27 Best Conference Swag Ideas, Gifts & Items for Events in 2022

Home » Resources » Conference Swag IdeasUpdated: July 21, 2022

Here is our list of the best conference swag ideas for events.

Conference swag is free branded items and gifts that you give conference attendees before, during, or after a conference. Event swag items can range from inexpensive items, luxury items, and promotional products to unusual swag items. These items include drinkware, apparel, tech products, and travel essentials. Conference swag aims to promote a brand’s marketing efforts by increasing brand awareness, enhancing goodwill, and leaving a lasting impression on attendees.

These items are a type of company swag and are similar to conference giveaways. You can buy these items from swag sellers.

This list includes:

  • cool conference gift ideas
  • swag items for events
  • conference swag ideas for events
  • the best swag for conferences
  • conference gifts for attendees
  • conference giveaway ideas
  • virtual conference swag
  • conference kit ideas

Let’s get to it!

List of conference swag ideas

Your choice of conference swag can work for or against your brand. From branded apparel and pocket journal sets to drinkware, here are some of the most sought-after swag ideas for conferences.

1. Branded apparel

Branded apparel is among the most common conference gifts for attendees. Apparel is an easy swag idea that can work for any brand and is among the safest swag that you can choose.

Examples of branded apparel:

  • Hats
  • Jackets
  • Shirts
  • Winter hats
  • Sweatshirts
  • Hoodies
  • Socks

If you choose branded apparel for conference swag, then opt for trends instead of mundane options. You also need to get your logo placement right to ensure optimal brand visibility.Another tip is to research the best apparel ideas for your target demographics and brand values. For instance, if your demographic is adventurous then consider outdoor wear, and order ethically sourced and sustainable clothing for socially responsible crowds.For more inspiration, check out this post on team attire.

2. Bags

Bags are event swag items that can propel your brand to greater heights, even in international markets. However, since bags can be expensive, be sure to increase usability by researching the ideal bags for your conference attendees.

Here are some ideas:

  • Tote bags
  • Backpacks
  • Duffel bags
  • Toiletry bag
  • Travel suitcases
  • Laptop bags

A tip is to give attendees bags that they can use regularly. For instance, backpack swag is among the most common swag ideas brands use due to its versatility. A well-placed logo on a bag pack will serve attendees’ daily needs and enhance your marketing efforts.Stuffing these totes with other small gifts is also one of the best ideas for conference swag bags.

3. Notebooks and journal sets

Notebooks are one of the best conference gifts for attendees. A notebook is a handy conference swag that attendees can use to write ideas, take notes and brainstorm with other attendees. Attendees will also use the notebooks even after the conference, which will ensure that your brand remains visible. In addition, you can tailor notebooks to attendees’ needs and wants.Pocket journal sets are ideal for attendees who love to jot notes. These sets are customizable, and you can enhance usability by ensuring that the journals have a phone holder on the front, an elastic pen loop, a card slot, and pens. The pocket journal set will be the go-to for conference attendees, making your brand more visible.

4. Drinkware

The durability and functionality of drinkware make it among the best conference swag ideas. Choosing drinkware that allows attendees to refill their drink of choice is a clever way to ensure that attendees carry your brand wherever they go.

Examples of drinkware swag ideas:

  • Water bottles
  • Traditional mugs
  • Travel mugs
  • Flask sets
  • Tumblers
  • Portable blender

The best drinkware swag choices include BPA-free plastic, travel mugs, reusable water bottles, and tumblers for conference attendees who travel often.

5. Tech items

Giving conference attendees tech items that will help manage technology needs is a sure way to make your brand memorable. Tech items are also a versatile gift choice that can go with any brand.

Here are examples of tech conference swag:

  • Portable chargers
  • Pop sockets
  • Power banks
  • Camera blocker
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Laptop stand
  • Wireless earbuds
  • Mouse pad
  • Wireless mouse
  • Waterproof and portable speakers
  • Screen cleaner
  • Bluetooth gadgets

Be sure to test a sample of the tech swag before handing them out to attendees. You do not want conference attendees to remember your company as a brand that gives faulty tech items.

6. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a perfect accessory for protecting attendees from harmful UV rays on bright and sunny days. With excellent logo placement, sunglasses will also give your brand visibility. Be sure to provide quality sunglasses instead of cheap sunglasses that conference attendees will never wear.You can go a step further and provide sunglasses for specific genders. However, you can also opt for gender-neutral sunglasses. You can get conference attendees to use your branded sunglasses more often by giving them in the summer instead of winter seasons.

7. Snacks

Conference attendees will love some bites, especially during long conferences. Branding snacks with your logo can create an unforgettable experience for conference attendees. Also, be sure to pack branded snacks that conference attendees can share with their families. Examples of simple conference swag snacks include candy, popcorn, granola bars, gum, nuts, and cookies.

8. Gift cards

A gift card is a great conference swag option that does not limit attendees to specific items. As such, attendees can pick their preferred items at selected stores. Gift cards are also simple conference swag ideas since you can give both virtual and physical conference attendees.You can also give specific gift cards that attendees can use. For instance, instead of giving attendees physical wellness swag, you can offer a gift card that attendees can use at a wellness center.

9. Wellness swag

Wellness swag is any item that promotes physical or mental health. While wellness swag is ideal for any industry, it is ideal for conferences in the health and wellness-related industries.

Examples of wellness conference swag:

  • Yoga mats
  • Weights
  • Stress ball
  • Pill cases
  • Sleep masks
  • Wellness experiences such as yoga group sessions or chair massages
  • Wellness guides and books
  • Bath salts
  • Wearable fitness tracker

Giving your conference attendees these items communicates that you care about their mental and physical health.

10. Stationery

Stationery is one of the most common swag items that you can find at conferences. Yet, the significance of stationery never dwindles. Rather than giving conference attendees an expensive pen, a stationery box will serve office and out-of-office needs better.

Examples of items to include:

  • Stickers
  • Pens
  • Staplers
  • Staples
  • Highlighters
  • Pencils

Since stationery boxes can include small yet significant items, your brand will remain memorable. Attendees might even share the stationery swag with friends or family members, which is a win for your brand.

11. Toiletries

Conferencing attendees will need toiletries during and after a conference, making these essentials one of the most versatile conference gifts for attendees.

Examples:

  • Lip balms
  • Hand lotion
  • Pocket tissue
  • Mints
  • Stain remover pen
  • Deodorant wipes
  • Flushable wipes

Conference attendees will be happy to try out new products. Combining toiletries with a toiletry bag is a move that will captivate attendees and promote your brand.

12. Deck of cards

If you are looking for a playful swag idea for conference attendees, then a deck of cards is a must-try. Giving conference attendees a deck of cards shows that you want them to have fun outside work. Be sure to choose a deck of cards suitable for your demographic of attendees. Also, ensure to have your logo well displayed. Attendees will play the deck of cards with their friends, family, or colleagues and give your brand more visibility.

13. Coasters

Coasters are a clever conferencing swag idea since conference attendees can use these items at home or in the office. Giving coasters to conference attendees also shows that you want attendees to have something durable and pleasant to use at home. To make your brand more memorable, look for unique coasters. You can even make it personal by branding attendees’ names on the coasters.

14. Travel essentials

When thinking of travel essentials conference swag, think of items that promote wellness and increase comfort while traveling. Adding travel essentials that can serve as personal items will give your brand a double advantage. For instance, attendees can use a branded diffuser at home or during travel.

Examples of travel essentials swag:

  • Branded lip balm
  • Travel toothbrushes
  • Sunscreen
  • Noise cancellation earphones
  • Travel mugs
  • Sleep masks
  • Toiletry bag

You can also include unique travel essentials such as branded hiking gear, a tech organizer, a mask kit, or a travel blanket.

