Business gifts and corporate giveaways are a representation of what your company stands for.
Making a strong first impression is important for businesses to be memorable and relevant. Gone are the days when companies hand out tchotchkes – figurines, decorative items and “glorified dust gatherers” that are useless, take up space, and add to clutter. This time, you want to give promotional gifts that are also useful, relevant, and of good quality. Discover custom merch ideas that will certainly create a more impactful first impression for your company at your next big corporate event.
Best 25 Event Gift Ideas and Conference Swag
1. Portable battery packs
Portable battery packs are always a big hit whenever they given out at a business conference.
In this day and age, they’re a must for people who are always on the go and anyone who needs to recharge a gadget while away from a socket.
2. Toiletry bags (with sample products inside)
Toiletry bags are well-received at business events that happen out of town or require attendees to check in overnight or longer.
The contents can be put to use right away, and attendees get to take home a completely useful kit that they can take with them to travels.
If you are thinking about giving out toiletry bags at your next corporate event, make sure you have a “head to toe” starter pack of items such as shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, body lotion, and razor with shaving cream to cover a general grooming and body cleaning routine.
3. Custom Pop Sockets
Pop Sockets is a relevant and unique gift idea these days.
They are a phone stand and grip in one that you attach to the back of your phone. It’s always useful and gives your company a lot of mileage, if you have your logo printed on it. Every time the phone owner whips out his phone (with your custom pop socket attached to it) in public, it’s free advertisement and increased visibility for your company!
4. A set of fine markers.
Colored markers or pens are great to have in one’s company gift bag, especially for people who like to color code their notes at work. A high quality set of markers that doesn’t dry up quickly is sure to make it to one’s office table, ready to reach out for when the occasion calls for it!
5. Customized luggage tags
Luxury corporate gifts ideas can be something small yet elegant like a customized leather luggage tag.
You can have your company logo emblazoned on it or design it in a unique shape like this attractive showstopper that stands out from the crowd. and if you want to up the ante you might even consider extra customization options such as the recipient’s initials embossed on it.
Customized luggage tags can also be affixed onto laptop handles, which people these days regularly bring around with them.
6. Vacuum insulated flask or tumbler
Drinkware is perfect for events also makes great gifts for building awareness and strengthening relationships in business.
Everyone might already have a tumbler handy, so if you want to make yours stand out and wow the crowd you’d best go for a vacuum insulated one.
These flasks keep liquids cold or hot for at least 24 hours, which will give it more prominence over the so-so ones their recipients already own. Customizing these flasks with your company logo or brand name can be easily done with engraving, too.
7. Lightweight backpack
A well-made backpack is always nice to have, and if it has a superior look and feel then it definitely makes it to the list of the best company corporate conference gifts.
Choose a backpack with a chic yet crowd pleasing color like basic black or navy blue, then incorporate your company logo on it in a discreet manner to give it a premium feel.
You can even a lightweight, drawstring backpack to hold all the other conference giveaways.
8. Canvas tote bag
Canvas totes are really useful, and they still make for a great corporate event gift even after decades of being a standard giveaway at many conferences around the world.
To make your classic canvas tote stand out, choose a thicker material that adds a level of sturdiness and keeps the design classic (ex. no loud colors or designs) – a surefire way to get a nod of approval from corporate event attendees who have a very critical eye for tastefully designed bags.
9. Dated or undated planner or scheduler with matching pen
Company planners are quite commonplace, so to make yours a bit different is to select a beautiful one.
Plus points if you include an undated one, too. No matter what time of year your corporate event takes place, an undated planner will remain relevant and useful since the recipient can start using it right there and then.
Choosing high quality paper for your planner is of utmost importance; it should not allow ink to bleed through to the other side and should feel smooth to the touch.
10. Sweatshirt blanket
A sweatshirt blanket certainly makes for a unique business gift idea, and can be used in a number of ways and occasions.
It’s lovely to have it when your corporate event is out of town, and the recipient would like something warm to snuggle into while on the plane. So if you need something uncommon yet easy to love and makes a great impression, a sweatshirt blanket is a good idea to give away!
11. A selection of sweets and confectionery
Food naturally makes it to the list of corporate gift ideas, and candy and chocolates lend a sweet and playful twist to the usual assemblage of corporate items.
You can offer a selection or sampling of each if you have the budget, or simply choose one that you think may be most appropriate for your attendees. Let’s face it – a biscuit or two is a nice way to end the night after a long day at a conference.
