How to Select Event Swag People Love

event swag

People expect a bit of swag when they attend events, whether it a training, conference or networking event.  What an organization hands out reflects on their brand.  Give out goodies that people love, and it will inspire appreciation and good will.  Hand out items that they don’t need, want or enjoy, and they will be annoyed.  Branded merchandise can be a great way to promote your business.  The secret is to choose it wisely.

Event swag should be useful.  Think about what people will actually use, and go for pragmatic over novelty items.  Different groups of people will use different things.  Some items are more universally useful than others.

Pens, bound notebooks, travel mugs, and umbrellas are all practical items that people can use at the event and beyond.  Some items seem useful, but people are likely to have them already.  People will use a water bottle or travel mug at the event and carry it home because these items are designed to be portable.  A regular mug, however, makes poor event swag because it is not as convenient to carry around.  Branded mugs are a great promotional item for offices, but not events.

Choosing Event Swag for Participants

Think about who is attending the event, and what ties in to your brand.  If the event is a training for professionals who work on computers all day, screen cleaning spray is a practical gift they will appreciate.  People who drive long distances for work will be glad to receive a USB car power adaptor or a mobile phone holder.  A zippered travel wallet to stock cables is another popular idea.

Not all events are geared at people in particular professions.  Some are more light-hearted and fun.  A hip flask and alcohol tester is a good swag combo for 20-somethings.  An event aimed to help people get in touch with their creative side in some way could hand out bound notebooks and coloured pencils.  The trick is to think about the people coming and also what items link to your brand.  A building company, for example, might hand out spirit level key rings or plastic cutters at a home and garden show.

Some items are universally appreciated because they are handy to have at events.  Who doesn’t appreciate a tin of breath mints and some hand sanitizer when they are meeting and greeting strangers all day?  A branded tote bag can be used to hold swag at the event and to carry groceries afterwards.

Choosing event swag is not the same as choosing promotional gifts to hand out to clients at other times.  Bulky items do not work well at events because people don’t want to carry them or worry about packing them.  Golf umbrellas are great promotional items, but small, folding umbrellas are much better for events.