Creative swag bag ideas

12 Swag Bag Ideas For Your Next Event

Wondering what to put in a swag bag? Check out our swag bag ideas for event attendees, conferences and corporate events!
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September 13, 2022

Everyone loves free swag! How exciting is it to receive a bag, full of free goodies? Whether you’re at a virtual or in-person event, free merchandise is a great way to leave a small reminder of your brand wherever they bring their gifted items. Executing your merchandise choices with the right strategy can help produce a brand moment for your company that sticks. 

When it comes to swag bags, the ideas for items to put in the bag are truly endless. Company branded events are a great way to promote your business, while giving your employees and/or customers a lasting impression of your company. Swag bags are a fun and easy way to incorporate all of your attendees, whether they work from home or in the office. Hosting a virtual event complete with swag bags that can be sent right to the participant's home will make them feel as if they are attending the event in person! From a company standpoint, swag bags can get expensive quickly, but they don’t have to. By brainstorming cost effective bag ideas and putting them together, you are able to create a swag bag full of goodies and items that are intriguing to the consumer and won’t break the bank. Wondering what to put in a swag bag? Hubilo has put together a list of some of our favorite swag bag ideas for events!

What is a Swag Bag?

Swag bags are gift bags, commonly a reusable bag is used, filled with an array of items that are typically given out at work conferences, events, or seminars. These bags are not only used to thank the people for attending said event, but it will also put a smile on the face of the attendees and be a topic of conversation. If you are at a conference, maybe one where you don’t know anyone, and you receive a swag bag upon arrival, you may get to chatting with the person next to you about the contents of the bag. You may hit it off with your seat neighbor, exchange business cards and now you’re networking! When it comes to brainstorming new ideas for swag bags, the items inside can all be personalized for both your attendees and your company’s brand.

Swag bag thank you gift

12 Swag Bag Ideas To Use At Your Next Event

Company Gift Bag Ideas For Your Employees

1. Milestone Bag

Employees who work at the same company for years deserve a swag bag full of goodies to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments! The great thing about milestone bags is that they are customizable to fit the likes of your employee. Whether your employee is celebrating a wedding, having a child, or retiring from the company, their bag is sure to put a smile on their face! Fill their bags with items such as champagne flutes for the newlyweds, company branded onesies for the new parents, or a beach chair for the retiree to use. Your employees should be celebrated in these special times!

2. New Employee Bag

It can be nerve wracking starting a new job! However, with a new employee swag bag, it can ease the first day jitters. A small notebook, pens, a company branded t-shirt and a reusable water bottle shows your employee that you are excited for them to be a part of the company. These items will make your employee truly feel like they are a part of the team, and they will be excited to begin working.

3. Birthday Bag

Birthdays happen throughout the year, and a small bag of goodies to help celebrate your employee’s birthdays will truly show how much you care about them. Treats, such as macarons or gourmet cookies, reusable straws and personalized stationery are perfect gifts to put in an employee birthday bag! Everyone loves a sweet treat, and they deserve to indulge on their birthday, which makes it a great swag bag idea for employees.

Corporate Swag Bag Ideas

4. Wellness Bag 

Working hard for a company can come with challenges. At the end of a hard week, employees deserve to unwind and relax. Giving your employees a wellness bag will allow them to relax when they get home! Small candles, bath bombs and face masks will transport them to a relaxing environment so Monday morning they will come back to the office relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on a new week. 

5. Health Bag 

Everyone knows the challenge that comes with working in an office, and that is combating any illnesses that may come up. At the beginning of cold and flu season, you could give each employee a bag filled with Emergen-C, tissues, hand sanitizer and cough drops so they can help stop the spread of germs and keep them and others healthy! 

6. Desk Essentials Bag 

You never know when you might need a nail file or a multi tool to fix your glasses! Filling a bag with desk essentials like a USB drive, a mini flashlight and a small first aid kit is the perfect way to ensure your employees have everything they need right at their desk. No more walking across the office to see if anyone has a Band-Aid, employees will have one right at their fingertips, and they can resume work right away! 

Conference Swag Bag Ideas

7. Conference Bag 

In the corporate world, conferences happen often! Gathering people from both your company and other companies is a great way to spread new information to everyone. Virtual conferences are able to have an E-swag bag as well. You can incorporate things like gift cards and discount codes to your attendees at home. If the conference is in a new city for most people, a map of the city with suggestions for restaurants, museums and landmarks is a great way to enhance their experience. Small snacks such as granola bars, trail mix and a small water bottle are great bag items that attendees can eat/drink at their leisure. 