12. A sleek ballpoint pen
Believe it or not, there’s a demographic out there that loves to receive and use ballpoint pens given away at corporate conferences and other events.
This is especially true when the pen writes splendidly, is ergonomic and easy to handle (think jotter or click-twist type!) and basically makes writing less of a chore and more of something to truly look forward to – even if it means listing down what one’s boss needs them to do.
A sleek and polished one is also a good token for someone in recognition of splendid performance.
13. Custom cork coaster
Every cupboard can use a set of coasters, so they’re great additions to your conference gift bags.
Cork coasters are lightweight even if you give away several pieces, so they don’t compromise the weight of your corporate gift bag and whether in a set of two, four, or more, customized coasters are very useful and provide a great canvas for emblazoning with your corporate logo or company name.
14. Vinyl portfolio.
Finding a vinyl portfolio in one’s corporate event gift bag is like striking gold: You have a super useful work tool that helps you organize your essentials.
Plus points if you up the conference gift ante by including a pen, pad paper, and sticky notes to the set.
15. Scented candle
A scented candle actually makes for an impressive corporate gift, if you do it right. Go with a gender neutral look with a polished design, and it can have a nice place of prominence in every home.
It’s a luxury pick you might want to consider if you need to up your corporate gifting game.
16. Custom felt coasters.
If you want a bit more of character and color to the usual cork coaster, a custom felt coaster is a nice alternative.
Felt coasters lend a unique texture and offer a myriad of ways to be designed, so you can get creative with how you want to incorporate your company logo or branding into it.
17. Pocket lint roller
A pocket lint roller is sure to become a staple in any business traveler’s bag.
It’s a neat way to send the message that you’re into looking after your clients and making sure that they look impeccable.
18. Custom duffel bag.
Duffel bags get a lot of mileage because they can be used in a number of ways: as a carry-on luggage for a weekend conference, a place to hold one’s gym essentials, and so much more.
Your company logo can be prominently displayed on the duffel bag by being embroidered onto the fabric for everyone to see.
Don’t underestimate the power of the sticker to liven things up, corporate gift bag-wise!
Stickers inject a fresh and playful vibe to everything else that tends to lean towards the seriously utilitarian side. A good designer is key to making the sticker easily appreciated; it should appeal to the aesthetic senses of your audience to make them want to stick these on their everyday equipment like laptop covers, phone cases, notebooks, and the like.
20. Terry beach towel
Custom beach towels are still a terrific pick in 2023 for acing your custom merch goals! Check out how to use custom towels for your business or event.
Make your conference attendees remember you even when they’re on their vacation leave with a terry beach towel that has your company name printed on it. This is a great giveaway to distribute before the summer season rolls in so you can be sure that they’ll see a lot of action at the beach.
21. Custom laptop sleeve
Laptop sleeves are a good utilitarian giveaway. If you want to know which laptop sleeve size is the best on to go with, you can survey this among the companies that will be attending your conference or event. This gives you a general idea of the dimensions of the majority of company-issued laptops.
22. Cool t-shirts
Including a nice t-shirt to your conference gift bag is a great way to add a new dimension to the contents. Give your recipients items they’ll remember with branded t shirts that definitely don't suck!
Something wearable like a shirt really stands out from all the relatively smaller items contained in it.
If you portray your brand through a hip and fresh design, there’s no doubt that your attendees will be wearing these shirts during their out-of-office time.
23. To-go insulated cup with cover
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate – whichever you prefer, an insulated cup with cover is a great way to keep it warm for a long time.
A smart-looking insulated cup with a cover is a good way to keep hot coffees and espressos for those who need their caffeine on the go.
An insulated cup is the kind of corporate gift will definitely get a lot of mileage at the office.
24. Enamel keychain or pin
Don’t mistake the keychain as a lowly corporate gift: if done right, an enamel keychain or a set of fun enamel pins can very well be an object that anyone would be really impressed with.
Using a substantial material like enamel and metal gives it some heft and substance, so it’s a far cry from cheap plastic ones.
25. Notebook set or notepad
Notepads are perfect for customizing and available in plenty of options to match your brand. See why branded notebooks are still a great choice for custom merch and swag.
And finally, beautifully produced notebooks and notepads are always nice to find in one’s corporate swag bag.
Select a notepad with a design that reflects the kind of personality you want your business to project, and if you can include several notebook types (report’s notebook, graph pad, etc.) that would be better.
Need more ideas on how to find and customize the best merch for conference, tradeshows, events and more? Browse our Lookbook or talk to your Gemnote rep today about getting a curated collection of items that can be customized in your budget.