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How To Design A Must-Have Swag Bag For Your Next Event

Every marketing and outreach effort that a brand makes is eventually to build its visibility in the market. And events are central to marketing, networking, and PR efforts. Of course, the content and the experience at your events must be enough for the attendees to take a positive impression home with them. 

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But if you could find a way to enhance that experience and cement your place in their minds, why not explore it? That is precisely why we have SWAG bags at almost every brand-led event. 

SWAG or Stuff We All Get is an essential part of a corporate branding strategy. They are usually promotional items or gifts that a brand extends to its customers as a token of appreciation, goodwill, and outreach. You may have heard of them as goodie bags or giveaway bags. 

Now, SWAG bags feature on many occasions – holiday marketing, employee onboarding, PR marketing, peer networking, event marketing, and so on. But they tend to take special prominence when it comes to events. 

In this blog, we take a look at the connection between SWAG bags and event marketing and how you can design the best SWAG bag for your event. 

SWAG Bags and Event Marketing: What’s the connection? 

Launching events is a huge prospect for businesses of all sizes. They entail a lot of money, time, and resources, so it is important that you make the most out of them. While a lot of focus will be on the in-event experiences as it should be, it is imperative to focus on what happens when they leave the event. That is the lasting impact you should focus on. 

SWAG bags ensure that every attendee takes a piece of your brand home with them. Of course, the prospect of promotional items also earns brownie points seamlessly. And they inhabit their homes for a long time. 

According to a Global Ad Impressions Study, consumers retain several promotional items for almost a year. 

So a well-designed and curated SWAG bag means that you can stay on your attendee’s/ customer’s radar for much longer than your event’s duration. 

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What does a good SWAG bag look like

We spoke of a well-curated and well-designed SWAG bag, but what does it mean? The SWAG industry is extremely huge right now and there are many innovative options available for brands to choose from. But before you dive into picking items for your SWAG bags, understand the process behind it that makes them a hit among your customers. 

An ideal swag bag is : 

1. Relevant to the event 

The intent of the SWAG bag is to build brand awareness and ensure that you and your event stay in the customer’s mind for a long time to come. To achieve this, it is important that the items in your SWAG bag and its overall design itself tie closely to the event. Your audience will be able to connect with it and would also be slightly amused at your collection. 

2. Quality

Building on the theme for long-term usage and positive brand building, SWAG bags that focus on quality in addition to design and aesthetics fare better than those that do not. The goodies and the goodie bag become an extension of your branding and even constitute first impressions to your attendees’ communities. 

3. Suits your brand 

The SWAG bag and the items inside it become part of your brand. So to form the right impression on your audience, design and choose products that reflect well on your brand or connect to your industry/target sector. This helps you curate a SWAG bag that manages to be useful to your audience while also telling them about who you are as a brand. 

4. Inclusive 

The best SWAG bags are those that are useful for everyone. And that means the family and friends of your attendees too. SWAG is meant to be used extensively by the audience and shared with their community too. Build an inclusive SWAG bag that transcends your events and is truly worthy of becoming a part of your audience’s lives. 

Design the best SWAG bag for your events

What are your options when it comes to filling up your SWAG bags? We must know this before we get onto the finer points of designing it for the best impact. A few popular SWAG bag ideas for events include : 

  • Stationery SWAG items 

Pens

Notebooks 

Sticky notes

Coasters

Keychains

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  • Wearable SWAG items 

T-shirts

Caps and hats 

Bags

  • Memorabilia SWAG items 

Postcards

Location-specific mementos 

Themed mementos

Themed notes 

As we said, there are many options in the SWAG market. So choosing the right one becomes trickier than ever. Here is a guide you can use to make the decision easier for your team.

Let’s get into it. 

1. Understand your audience 

Before choosing any SWAG item for your event, take a look at your attendee’s list and analyze them to understand who the audience is. Segment them by age, gender, sector, and other qualifying characteristics for your brand. We insist on age-wise segmentation primarily because it matters for utility-based products. You can also try to segment the audience based on their role in the event to build personalized SWAG boxes. 

Once you have this information, you can begin choosing products for your SWAG box. 

  • Start by picking one or two products that would appeal to each segment of the audience base 
  • Find a few products that will appeal to more than one segment of your target market

Now that you have the list of products, it is time to get designing the SWAG box. You have a few options here. You can either build a generic SWAG box for your event with a combination of all these products. Or you can segment your audience base and build personalized SWAG boxes for each of the segments. 

