09 Feb 2014
February 9, 2014

Cool Giveaways at Events

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What are the best types of swag or giveaways to get at events? What kinds of things do young entrepreneurs and learners want to get at conferences or industry trade shows?

Care packages are cool to get, but not the usual kind. The best kind of swag is the kind that gives value. Conference attendees spend their days on their feet all day at some kinds of conferences, and they’re buzzing about to different panels, and an ideal way to make a statement is to give away a branded care package with a USB drive, notepad, pen, snack pack, and gift certificate. This sets your company apart, and it makes it look like you really care about them, and the situation they’re in that day. That person is not going to forget it if they eat a snack with your company logo on it. People remember stories and their own experiences.

Don’t give away business cards. Keep away from the usual swag too. After going to a lot of conferences and collecting hundreds of gifts, I can definitively tell you that not one single item of swag has made much of an impact on where I buy from or who I do business with. Packs of gum, candy, notebooks, mousepads, USB sticks, tote bags, brochures, wristbands, and pens are all completely overdone. What is your target client or customer likely to use again and again? Think about getting some bookmarks made up. They will have all the information that a business card will, but they will have some more too. Plus, if you can get your client to repeatedly use it, they will remember your brand name better. If they are reading a book over and over again, day after day, then they will probably remember your brand.

Giveaways and swag at conferences are so often just money down the drain because they’re not specifically targeted to the person, and they’re not helpful in making a sale either. There is no reason that the gift even has to be tangible. Papers sometimes get lost. Swag often gets discarded and left behind in hotel rooms. One good idea is a t-shirt because they often get worn around town, and that can get you some free publicity. I like the idea of giving them a free white paper or eBook that they can send around once the conference is over. It’s a good idea if organizers send it out to ticket holds, and they actually make the offer to email it out personally to them. Then, it’s easier to follow up later.

Try for small giveaways too. Big swag is bulky to carry and expensive. Individually-wrapped tea bags are a great idea. Just stamp your business information, along with a coupon, on each wrapper, and the possible customers will really enjoy them.

Giveaways that are community-focused. All the companies at conferences want to transform their attendees into billboards that walk around. Instead, think about the ideal reason that people are at events, to network. Make certain that your attendees have some reason to network around your brand or company. Offer them a method to remember the people that they’ve met up with, a way to follow up with them, and a way to keep in touch. You will definitely get remembered that way. 

Get favor from the event goers through their hunter. Get something unique that no one else has ever seen. Think about Coffee Cereal, for instance. It’s a unique product, and it works excellently. People love things that they don’t see on a regular basis, and they are likely to remember your company because of it.

If you are stumped on what kind of swag to give your potential customers, then just keep in mind that the general principle is to think of something unique, and these ideas definitely qualify for that. Distinguish yourself with the most unique, and the most useful, kinds of cool giveaways.

What do you like to give away? What’s the most useful or most popular?