21 Brilliant Swag Bag Ideas that Wow Event Attendees

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21 Brilliant Swag Bag Ideas that Wow Event Attendees

I don't need an intro, get me to the list of Swag Bag Ideas

Does your event have nice booty?

No, not that kind of booty, weirdo.

I'm talking about products, giveaways, and swag bags. The pirate kind of booty. People love free swag. I mean, who doesn't?

But as an event organizer, it just burns a hole in your pocket. But you know it doesn't have to, right?

Swag bags are a staple of conferences and events, and for good reason. They're a great way to show attendees your appreciation, and they can also help you promote your brand. But what if you could do more than just give away free stuff? What if you could use swag bags to convert attendees into customers? In this blog post, we'll share some swag bag ideas that have the potential to do just that.

We'll also discuss how to choose the right items for your swag bags, and how to make sure they're delivered on time and in good condition. So whether you're planning a conference or just looking for ways to improve your current swag bags, read on for some inspiration to make your swag bag money-hole into an ROI generating strategy that works.

Looking to make more of a welcome package for members? Here's a great guide on making an amazing welcome package for new members.

Swag Bag Ideas with Conversions in Mind

I feel the need to bash you over the head with the idea that you need to bring your offline leads to your online database in as seamless a transition as possible. When it comes to events, attendees are already engaged, and you simply need to find creative ways to call them into signing up, purchasing, booking a demo or whatever it is you need to get them on the hook.

Swag Bags are key in that a vast majority of attendees will be using your swag in their daily lives, which gets them familiar with your branding, and can call them to action. This is a great way to introduce new ways to get them to whip out their phone and get on your landing pages, whether it be an incentive or a QR code, or easy to follow link. Two important things to note about your swag is that they should be:

Useful - Make sure your attendees find a use for it in their daily lives that causes them to see your brand or CTA.

Long Lasting - Do not make anything that is disposable, you lose your branding sooner than you would hope, and it's unsustainable for the environment.

Make sure every bit of swag has your logo on it or some graphic that leads users to your website, or social media. This is a great way to convert them or get them to share your products online.

That means placing QR codes, easy to type URLs, and the name of your social media accounts they can Google easily. When dallying with QR codes or other ways to scan, make sure you have it lead to an awesome landing page that addresses the CTA you used, or the event that they attended. All 21 of our swag bag ideas are revolving around extending the lifetime value of your attendees but feel free to change things up so that it best fits your audience or event topic.

Quick Links

=Strong Impact
=Good Impact 
=Ok Impact 


Clothing & Apparel Swag Bags

Clothing and Apparel Swag Bags

Clothing is one of the best swag bag ideas that are both useful and long-lasting. Everyone loves a free t-shirt, and there's an absolute ton of space for you to market and call your attendees to actions. The other benefit is that it really spreads your brand name around when attendees wear it outside.

Who knows? Maybe an attendee is a big public speaker and they just happen to speak to an audience with the t-shirt on? Maybe it's recorded on TV or a highly viral video? All that free marketing potential and it cost you less than it does to pay for your lunch.

For example, you could give away:

1. T-Shirts

T-shirts are one of the most common, cost-effective, and brilliant ways to grow your brand. Using T-shirts as a platform for showing off your brand and logo is easy as everyone loves a free t-shirt. Just make sure it's not gaudy and turns off the attendee from ever wearing it in public.  The cost-effectiveness depends on the plausibility of printing t-shirts with the right sizes. So make sure you have a way to use an email system to get attendee's sizes via survey so that adequate sizes are ordered for the event. 

You obviously can't put the right size in a swag bag unless it's been given a name and is pre-ordered so to speak. What you can do however is set up a referral booth for attendees to pick up their t-shirt in their right size. This can be verified by placing a voucher for 1-free t-shirt in the swag bag for the attendee to use and receive their t-shirt.

2. Hats

Hats, much like T-shirts are a cost-effective brand platform. Men are more likely to wear hats when going outside, so events where there's an over-abundance of men. Hats are adjustable and can fit most heads, so there's no need to ask attendees their size before showtime.

