Comprehensive Guide to Event Swag Ideas and Gift Solutions

September 20, 2023

Get inspired with our ultimate list of event swag that will leave your audience wanting more!

In today's competitive business landscape, finding innovative ways to capture the attention of consumers is vital for increased growth and engagement. For companies investing in trade shows, conferences, fundraisers, and the like, event swag acts as a powerful marketing tool for capturing your audience's attention and reinforcing their decision to attend your event or conference. 

Why Event Swag Matters

From custom pens and mugs to t-shirts, tote bags, and more, your company's logo or message can potentially market to your attendees long after your event is through. The best swag for events has the power to positively reinforce your brand, create customer loyalty, and even drive sales.

Engagement and attendee satisfaction

By attending your event, individuals have given your company an investment of their time, energy, and money. This could be in the form of meals, travel, event tickets, hotel stays, and more. So, when it comes to engaging event attendees, look for custom products to help reinforce their decision. 

Brand promotion and exposure

Planning an event is no easy feat! To do it successfully, you’ll want to capture the attention of your attendees and leave a great impression! For event swag that acts as a marketing vehicle think sustainable products with your logo. For example, customized backpacks t-shirts, and drinkware offer increased brand exposure every time your attendees use them! The same holds true for gifts for event speakers, volunteers, and more. 

Creating memorable experiences

Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference when it comes to planning a successful and memorable event. For out-of-the-box inexpensive event swag ideas think about branded tennis balls, frisbees, stickers, and sustainable drinkware that add an element of surprise while delighting your recipient. 

Considerations for Selecting Swag for Events

When it comes to investing in the right products, there are a few points you should consider to ensure your marketing dollars go further. 

Alignment with event theme and audience

If your gift ideas for event attendees don't align with your event theme or your audience, they will not be as impactful and can even leave your attendees with a bad experience. For example, if your event's theme revolves around innovation and cutting-edge technology, but your swag lacks any originality or purpose, your attendees will notice. Instead, you’ll want your swag ideas for tech conferences to be a reflection of the event's futuristic spirit and the interests of tech enthusiasts, thus creating a seamless and memorable experience for all participants.

Quality considerations

In today’s world, it's never been more important to choose quality over quantity. Any product that is customized with your logo is a direct representation of your brand, and the last thing you want is for it to fall apart or end up in the trash. Even companies on a small budget can impress their recipients with personalized products. 

Ethical sourcing and sustainability considerations

If only everything we shopped supported ethical sourcing, fair labor, and sustainability! If your brand has a culture of giving back to the community, protecting the environment, and the like, so should your swag. Don’t let your good intentions and branded products leave an impression. Gemnote works partners with reputable suppliers to support your marketing efforts as well as your culture!

Budgeting tips for event swag

Even with all of the above considerations, your swag items for events don’t have to break your budget. By keeping realistic goals for your swag, knowing your budget, planning early, and working with a reputable company, like Gemnote you can save time and money. Talk to your Gemnote rep today about getting a customized curated list of gift ideas for events in your budget. They can even help you identify ways to secure lower prices with bulk orders and customization options.

Creative Event Swag Ideas for Your Next Event! 

Planning an upcoming conference, trade show, fundraiser, or other event? Then you’re going to need memorable swag items for events like the ones below that leave them wanting more! 

Custom Apparel and Hats 

1. Branded Tee

We can’t even imagine a list of gift ideas for event attendees that doesn’t include the coveted tee shirt! This tried-and-true staple may not be the latest option, but it remains a favorite! 

Photo courtesy of A24 Films and Only New York; Shown: Embroidered Logo Party Tee and Traveler Tee

2. Crewneck Sweatshirt

Think of the crewneck as an elevated step up from the tee shirt. Choose a quality sweatshirt, add your logo and branding, and your company can go everywhere your recipient does!

Photo courtesy of Only New York and Urban Outfitters; Shown: Apple Athletics Crewneck and StreetX Cookie Crew Neck Sweatshirt

3. Branded Socks

Don’t underestimate the power of socks! After all, everyone wears them and you can never have too many!

