Event Production Blog

The Art of Swag

Cybelle Clevenger Blog, Tips and Tricks

“The Best Swag I Ever Got Was…”

The main attraction of any live event is the content (or it should be). However, sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest impact on attendees: the special surprises that event planners throw in – you know, the free swag!
Event Production Blog
By the way, did you know that the word “swag” was originally defined as a bulging bag that would swing and sag? So naturally that’s why everyone wants to fill their bags up with some fun stuff!

When swag is really cool, it makes an event extra memorable. But when swag is lame, it makes an event extra memorable… and not in a good way. So to help out all of the event planners out there, we’ve collected samples of the best swag bags MIG peeps have attained within the last year. Take em’ or leave em’!

Best Swag

Xbox One from Microsoft. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, or is that, gaming?

Cosmetics. Even if it’s not your shade of color, it makes a great re-gift!

GoPro. Because we all secretly want to become reality TV stars.

Samsung Virtual Reality Gear loaded with great content. It’s always cool to go on an otherworldly adventure without having to leave your seat!


iPad. The initializer of a whole new industry, it’s also the ultimate giveaway.

Umbrella. If you’re like us, you’re constantly losing your umbrella so you can never have too many of them. Right?!

Product Samples. The best swag is tied to the company’s mission.

Coupons for Segway/Duck Tour. There is life outside of the ballroom! This kind of swag is especially ideal for destination events.

Snuggie. Okay they’re totally ugly but oh so cozy.

JBL/Bose Speakers. Music to everyone’s ears!

Laptop Bag. Perfect for those “never leave home without my laptop” types.

Custom Converse Shoes. ConverseByYou provides a service to allow you to design your own shoes with Custom Converse and ship them to you in 3 easy steps. How cool is that?!

Vintage T-Shirt. It has to be vintage/retro though, not a Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt with an iron-on patch.

Reusable Water Bottle. We’re living in a more environmentally conscience world now (thank goodness) so swag like this just makes good, environmentally-conscience sense.

And for kicks and giggles, here are a few of the worst so you know what to avoid.

Worst Swag

Keychain. Unless there’s a screwdriver attached to it, maybe?

Pen. Can I type with this?

Backpack. They’re good in theory, but the kind of backpacks bought in bulk tend to be cheaply made rendering them not fit to carry anything. (Now if it’s a quality backpack filled with swag, then excellent.)

USB Flash Drive. Most people have ten random USBs in their purse already.

Phone Case. These days, phone cases have become fashion/design statement pieces. So if you’re going to give these away, they better be cool.

Paper Weight. Where do we even begin?

Large Items. In general, because who wants to have to figure out how to get it home on the plane.

The secret to swag is giving people something they would find actually useful or give them a luxury they might not give themselves. It can be an expense, but the right swag can help your brand’s street cred grow really strong through great word of mouth.