Giving a gift is such a popular way to show appreciation for someone that it’s one of the five love languages. Being given something makes people feel special, and brands that want to create meaningful relationships with their customers often use swag bags at corporate events to do so.

Beyond showing thankfulness to attendees, employees, or clients, the swag bag helps an event planner leave attendees with a lasting reminder of your event. But how can you make the most of swag bags for events so they make an impact rather than end up in a landfill?

Follow these tips and tricks to create memorable swag bags for events.

What is a swag bag?

Swag items including water bottles, travel coffee mugs, notebooks, and pens and on a yellow gradient background

In addition to being a generous gift, a swag bag is also a tool to help drive event success. Swag stands for stuff we all get, and in slang terms means “stylish confidence.” Considering the most popular types of promotional swag are wearable items like t-shirts, attendees who receive these bags are sure to be swaggy.

But enough about someone looking good sporting your brand colors or logo. These favors also help organizations to:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Increase booth traffic
  • Strengthen current client and customer relationships
  • Promote brand identity

A swag bag can even work as a tool for lead generation and conversion. In fact, 85% of people remember an advertiser when they receive branded promotional products from them, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). 

So how can you become one of those logos floating around the houses of Americans who will remember you?

Swag bag tips and tricks

Here are our best tips and tricks for event swag bags that are sure to satisfy:

Consider your audience

Different audiences have different wants and needs. Depending on the nature of your event, its subject matter, or the industry of focus, your swag bag should be tailored to the experience, including the type of people expected to attend.

Set a budget

While traditional swag bags are often relatively affordable, it’s important to outline a budget. Aim for enough valuable swag bags for all attendees, even if that means fewer gifts. Attendees appreciate quality over quantity.

Choose high-quality items

When it comes to creating swag bags for events, it’s important to prioritize high-quality items. It’s crucial to put thought into the items you choose and their quality to make the experience more meaningful for your attendees. Swag bags should include relevant and desirable items that have intrinsic value so that receiving and unpacking them becomes a genuinely exciting experience.

Think environmentally friendly

View from the waist down of woman walking in front of storefront carrying canvas tote

As we ascend the generational ladder, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. The elephant in the room is that a lot of the time, items included in swag bags are seen as unnecessary or wasteful—but that doesn’t mean you can’t still put together a killer event favor. When creating your bags, ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • Can this item be reused?
  • How likely is this item to be thrown out after a while?
  • Do attendees want this kind of item?

Example: To personalize the attendee experience and generate less waste, Postal allows guests to choose their swag (including a “donate to charity” option).

Keep it lightweight

No one wants to lug around a heavy bag on top of what they’re already carrying—especially for in-person events. A swag bag best practice is to keep it lightweight and maybe even packable, so attendees can stow it away in their backpacks for easy transportation.

The more cumbersome it is, the less likely eventgoers are to appreciate it—unless you’re giving away a new car.

Pro tip: Why not let your attendees select the swag they want, then you can mail it to them after the event? 

Include wearable options

We know that wearable company swag is the most desirable type of promotional product that a company can offer. But beyond that, people sporting your logo essentially become a walking billboard for your brand. Wearable swag, such as t-shirts, hats, and pins, make a swag bag staple.

Make it useful

Utility is also an important consideration when building your swag bag. Ask yourself: Is this item useful? This is why the coveted, branded pen is a promotional product must-have. When people are meandering around a conference hall or sitting at their desks, there’s a large chance they’ll need a pen to write something down at some point.

Swag bag ideas for a corporate event

Gearing up for a corporate event? Check out these creative swag bag ideas:

1. Event survival kit

A swag bag that offers immediate utility is hard to pass up. Think about items that attendees might need quick and easy access to while walking around an event hall, such as:

  • Portable phone chargers
  • Branded water bottles
  • Snacks
  • Notepads
  • Stain remover pens

2. Travel kit

Travel bag with various travel toiletries in front of it set on light blue bakground

If people are traveling to attend your corporate event (and many probably are), nothing is more useful than these products while they’re making their journeys back home:

  • Sewing kits
  • Combs
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping masks

3. New employee onboarding bag

Hosting an employee-centered corporate event, such as a business dinner? If your organization has welcomed some new team members lately, the new hires will greatly appreciate an onboarding-themed swag bag. Include items that will help new staff settle into their role and represent their new employer, such as:

  • Branded t-shirts
  • Handbooks, guides, and other resources
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Keychains and lanyards
  • Notebooks

4. Employee wellness and self-care bag

Beauty gift box with natural cosmetics set on beige background.

