August 20, 2019
By Caroline Howard

Event swag is a great thing. Six months after your event, your attendee might reach into their bag and pull out a pen with your company logo on it and remember the experience they had at your event. Or, they could go to coffee with a friend who asks them about the logo on their PopSocket. Either way, the swag you give out at an event is important to your branding.

It can be a great conversation starter and an opportunity for further exposure if done correctly. Since event swag is important, knowing what to buy is important. Ask yourself what your attendees will like the most. This will vary from audience to audience. If you have a tech-driven conference, have tech-themed swag. Make sure what you're giving out is something your attendees will want.

Here are 5 easy tips to help you choose what type of swag to purchase for your next event.

1. Make Your Swag Something People Can Actually Use

Don't waste money on stuff your attendees either won't want or use. There's no reason to get complicated with the gifts you give them, either. Stay simple. Pens and cups are great because everyone always needs one. Coozies, PopSockets, phone cases, stickers, and tote bags are crowdpleasers.

Stay away from super trendy items because they typically go out of style as quickly as they came into style. For instance, don't give away the hottest item of the week because in two weeks your attendee will forget about it. Give something that leaves a lasting impression.

2. Give them Something Attractive

The design is important if you're giving out 500 water bottles at an event. Don't order 500 lime green and black crazy-striped water bottles that most people won't like. Make it attractive. Make people want to walk around with your swag.

Many attendees, and people in general, stray away from anything that draws too much attention. It's important to make your branding clear, but there's no need to put thirty logos on a product. Stay classy and professional.

3. Find Something Reasonably Priced

Depending on your budget, "reasonably priced" will mean different things. If you're hosting 15 executives at a retreat, then your event swag might be more expensive. But if you're hosting 500 attendees, the 500 tote bags you order may not be the highest quality. Weigh your options and check multiple websites. Typically, you can find the same item priced cheaper at different places.

4. Buy in Bulk

Buying items in bulk usually brings the price down. Take time to test the prices for higher quantity numbers; you may be surprised. This is a win-win for you as the planner because you can give the same swag out at multiple events.

5. Use Social Media

When designing your event swag, include your social media handles or hashtags. Encourage your attendees to post with their swag and offer incentives for posting. For example, if they post a picture on their branded t-shirt, then they receive a future discount. Events are made up of a million puzzle pieces that fit together at the end, and event swag is one of the pieces.

Having stuff to give out that your attendees will use and like is important for your branding. Take time when choosing your swag, and follow our tips!

Caroline Howard

Northern Virginia native turned southerner at The University of South Carolina. My skills include planning 4,000 attendee corporate events and then blogging about them.

My friends always ask where I am, because when I'm not behind my laptop writing, I'm off exploring new places like Cuba and Spain.

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