3. Slides/Flip-flops

Slides and flip-flops are a more normal fashion accessory, and they make a great way to place logos. We prefer slides as they have more surface area on the arresting strap above the foot to place branding, and it faces upwards towards anyone looking at the slides in a normalized setting. Slides are more likely to be worn by men.

4. Sunglasses

While not a great place for branding, sunglasses are a nice accessory to own. Small logos work well here.

5. Tote-bags

While tote bags are not being used in everyday life as a t-shirt, the growing number of bag-it-yourself grocery stores like Aldi's has made it so that tote bags are being brought into the sunlight more often than usual. Great place to place a logo or branding. Maybe enough room for a low-key CTA ;). Also great for events where attendees live nearby the beach.


Farukh Ijaz, P.E.  President and Managing Partner

"I saw firsthand that more paperwork was being done than necessary. As a tech enthusiast, I knew there was a better way to approach events. I began to research check-in technology online and came across Glue Up. I asked for a demo shortly after realizing how much the software could help with the ITE Met Section's events."

Farukh Ijaz
Secretary, ITE Met Section
Read the full case study here >


6. Wallets

Wallets are a men-centric accessory and a bit expensive. However, the life-long capability of the wallet ensures it'll be around for a good long while. 

7. Neck Pillows

Neck pillows are great for events where attendees have to fly-in. Slap branding or a logo on it, and now everyone on plane will have to look at your logo as they jealously wish they had their own neck pillow.

The Strategy

For apparel, the strategy is quite clear. Create great branding. Either by fancy showy graphics, CTAs, or a simple logo, it depends on how grandiose your event is. T-shirts and hats are one of the most visible types of clothing, so it's a great time to place your logo and create a CTA either with your slogan, or something that's impactful.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if your event is in Asia, it might be best to offer materials with QR Codes. If it's in China, I would say it's a downright crime if you don't add a QR code to your apparel. China loves the QR code thing, and it's starting to speak across the region in places like Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore.


Gadget Swag Bags

Clothing and Apparel Swag Bags


Gadgets are one of the best ways to convert attendees and get them from the real world into your digital database and CRM easily. Gadgets are also considerably more expensive, but if done right, can be very good at calling your attendees to an action that brings you closer to ROI.

The other great thing about gadgets is that no one will throw them away so easily, a phone charger here, headphones there, and there's almost a guarantee that this will be useful for the attendee.

Here are some neat-o examples:

1. Headphones

Headphones are an awesome way to make every-day use items to expose your branding. This is also a great way to cross large age gaps as most anyone loves a nice pair of headphones. Even just to give away as a gift. It's difficult to brand there, but there's always value in expressing the origin of technology. Imagine people saying they got their headphones at your event, and now that person might be incentivized to come to your future events. 

2. Phone Chargers

Phone chargers are another great way to expose branding. There's slightly more room for branding on the power adapter itself than say a pair of tiny headphones. 

3. Smartphone cases/pockets

By far one of the better ideas we can offer is the use of phone cases. It'll be tough and expensive to get a branded case into the hands of attendees, but if you can, imagine how often that phone gets whipped out with your logo on it? 

4. Battery Banks

Batteries are a slightly better version of power adapters. The trend for power banks is that they're becoming more phlatter to match the size of smartphones so that it rests easily into the palm of a user's hand, and then the phone sits above it. The nature of batteries being mobile makes it so it's more likely to have your branding or logo get seen as they get used in public areas. 

5. USB drives

USB drives are an always welcome tech-device to add into a swag bag. Not only can you brand the casing, but you can pre-load the USB drive so that when it's first inserted into a computer, it can either contain files that are relevant to the user's experience at the event, which of course would contain your branding. Or, it can also auto-load a webpage of your choosing on the first-insertion however this can easily backfire if the user is not properly engaged. Use caution. 

6. Power Adapter 

Power adapters are just like phone chargers, except geared toward international travelers. This would be a welcome addition to your swag bags. 

