Who doesn’t love free stuff?
Other than printed collateral and overly branded products, most people welcome giveaways. And the cooler and more usable the gift, the greater lasting impression it will have on event attendees.
Here are five items to consider including in the ever-popular swag bag, which has become an increasingly critical way to connect with registrants as events have moved online.
Headphones or Earbuds
Headphones or earbuds are handy for listening to seminars, they can be used long after the event and they are easy to brand. But don’t cheap out. No one wants the flimsy ones that are completely silent on one side or go caput soon after they’re unpackaged — this will only leave a lasting bad first impression.
Retro Sweets and Games
Don’t discount the power of nostalgia. Research indicates that items associated with positive childhood memories increases feelings of belonging and connectedness, so why not factor this into your swag bag. A no-fail way is to add retro sweets. Old classics include Junior Mints, Jelly Tots and York Peppermint Patty, though what you include will depend on the age of your event demographic. Either way, sweets and candy from ‘the good old days’ is a great way to get attendees reminiscing.
Alternatively, you could go with a retro game like a Rubik’s cube, yo-yo or Uno cards, which double as a stress reliever.
Books and Courses
Sometimes the simplest things work best like a journal but if you want to step it up a notch, consider a book that is correlated with whatever event you’re hosting or even written by the keynote speaker. If adding a book is going to drive up courier costs (as it may be heavy), provide your audience with an access code to a professional e-book instead.
If going the online route, access to a free course given by a guest speaker that delves deeper into a popular session topic may also be a good bet.
In place of a single-serve bottle of wine to be consumed during virtual ‘happy hour’ or a cocktail reception, mix it up with alcoholic lollipops. Crafted in Canada, Lua Candy’s suckers come in a variety of flavours, including guava cosmopolitan, tequila sunrise, peach bellini, strawberry daiquiri and spiked lemonade. Alternatively, you could opt for cocktail gummy candies in pina colada, mojito mai tai or rum and coke. Whatever the flavour, these confections are sure to get people talking. Just make sure to let them know they’re alcoholic so they don’t give them to their kids.
Gift cards are always well received as they allow the recipient to control how they use it and get something they actually like. When choosing retailers, keep in mind they should have a global presence if your event attracts a large number of international attendees. Also, ensure the gift card’s monetary value can be converted to multiple currencies.
Another option is a charitable gift card. With organizations like Canada Helps, which is connected to 86,000 different charities, you can pre-purchase the amount and then let the recipient choose the charity to receive the funds. You’ll feel great giving back and allowing others to do the same.
Remember to provide enough time to package the special gift and ship to each participant prior to the event as this is a fantastic way to build excitement. And don’t forget to include items to draw attention to your brand, as well as your sponsors.