Virtual event bags: The best brand swag ideas

Cassy Aite
October 26, 2021
Virtual event bags: The best brand swag ideas

With the rise of virtual events, handing out swag bags is a bit more complicated. But even with an online audience spread out across different locations, swag is still possible. These items don’t have to be expensive in order to be valuable, either. Sometimes, the most simple gifts are the most appreciated. 

Whether it's a Zoom conference or digital event, we’ve rounded up a list of the best ideas for virtual event bags that you can gift to your online audiences. 

What is a virtual event swag bag?

Swag bags are generally a collection of assorted items that get packaged together in a creative bag or tote. Typically, they’re branded, and can be connected by a particular theme from the event. These products may come from sponsors, local businesses, or the host. 

According to an Inkwell Global Marketing study, 25% of people say they develop a more positive impression of a company after receiving swag bag items, and 6 out of 10 people reportedly keep their promotional gifts for up to two years.

How to deliver a swag bag at virtual events

One delivery option is to send physical gift bags to each member of your audience. It’s a good idea to send these items before the event if there’s enough time, as unwrapping gifts can create more anticipation for your conference. 

You may also opt to send these bags after your event, which can give you more time (and keep their experience going for longer). Although this choice of physical deliveries does require extra effort, giving people items to open and hold in their hands can truly bring an in-person feel to your virtual event.

Another possibility is to send digital gift bags to your guests. This option may lack the physical nature that makes swag bags enjoyable, but it makes up for that in personalization. Sending gift cards gives your attendees their own choices to make sure everyone gets something they enjoy. It’s also helpful to electronically track the engagement of your gifts to see which items were the most successful. 

16 of the best virtual event swag bag ideas

1. Corporate Merchandise

For many people, getting free corporate merchandise is one of the best parts of an event. Giving away items like company clothing or other branded products works well for any audience. Fashion items are sought after by employees if you’re hosting a work event for your team, and company products are also valuable tools that can be used to build some brand relationships with potential clients or investors.

 

2. Sponsor Gift Card

It’s tough shipping physical products to a remote audience. Sending gift cards provided by your sponsors can often work better than putting random collections of their items in bags. Alternatively, you can choose gift cards from a wide-ranging shipping service like Amazon. That would let the recipients make their own personal choices among an endless amount of items, allowing everyone to pick things they like.

3. Food Delivery Gift Card

We’ve all enjoyed several food deliveries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so why not use that concept as an option for your swag bag? This lets each attendee savor an enjoyable meal, and you can even limit the options to specified vendors if you have particular partners in mind. Hoppier is an easy and effortless solution to your food delivery gift needs. You can purchase virtual cards that allow your guests to choose from a variety of available vendors, who will deliver the requested items promptly. Our system also works well for simplifying the virtual event catering process.

4. Coffee Gift Card

Getting coffee is a part of the daily routine for millions of people out there, so you can’t go wrong with including a coffee shop gift card in your swag bag. Much like the food delivery process, Hoppier is a remarkably simple solution to your virtual coffee ordering needs. Another option is to include some free coffee samples instead, letting the recipients enjoy a homemade cup of joe from the comfort of their own home.

5. Alcoholic Beverage Gift Card

If you’re hoping to channel a party element for your virtual event, adding gift cards for alcohol is a great choice. It could allow people to get together and enjoy a virtual happy hour of sorts, or give them the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of their favorite drink of choice on their own time. Cocktail kits, beer-brewing kits, and wine-making classes are certainly all other possibilities too, but giving a simple alcohol gift card is the most affordable option.

6. Bottle Opener

Speaking of alcoholic beverages, a bottle opener is a seemingly small gift that can have an unexpectedly long shelf life. They’re also easy to get branded with your company or event name, making them a great marketing tool. Perhaps the best part about bottle openers is how inexpensive they are, which makes them a perfect inclusion for your swag bag.

7. Music Service Gift Card

Including a music service gift card into the package is another convenient idea for your attendees. Everyone loves music, so being able to offer each guest the chance to purchase their own selection of free songs or albums can create a truly personal connection with them. Spotify and Apple Music are obvious apps to choose from, and you can even create a playlist for your guests to access and enjoy.

