November 4, 2014 admin

Dos and Don’ts of Gift Bag Swag


The gift bag is the closing remark and final send-off from any event.  It is the final impression you leave with a guest or potential client.  The typical giveaways like pens and USBs can leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, even if the event itself was a hit.  

Whether you’re planning a conference, trade show, meeting, or event, giving a gift that someone will appreciate and put to use is key because the company will come to mind each time they take it out.  Here are the dos and don’ts of creating corporate gift bags.  Need to fill your bags but don’t know what to put in them?  Look out for our next article on Creative Gift Bag Swag for your next event.

Do: Be Thoughtful

Give goodies for specific areas of your guests’ lives.  A good rule of thumb is to give a gadget for the home, for traveling, and one for humor.  This will make it easier when trying to narrow down what gifts to put in your bags when you have a specific purpose in mind.  You can then start searching for garden tools or kitchen accessories.  If many people traveled to come to the event, throw in a travel object like a charger or eye mask to make the way home more enjoyable.

Don’t: Add Alcohol

This trend was popular in the late 80s, but adding an airplane bottle of Smirnoff can be tacky and might not be suitable for all guests.  Make sure every guest can use what your bag offers and you don’t limit the giveaways to a certain age group. 

Do: Include a Mini Bottle of Water

It seems simple, but giving guests water at the end of a long event is exactly what their body needs to replenish.  Incorporate the event’s colors, overall message, or add a little aesthetic like a bow or jewels to revamp it.  Guests will be thankful, especially if they’ve been drinking and will most likely devour it in one gulp in the taxi on the way home.   

Don’t: Add food

Chocolates and mints are sweet, but are pretty standard for gift bags.  Chocolate melts and mints get broken up with all the movement gift bags endure.  Go outside the box and give some sort of jar of sauce or dip that guests can put on their food at home.  There won’t be any risk of leakage or possible damage to the other treats inside.  Plus, you can manipulate the packaging for a personal touch or branding opportunity.  Try a bottle of hot sauce from a unique brand like this, to spice up the average bag. 

Do: Add Skin Care Products

Male or female, young or old, all guests can appreciate a good lotion or face wash.  I cringe when I need to spend money on any skin care products, but adore when I get a free sample in a gift bag.    Unlike makeup, every guest can freshen up without feeling weighed down with a bag filled of creams that do not apply to them.  Oh, they make the bag smell awesome, too.

Don’t: Give Coupons Offering a Percentage Off

This seems like a nice gesture, but most of these coupons get thrown away with the sample fragrances.  No one really uses them or wants them, and quite frankly has their own pile at home they’ve been meaning to go through.  Instead, give out coupons that offer free service or are dollar value.  If someone won’t use the free manicure or one free yoga class ticket, chances are they know some who will and the message gets passed along none the less.  If you purchase in bulk, most places will offer a deal and as the supplier you won’t end up looking like Uncle Frank from Home Alone.

Do: Reach Out to Sponsors

Tons of products will jump at the chance to give away freebies as long as their product is being showcased.  Email sponsors or possible partners who could be interested in throwing in a product in return for their name showcased somewhere during the event.   Nearly the entirety of your gift bag can be paid for this way and will allow you more freedom to use your budget elsewhere.  If you are unsure if a company would provide a product, ask them if they have extra bags they could provide as the gift bag itself.  Most companies won’t think twice about the offer.