Everyone should make a little time for themselves once in a while—especially after attending a large corporate event. The idea behind an employee wellness and self-care swag bag is to include items that may help an attendee unwind after a long day, such as:

  • Tea
  • Bath bombs
  • Soaps
  • Essential oils
  • Candles
  • Lip balm

5. Work-from-home swag bag

Many people still work from home these days. A swag bag centered around a home office theme is sure to delight and come in handy the next time a work-from-homer logs on for their shift. Consider including items like:

  • Coffee mugs
  • Camera covers
  • Pens and other office supplies
  • Blue-light-blocking glasses

Fun swag bag ideas for your customers

Putting together a swag bag specifically for your potential and loyal customers? Try these:

1. New client swag bag

Swag stickers and bracelets on top of white table at event

Have you accumulated some new clients lately? Thank them by sending a swag bag their way that makes you unforgettable. For this idea, there’s free range on what exactly you could include, but here are a few ideas:

  • Discount codes for your products or services
  • Branded swag and apparel
  • Coffee

2. Food goodie bag

If there’s one thing foodies enjoy, it’s trying new things. A food-themed swag bag will have your food-fanatic customers in awe with excitement as they sift through the goodies. For a food-inspired swag bag, consider items that keep well or even help complete a food-related task, such as kitchen utensils. Here are a few ideas:

  • Jellies and jams
  • Spices
  • Oven mitts
  • Charcuterie serving boards
  • Sauces

3. Custom swag bag

Woman wearing red dress and red sunglasses peeks into a canvas swag bag set in front of gray background

Your customers have bodily autonomy, so let them choose what they want in their swag bag! Offer a custom swag bag option, in which customers choose from a variety of different items to stash in their goody bag. They’ll pick what they find the most useful or interesting, so you know that it’ll be put to good use.

4. Holiday swag bag

If there’s ever a time for gift-giving, it’s the holiday season. Show your appreciation for clients and customers alike with a holiday-themed swag bag that includes items to bestow holiday cheer through and through, such as:

  • Holiday recipe cards
  • Cookie cutters
  • Treats and candy
  • Ornaments

5. Sustainability swag bag

Take advantage of sustainability’s growing importance and impart eventgoers with items that will help them become more environmentally conscious in their personal lives. Include eco-friendly items such as:

  • Metal straws
  • Products made from recycled materials
  • Reusable produce and grocery bags
  • Tote bags

If you go this route, avoid irony at all costs, and don’t package the sustainability swag bag items up in a plastic bag. Instead, consider cardboard boxes or other sustainable packaging options.

6. Branded apparel bag

Close-up of man carefully observing the results of the film on the silkscreen before screen printing

We know people want wearable promotional swag, so run with it! Put together a branded apparel bag that will quite literally give recipients more swagger. Consider printing your logo on these items to give away to attendees:

  • Baseball caps and beanies
  • Rubber bracelets
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks

Swag bag ideas for your virtual audience

Putting on a virtual event? Try these virtual swag bag ideas—even if they don’t involve a bag at all:

1. Gift cards

If you’re looking for an easy, yet desirable way to fill a virtual swag bag, consider including gift cards for some enticing places, such as:

  • Restaurants
  • Book stores
  • Subscription services
  • Home goods stores

2. Virtual experiences

Woman preparing ravioli watching virtual culinary class on a computer

The internet is abundant with virtual experiences that are exciting and engaging. If you’re doing things virtually for your next event, consider gifting virtual experiences to attendees, such as:

Or if you’re looking for something truly unique, how about this “learn lock picking” session from Jolly Donut?

3. Food delivery codes

Everyone appreciates a free meal, so it makes sense why food delivery codes and vouchers make a great virtual swag bag idea. Gift virtual event attendees with codes for their favorite food delivery apps, such as:

An event management platform perfect for swag bag gifting

What good would all these event swag bag ideas be without an actual event to give them away at? Webex Events offers all the tools you need to host a successful in-person, virtual, or hybrid event—all of which provide the perfect opportunity for giving away some nifty, exciting, and useful swag bags to your attendees.