8. Self-Care Wellness Products

Self-care products are among the best physical items to give your guests. Giving out assorted wellness items like bathroom supplies, scented candles, and calm-inducing products shows that you care, which can leave a strong impression on your event audience. You have the option to deliver traditional wellness boxes as opposed to a swag bag, but it may work better to simply include a few self-care products in the bag instead.

9. Meditation App Subscription

woman meditating with red background

Meditation is a particular self-care trend that has gained a lot of interest. There are now several apps specifically designed to assist people in their meditation exercises, and they have become quite popular in the last few years. Similar to the wellness items, providing a subscription or discount to one of these meditation apps demonstrates that you genuinely value your audience’s well-being.

10. Fitness Class

As important as our mental health has become in today’s society, physical health remains an essential part of life. Including free or discounted fitness class trials in your swag bag can encourage the guests at your event to improve their physical health, and promoting active and healthy lifestyles goes a long way for your brand. There are plenty of both in-person and virtual fitness classes you can pick from. Offering a sense of motivation to people could serve as an admirable gesture.

11. Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles are a great eco-friendly option for your swag bag. With so much waste that comes from plastic bottles, giving your guests reusable canisters is an inspired decision. People are often looking for reliable water bottles, so these would be an extremely useful gift. Not only are they affordable, but their regular usage means that every time one of your attendees grabs the bottle you gave them, they’d think back to their wonderful experience at your event.

12. Portable Flash Drive

USB sticks are an easy thing to put into gift bags. They barely occupy any space and are remarkably inexpensive, making them a simple addition. If you want to make them even more worthwhile, feel free to add extra files or digital gifts in the USB storage space. So don’t be fooled by how tiny these portable flash drives may appear — they can potentially be the largest gift in your entire bag.

13. Reading Gift Card

educated man with orange background and books

Many people love to read, so it’s a slam dunk to include gift cards that encourage reading. These aren’t only limited to books or e-books, but it also applies to magazines and newspapers for those interested in smaller stories. Your decision to pick a type of reading gift card hinges on what you believe works best for your guests, as various industries are different when it comes to long-form or short-form reading. Either way, encouraging people to read is an excellent look from a corporate standpoint.

14. Writing Supplies

You should also strongly consider adding a collection of writing supplies in your swag bag. Items like notebooks and pens are usually well-received because of how many possible uses they have. You can also sprinkle in smaller-scale desk products like sticky notes and highlighters if you apply a theme that’s related to useful office items. Everyone needs writing supplies regardless of whether they work in-person or remote, which makes them a perfect thing to put into your bag.

15. Face Masks

Although the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be finally winding down around the world, there are still many areas with mask restrictions in place. Adding a handful of branded masks to your swag bag shows that your company promotes health and safety, while also getting some free marketing if your brand’s logo is on it. If most of your virtual audience lives in regions with mask mandates, they are an appreciated yet inexpensive addition to any event bag.

16. Mini Hand Sanitizers

Hand hygiene is something a lot of people overlooked before the pandemic, but that’s never going to be the case again. Putting a few mini hand sanitizers in your virtual event bag is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Pretty much everyone now travels with at least one portable mini sanitizer. This trend certainly isn’t going away any time soon, so these products are both convenient and sensible to include in your swag bag.

Hoppier: a great idea for your virtual event swag bag

Handling a ton of food and drink deliveries is a headache at virtual events, but Hoppier is the perfect tool to help simplify the process. It’s easy to sign up, and it’s just as straightforward to manage. You can purchase digital cards that offer your attendees a wide variety of vendors to choose from, which perfectly fits with the personalized nature of modern event bags.

If you deliver each virtual guest their swag bag ahead of time with a Hoppier card inside, you’re giving them something tangible to engage with and enjoy during the event. You can even use additional cards as an incentive to encourage audience participation.

It’s hard to find a virtual event catering solution that’s small enough to fit in a gift bag, but that’s exactly what Hoppier virtual cards provide. Our simple system can revolutionize your event planning, so add it to your swag bag today and give your audience a gift they’ll love.

Use swag bags to set your virtual events apart

Being creative and putting effort into your swag bag ideas will help set your virtual event apart. For more information on how to improve your events, check out our webinar on some of the top tools for creating memorable virtual events. We picked 10 of our favorites that we’ve used before to generate engaging experiences at many types of events.

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