The Ultimate Guide to the Best Conference Swag

Kara Boatner
January 10, 2024

Swag: a word that brings to mind images of free goodies, exclusive merchandise, and the feeling of being a part of something special.​ 

When it comes to conferences, swag is often one of the main draws for attendees.​ But not all conference swag is created equal.​ Some freebies have the power to leave a lasting impression, while others end up in the trash as soon as the event is over.​ Globally, 85% of people who are given a promotional item will remember the advertiser that gave it to them.

If you're an event organizer or a conference-goer looking for the ultimate guide to the best conference swag, look no further.​ We've compiled a list of unforgettable freebies that will make you want to attend every event!

1.​ A branded notebook that is both practical and stylish

Instead of a cheap, generic notebook, why not invest in a high-quality, beautifully designed notebook featuring the conference logo? Not only will attendees appreciate having a place to take notes during sessions, but they'll also be more likely to use the notebook long after the conference is over, keeping your brand top of mind.​ We recommend Denik for quality notebooks that can’t be beat!

2.​ Tech gadgets that are actually useful

Forget about the novelty USB drives and cheap keychains.​ Today's conference-goers are tech-savvy and are looking for gadgets they can actually use in their daily lives.​ Consider giving out portable phone chargers, Bluetooth speakers, or even smartwatches.​ These conference giveaways show that you value your attendees' needs and also serve as a constant reminder of your event.​

3.​ Customized swag bags that are eco-friendly

Instead of handing out plastic bags that will likely end up in the trash, invest in reusable tote bags made from eco-friendly materials.​ Not only will attendees appreciate the thoughtfulness of your choice, but they'll also promote your event every time they use the bag, whether it's at the grocery store or the gym.​

4.​ Unique and personalized giveaways

Everyone loves getting something that feels customized especially for them.​ Consider giving out custom socks, water bottles, or even phone cases.​ These items not only make attendees feel special but also create a sense of belonging and connection to your event.​

5.​ Interactive experiences that leave a lasting impression

Don't just stick to physical items when it comes to trade show swag.​ Consider offering interactive experiences that attendees won't soon forget.​ This could be anything from virtual reality games to hands-on workshops.​ These experiences not only create lasting memories but also give attendees something to talk about long after the event is over.​

6.​ Delicious and customizable snacks

Food has a way of bringing people together and leaving a lasting impression.​ Instead of the usual generic snacks, consider offering a variety of delicious and customizable options.​ This could include a build-your-own trail mix station, a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar, or even a popcorn station with a range of gourmet toppings.​ These unique and tasty treats will have attendees raving about your event for months to come.​

7.​ Exclusive access to premium content or resources

Sometimes the best trade show swag doesn't come in the form of physical items at all.​ Consider offering attendees exclusive access to premium content or resources.​ This could include recordings of conference sessions, exclusive industry reports, or even one-on-one consultations with industry experts.​ These offerings not only provide value to attendees but also create a sense of exclusivity and VIP treatment.​

How does conference swag truly make a difference?

1.​ Boosting Networking Opportunities

Conference swag can play a crucial role in fostering connections between attendees.​ Instead of simply handing out business cards, why not provide personalized business card holders or even networking kits with conversation starters and tips? These thoughtful touches make it easier for attendees to break the ice and forge meaningful connections.​ Additionally, offering branded merchandise that attendees can use during networking events, such as lanyards or badge holders, not only reinforces your brand but also acts as a conversation starter.​

2.​ Creating Memorable Experiences

Conference swag is not just about physical items; it's about creating memorable experiences that attendees will associate with your event.​ Consider offering surprise giveaways during keynote sessions or hosting interactive challenges with the chance to win exclusive prizes.​ These experiences create a buzz and excitement that attendees won't soon forget, leaving a lasting impression and making them eager to attend your next event.​

3.​ Promoting Sustainability

In today's eco-conscious world, sustainability is a hot topic.​ Show your commitment to the environment by offering conference swag that aligns with this value.​ Instead of single-use plastic water bottles, provide attendees with reusable water bottles that they can refill throughout the event.​

Consider giving out plantable seed paper that attendees can take home and grow, symbolizing the growth and connections made during the conference.​ These eco-friendly trade show giveaways make a positive impact on the environment and also showcase your organization's dedication to sustainability.​

4.​ Enhancing Well-being and Self-Care

In a busy conference setting, attendees often appreciate opportunities for self-care and relaxation.​ Consider offering swag items that promote well-being, such as stress balls or essential oil rollerballs.​ Additionally, you could provide attendees with access to wellness lounges or even on-site spa services.​ These thoughtful touches not only show that you value your attendees' well-being but also provide them with a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the conference.​

In conclusion, when it comes to conference swag, the key is to think beyond the generic and focus on creating memorable, personalized experiences for your attendees.​ By offering practical and stylish items, tech gadgets, interactive experiences, and unique giveaways, you'll leave a lasting impression that will make attendees eager to attend every event.​ So, whether you're an event organizer or a conference-goer, remember that the ultimate guide to the best conference swag is all about making a positive and unforgettable impact.​

Kara Boatner
January 10, 2024