flexible

Swag bag idea #12: Notebooks

Offering a high-quality notebook, like a Moleskine, is a great giveaway that shows your fans you appreciate them. People still use notebooks, despite all of the tech saturating our lives, and a durable notebook is pleasurable to write in. Make sure to stay away from the cheaper options, like spiral-bound flip books.

Unit price: $15

Swag bag idea #13: Unique snacks

Finding unique food items that offer unusual flavor combinations or a healthful spin on classic snacks can be an exciting giveaway for your fans. No matter how much fun your attendees are having, they’ll still feel a bit peckish at some point during your event. Including a few unusual snacks makes them feel taken care of.

Unit price: Flexible

Most importantly, what you put in your swag bag needs to match your event’s brand. Use The Ultimate Guide to Event Branding to learn how to use your brand to shape every detail of your event.

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