It is not news that when you go to a conference or a trade show you come home with new ideas, new inspirations, and a whole lot of new stuff. The swag bag trend is now so ubiquitous that conference goers will be disappointed if they aren’t handed something at your booth. Therefore, in an effort to keep up with the Joneses, many companies carelessly assemble their conference swag and hope that it will generate buzz. Don’t be like them!
A boring bag filled with run of the mill trinkets may not make it further than the next garbage can. Instead, invest thoughtfully in one of your most visible marketing strategies. A fun, stylish swag bag can make a strong impression. After all, who doesn’t want cool goodies? So take some time to develop your marketing materials that you are handing out, and never underestimate the power of a good swag bag.
What Is Swag?
First off, what swag is
and how you get it should be clear. “Swag” is a slang term that has moved into the mainstream to describe the free stuff that companies give away at events and conferences to market their brands. Normally these free goodies display the company’s name, logo, or colors prominently so that a consumer can advertise a business by using their products.
That means all those laptop stickers, mugs, and t-shirts you see with brand names on them are examples of swag.
Support Your Supporters
When you hand someone a bag at a conference, you are thanking them for their attendance and patronage of your booth while hinting that this event is going to be something special because they just received the coolest swag bag in all of creation
. Don’t let them down. Make sure your bags are integrated into your overall communication plan. Each item of swag should serve a specific purpose and work toward the marketing goal your company is striving for. When it comes to free stuff, quality always wins over quantity.
Make It Something People Want
When offering swag, the more traditional pens and mugs just won’t cut it anymore. It seems obvious that with so many companies giving away swag that you would have to think outside the box to grab the attention of customers, but many companies haven’t seemed to get the memo. Think about it. Put yourself in the shoes of an event attendee. What would catch your attention
? Would you really care to have yet another pen or lug around a heavy piece of ceramic that isn’t even filled with a caffeinated substance?
If you don’t want it, then probably neither will your audience. Remember the golden rule: treat others how you would like to be treated. Offer something that 10 other booths won’t be giving away, like a power adapter
or a Tervis tumbler
. Both these items are not only useful in the future, but they also have the potential to be used during
a conference, which could then have people inquiring where these wonderful pieces of swag came from.
Start with a Small Bag
When creating a swag bag, you have to think practically. Stuff weighs a lot. If everyone is giving out free stuff, and you are the last booth that a conference goer visits, you don’t want them to not pick up your swag because it is too heavy
. To avoid this potentially disastrous scenario, ask yourself two important questions:
Would they truly want the swag I’m offering?
Why would they take home these promotional goodies after the event?
If you have a good answer for both these questions, then you should absolutely add that swag to your bag. Remember, though, there are thousands of different giveaway options at varying price points. Pick something that is appealing, innovative, and easy to tote around for an entire day
Swag is a great way to get your company’s name out on the street. Having people wear your brand around is the ultimate advertising strategy to start a conversation around your brand’s message. However, you don’t want your company’s marketing potential to literally end up in the trash.
Therefore, take the time to think about what you yourself would want in a swag bag, and then try to recreate that for your customers. Continually work to maximize the potential of your next bag. Don’t only make it fun for the moment, but make it a part of your brand’s overall communication strategy, and use it to enhance and support your message at an event.