5 Affordable And Effective Swag Items

November 19 2015

Have you ever gone to an event and left with what you felt was a real steal? Sure we’d all love to hand out swag that Oprah would be proud of, the expensive iPads or cars that everybody would rave about, but the reality is, most of us don’t have the budget to give away tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts. In the real world, we have budgets, time limits, and a clear purpose for our swag. If you can give away a branded iPhone, maybe you should go that route, but if you don’t have that much cash to spend, here are some impactful, but reasonable swag ideas that have been done in the past.


The purpose of swag: 

As with everything in event planning, there is a purpose behind handing out event swag. Most often, brands hand out swag that will increase brand awareness and create goodwill with their audiences. By handing out something of value, people will come to form a favorable opinion of your brand. If you hand out cheap, unusable swag, people will associate you with that as well. You are what you hand out. Here are 5 examples of effective, yet reasonable swag handed out at events:


Facebook Seattle Espresso Cup

Via Jennifer Apacible on Quora 


Why this is so good:

First of all, the quality of the cup is good. It’s not going to break unless you knock it off a tall counter. Secondly, it serves a real purpose. Many people drink coffee and nobody complains about having another mug for your drinks. Third, the logo is simple. When you look at this, the Facebook logo doesn’t dominate the cup, it’s small, simple, and something you would feel comfortable taking to work or leaving in your cupboard and home. Fourth, it has the space needle on it, which gives the cup more personality. If you are hosting an event, you can find a unique symbol to put on your own cup, and keep it simple. People will keep a piece of swag like this for years, and your branding will get seen for a long time to come.


IFTTT Custom socks

Via Ethan Smith on Quora


Why this is so good:

You’ve seen custom shirts before, but custom socks are unique, memorable, and trendy right now. If you walk into an office, you are bound to see a handful of colorfully unique socks. This also works well because everybody could use one more pair of socks. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, it can fit in a bag, pocket, or suitcase without taking up too much space. People will want to show off the new socks they got from your brand.You can capitalize on brand awareness by having people wear your brand into the office every day. 


Branded Tote Bags

@sarahdkhf instagram -Cactus bag:

Image from Hello Olive Designs on Pinterest 


Why this is so good:

Tote bags are reusable and cheap. You can make a nicely designed tote bag for your audience that will be used for years to come. People use tote bags when they go shopping, when they travel for vacations, and for moving things around the house. The key to this is to use simple, limited branding on your bags. Like the espresso mug above, keep your branding simple and clean, and maybe even create a design that reflects your brand. If you are hosting your event in an iconic city, you can find a landmark to repeat in a pattern like the cacti above. 


Portable cell phone chargers


Image from Brand Spirit Blog


Why this is so good:

Almost everybody has a smart phone these days, and they have become just as important, if not more so, than the rest of our appendages. Cell phone companies keep making the battery life better, yet we will always find ourselves in situations where our phone is about to die just as we need it. These phone chargers may be a little bit on the pricey side, but they will get used over and over again. It may be worth it to dish out a little extra money to give your attendees phone chargers, especially if you work at trade shows or conventions, where people’s phones are necessary for work.


5. Moleskin Notebooks


Photo from Bureau Business


Why this is so good:

You may be thinking that in the digital age, notebooks are a thing of the past. However, one of the most desirable pieces of swag we’ve seen at events is the Moleskin notebook. You can brand them for cheap, and people love the simple, classy look of the notebook. People still take notes by hand, and you are giving them a usable gift with your logo slapped right across the front of it.