And while the brand and revenue-boosting benefits may be epic, there’s one thing virtual attendees have been missing out on: swag.
That’s a problem. Because, let’s face it, sometimes the only thing keeping us from skipping an event is the thought of the fabulous freebies we might be missing out on.
With an unforgettable virtual swag bag, your attendees can stop missing out and start maxing out on the same awesome swag they’re used to seeing at in-person events — only this time, with a fun and virtual-friendly twist.
If you’re looking to wow your attendees and use branded swag to make a powerful impression at your next virtual or hybrid event, we’ve got all the virtual swag bag ideas you need to help make it happen.
Ready? Let’s get gifting!
💡 Tip: Ready to take your event gifting to the next level? Our smart gifting masterclass with Nina Butler, Senior Director of Revenue Marketing at Alyce, is a must-watch!
Swag simply means ‘stuff we all get.’
Which is funny, really, because in many cases, it’s the one thing virtual attendees don’t get.
Traditional swag bags are typically handed out as you enter the venue at an in-person event or later when your vendor visits begin.
Swag bags give attendees a place to collect and store all of the promotional items you and your sponsors give away throughout the event — kind of like trick-or-treating, just with branded bags and stationary instead of empty pillowcases and bite-sized Snickers.
Swag bags for virtual events can go one of two ways:
As well as a few other nifty benefits too. 👇🏻
A virtual swag bag that packs a physical punch takes time and budget.
Selecting the perfect small gifts for your brand. Customizing them. Paying for them. Mailing them. It’s a whole thing.
If you’re going to go to all that effort, you’ll want to know what you’re getting back in return.
Here are just ten of the benefits virtual event swag bags can deliver:
Used strategically, swag bags can present a curated call to action for attendees to continue engaging with your brand, sponsors, or exhibitors.
So you're sold on swag. Nice move!
Your attendees are going to love you for it. But now what?
How do you know which virtual event bag ideas will tell your story, excite your prospects, and help take your virtual event game to the next level?
Here are 15 awe-inspiring ideas to help you nail it.
Going digital has obvious financial benefits — no stock investment, postage needs, or staffing requirements. But for trade show and event attendees, digital gift bags can be just as exciting and, in some cases, even more useful than physical swag.
Since the pandemic hit, Google searches for ‘self-care’ have shot up — and stayed there. With customers becoming increasingly aware of which brands actually care for them, virtual swag bags are the perfect opportunity to show that you do!
Examples: face masks, sleep sprays, oils, diffusers, candles, uplifting and motivating books, massagers, retreat discounts, treatment codes, wellness planners, and cozy clothing
Branded items to be used during and after the event are a great way to boost engagement while driving brand awareness with free promo opportunities.
Examples: t-shirts, hats, pens, wristbands, lanyards, notepads, and drinkware
We all have to eat. And if your event is longer than a few hours, attendees will need to feast along the way. So whether it’s a sweet or savory snack, a cooking kit, or discounted food delivery, prioritize those tasty treats.
Example: cookies, baking kits, fruit baskets, candy selections, healthy grazing options, branded cupcakes, UberEats codes, DoorDash discount, and Grubhub vouchers
Beverage-related gifts are great for bringing everyone at your event together. Whether you’re toasting with tea or celebrating with champagne, be sure to hype up the hydration.
Examples: wine-tasting, tea-tasting, coffee selections, and seltzer samples
If you’re diving into the world of hybrid, travel-focused swag bags are a great way to go.
Examples: luggage tags, travel toothbrushes, passport cases, airport lounge passes, discounted parking, airline codes, and neck pillows
Fuel the ultimate office FOMO with essentials sure to attract attention for your brand.
Examples: wireless chargers, lanyards, 3-in-1 pens, mouse mats, tote bags, laptop bags, briefcases, and desk calendars
Examples: playing cards, fidget spinners, travel games, and downloadable app access
Whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring, think about what your event attendees need this time of year. Then brand it up and send it out.
Examples: sunscreen, inflatables, sunglasses, umbrellas, ponchos, discounts on adventure days, cinema tickets, and duffel bags
Break up your event with a fitness class and provide the branded swag attendees will need to take part.
Examples: yoga mats, resistance bands, sweatbands, water bottles, jump ropes, and digital discount cards for gym and class facilities
We’ve all gotten a little cozier with tech since Covid hit. With working from home (WFH) becoming the norm, use your virtual swag bags to provide the WFH equipment your conference attendees never knew they needed.
Examples: webcam covers, laptop stands, cable tidies, seat massagers, keyboards, mice, desk lamps, ring lights, focus apps, and discounted phone lines/internet access
Maintaining focus is hard work. Reward your attendees at the end of your event with a fun-packed movie night kit they’re sure to love.
Example: streaming access (voucher for Netflix, Sky, Prime, Apple, etc.), popcorn, drinks, chocolate, or even a gift card to spend at a nationwide movie chain
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration for customers. Let your attendees know environmental friendliness is top of mind for your brand with gorgeously sustainable swag.
Example: plant a tree, send seeds or potted flowers, bamboo straws, reusable cutlery and food bags, plastic-free water bottles, shampoo bars, and cosmetics
If you really want your attendees to share their experience, give them the tools to do it (and gain some totally organic promo at the same time).
Example: a selfie ring, tripod, disposable cameras, clip-on lenses, or discount codes for photoshop and editing apps
Spoiled for choice? Go ahead and mix it up! Different virtual swag bag ideas will work for different attendees. A little variety can go a long way in making sure there’s something for everyone.
Example: customize your own branded or event-focused bags with a variety of swag
Once you’ve chosen the best virtual swag bag idea for your unique event theme and goals, you’re ready to get them out to your attendees.
To make sure every attendee gets the right swag at the right time, don’t miss these key event planning steps!
Whether you’re going for a digital-only virtual swag bag or mailing out physical products, swag is the cherry on top that every virtual attendee wants.
But virtual swag is also a tool that every brand needs in its event marketing arsenal, especially when it comes to virtual or hybrid events.
With the right approach and some seriously irresistible swag, you’ll elevate the attendee experience to be just as magical as the feeling of networking face-to-face.