Whichever route you choose to go down, a few design pointers to make it a success : 

  • Choose an elegant design that would appeal to your audience. There are distinct styles that appeal to Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X. You can leverage those styles to boost the popularity of your SWAG box. 
  • If you pick a generalized box, you can choose a neutral design style that is in line with your brand identity. 
2. Choose a SWAG theme 

You have your audience list and an in-depth analysis of what would appeal to them the most. Unfortunately, this does not narrow down your choices as much as one would hope it would. So as a next step, you can choose a theme for your SWAG box. This will help you filter out most products and help you build a successful collection. 

Some popular themes to explore for SWAG boxes for your event are : 

  • Products they can use at the event 
  • Products they can use post the event for a long time 
  • Personal care products 
  • Products for the entire family 
  • Free product samples from the brand 

Of course, you can also choose to combine one or more ideas from the list to curate your SWAG box. We recommend not mixing more than two ideas so that you end up with a cohesive and themed SWAG box for your event. 

But how do you choose the theme? Well, your budget, audience profile, and the event’s theme must guide your selection. 

How to make the theme really shine in the SWAG box? 

  • Ensure that the SWAG box’s packaging celebrates the theme 
  • Choose individual designs as per the theme with interconnections 
  • Choose colors, fonts, and overall design style to align with your SWAG theme.

While designing a theme can feel overwhelming, it is greatly satisfying to see it come together and delight your audience. 

Connect with the Kimp Graphics team to see how you can elevate your SWAG theme. 

3. Stay consistent with your branding 

We are here to build a SWAG box that makes your event attendees happy enough to sport it outside and help you build brand awareness. How likely do you think it is if the SWAG box is just a random collection of products with your logo stamped on it? Very less, yes. And that is why it is important that the box reflects your brand identity and brand personality. 

To do this right, understand : 

  • How is your brand represented in the market – are you a serious or fun brand? 
  • What is your brand voice? 
  • What brand personality do you want your customers to experience? 

These questions will help you pick the right products and also guide the design of your SWAG box for the event. Your graphic design team can understand what colors, fonts, design elements, and design styles that they can choose for this collection. 

Kimp Tip: Just because it is a branded SWAG bag does not mean that every product has to carry your logo. Get creative with design and include subtle branding elements that your customers can enjoy and sport outside the event without feeling awkward. It can be a mascot, your slogan, or even a quirky quote that represents your audience and your brand too. 

Try a Kimp Graphics unlimited design subscription to explore designs for your SWAG box. 

4. Surprise your audience 

We have spoken about following the rules of gifting and design until now. But now it is time to shake things up. The plan now is to surprise your audience by designing the most exciting SWAG box for your event. How? 

While you choose the design, products, and theme of your SWAG box based on your audience’s preferences, leave space for surprises too. You can fill that space by :

  • Picking a product that is self-indulgent and they may never expect 
  • Choosing a product that does not traditionally feature in SWAG boxes 
  • Selecting a product that they would not associate with you but would be delighted to do so 

Everyone loves surprises and that excitement stays in their mind for a long time. You will be forever etched into their memory as the brand with a unique SWAG box in your event. 

Did you know that you can always surprise your attendees via the design route? Yes, you can do this by including an off-beat design element in your SWAG box. This can be a cartoon strip, Pop Art, doodles, or custom illustrations. We hardly ever see this in original designs but they can be a great tool to connect with your audience. 

5. Employ a material-centric design approach 

This is a technical point but will come in handy when you are putting together your SWAG box for the event. What often happens is that the brand chooses a template to brand the products in the box and then goes on to choose the products. This means that a generic design has to fit on products of different sizes, shapes, and materials. Of course, this does not sound like an ideal situation but it happens. 

To avoid this, we strongly recommend picking the products first. This helps your design team to :

  • Tweak logo placements
  • Configure the branding stickers 
  • Design using color schemes that are compatible with the printing material. We do not want to use the same standards for metal printing and cloth printing as they will not yield the same results. Check our guide on color schemes here to know more. 

Also, the unboxing effect is real and you want your customer to let out a squeal of joy when they open your SWAG box for the event. Choosing a material-centric design approach allows the designer to understand positioning and design the branding accordingly. This means your audience is in for a very aesthetic experience that they will definitely appreciate. 

Build the most Aesthetic SWAG Boxes with Kimp

Are you ready to level up your event marketing efforts? Do you want to design a SWAG box that leaves everyone stunned? It is possible and much easier than you think. We know that designing a SWAG box means choosing many designs over many iterations. That can prove costly unless you have an unlimited design service at hand. 

Kimp’s unlimited graphic design and video design subscriptions allow you to create multiple designs with unlimited revisions for a flat monthly fee. Visit our website to learn more via our instant chat service. 

You can also sign up for a free trial to try it out now.