Ideas & Inspiration
Tips & Advice

Creative Ideas to Include in your Conference Event Bag

August 28, 2019

Great conference gift bags can help you build relationships and buzz and inspire follow-up from event attendees. But a memorable bag goes beyond the bag itself. A key question is, what will you put inside it? Don’t waste your time and money with tired products that are likely to end up in the bin. Instead, look for proven and practical items that attendees will want to use. In this post, we share a few ideas for creative yet functional options to fill your next event gift bag.

What to Include in your Event Bag

Practical, Reusable Water Bottles

As people become increasingly conscious about their impact on the planet, they seek environmentally friendly options to replace single-use plastic products like water bottles. A great gift bag choice to meet this demand is an eco-friendly reusable water bottle. Water bottles are highly practical, enabling your brand and messaging to be seen long after the end of your event. 

Try a classic, popular water bottle choice like this 650ml hydrate bottle, which is made from BPA-free plastic. Or, consider a special high-end model like this water bottle flask. It’s double-walled and made from stainless steel suitable for maintaining the temperature of both hot and cold drinks. Your attendees will appreciate such a sleek, durable alternative to disposable plastic water bottles.



Branded Notebooks Can Tell a Story

Another practical and useful option for your gift bag is a branded notebook. We offer options for all price points to best meet your merchandise budget, including soft covers, spiral bindings and even notebooks with magnetised strips to hang from refrigerators or office furniture. In general, bespoke notebooks and pens are ideal for conferences or events where attendees are likely to need to take notes. 

One tip with your gift  bag is to look for opportunities to tell a story through your merchandise. For example, we offer this unique Rite in the Rain notebook, made with all-weather waterproof paper that sheds water and enables writing in any weather. It’s also environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable. If you’re planning a spring event in which the weather is likely to be rainy, you could play up a message on the notebook about being prepared for business success in all situations. Or, you could incorporate a quote or image that ties your brand to the concept of preparation and durability.



Get Creative with Clothing

Clothing is another popular choice for your next event bag. The key here is to design something that people will actually want to wear. (We venture to guess you probably have your own fair share of ill-fitting or boring clothing from other conferences.) Rather than simply placing your logo on the front of the shirt, work with your team to create an interesting design or statement that ties into the theme of the event or leverages a popular culture moment. We love this funny example from HubSpot.

Credit: Hubspot

Another idea is to partner with a local artist to commission or seek permission to use one of their designs. This will lend a creative, hyper-local touch to your clothing, and could be applied to your other event merchandise or materials. 

With clothing, keep quality in mind and look for durable, comfortable materials and modern styles that will appeal to both men and women. If your event takes place in cooler months, consider a long-sleeve shirt or a sporty, half-zip athletic top. 

Functional, Fashion-Forward Sunglasses

Does your corporate event take place in the summer or in a tropical location? Lucky you! Look for event bag merchandise that plays to the sun and weather. Bespoke sunglasses are a great choice for their function and fashion potential. One popular choice is our California Sunglasses. We love their trendy design and they offer UV 400 protection, polycarbonate frame and acrylic lenses, ensuring durability and long-term exposure for your brand. As a bonus, these particular shades come with a microfiber pouch for storage and cleaning, and they ship in their own gift box. 

Another tip is to develop a creative contest or campaign tied to your event bag. Put a coupon inside the bag with an offer for additional merchandise, like a sunglasses case, if someone visits your website and completes a contact information form. For example, a few years ago, Uber in South Africa partnered with Sunglasses Hut on a campaign to give away summer essentials like Havaianas flip flops, bags and vouchers via the Uber app.

A Bag within a Bag?

Yes, that’s right! We think one can never have too many bags, especially as customers are opting out of disposable plastic bags. Consider including a fold-up shopper or packable bag inside your conference bag. Offering another bag size and style gives your audience a welcome option and it’s another great way to help your brand be seen around town. One popular option is this Shopping Bag in Pouch, which comes complete in its own handy pouch. It’s lightweight and easy to pack as a bag within a bag!

We hope this post inspires some ideas of your own about what to put in your next conference bag. Focus on items that are functional, environmentally-friendly, fun or that can come in handy during the event itself.

We’d love to hear more about your upcoming event and brainstorm the perfect event bag ingredients to help you meet your goals. Please get in touch with us today!