15. Swag bags

If you are unsure of the best conference swag for attendees, then swag bags are an excellent idea. Swag bags or boxes are gift bags that have varying items. Swag bags are a clever way to make a long-lasting impression on conference attendees. You can also use swag bags to enhance gamification. For instance, offering swag bags with more items will ensure attendees fully experience the conference.Here are some ideas for conference swag bags:

  • Iced coffee sachets
  • A fleece blanket
  • A portable charger
  • A home-office journal
  • Sweet treats
  • A travel bag
  • Bluetooth headphones

When looking for ideas for conference swag bags, choose major items that will communicate the personality of your brand and top up with other smaller items. For instance, if you are in the tech industry, then you can give a few tech products and still add sweet treats and a mug. Feel free to customize your swag box according to your budget and attendees’ demographics. If you think that setting up conference swag boxes will be too complex for you, then consider working with conference swag companies.

16. Summer essentials

Summer has a plethora of promotional possibilities. With folks up and about, you can take advantage of the season to enhance your brand’s visibility.

Examples of summer conference swag ideas:

  • Sunscreen packets
  • A rimmed sun hat
  • Branded towels
  • Flip flops
  • Water-resistant cell phone bag
  • Toiletry bag
  • Travel items

Ensure that the summer swag items are practical. Choosing items that attendees can use during and after the summer season will ensure that your brand remains visible year-round.

17. Happy hour essentials

Happy hour conference freebies are a great way to enhance your attendees’ well-being and create an element of fun. Attendees can use happy hour swag to entertain family and friends and have a good time indoors or outdoors.

Examples:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Custom coaster
  • Insulated travel cooler
  • Select whiskey, wine, or gin bottles
  • Branded tumblers

Pro tip:  Offer a happy hour swag box for attendees who prefer non-alcoholic drinks as well.

18. Umbrellas

You can never have too many umbrellas. And regardless of how keen you are on weather forecasts, you never know when you will miss the forecast. Unexpected rain can be one of the most frustrating life experiences.Giving free umbrellas to conference attendees will not only make their experiences better during rainy seasons but also market your brand. With the proper logo placement, anyone who is around the attendee can see your company. Getting durable and portable umbrellas will create a good experience for attendees and promote your brand further.

19. Sporting garments

While conference attendees may be particular about fashion choices, most are flexible when it comes to sporting garments. Sportswear should be practical. Hence, getting the correct item for every attendee may not be easy. However, if you have a small number of conference attendees, you can do a survey where you inquire about the ideal size and favorite sports. You can get running attire, golf high-end cotton polo shirts, or yoga leggings.You can make the swag more memorable by including other sports essentials such as wireless headphones.

20. Children’s items

The question ‘what did you bring me’ can be grueling for parents or guardians after a long trip. Giving children’s swag to conference attendees shows appreciation for attendees’ families. Children’s swag items can range from toys and snacks to children’s apparel. However, children’s conference swag items are more practical in parents’ or guardians’ conferences. You can select gender-neutral items. You can also offer trendy apparel like cartoon character t-shirts.

21. Charitable donations

Using charitable donations as conference swag is an excellent way to reinforce the values you share with conference attendees. You can give donations to a charity organization that you support in attendees’ names.For instance, if you are hosting a conservation convention, you can let attendees select the initiatives they want to support and make a donation in the attendees’ respective names. Charity donations are a good way to put a company’s funds into good use and allow attendees to feel proud of their philanthropic work.Feel free to also check out these charity team building ideas.

22. Diffusers

An essential oil diffuser can be an excellent conference swag idea. And when combined with a few essential oils, you will wow your conference attendees. Letting attendees choose the preferred scents will ensure attendees do not carry scents that they do not love at home. Opting for smaller diffusers that are easily portable is a great way to ensure that your attendees get much use of the diffuser and also promote your brand even further.

