Build a Swag Bag That Connects With Your Audience

February 8, 2023

Swag bags aren’t new, but they continue to be appreciated and even expected by employees and event attendees alike. However, this reality can make it hard to develop fresh and unique ideas for the kinds of items to include. You want to hand out things that people will use and remember, but there are only so many branded coffee cups one can own before they toss them aside.

Here are a few things to consider for different audiences the next time you build a swag bag.

Tailoring Your Swag Bag for Employee Retention

Whether you are putting together a bag of giveaways as a welcome gift or for a company retreat, these events make it much easier to include items that will be both appreciated and helpful, since you know your employees and their interests (or you can connect with new hires and managers to get a better idea of employee preferences).

For new employees, consider including a “Get to Know You” form in the new hire paperwork emailed prior to their first day. Ask employees about their favorite snacks, games, drinks, writing utensils, shows or hobbies. By including this form with all other technical paperwork, you can add a personal touch to a swag bag for their first day, which shows your employees that you care about them before they even start

Company retreats are excellent events to incorporate employee awards. When done correctly, these awards can be a fun tradition and hold sentimental value for employees. The key is to look beyond traditional awards and include categories unique to your company. More prominent companies can lean on team managers to give awards and make it even more personal for employees. Besides incorporating individual categories, using custom plaques as awards offer sentimental value and are something employees will probably take with them when and if they change careers, thus positively impacting your business reputation.

Designing a Swag Bag That Impresses Conference Attendees

It takes more effort to narrow down what items will be used after the event at large conferences, however, it is still possible. Consider any common themes of interest attendees may have, for example, creative mindsets, analytical mindsets, type of industry, similar age ranges, etc. Thinking of items that would be most beneficial to these industries in mind makes it significantly easier to consider investing in promotional items. 

Here are some tips for choosing swag bag items for your conference:

  • Provide color or design options.
  • If including bags of some type, consider putting your logo on the interior lining rather than the exterior.
  • Think style first, marketing second.
  • Don’t include a date unless it is worthy of being memorialized.

A well-designed swag bag tailored to specific audiences can effectively show appreciation and leave a lasting impression. It can be a powerful relationship-building tool, and it’s worth considering when planning your next marketing strategy.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. Corporate Event News had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to more