There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t like a freebie, and for most of us, one of the most exciting parts about attending conferences and corporate events occurs when you’re handed a big bag, containing a few pleasant surprises.
However… perhaps more often than not, that anticipation turns to disappointment when you realise you’re just ending up with the same old rubbish; the sort of filler that gets handed out at 99% of these sorts of events.
Conference giveaways and corporate goodie bags have so much potential for all sorts of things. They can improve the morale and overall impression of your attendees, they’re great for pushing branding and sponsorships to the guests, and they can put you and your company across in a very positive light.
So why do so many event organisers fall flat when it comes to the contents of their swag bags?
The simple answer boils down to a lack of creative thinking, and a misunderstanding of the importance of conference giveaway bags as a sack full of possibilities.
It doesn’t take a massive amount of effort and imagination to source goodies to give away. Check out our guide to swag bag success below!
OK - so you want your goodie bags to make a real impact. This means you’re going to have to think a little outside the box, and put yourself in the shoes of your attendees.
What would you like to see in a corporate goodie bag?
How can you use them to make your event more current and relevant?
What small but significant changes can you make, that will make the biggest impact?
These are the kinds of questions it’s well worth asking yourself, and which can lead to the most effective results.
When considering how you can jazz up your giveaways, why not start from the very beginning and think about the actual bag itself before moving onto the contents?
Tote bags are very popular at the moment, and you can splash your branding over the front of them for your guests to show off next time they’re doing their grocery shopping.
If that’s not your thing, take a look at some other options, too; customised folders or gift-wrapped boxes can also help lighten the mood, and can take your event further away from the boring standards we’re all too used to.
It’s vital when organising an event to understand that what you’re organising doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Your guests are likely to be savvy people with their fingers on the cultural button, so make sure that your conference giveaway bags reflect this in the best way they can.
Think about giving away stickers or badges (always an inexpensive yet highly popular addition) with quotes from pop stars or other influencers, or heighten the appeal of standard objects such as fridge magnets by incorporating popular internet memes with your company branding.
Contemporary events attendees are an environmentally-aware bunch of people, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, it can absolutely help to reflect your own green credentials in your giveaways.
Promote sustainability by using recycled materials, cut down on waste, offer eco-friendly freebies and throw in some digital bonuses too - it all helps remove unnecessary packaging from your bags.
Just remember to get the message across that you’ve considered this side of the event, and your guests will no doubt appreciate your efforts even more.
Can you remember the contents of the last conference giveaway bag your received? The chances are, like the rest of us, you probably can’t. Most likely it’s because there was very little in that package that had any real relevance to you, or was anything you’d actually want to own.
This is exactly the kind of thing you should be avoiding, so check out our top seven items that are going to give your swag bags the edge over the competition!
Branded Phone Chargers
When it comes to great ideas for conference freebies, this one’s hard to beat. Why? Because all of us know the frustration that comes with running out of power on your smartphone, and having a spare phone charger can be an absolute lifesaver - both at conferences, and in everyday life, too. Stick your company branding on the top of the charger, and you’ve got a unique, memorable freebie that everyone’s going to appreciate and remember!
One of the best ways to demonstrate to your attendees that you’ve put some thought into your conference giveaway bags is to keep things seasonal. Is your event in the middle of summer? If so, hand out some branded sunglasses, or a small battery powered fan with your company logo splashed across it. Nearing Christmas? Decorations, little gifts, packets of sweet and the suchlike are going to go down a storm. There’s plenty of scope for creativity in this regard, so take a look at your calendars, and think about how to get stuck in with seasonality!
Something to Munch On
Wandering around conferences can cause quite an appetite to build. Healthy snacks in your goodie bags - muesli bars, bags of dried fruit, even the occasional cheeky chocolate - are going to be winners every time!
Good Quality Journals
We’re all used to getting a pad of cheap lined paper in our giveaway bags, but more often than not, they get stuffed in the bottom of a cupboard and left for emergencies once at home. Impress your attendees by getting them a quality journal - such as a Moleskine or similar - for them to jot their notes in, and keep for future events.
Is there one book, pamphlet or piece of literature that you consider fundamental to your conference, or which helped to inspire an aspect of your event? What could be better than putting it into your giveaway bag for your guests to read on their way home? Your guests are sure to love anything like this, especially if it makes a positive difference to the way they work or approach the topic of your event.
Lots of conferences give away branded T-shirts or other items of clothing, but so often, they get one major detail wrong; they forget that branding on clothing is at its best when it is subtle. It’s unlikely your attendees are going to want to step out with a massive corporate logo on their T-shirts, so commission clothing which features your brand, but which does so in a stylish and understated way.
Keep It Digital
Your guests will doubtlessly be a tech-savvy group, so give them something they’ll really enjoy in their conference giveaway bags: an iTunes voucher, a downloadable app code, or access to exclusive sites of YouTube channels relating to your event. They’ll love it!
As well as the usual boring bits of pieces, there are a few items best left out of your bags. These include:
We must have amassed hundreds of flash drives from conference giveaway bags over the years. And you know what? They never get used, and for one key reason: it’s the 21st century, and we’re well inside the age of smartphones and cloud storage.
Why bother with obsolete technology when you could far more effectively offer access to a conference Dropbox or cloud of your own?
Cheap Merchandising Nonsense
Stop and think for a minute: would you be impressed by a gift of a branded plastic toy, a cheap-as-chips baseball cap with your company slogan on it, or something equally unappealing and tacky? Of course you wouldn’t. Don’t waste your or your attendee’s time with such things… it’ll only put them off.
Not only will your guests groan when they’re lugging your unwieldy freebie around, you should also spare a thought for whoever is packing your bags for you, too. Heavy and awkward objects are a clear non-starter, so keep it light and manageable, please!
As we’ve seen, conference giveaway bags can be an absolutely brilliant asset to your event, and can make all the difference when it comes to how your conference is received by your guests. Brilliant for branding, perfect for promotions, and an all-round top way to keep your attendees feeling great, they’re something that deserves your creativity and focus.
We’re an industry leader that has helped countless conferences go off without a hitch. Whatever your needs may be, we’re sure to have the expertise and skills to help you, too.