23. Stress reliever

Conference attendees who love stress balls will carry them wherever they go. And kids never seem to get enough of ball balls. Getting small balls is a clever way to ensure the attendees carry the ball to almost any location. And with your logo on the ball, your brand will stand out and make a long-term impression. Be sure to get quality beach ball stress relievers, preferably those made with squeezable material.

24. Lanyards

Conferences require attendees to display credentials. Lanyards are also among the go-to conference giveaway items for brands. You can make your brand stand out by offering conference attendees unique and captivating branded lanyards. Attendees can use the lanyards to hold items such as keys, pens, and work IDs. Lanyards are a clever way to widen your brand’s exposure during and after a conference.

25. Face masks

Giving conference attendees face masks is a great way to enhance protection from airborne pathogens, dust, and pollen, and increase brand awareness. If your face masks are fashionable, comfortable, and functional, then attendees will always reach out for the face masks, even with the branding. Ensure that you offer quality face masks and those that meet health requirements.

26. Virtual conference items

Virtual conference swag is digital gift bags that brands send to conference attendees. Virtual conference swag provides all the perks of in-person conferences.

Virtual conference swag ideas:

  • Exclusive content
  • Free eBooks
  • Online courses
  • Discount codes
  • Free services Printable PDFs
  • Special offers from even sponsors

Attendees can access virtual swag via links shared via digital platforms. Virtual conference swag will help you promote your brand and reinforce your brand’s memorability to attendees.Check out these best practices and ideas for virtual conferences.

27. Conference follow-up items

A successful conference should not be the end of a brand experience for attendees. It is vital to have a follow-up strategy that also includes additional swag.

Examples

  • A thank you note for attending
  • More swag items
  • Content summaries
  • Product demos
  • Event recording
  • An invite to an interactive live session
  • Discount for the next conference

Conference follow-up swag is a commendable way to finish a conference. You can use the follow-up swag to express gratitude to attendees for their engagement and time. You can also use conference follow-up swag to refresh key conference takeaways and reinforce sales and marketing efforts.

Conclusion

Conference swag promotes a sense of creativity and fun and communicates brand personality. However, to get the best return on your investment, your choice of conference swag ideas should be memorable and creative. Also, be sure to get quality and durable swag. You can carry out surveys to determine swag items that appeal to your audience or work with conference swag companies. Also, always ensure that your logo is well integrated into swag items.

Next, check out these lists of conference entertainment ideas and marketing books.

We also have a list of agenda templates for conferences and a list of conference breakout session ideas.

FAQ: Conference swag ideas

Here are answers to questions about conference swag ideas.

What is conference swag?

Conference swag is free branded items that you give conference attendees before, during, or after a conference. While brands are not limited to giving specific types of conference swag, the chosen items should align with the brand image.

What are popular swag items for conferences?

Popular sway items for conferences included branded apparel, umbrellas, sporting garments, and stationery. As a brand, giving unique conference swag to attendees will increase brand memorability and give your company a competitive advantage.

What do you hand out at conferences?

You can hand out items such as notebooks, stationery, lanyards, stickers, and reusable water bottles at conferences.

How do you choose swag for conferences?

Conference swag can work for you or against you. As such, you need to be keen when selecting the ideal conference swag for attendees.

Here are things to consider when choosing the best swag for conferences:

  • Your brand’s mission and the message that you want to send to potential clients
  • Attendee demographics- age, income level, likes and dislikes
  • Functionality- Would you take or toss the item? Also, choose conferencing swag items that provide a solution to a common problem
  • Your budget
  • Quality of the items
  • Ease of branding- Some items can be difficult to brand and hence may not be suitable conference swag ideas
  • Shareability- If you want to increase brand awareness, then offer items that attendees can share with other teams

When choosing conference swag items, be sure to avoid items that will not pass airport security, overdoing your logo on branded items, and low-quality items.

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