8. Holiday Swag Bag

Planning your next company-wide holiday party? Everyone takes time off around holidays to spend time with friends and family. As the holiday season nears, a bag filled with things to use on their time off will set their vacation off on the right foot! Sunglasses, sunblock, and tote bags are the perfect fillers for warm-weather teams and travelers. For the winter holidays cookies, candy and other sharable swag bag items are things teams can bring home to their families to enjoy as well. 

Swag bag giveaway

Swag Bag Ideas For Giveaways 

9. Giveaway Bag

Giveaway bags, depending what you put in there, will have a higher price point compared to a smaller swag bag. Giveaway bags may be given out once a year, through a drawing! Drawing names of attendees will be anticipatory for all involved, and will be sure to be a topic of conversation! Gadgets, such as small portable speakers, headphones and phone chargers are all giveaway ideas that will be useful to anyone! Some companies may even have the budget to make the grand prize a round trip vacation! These bags are on a much larger scale and should be done sparingly.

10. Self Care Bag

Self care is an important part of the corporate world. Employees need to be able to take time for themselves, even if it's only for 30 minutes a day. Hand creams, candles, lip and hair masks show your attendees that you care about their wellness and mental health. Having teams take care of their bodies as well as their minds will help them to refocus and be centered when they return to work after your event.

Swag Bag Ideas For Fundraisers

11. Fundraiser Bag 

Fundraisers are a great way to raise money for a great cause and have your teams from multiple companies gather together. While your attendees are raising money by bidding on auction items, they should also receive a goodie bag if they win! Coffee mugs, company branded sunglasses or even gourmet sweets can be a great parting gift and leave a lasting impression after fundraising events are over.

12. Coffee Bag

Fundraisers are usually night time events, sometimes even during the week. Having a swag bag full of coffee will help your attendees perk up during or after your event! A bag of local coffee, a mug and a sweet treat like biscotti will be the perfect pick me up. Coffee swag bags are also a great way to bring in future event sponsors, and keep your current sponsors awake the next morning!

Swag bag gifting guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How many items should be used in a promotional bag? 

A: You definitely don’t want to stuff your swag bag with a ton of items. Event attendees may get overwhelmed and they may not use every item, which can become costly. When creating company bags, try to think about using 6-8 useful and purposeful items. A notebook and pen, reusable water bottle and snacks are great items that come with a great price tag. 

What’s the ideal budget for a swag bag? 

A: A budget for a company gift bag is completely customizable for each event. Try to use companies who specialize in bulk items to try and keep costs down. Buying bulk items like pens, small notebooks or reusable straws will help you to get the items you need while still maintaining your budget. If you are hosting a smaller event, you could possibly splurge a bit more on higher end items. 

What do you put in a gift bag? 

A: Gift bag items are useful items your audience receives for attending your event. Items like t-shirts, hats, pens or journals are typical items for a swag bag. Your company has the option to customize what they want to put in their bags. Coffee tumblers, headphones, candles or a gadget are a few examples of the wide variety of items that you can put in a gift bag. 

Who gets a promotional gift bag? 

A: Realistically, everybody in attendance should receive a promotional gift bag. When it comes to a conference or seminar, collecting RSVPs is the best way to determine how many swag bags you will need. Of course, there may be leftover bags from people who didn’t attend or accidentally left theirs behind. If the items are non-perishable, keep the items inside the bags to possibly re-use for next year's event. 

Can you send swag bags in virtual events? 

A: Absolutely! If your company decides to host a virtual event instead of the traditional in-person event, you have the ability to make “e-swag bags.” virtual swag bag ideas may include things like gift cards or discount codes for a product, a food delivery service or a prize drawing. Much like the RSVPs for an in-person event, you are able to use those names of the people attending the event virtually and randomly draw names for a prize. Just because you chose to have your event hosted through an event hosting platform doesn’t mean that the attendees shouldn’t receive swag. 

I think we can all agree that getting free swag rocks! Everybody loves to receive swag, and it truly becomes a talking point after your event. Looking into your swag bag and discovering what you have been given sets the tone for a great conference, seminar or company event. The people who organize and assemble the swag bags put so much thought and effort into the bags, and they truly keep their audience in mind. They understand what items people want in their bags and what will be the most useful. Companies can use swag bags to maintain those professional as well as personal relationships with their employees, customers and colleagues. 

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