Event Strategies

3 Perfect Swag Bag Ideas for Event Organizers (that Convert)

Swag Bags are more than feel-good giveaways, they can be used to convert attendees and guests into customers

Does your event have nice booty?

No, not that kind of booty, weirdo.

I’m talking about products, giveaways, and swag bags. The pirate kind of booty. People love free swag. I mean, who doesn’t? But as an event organizer, it just burns a hole in your pocket. But you know it doesn’t have to, right?

Swag Bags are one of the few things that I would confidently say 95% of attendees will grab on the way in or out of any event. Some people even show up for the second day of events if they know there’s more booty to run off with. This is absolutely one of the best times to not only delight your attendees and give them a memorable experience, but it’s also a great time to convert them.

We’ve got some great swag bag ideas for 2019 that have awesome potential to convert attendees into customers, making your swag bag money hole into an ROI generating strategy that works.

The Strategy Behind Smart Swag Bag Ideas

Despite that it’s 2019, I still feel the need to bash you over the head with the idea that you need to bring your offline leads to your online database in as seamless a transition as possible. When it comes to events, attendees have engaged already, and you simply need to find creative ways to call them into signing up, purchasing, booking a demo, or whatever it is you need to get them on the hook.

Swag Bags are key in that a vast majority of attendees will be using your swag in their daily lives, which gets them familiar with your branding, and can call them to action. This is a great way to introduce new ways to get them to whip out their phone and get on your landing pages, whether it be an incentive or a QR code, or easy to follow the link. Two important things to note about your swag is that they should be:

Useful — Make sure your attendees find a use for it in their daily lives that causes them to see your brand or CTA.

Long-Lasting — Do not make anything that is disposable, you lose your branding sooner than you would hope, and it’s unsustainable for the environment.

Make sure every bit of swag has your logo on it or some graphic that leads users to your website, or social media. This is a great way to convert them or get them to share your products online. That means placing QR codes, easy-to-type URLs, and the name of your social media accounts they can Google easily. When dallying with QR codes or other ways to scan, make sure you have it lead to an awesome landing page that addresses the CTA you used, or the event that they attended.

Clothing & Apparel Swag Bags

Clothing is one of the best swag bag ideas that are both useful and long-lasting. Everyone loves a free t-shirt, and there’s an absolute ton of space for you to market and call your attendees to actions. The other benefit is that it really spreads your brand name around when attendees wear it outside. Who knows? Maybe an attendee is a big public speaker and they just happen to speak to an audience with the t-shirt on? Maybe it’s recorded on TV or a highly viral video? All that free marketing potential and it cost you less than it does to pay for your lunch.

It doesn’t always have to be a t-shirt either, for example, you could give away:

Hats Slides/Flip-flops Sunglasses Tote-bags Wallets

Neck Pillow (if you know attendees are flying in from out of town)

The Strategy

For apparel, the strategy is quite clear. Create great branding. Either by fancy showy graphics, CTAs, or a simple logo, it depends on how grandiose your event is. T-shirts and hats are some of the most visible types of clothing, so it’s a great time to place your logo and create a CTA either with your slogan, or something that’s impactful.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if your event is in Asia, it might be best to offer materials with QR Codes. If it’s in China, I would say it’s a downright crime if you don’t add a QR code to your apparel. China loves the QR code thing, and it’s starting to speak across the region in places like Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore.

Gadget Swag Bags

Gadgets are one of the best ways to convert attendees and get them from the real world into your digital database and CRM easily. Gadgets are also considerably more expensive, but if done right, can be very good at calling your attendees to an action that brings you closer to ROI. The other great thing about gadgets is that no one will throw them away so easily, a phone charger here, headphones there, and there’s almost a guarantee that this will be useful for the attendee.

Here are some neato examples:

Headphones Phone Chargers Smartphone cases/pockets Battery Banks USB drives

Power Adapter (if your event is international)

The Strategy

Gadget swag is dependent on the versatility of the objects. Providing cheap electronics can often time end up with a bad taste in the attendee’s mouth if it breaks too soon, so make sure you do put some extra budget into your offering. Make deals with local manufacturers and get your logo imposed on the steel or printed on the plastics of electronics.

These days electronics are getting more IoT intensive. So I would suggest working with forward-thinking partners to allow for advertising on their app or linking to your website landing page when attendees connect their smartphone devices to the gadget they just got from your event.

If you don’t have that ability, this is a chance to do a neat Google Ads campaign that targets the manufacturer’s app on the Google Play store to advertise to attendees who download their app.

How’s that for a growth hack?

Stationery Swag Bags

Stationery items are great swag bag ideas, but there’s a core crutch to this that you should be aware of. It’s in the name actually, in fact, it is the name. Stationery Items are stationary, unlike clothing or gadget items, these stationary items hardly leave a room they find themselves home in. It’s not to say that it wouldn’t be successful as a CTA medium, but it would likely only grace the eyes of attendees who use them.

The only exception honestly would be pens, as those seem to get around quite a bit from borrowing, losing, forgetting, giving away, etc.

Here are some more examples for you:





Kinetic Desk Toys (I love these)

Flashlights Coasters

Sports Bottles

The Strategy

Stationery should be useful, and long-lasting because it’s not the most travel-worthy type of swag, but it should spark a conversation. If you have a nice well-made tumbler with your logo imposed on the glass, it could possibly spark a conversation when the attendee breaks them out at a party or what have you. Think like a coca-cola glass. Its shape and logo are recognizable, and everyone asks about them.

Unlike gadgets, these types of items are easier and more common to custom print and embed logos onto.

Other Things to Throw In

Swag bags aren’t only made up of the above three items, but think about meaningful items to put in the bag to give early on impressions, like a welcome letter, candy, snacks, discount codes, and more. These are items that can fit in any swag bag no matter the strategy that gives a great first impression of the event.

There is more than enough room in any swag back to sprinkle them with temporary feel-good items that make an attendee feel welcome and happy instantly. Could be that that instant gratification alone gets them tweeting about you 😉

Take into consideration everything, but most of all, make sure that your giveaways call your attendees to some sort of action that makes your attendees convert. If it takes them to a web page, make sure you have a landing page that addresses the CTA or the Event.

MAJOR NOTE: Make sure your swag bag is a backpack. Not an expensive one, but one of the string-laced bags that are easy to carry and wear. It makes a load of difference in the attendee’s experience, especially if they’re walking around the event a lot, and it also acts as a good way to increase your branding by putting your logo or CTA on the bag itself.

Want to create Landing Pages for your swag and QR codes to take users there? Book a Demo with Glue Up and we’ll show you how you can create ROI-worthy swag bags in no-time.

Originally published at https://glueup.com/blog on February 8, 2019.



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