Not only have gift bags become a standard for corporate events; the expectations that guests attach to them have risen. A “Swag Bag”, gift bag or gift basket is a great opportunity to give away branded goodies to your visitors, in turn generating brand exposure and overall memorability of your company and event itself. When creating a corporate gift bag, always keep in mind the four main things you are trying to accomplish:
-Wow your guests with gifts they would actually keep or are usable
-Make the event memorable or remind guest of the event
-Place key reminders of messages of the event
-Promote your business or charity and generate leads/sales
But how do you create a stunning swag bag on a small or medium-sized budget? An effective gift bag does not have to be the most expensive or lavish, it just needs to be practical and creative…. That means your creativity will be key, and the only way you can impress without going outside your budget. The following suggestions should help you create a killer memorable corporate event gift bag.
Choose the right bag or container
The first impression that your guests will have is the bag or container itself – is it flimsy? Unattractive? Is it cleverly packaged and or Branded? If the bag does not look appealing, and not made of a quality material, then the general assumption may be that the gifts inside aren’t very interesting. Think of the bag as a “gift” itself, something that your guests can re-use and not something they’ll dump immediately when they get home. Have the bag or container tastefully branded and reusable.
Use a smaller bag
If on a budget, it would be wise to use a smaller bag or container and fill it up with gifts, rather than big bags that are half-full. By using a smaller “bag”, you’ll be able to cut costs because fewer items need to be included, and you’ll be able to put careful, creative thought into each item added.
Remember the theme
You should not just be giving away random gifts – you must keep in mind the theme of the event, so that your gifts make sense. Guests usually make gift bags a point of discussion, so you want them discussing how your gifts went with the theme, how great the theme was, the entertainment, the food… so on and so forth. All based around helping them remember what was GREAT about the event!
New Trends in Event Gifts…
Businesses today understand that personalization is a very effective tool for impressing their customers. In particular, companies on small to medium budget sizes will want to avoid luxury items such as those handed out in the Oscars such
as fancy watches, jewelery and expensive getaways. Instead, they should focus on personalizing smaller more practical items and placing their logo, business name or event key message takeaway on each of them.
Key chains, pens, note pads, t-shirts, caps etc., can all be personalized for your attendees prior to or during the event. This would require hiring an artist who will do the customizations, and while that may sound like an additional cost, it will be a nice move because your items will be practical thus most probably used long after the event with your branding reminding them of you, your service or cause.
One of the new trends emerging in the corporate gifts world is unsurprisingly tied to the digital world. If your company is on a small budget, you might appreciate the emergence of ‘digital swag bags’. Gifts in this bag range from free music downloads to discounts on apps provided through an online account or even free event/company branded apps. Some companies have tried to entirely substitute the real, physical bag with this, but that may not be the best idea because not everyone will access these digital gifts. Branded flash drives given away on the last day of the event filled with pictures of the previous events days and key takeaways (PDF’s Presentations ect..) is a great idea for a cheap and practical item.
Another trend that corporate events are now embracing is pop culture. Create stickers with meme’s that remind people of the events message, include them in your gift bag. Make sure these quotes and images are witty and relevant to your brand. Spread these meme’s throughout social media using official hashtags and event pages after the event for additional exposure.
Your gifts will look attractive if beautifully wrapped. Use colorful ribbons to tie off your small gift boxes, which should also look colorful. This will be the final piece of work you’ll need to invest some good effort in, as it could prove the difference between your gifts looking stunning or just ordinary.
Once you have your gifts ideas sorted out, do not forget to include your business cards, with all of your contact information. Include your business name and number on all the items. Also include flyers/brochures or a short press release of why the event was held.
Finally, for your swag bags to be a success, you must start stuffing them early, once you have an estimate of the number of guests you’re expecting. If you can find sponsors who will offer their products through you (in exchange for promotion), then you will have saved money in a huge way, while still giving GREAT gifts!
You can create a beautiful, effective and well thought-out swag bag for your corporate event without breaking the bank if you take enough time to plan. Your gifts do not have to be out of this world, they just need to have a personal touch, elegantly and creatively presented. Remember to give your guests something they can remember you for, and a reason to become a customer or follow through on the message or call to action of your event!!