Shown: Escuyer Striped Crew Socks 

4. Custom Nylon  Hat 

When it comes to the best swag for events, give them something to top off their look! The great thing about a cap is it usually doesn’t get covered up! That means it’s just your recipient and logo cruising the town. 

Photo courtesy of Only NY; Shown: Nylon Hats 

5. Embroidered Corduroy Cap

You don’t have to search far and wide for elevated swag that really brings the marketing power. With a standout corduroy hat, it’s all about texture and style and then made better with embroidered personalization.  

Photo courtesy of Aimé Leon Dore; Shown: Aimé Leon Dore Chain Stitch Hat

6. Branded Bucket Hats 

Looking to impress your younger audience too? The bucket hat is here to deliver all the applause.  Talk to your Gemnote rep for even more ideas for personalization. 

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters; Shown Boys Lie and Kangol Bucket Hats 

Custom Drinkware

7. Custom Nalgenes

Everyone loves having a water bottle to stay hydrated, so why not up the ante with one that features your logo? 

Photo courtesy of Only New York; Branded Nalgene Bottles

8. Oversized Branded Tumbler 

For the ultimate swag ideas for events, go for the bottle that shook the internet. While the Stanley tumbler isn’t new by any means, it still has the power to delight even the hardest-to-please recipients. 

Photo courtesy of William Sonoma and Stanley; Shown: Stanley Quencher H2.0 Flowstate 

9. Sustainable Cups

Look across your event and what do you see? Is it your logo and branding everywhere or trashcans overflowing with discarded plastic bottles? To make your event memorable for all the right reasons with inexpensive yet cool reusable cups. 

Photo courtesy of Behance and Under Consideration; Shown: Custom Design Cup Ideas

10. Branded Bottles 

Another water bottle favorite when it comes to branded drinkware. These funky styles prove that no matter how colorful or not your branding is, there are endless ways to make it shine through. 

Photo courtesy of Francescas; Shown Magical and Loved Tumblers

11. Classic Custom Camp Mug 

You don’t have to escape to the woods to appreciate the camp mug! It’s like your favorite mug at home, only designed to withstand the elements while showing off your logo!

Photo courtesy of REI Co-op Graphic Camp Mug, Parks Project, and Only New York; Shown: Custom Camp Mugs

12. Custom Glass Tumblers

Glasses offer a fun way to keep the branding power running full speed ahead. Talk to your Gemnote Rep for ideas on glass etching.  

Shown: Custom Wine Glasses and Glass Etching Customization 

Totes, Packs and Coolers

13. Branded Tote Bags 

What’s so great about a branded tote bag? For starters, it’s an affordable option for storing attendee welcome packets and informational handouts, while also offering hands-free convenience for anything else they pick up throughout the day!

Photo Courtesy of Viva La Bonita And Urban Outfitters; Shown: Bonita Dice Canvas Tote Bag And Parks Project Catskills Tote Bag

14. Fanny Packs and Coolers

Whether you go with the classic fanny pack (or hip bag if you like) or the fanny pack cooler hybrid, you’ve got a fun, stylish, and practical event swag that’s just waiting for branding and outdoor fun!

Photo Courtesy of Urban Outfitters (cooler) and Why I Love Where I Live (hip pack); Shown: Igloo Fanny Pack Cooler and Adventure Fanny Pack

15. Soft Coolers 

For toting lunches, drinks, and more, these easy-to-carry coolers are perfect for tailgating, adventures, and more!

Baggu Puffy Cooler Bag and Bagmasters Custom Large Even Cooler Bag in Red

16. Custom Duck Bags 

The perfect upgrade to your everyday reusable tote. These duck bags are durable and available with a top zip so nothing gets left behind!

Photo courtesy of and Baggu; Shown: Baggu Duck Bags

Backpacks and Duffels

17. In Demand Backpacks

Who can resist a great backpack? It’s the one item that transitions from work and school to commutes and weekends with effortless style! 

Photo courtesy of Aimé Leon Dore; Shown: ALD / New Balance Sonny NY Backpack and Nylon Unisphere Backpack

18. Custom Duffels 

Looking to really show off your brand? With a great duffel bag, you’ve got plenty of colors and real estate to add your logo, event theme, tagline, decals, and more! 

