What is a Swag Bag? (+8 Creative Ideas for Events)

Elevate your swag bag giveaways with these best practices and goodie bag ideas.

4 min read

What is a Swag Bag? (+8 Creative Ideas for Events)

If you’re looking for a way to make an impression at your next event, there are few better options than a swag bag filled with corporate giveaways and promotional items. 

Swag bags are a great way to elevate your event marketing strategy and build closer relationships with attendees. They’re an affordable option for brands looking to set themselves apart and create a favorable impression with customers and prospects. 

But you can’t just fill up a bag with any old items. To qualify as a swag bag, you’ll need to carefully select high-quality branded merchandise that is sure to delight your recipients. 

What is a Swag Bag? 

Swag bags are typically cotton or canvas gift bags filled with promotional giveaways. They’re handed out at all kinds of events, including trade shows and virtual events. For in-person events, they act as a magnet, drawing people to your booth to interact with you. At virtual events, swag bags humanize your brand and create excitement. 

Swag bag items are usually relatively affordable: think of branded stationary and small tech gadgets. They’re different from swag boxes, which tend to contain more premium gifts tailored for client and employee appreciation.

The bottom line: people love receiving gifts. When you gift someone a truly great corporate event goodie bag, it’ll make a lasting positive impression that’s sure to pay dividends.

What Makes a Good Swag Bag?

To set your swag bag apart from the competition, make sure you keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Unique Products: Don’t be afraid to get creative and choose unique promo items outside the norm – everyone already has plenty of pens and notebooks at home! Just make sure the items you select are practical to your intended audience. 
  • Event Relevance: Great swag bags contain items that are uniquely relevant to the event. If your event is in the heart of winter, your attendees might be grateful for a branded beanie that keeps them warm. In warmer months, summer promotional items like caps or sunscreen are a better fit. You might also include items from local merchants or gifts that match the theme of the event – get creative! 
  • Custom Branding: Including branded promotional items in your swag bag is key to improving brand awareness, a central goal of any swag bag campaign. Make sure to add your business’s branding to the bag itself and the items inside. 
  • High-Quality Bag: Don’t overlook the importance of the bag itself. Your promotional tote bag should be spacious, with comfortable carrying straps and extra features like zippered pockets, an interesting design, or an insulated section for food and drinks. The bag isn’t just the container for the gift; it’s also a major part of the gift. Use high-quality materials like cotton and canvas that will stand the test of time, and invest in creating an eye-catching design that will grab everyone’s attention.  

Goodie Bag Ideas for Corporate Events: What Should You Put Inside?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to deciding which items you’d like to include in your swag bag. Here are some of our favorite corporate event goodie bag ideas to get you started.  

1. Hudson Cotton Tote

Hudson-Cotton-ToteThis durable cotton tote is made with Tyvek® – a lightweight, flexible material that’s built to stand up to wear and tear. It’s the perfect swag bag, and your recipients will be able to use it for years to come. 

2. Kiss-Cut Stickers

Kiss-Cut-StickersStickers are a classic promotional item giveaway, and with good reason. Choose from a selection of different sizes and bring your brand to life with colorful customization options. 

3. Ravenswood Slim Power Bank

Ravenswood-Power-BankAttending a conference, trade show, or any other event can drain your phone battery. That makes a power bank the perfect swag bag choice, allowing your recipients to power up their devices between activities. 

Pro Tip:

Make sure the power bank is charged up before you pack it in your swag bag – that way, your recipients can start using it right away. 

4. Comfort Fit Ankle Socks

Comfort-Ankle-SocksIf your attendees have been clocking up the miles wandering around conference halls all day, one thing that’s sure to renew their energy is a fresh pair of socks. These ankle socks can be customized to include your brand’s unique colors, making them a fun, colorful swag bag item.

5. Rocketbook Notebook Bundle Set

Rocketbook- Notebook-Bundle-SetThese aren’t your typical notepads: they’re made with synthetic paper and come with a special pen that can be magically erased. It’s a more sustainable notebook alternative, allowing users to upload their notes directly to the Rocketbook app to ensure they never forget an important insight. 

6. Pop Color Stainless Steel Water Bottle

PopColor-Stainless-Steel-Water-BottleThis insulated water bottle adds a pop of color to your swag bag while ensuring your recipients will showcase your brand as they sip. Add your brand name, logo, or slogan, and customize the design to your brand colors for an eye-catching yet highly practical gift. 

7. EOS Lip Balm

EOS-Lip-BalmThese cute lip balm containers from top beauty brand EOS are the perfect antidote for long days in air-conditioned event spaces. At just 0.25 oz. in size, they’re the perfect addition to any swag bag. 

8. Dash 20W Fast Charger

Dash-20W-USB-C PD-Fast-ChargerHelp your recipients level up their device charging game with these high-speed charging blocks. They work with USB-C cables, making them the perfect fit for a variety of devices. As your recipients’ devices surge back toward full power, you can bet they’ll be glancing at your branded charging blocks with gratitude. 

Tips for Creating a Swag Bag 

Creating a great swag bag isn’t rocket science, but it is important to take a thoughtful approach. Swag bags for events have to be practical. You likely have a fixed budget to work with, and it’s important you allocate it toward swag bag ideas that your recipients will be sure to love. 

Here are our top tips for creating your own swag bags:

  • Establish a Clear Budget: Make sure every event has a budget line item for swag. Establish the number of swag bags you want to give away at each event and then work backward from there to establish a per-bag budget. Prioritize quality over quantity; when it comes to swag, less is often more. 
  • Source Items from One Vendor: By ordering all of your swag from the same vendor, you can guarantee consistent branding, potentially save money on shipping, and ensure everything arrives at the same time. 
  • Don’t Skimp on the Bag Itself: Swag is only part of the equation in a swag bag. Leave room in your budget for the bags themselves. Choose a high-quality bag – it’s the first thing people will see, and first impressions really do matter.  
  • Use an Eye-Catching Design: As your recipients walk around the event with your swag bags in hand, one of your goals should be for other attendees to sit up and take notice of them. Invest in creating colorful, branded designs that capture everyone’s attention. 
  • Distribute Swag Bags in a Targeted Way: Swag bags, like all marketing, are an investment in building your company’s sales pipeline. That means you shouldn’t just give a swag bag to everyone at an event: save them for prospects who have engaged in meaningful conversations with your team.

Start Planning Your Corporate Swag Bags 

Swag bags are an invaluable tool to help your business set itself apart from the competition and build meaningful relationships at conferences and events. With the right approach, any business can create a memorable swag bag that will significantly boost brand awareness. 

Get in touch if you need assistance planning swag bags for your next event. Our promotional products experts will work with you to clarify your goals and select the perfect swag bag items to take your event marketing strategy to the next level. 

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