Conference swag is an important part of successful event planning. But even though the promo marketing materials industry is booming, Millennials and Generation Z are shunning low-quality branded items out of concerns for environmental impact. This means event planners must think carefully about what gift they give out at the event. Here are a few ideas for quality conference swag.

1. Brand name products

If you have brand products that can be given out as samples at conferences, this is a great opportunity to do some low-cost marketing and make a lasting impression. High quality brand name products are high on attendees’ personal wish lists.

Or, you could search for brands that align with your company values, appeal to your target audience, and somehow boost your brand image. Think about what kinds of products your audience regularly uses, carries, or wears and reach out to popular brands in that industry for a promotional marketing material partnership.

You could bulk order a product and work with an independent studio to add your logo or brand name to the item, if the brand is unable to do custom printing.


2. Drinkware

Reusable water bottles, mugs, and tumblers are a great opportunity to match branding or display a logo. Long lines for drinks at conventions may discourage attendees from getting drinks; offering free drinkware will allow attendees to drink water on the go.

To stand out from other cheap, branded drinkware, focus on high quality, BPA-free plastic or glass. Think about who your audience is: are they coffee drinkers, tea lovers, or craft beer enthusiasts? You could also offer drinkware that can be used for both hold and cold beverages.

3. Wellness items

Health-related conferences are a great time to offer swag that promotes mental or physical health, such as step counters, pill cases, and yoga mats. To determine the quality of products, look at the materials, where the materials are sourced from, if the product is edible, or if it can be applied directly to the skin.

Popular products in the fitness category should be made with sustainable manufacturing processes, recycled, and be reusable. Product preferences vary among generations. Millennials prefer sleep hygiene items like satin sleep masks, and mental health items such as twiddle balls. Generation X, on the other hand, tends to focus on cardiovascular health with items like pedometers and stress balls.


4. Sustainable technology products

Popular sustainable technology conference swag include phone stands, power banks, micro USBs, and camera blockers. Look for products made with high quality materials like bamboo and aluminum.

Attendees may appreciate Bluetooth speakers, wireless charger pads, and bamboo stylus pens. Other sustainable tech options include USB charging panels and recycled laptop sleeves.

5. Travel items

Conference attendees will enjoy items that they can use before, during, or after travel. These products may include branded toiletry kits, travel pillows, and creative luggage tags.

When choosing products, look at the quality of the stitching. Multi-stitch seams are more durable than single stitch seams. Also, look at the weight of the product. Lightweight, slim, or easy to pack items are preferred among frequent travelers.

What About Virtual and Hybrid Events?

If you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid conference, sending swag ahead of the event is a great way to engage your attendees. These physical items go a long way toward making attendees feel connected to the event and to other participants. You’ll likely notice that sending out swag ahead of time makes attendees invested in the event and more likely to engage with your content at the conference.

CTC Conferences is happy to help hosts plan the conference swag that is right for their event and audience. Schedule a consultation to learn more about our approach to conference swag.

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