Everybody who attends corporate events knows that swag bags are one of the most coveted and anticipated parts of the whole experience. In fact, some people admit that they manage to endure the few days’ worth of boring lectures and seminars because they know they’re getting nifty takeaways. Of course, this is assuming that the organizer knows what makes a good swag from a bad one.
While getting free stuff is something to be thankful for, you also have to consider the kind of freebies that you’re putting into the bags. The point is to get people to remember your event positively and have them look forward to attending the next one. Here are three common mistakes made in swag bag creation.
1. The contents are not matched to your audience.
The best swags are those that match the kind of crowd that will be appearing at your event. Before assembling the bag, think of your ideal attendee. What does he or she like or dislike? What would make his or her experience easier and more memorable? What items will truly resonate with them so they will remember your event for a long time after? People attending an industry trade show, for instance, will want something that add value to their daily lives. Hence, the likes of branded water bottles, notebooks, or pens are popular. If you’re organizing a video game convention, codes that give freebies, bumper stickers, and merchandise will make them appreciate the experience better.
2. You neglected the value that swags bring to the event experience.
Never overlook the quality of your swag—because ultimately you’ll be handing out an experience. If you give out stuff that are easily disposable or fall apart quickly, then that’s how your attendees will remember your event. Be sure to vet the items that go into your bag. For example, that water bottle you’re giving away should be able to close properly or the bag itself should last way after the conference is over. Also, steer clear of the generic items that make a swag “bad,” such as lanyards, magnets, coasters, keychains, or worse, loads of brochures and print outs.
Of course, if the items are well-designed and placed in the right context, even the most generic items will make a swag look really good. But if you’re just tossing random stuff in regardless of quality, you might as well not give out swags. The same applies to chargers that charge poorly and easily get ruined, thumb drives that easily fall apart and are unreliable, power banks that don’t hold enough power, etc.
3. You went beyond the budget.
Be a careful buyer when it comes to swag assembly. While you shouldn’t skimp on quality, you should also always stay within the pre-set budget. If your bank only allows for one item, that’s okay, as long as that one item truly represents your event and will give it positive feedback. Start planning for your swag at the earliest possible time, so you can still look for vendors and suppliers and get to compare prices. Also consider delivery schedules and allot time for possible delays in delivery—because you never really know about these things.
Overall, while attendance is really all about the main content of your event, a well thought out swag bag is that little cherry on top that can make it even more memorable. By making sure that you avoid these mistakes, you can ensure that your guests will remember you in a good way for a long time after.