Monday, March 18, 2013

Put the Promotional Power of Swag Bags to Work at Your Next Event

Swag Bags are all the rage! You read about them at the Oscars, and other celebrity events. You even hear about them in conjunction with national sporting events, such as the Super Bowl.  But can you bring the glamour and promotional power of Swag Bags to your event?

Of course! Swag Bags work so well as a promotional marketing tool because people just LOVE receiving free gifts Event guests get a bag filled with wonderful products that marketers are eager to get into their hands. The guest loves receiving new, free items to try and the marketers love the advertising and potential word of mouth for their products. However, Swag Bags aren't just for the rich and famous. They don't have to contain items that value in the thousands of dollars to be effective. They just need to include items that the target audience finds valuable.

Companies are using promotional Swag Bags as:
  • Gifts in rooms for travel incentive trips
  • Incentives to get people to buy tickets early to events, for example, the first 100 people who register get a swag bag
  • Thank you gifts for attending trade shows, conferences, sporting events, and even networking meetings
  • Product trial inducers - give people a sample of your product and a coupon for future purchase

To create a Swag Bag for your next event, there are a few considerations. First, what is your objective? To get people to try one of your products to promote future purchases? To get your company logo in front of them for more brand awareness? Once you know what you want your target audience to experience or take away from the swag bag you can think about the bag and filling it.

Start with the bag? Is it part of the "value" to the customer or is it's only purpose to hold the items in the bag? Should the bag be be casual, like a drawstring backpack? Or, more business-like, such as a briefcase or messenger bag? Or, more practical like a shopping bag or tote? The answer depends on your brand's personality and on whether you want your target to hand on to the bag and use it, giving your brand more visibility.

Next, what's in the bag? Products you want sampled? Coupons? Brochures? Giveaway items that will tie with the theme of your event or to visually to remind attendees of the meeting objectives? For example, if you are hosting a Wellness Fair, how about a pedometer that is both useful and is wellness-related? 

If you are staging an event for college-age students, how about including a speaker that amplifies a cell phone's music selections? 

On a tight budget?  See if your event sponsors will contribute an item to the bag-- the more the better!  If you are part of a Chamber or business networking group, all of you can combine to make a gift bag. Just try to eliminate duplicate items so everyone's contribution has maximum impact. It is not effective to have seven pens and two hand sanitizers when instead you could have had nine distinct items.

Also, if the event has a definite theme, try to have the items related to that specific theme as much as possible. I have personally seen people at a golf event throw out non-golf items from their swag bag, which is truly a waste of both precious advertising dollars and an opportunity to make a good impression on the bag recipient.

Need help in creating, customizing, or improving a Swag Bag for your event? We have so many ideas for both the bags and the valuable items inside to help your promote your business effectively. Contact PromoDona at 847-398-5500 or  for some unique ideas that will make your clients feel like you're treating them like celebrities.

For more trade show, conference or event marketing ideas, check out my Promotional Marketing Board on Pinterest or Like my Newport Promotions Facebook Page