The Strategy

Gadget swag is dependent on the versatility of the objects. Providing cheap electronics can often time end up with a bad taste in the attendee's mouth if it breaks too soon, so make sure you do put some extra budget into your offering. Make deals with local manufacturers and get your logo imposed on the steel or printed on the plastics of electronics.

These days electronics are getting more IoT intensive. So I would suggest working with forward-thinking partners to allow for advertising on their app or linking to your website landing page when attendees connect their smartphone devices to the gadget they just got from your event.

If you don't have that ability, this is a chance to do a neat Google Ads campaign that targets the manufacturer's app on the Google Play store to advertise to attendees who download their app.

How's that for a growth hack?

Stationery Swag Bags

Clothing and Apparel Swag Bags


Stationery items are great swag bag ideas, but there's a core crutch to this that you should be aware of. It's in the name actually, in fact, it is the name. Stationery Items are stationery, unlike clothing or gadget items, these stationery items hardly leave a room they find themselves home in. It's not to say that it wouldn't be successful as a CTA medium, but it would likely only grace the eyes of attendees who use them.

The only exception honestly would be pens, as those seem to get around quite a bit from borrowing, losing, forgetting, giving away, etc.

Here are some more examples for you:

1. Pens & Pencils

Pens and pencils are a great way to brand yourself on a small, but effective scale. it's cheap, easy to handle, and almost always used to their fullest extent. You can even expect it to trade hands often. 

2. Notepads

Notepads are a great item that has a fair amount of durability and usage. Either brand or logo on the cover, or inlaid as a watermark on each page. This also applies to sticky-notes. 

3. Calculators

Calculators are surprisingly cheap. You can brand them and expect a full continued usage of the item. Calculators have been known to last years, but often times does not trade-hands very well. 

4. Tumblers/Glasses

Tumblers and glasses are a great item for older generations who enjoy drinking the finer things in life. This is a great time to subtly impose your logo onto the glass. 

5. Kinetic Desk Toys (I love these)

Kinetic desk toys are mesmerizing little desk ornaments that serve no real value other than attracting someone's divided attention. Imposing your logo on here is a great way to make the most of someone's stolen attention.

6. Laser Pens & Flashlights

Flashlights and laser pens are just like pens and pencils. They're fun to use, necessary, and people just love playing with them. Place a logo on it and watch it work. We suggest giving away ones with replaceable batteries, as one-time usage type lamps will just be thrown in the trash along with your logo. 

7. Coasters

At more social events, coasters are a great giveaway to the dads of the crowd.

8. Sports Bottles

Sports bottles are a more friendly approach to the casual events where it's important to be child-oriented.

The Strategy

Stationery should be useful, and long-lasting because it's not the most travel-worthy type of swag, but it should spark a conversation. If you have a nice well-made tumbler with your logo imposed on the glass, it could possibly spark a conversation when the attendee breaks them out at a party or what have you. Think like a coca-cola glass. Its shape and logo are recognizable, and everyone asks about them.

Unlike gadgets, these types of items are easier and more common to custom print and embed logos onto.

Other Things to Throw In

Swag bags aren't only made up of the above three items, but think about meaningful items to put in the bag to give early on impressions, like a welcome letter, candy, snacks, discount codes, and more. These are items that can fit in any swag bag no matter the strategy that gives a great first impression of the event.

There is more than enough room in any swag back to sprinkle them with temporary feel-good items that make an attendee feel welcome and happy instantly. Could be that that instant gratification alone gets them tweeting about you ;)

Take into consideration everything, but most of all, make sure that your giveaways call your attendees to some sort of action that makes your attendees convert. If it takes them to a web page, make sure you have a landing page that addresses the CTA or the Event.

MAJOR NOTE: Make sure your swag bag's bag is a backpack. Not an expensive one, but one of the string-laced bags that are easy to carry and wear. It makes a load of difference in the attendee's experience, especially if they're walking around the event a lot, and it also acts as a good way to increase your branding by putting your logo or CTA on the bag itself.

