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How to Send Swag to Virtual Event Attendees

July 29, 2021 5 min read

How to Send Swag to Virtual Event Attendees colorful box with swag alert written on it surrounded by a mug, ping pong ball, and headphones

So, you want to send swag to your virtual event attendees?

You’re probably wondering what products to pick, how much they cost, what types of boxes to send out, and how long it's going to take, among a hundred other questions. 

Or, you might be completely new to the virtual event world and are starting to learn about the logistics and coordination needed to pull off what you have in mind. 

We’ve been getting a TON of questions from our clients, especially about virtual events. Questions like, “My event is now virtual, so can I still send attendees swag?” or, “I’ve never had swag for a virtual event before, what should I pick?” 

Here’s the good news: We’ve got you covered!

We’ve been helping our clients navigate how to send swag to their virtual event attendees. And we know all the tips and tricks that will make this process a breeze.

Anyone can host a successful virtual event

Recently we connected with a client busy planning a virtual event. 

They said they had incredible speakers lined up, a super cool video streaming platform, and already a decent number of sign-ups.

But they revealed that they were stressed about finding the perfect swag to send out. They also weren’t sure how to go from ordering the right swag to getting it to their attendees. 

Swag is an essential part of virtual events. It strengthens the relationship between the company and its attendees. Just because you’re not seeing anyone in person doesn’t mean you have to miss out on giving away swag and the connection that goes along with it. 

So, getting the swag right is crucial.

We told them that they’re in luck because we take care of everything. 

“Wait… you do?” 

Yes, we do! 

Over the next few weeks, we worked together to find the swag that made the most sense for their company, event, audience, and budget. 

An essential part of the process was mapping out the timeline for fulfillment and shipping and factoring in how long each piece takes. We also buffered in time to accommodate the slower mailing process to ensure that the boxes arrived right on time for the event. 

After picking the items and getting the order started, the client’s part was done, and the DMG team took care of the rest.  

All the client had to do was host the event. Simple, right? 

At the end of this whole process, the attendees received their swag boxes, and we heard from the client that they were a huge hit. Mission accomplished!

Sending swag to virtual event attendees is different than just handing out items at an in-person event. It can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. But you don’t have to do it alone. 

Let's go through some of the things we talked about with this client, so you can learn how to send your own swag to virtual event attendees.

How to find and send virtual event swag to attendees

A lot goes into finding swag for an in-person event, and even more so into a virtual one. That’s why it’s important to take into consideration these four steps when creating swag boxes:

  • Budget
  • Audience and industry
  • Items in each collection
  • Different categories of boxes 

How much does it all cost? 

Ah yes, the golden question. One of the benefits of hosting a virtual event is that you have a little more flexibility in your budget. For in-person events, companies need to allocate a large portion of their budget to rent a venue space and hire a crew to help set up. 

When an event is online, that money can be applied to other aspects of the event, like creating the best swag boxes to send out. 

Though there may be extra money in the budget for swag boxes, companies still need to consider the underlying costs of sending swag boxes for a virtual event. 

Consider these costs that can add up when creating a custom virtual event swag box:

  • Shipping. It’s important to pick items that can be easily shipped. Heavy items can increase shipping costs. Fragile products made of glass or other breakable materials need extra packaging to ensure they don’t break. 
  • Size. Consider the size of the items you’re sending. The bigger the items, the bigger the box, and the higher the price point. 
  • Quality of products. With a bigger budget comes the opportunity to spend a little more on higher-quality items, or if possible, customize each item for the attendee.
  • Box Cost. A hidden cost when it comes to virtual events is the cost of the box itself. Companies can - and should - customize their boxes to represent their brand and the event. It’s not just what’s inside the box that can leave a lasting impression on recipients; it’s also the experience of opening the box itself. (Think of how exciting it is when you receive a subscription box like Ipsy, Loot Crate, StitchFix, or Barkbox - the box is part of the fun!)

What do attendees actually want?

1. Well-designed branding

Have you ever looked around a friend’s room and saw keepsakes that perfectly embody your friend? Or have you ever gone shopping and saw a t-shirt that is such a shirt your friend would have? 

Virtual event swag is just like that. It speaks for the company and captures what they value. Showcase what values and give attendees a sense of your company’s personality through swag. 

If someone signed up for your event, chances are that they want to get to know your brand.

2. Useful, functional items

Attendees also want useful items. Think critically about your audience, the industry, and the type of event to find the best swag to give out.

For example, if you’re an eco-friendly company hosting an event to raise awareness about the environment, choose sustainable items. Plastic pens probably aren’t the most appropriate item to give away here. 

3. More than one thing

To truly help attendees capture the essence of a brand, send swag boxes with multiple items. It’s easier for brands to showcase their personality with a few items instead of trying to find the one that’s perfect. 

Plus, attendees will be excited to receive more! 

Pick two products with a medium price point like a journal and custom pen, and pair them with a product with a higher price point like a water bottle

This gives the box more variety and expands your customization options. Customize the products to reflect your brand and the event. Incorporate elements from the event like an inspiring message or the theme, and pair that with your brand logo or colors for consistent brand recognition. 

The customization doesn’t stop at the products. 

The box itself offers plenty of surface area for messaging and branding as well. A simple message like, “A gift for you,” or “Countdown til #ChillTown” instantly gets the attendee excited. Adding messaging with a hashtag to the box is a great way to let attendees connect before, during, and after the virtual event itself

What are the different categories of boxes?

Creating a successful virtual event is a group effort. Swag boxes give companies the chance to thank everyone involved. 

Come up with categories for the different types of people involved in the event like:

  • An attendee's box. Show gratitude to attendees and make the event more enjoyable by giving them a pair of custom socks and a laptop decal. These boxes should be more general so everyone can use what’s inside. 
  • A speaker box. Say thanks to all the speakers at your event by sending them a special box that will make speaking easier, like a custom Bluetooth speaker or earbuds with a built-in microphone
  • An award box. Some companies like to give away awards to attendees. Often, awards are given out that are relevant to the industry or attendees, like the volunteer with the most hours in sustainable work or the most captivating social media video. This box should contain a few extra special items to celebrate their achievements. 

Work with a company to help you send swag to virtual event attendees

Who knew how much time, energy, and thought went into finding virtual event swag?

And swag is a crucial ingredient to a successful virtual event. It’s your chance to get attendees excited, say thanks to your speakers, and promote brand awareness.

Don’t worry, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, there are companies out there, like DMG, that are here to help.

We’ll take care of the process for you so you can focus on the other aspects of the virtual event and make it the best event it can be.

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This post was originally published July 7, 2020

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