How To Make A Great Swag Bag: Advice From The PR Experts

Bright yellow printed custom tote bag with with entripy logo for giveaways.

What The PR Experts Say

Swag bags are a key part of any conference, charity fundraiser or golf tournament. They’re not only a great way to place information about the event in attendees’ hands, but give them something extra that they can take home and enjoy.

Heather Lochner, Account Director at Impressions Public Relations thinks of swag bags as the adult version of a loot bag. “It’s a little something that says ‘I know your time is valuable, here’s our way of showing you our appreciation for coming’,” she says.

Kop's Records printed custom design on their white custom tote bags for their customers.

Swag bags are also a great marketing tool. “If your swag is carefully chosen, it can keep your brand front and centre in prospective customers’ minds long after the event is over,” says Andrea Stein, Publicity Manager at Jane Wesman Public Relations Inc.

While swag bags have a reputation as being mere “stuff collectors”, if chosen wisely, they have the potential to not only be effective, but desirable and memorable as well.

Choose Swag That Won’t End Up in the Recycling Bin

The swag bag is an integral part of the event experience. Follow these tips from the PR experts to make sure your swag bag’s contents are remembered long after the event:

Stick with a Theme

Laura Stratton, President of Strattco PR says choosing items that have a direct link to the theme of the event can make your swag bag relevant and memorable. She once hosted a sleep event for a client and included a sleep mask, pillow, blanket, relaxation CD, bath salts and slippers – items that helped reinforce the message attendees were receiving at the event.

Charitable custom tote bags printed in white with custom design for giveaways.

Consider Your Brand Identity

“Your swag bag should always be an extension of who you are and what you are trying to achieve,” says Lochner. Think about what makes your event or your company unique and include items that will reinforce your brand’s identity. Remember, you want your swag bag contents to remind potential customers of who you are and what you stand for every time they look at the items you’ve provided them with.

Cater to Attendees’ Tastes

When filling swag bags, think about what will be useful and meaningful to your attendees. “Your swag bag should reflect who is attending. If your attendance is mostly women, there’s no point in including an item geared towards men,” says Lochner. If you think an item could be perceived as offensive to your audience, don’t include it.

Quality over Quantity

While it can be tempting to have overflowing swag bags, a bag filled with random items like custom pens and keychains will just be perceived as “stuff” people don’t want or need and will end up filing the venue’s recycling bins. Consider items that attendees will find useful. An umbrella given during a rainy time of year or a custom cap given during the summer months is more likely to be taken home and used after the event than yet another USB. Stein once saw a company provide a mobile device charger which came in very handy for attendees who were walking around the convention floor all day.

Custom Apparel as Swag

Custom t-shirts, hoodies or embroidered sweatshirts can make great swag items, but only if it’s something recipients will want to wear after the event. Printing a custom t-shirt with your logo prominently on the front will most likely end up in the trash, unless it’s a sports team or trendy logo people will want to wear after your event. Instead, consider coming up with a unique design that will have people thinking about your company every time they wear it. Entripy made these custom printed t-shirts as a giveaway at the Labatt Charity Golf Classic. The design was a hit amongst golfers and the Entripy logo was placed on the sleeve to remind attendees who the great gift was from.

Custom t-shirt printed for giveaways with custom design.

It Starts and Ends with a Great Bag

custom tote bags printed with logo and Tim Hortons children's foundation charity for giveaways.

When choosing your swag bag, opt for something practical that attendees will be able to use long after the event is over. Entripy offers a wide variety of custom tote bag options. One of our most popular conference tote bags is the Non Woven Convention Tote. This 15”w x 16”h bag comes in 10 colours and has a shoulder strap making it easy to carry around. The Ah-Ya Oversize Non Woven Tote is a popular option for trade shows or for bulky swag items. The Econo Cotton Tote Bag is a lightweight cotton tote made in a strong, sturdy material that attendees are sure to want to take grocery shopping after your event. To help your event stand out, you may even opt for a backpack or drawstring cinch backpack instead of a traditional customized tote bag.

Entripy can also help you stock your swag bag. We offer a variety of promotional items for every occasion including reusable custom water bottles, umbrellas, mini Bluetooth speakers, sunglasses, notebooks, yoga mats, beach balls and more. Visit for more.