Ready to upgrade your swag bags with items that connect your offline audience to your online space? Book a demo and learn more about Glue Up's solution to offline capture.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Swag Bags

What is a swag bag?

A swag bag is a bundle of gifts typically given to attendees of an event. It can serve as an event welcome gift or a thank you gift for clients and employees. The contents usually consist of a variety of items, including branded merchandise and unique products.

Why give swag bags?

Swag bags are an effective way to engage with consumers and create a positive interaction between them and the organization. They promote stronger brand recognition as each item is customized to raise awareness of your brand.

What types of items do businesses typically include in a swag bag?

Businesses often include a mix of practical and fun items in swag bags such as logo t-shirts, hats, custom travel tumblers, water bottles, personalized notebooks, pens, gourmet snacks, branded tech gadgets, customized candles, stickers, pins, and even custom exercise accessories.

How many items generally go into a swag bag?

Typically, swag bags contain around 3 to 5 items. However, this can vary depending on the nature of the event and the budget allocated for the swag bags.

What should be included in a woman's swag bag?

The contents of a woman's swag bag can vary widely depending on the event, theme, and the recipient's preferences. However, some universally appreciated items include high-quality cosmetics or skincare products, fashionable accessories, useful gadgets like wireless earbuds, gourmet snacks, wellness items, and personal care items like lip balms or hand sanitizers.

What are some clothing items we can include in men’s swag bags?

You can include promotional socks, sweatshirts, hoodies, custom hats, jackets, vests, knit caps, mittens, polo shirts, and T-shirts.

What are some good items to put in a swag bag for an event?

Some good items for event swag bags can include travel gear, food and snacks, branded notebooks, promotional T-shirts, coffee mugs, health products, and promotional socks. The key is to keep these items light for easy carrying.

Can I send swag bags virtually?

Yes, you can send swag bags virtually using services like SwagDrop. They offer a convenient platform to create and send curated swag packs that can effectively build brand awareness.

How much should I spend on each swag bag?

The amount you should spend on each swag bag depends on your overall budget for swag products. After setting your budget, divide it by the quantity of bags you need to buy to determine the amount to spend per bag.

Can swag bags be used as a marketing strategy?

Yes, swag bags are often used as a part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. They serve as a tangible representation of a brand and can help create a lasting impression on consumers.

Can I include promotional items in a swag bag?

Yes, promotional items are often a key part of swag bags. Items such as branded pens, notepads, mugs, and T-shirts are common. The aim is to increase brand visibility and recall.

How can the items in a swag bag increase brand awareness?

Branded items, whether they are clothing, tech gadgets, or office supplies, create more visibility for your brand. The more visible your brand is, the more likely consumers are to engage with your company.

What is the best way to distribute swag bags at events?

Swag bags can be distributed at the registration desk, during the event, or as attendees leave. Alternatively, they can also be sent directly to attendees' homes or workplaces in case of virtual events.

How can I ensure that the items in my swag bag are used?

To ensure the items in your swag bag are used, it's important to include items that are practical, useful, and high quality. Customizing the items to reflect the interests and needs of the recipients can also increase the likelihood of use.

Is it important to have a theme for the swag bag?

While not mandatory, having a theme can help make the swag bag more cohesive and memorable. The theme can be based on the event, the brand, or a specific marketing campaign.

What's the difference between a swag pack and a swag bag?

The primary difference between a swag pack and a swag bag is the packaging. A swag pack is usually packaged in a box, making it more suitable for mailing, while a swag bag is typically packaged in a bag, which makes it ideal for distribution at events.

What items are typically included in an event swag bag?

Event swag bags often include items that make business travel and networking more enjoyable and comfortable. Items can include ready-to-eat snacks, refillable water bottles, travel tumblers, notepads, pens, padfolios, pour-over coffee packets, travel neck pillows, earplugs, eye masks, portable tech gadgets, and reusable tote bags.

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