5 Ways to Make Event Swag Impactful

Online events are taking over many traditional tradeshows and conferences. We believe, even with a vaccine, that online events are here to stay.  There’s something to be said about meeting face to face and we miss that, we really do. On the flip side we’ve enjoyed hosting virtual events ourselves during COVID and had a fantastic level of engagement as well as taken advantage of the opportunity to have both speakers and delegates join us from out of country.

A huge part of making any event successful is using tangible memories (aka branded assets) to commemorate the event. There are five ways that you can instantly increase the impact of your event swag!

1. Make your event swag retail inspired

Gone are the days where the cheapest tote bag with a multitude of 27 sponsor logos splashed on the side is a keepsake. They’ve been done and people are over it! Instead, your clients want something that is higher end and has a focus on the theme of the event vs. being covered with logos. 

We had a client approach us about a public relations conference. Our client explained that it broke her heart to see the tote bags in the hotel garbage cans after the event. We agreed that it was a total waste of money and wouldn’t leave a great taste in their sponsors mouths. We came up with several designs and suggested a cotton tote bag with a simple silkscreen but with a focus of a graphic which played to being in the PR world. It was humorous and delegates could relate. It was also fashionable, and the design was the draw of the bag with a small logo on the right corner so people actually walked around downtown displaying their funky bag.

This is the kind of result you’re after! Think Indigo and Chapters inspired vs. billboard!

2. Use motivational quotes

One of our most warmly received gifts was a white journal with silver foil debossing that had a motivational quote in script and then our website just below it. Again, think of what appeals to you at a retail level. Your clients don’t mind a small discreet logo when something is classy and has meaning or is inspiring.

3. Your choice of packaging is everything!

We’re tactile creatures and we love things that are visually appealing and even feel good.

Did you know that Apple spent pain-staking time perfecting their phone box so that the “pull” of the lid created excitement and anticipation? Think about the last high-end purchase you made. What was the packaging like? Chances are, if you invested in a quality item the company didn’t toss you a plastic bag. Instead, they wrapped the item with tissue. It probably went inside a beautiful box that could be used for storage in the future and was finished off with an elegant ribbon.  

While not every company has a Tiffany budget or the ability to send their staff to wrapping school (it’s really a thing), keep in mind that packaging can make or break the impact. The more attention you pay to the packaging of your event swag, the more detail-oriented it appears, the more your client will associate you with a high-end brand. Our VESB line up (Virtual Event Swag Bags) has some stunningly beautiful options with silk touch boxes and even laser cut foam that can be personalized with clients’ names!

4. Less is more

No really! Less is more. I know the argument is that you sell sponsors branding space on your bag. You bring sponsors and supporters on board with the exchange of having their logo on an item in the bag. This is all ok. We’re challenging you to think about doing fewer items but select a higher-end item.

For example, send one high end speaker with a fabulous graphic and small logo. Then have the packaging, the sleeve, the foam and the insert highlight sponsor logos. Or selected a matched gift set with, say, 4 or 5 items that are cohesive in nature and have each sponsor logo displayed there. Think of when you go to a tradeshow; would you rather walk away with a bag of 27 small items like nail files, sticky notes and pens or one larger useful item that has an impact?

5. Make sure it makes sense!

We often get requests for event swag items that don’t make sense to the conference or event. This often happens when people are either in a time crunch or their decision is only price-driven. When gifts make sense, they make impressions. When gifts are clever and the tagline matches the client’s needs or the theme of the event, people appreciate the thought put in to the piece. They are also more likely to tell others or share on social media which is fantastic!

We would love to see your favourite event swag bag or gift you’ve received in the past. As always, we’re here for you and happy to share some fabulously creative ideas to make your life easier so you can focus on your event’s success! Reach out to us to know more about our Virtual Event Swag Bag services.

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