Photo courtesy of Bournestar™ and Alo; Shown: Large custom Duffels

Office Supplies 

19. Personalized Pouches

Maybe answering that never-ending question, “Where’s my pen?” makes this classic pouch so perfect for gifting! You’ll also love all the options you have for personalizing, like tags, patches, screen printing, and embroidery!

Photo courtesy of Aimé Leon Dore and Anthropologie; Shown: Crest Contrast Stationary Pouch and Canvas Pencil Pouch

20. Custom Floaty Pens

A little retro and a whole of fun! These aren’t your average swag pens and are perfect for underscoring your company’s ability to bring a little fun to even a writing staple.     

Photo courtesy of Modern Artifacts Act (black) and Less Bitter More Glitter (pink); Shown: Kapow Black Pens and PInk Floaty Pen Noodle

21. Permanent Markers

Give everybody’s favorite marker an insta-update with your logo! Just think Sharpie (or your fave marker) and your logo! These versatile faves are perfect for the office as well as the household, and you can never have too many! For ultimate props add in your attendee bag or on a table for making name tags.  

Photo courtesy of Only New York and Aimé Leon Dore; Shown: Customized Sharpies

Customizable Games + Accessories 

22. Personalized Games

Got Game? Sure you do! And, now your custom swag ideas for events can too! 

Shown: Miu Miu and Set Active Customized Tennis Balls

23. Custom Match Sets 

Ready to fire up your swag ideas for events? The fun (and puns) are endless with custom matches!  Talk to your Gemnote Rep about custom candles, incense, and more for the perfect set!

Photo courtesy of Candier and Anthropology; Shown: Custom Matches

Customized Keychains

24. Enamel Keychains 

Keychains remain a fave among giveaways thanks to the ability to show off your brand in a plethora of designs and their affordability! Perfect for adding to attendee packets, event swag kits, and more!

Photo courtesy of A24 Films and the Land of Salt; Shown:  MW® Perfectly Safe Keychain and Embrace The Journey Enamel Keychain

25. Hotel Keychains

Retro, branding power, practicality… the old school style hotel keychain is perfect for adorning totes, piling on keys, and of course, adding your logo too!  

Photo courtesy of Lee Fiori and Urban Outfitters; Shown: Three Potato Four Tulip Hotel Keychain and Heartbreak Hotel Engravable Retro Keychain

Stickers, Pins, and Patches

26. Custom Stickers 

For the branding item that really, well, sticks, don’t underestimate the power of stickers! Style large or small, as cutouts or bumper stickers… whatever you do, just don’t forget your logo since these fun accessories are perfect for jazzing up water bottles, laptops, and more! 

Photo courtesy of MochiThings and The Fresh Squeezed; Shown: Jelly Bear Phone Deco Sticker v2 and custom sticker sheet

27. Enamel Pins 

It’s all about the flair! Enamel pins are a fun way to add a punch of color and retro styling to totes, clothes, and more!

Photo courtesy of  Urban Outfitter (Zodiac) and World Market (plants); Shown: Enamel Zodiac Pin and Plant-Powered Enamel Pins 3 Pack

28. Custom Patches 

There’s just something about a great patch that gets noticed! Maybe it’s the added texture or unlimited ways to style it. Or, quite possibly it’s the pop it gives your company’s brand!

Photo courtesy of EspiLane and Digitizing Arts

29. Custom Packaging 

When it comes to a great presentation, don’t forget the packaging! Gemnote can help you with all the details to make sure your presentation is the best it can be. And, they get that less is definitely more and are committed to finding the most sustainable packaging so you can have peace of mind too!

Photo courtesy of Behance; Shown: Custom Food Packaging and Stickers

Collaborate with Gemnote for your next corporate event! 

Gemnote takes everyday staples and out-of-the-box ideas and turns them into memorable company swag items for events big and small and near and far! Plus, they can help you with everything from ideas and curation, design and customizing,  packaging, kitting and warehousing—and more! It’s your one-and-done stop for all the best swag! 

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