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What Is A Swag Bag & Why Your Event Absolutely Needs To Have One

plan prepare virtual summit 101 Apr 04, 2022
Virtual Summit Swag Bag

Swag bags are a great way to welcome attendees to your event. Regardless of the lack of travel required, it's a great way to say thanks for coming (or attending rather) and give a warm welcome with well placed freebies from your event speakers and sponsors! 

What Is A Swag Bag

A swag bag is a welcome bag. 

It's a welcome bag that's filled with goodies which are usually branded physical products like notebooks and pens that you've probably received at a conference, or trade show you attended in the past. They can be small, large, understated, and sometimes quite elaborate, but one thing remains the same... they are full of freebies and provide many options for you to connect with the people behind the event and on the stage! 

Virtual Events Are No Different

Virtual events don't have to miss out on this HUGE branding opportunity for delivering swag to their attendees! As virtual event hosts, we need to think outside of the box to make sure our attendees have an incredible experience and don't miss out on the many connections and engagement aspects our in-person events tend to offer.

For starters, there are two basic options for adding swag bags to your virtual event:

  1. You can provide a 100% virtual swag bag, which only includes digital products and services. Meaning no extra leg work with shipping and delivery, and it's easy for your contributors to provide. 
  2. Or you can mail your swag to virtual event attendees in physical bags/boxes full of sponsored swag and gear that you've pulled together from sponsors and speakers involved with your event. 

Both options are good choices depending on your budget, the amount of time you want to put in, as well as just overall what makes the most sense for the specific event, but I tend to lean more towards the virtual swag bags to keep things as simple as possible while still delivering key benefits for the people who graciously contributed their products and services! 

Benefits of Having A Virtual Summit Swag Bag

I think it goes without saying that having an extra treat to deliver to your attendees who found and registered for your event is nice to have. In my opinion, it's more of a need to have since it helps with registration conversions, and engagement and helps boost the brand awareness of the speakers and sponsors that are participating. 

Swag bags do more than just deliver a ton of freebies to your attendees. They're a win-win for everyone involved in your event, and not having one is a BIG mistake. 

Virtual Summit Swag Bag Benefits

  1. Helps Conversion Rates: Mention of a swag bag and all of its glory on your event sales page can really capture the attention of your potential attendees! Anyone riding the fence about registering could be further encouraged to go ahead and give your event a try because of the incredible value you're offering for free in your virtual swag bag!
  2. Everyone gets something! That means that all your event attendees are connected through the goodies they've just been invited to share. Some of your goodies will lead to courses and consultations which may then lead to programs and joining niche groups where they can further connect. For attendees this is huge, but for your speakers and sponsors, this is where the magic happens.
  3. They are social sharing gold! If your swag bag is full of great freebies, people are bound to share them with their friends and followers on social. And to be honest, you should encourage them to! Place a few questions in your Facebook Group about what was their favorite item in the swag bag, or what did they already cash in on and start using- to help encourage attendees to share what they love about your swag. 
  4. Build Brand Awareness: Keep your event theme and your branding tied in closely with the design and delivery of your virtual swag bag and further build up your brand awareness! If you plan to continue to host your event, or if you want to launch a product or service afterward, this is a great perk of having a swag bag that not only lets your speakers and sponsors shine, but you as well! 
  5. Natural List Building: Attendees will need to redeem each freebie inside their swag bag. That means they have to enter at least an email address for the freebie to be delivered to them. This means, your sponsors and speakers will be building their email lists and have the ability to connect with the people who are actually interested in their products and services after the event. 

There are many reasons to include a swag bag for your event regardless of if it's 100% virtual or you decide to actually mail your goodies out to each attendee! If you're interested in some ideas for things to include in your swag bag, view my post, What Goes In the Digital Swag Bag? where I talk about some ideas on what to include as well as the way I utilize my virtual event swag bags. 

And if you're interested in sending out swag in the mail read, Mailing Swag To Attendees For Virtual Events!

The bottom line is, however you decide to deliver your swag, just know that your event attendees will be so grateful and that your speakers and sponsors will appreciate the effort you put into getting them as much visibility as possible! 


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