What do birthday goodie bags, holiday stockings stuffed with treats, and business swag bags have in common?
They make surprising, delightful, and universally appealing gifts that are greater than the sum of their parts. People of all ages – including customers, employees, and sales prospects – love unpackaging a bundle or bag of small gifts.
What is a swag bag?
A swag bag is a bundle of gifts that is usually given away to attendees of an event. A swag bag is also known as a gift bag or goodie bag. The most famous swag bags in history are those that have been given away to Hollywood celebrities at the Oscars and other film industry events since the late 1980s. Swag bags full of limited edition or luxury goods are often referred to as VIP swag bags.
While most businesses use swag bags as event welcome gifts, they can also make meaningful thank you gifts for clients and employees.
What do you put in a business swag bag?
Businesses typically use swag bags to promote their brand to clients, sales prospects, and even employees. A business swag bag usually features useful branded items like logo apparel, accessories, drinkware, and notebooks.
A swag bag might have a general or specific theme (e.g. health/wellness or game night). However, most swag bags usually include a mix of practical and fun items such as:
- logo t-shirts, hats, socks
- custom travel tumblers & water bottles
- personalized notebooks & pens
- gourmet snacks
- branded tech gadgets like Bluetooth speakers
- customized candles
- logo lip balm, mints & hand sanitizer
- stickers & pins
- custom exercise accessories
- personalized desktop toys
Business swag bags can also include professional development books, gift cards or gift certificates, product samples, and local artisan crafts.
To make the most impactful impression on your event attendees, employees, and customers, a business swag bag should feature a gift bag or reusable bag that has been customized with your company logo and colors. Popular, eco-friendly swag bag packaging options include Kraft gift bags and Jute tote bags.
What is the difference between a swag pack and swag bag?
A swag pack is very similar to a swag bag – but the packaging is usually a box instead of a bag.
Because a swag pack (aka swag box) is usually packaged in a customized gift box, swag packs are more ideal for mailing than swag bags. They make excellent direct mail gifts for VIP clients and remote employees as well as employee care packages for workers away on sick leave or family leave.
A swag bag, on the other hand, is typically packaged in a customized gift bag or reusable bag like a drawstring bag or business tote bag. That makes this type of bundled or kitted gift especially ideal for distributing en masse at business events and work celebrations – such as conferences, trade shows, Employee Appreciation Day gatherings, team building retreats, corporate charity events and fundraisers, and work holiday parties.
Business swag bags and swag packs should utilize custom packaging that highlights your brand. Adding your company logo, brand colors, and branded hashtags to your business swag bags and swag packs is always a good idea.
Business Swag Bag Ideas for Employees
While most employee swag bags feature a mix of useful and fun items, swag bags built around a great theme can be especially memorable.
Popular themes for employee swag bags that are widely appealing include:
Create an eco-conscious swag bag for employees by packing reusable food storage containers and utensil sets made out of sustainable materials like bamboo in an environmentally-friendly lunch cooler bag.
Fun items to add to a movie night swag bag include heirloom popcorn kernels; gourmet popcorn seasonings; a collapsible popcorn popper; blue light blocking glasses; streaming and digital entertainment gift cards; and sweet n’ spicy snack mixes like Bruce Julian Honey Sriracha Couch Mix.
A swag bag with a summer theme should include a selection of beach day essentials such as mineral sunscreen; UV protection sunglasses; waterproof wireless speakers or earbuds; a portable sun umbrella; frisbees & flyers; beach towels; wet swimsuit bags; flip flops; BPA-free water bottles; and a beach tote bag.
Breakfast-themed swag bags for employees should include tasty items like gourmet pancake & waffle mix; buttermilk biscuit mix; artisan maple syrup, jam, or preserves; organic coffee or tea; honey straws; and a customizable spatula, apron, tea towel or coffee mug set.
Nurture their creativity with a swag bag full of artistic tools like smart notebooks; customizable pens and colored pencil sets; mindfulness coloring books; watercolor paint sets; stickers & art enamel pins; and creativity toys.
Spa-themed swag bags promote relaxation and wellness by including items like a spa or massage therapy gift card; essential oils; aromatherapy candles; bath bombs or soaking salts; massage roller sticks; stone face rollers; sleep masks; and head or neck wraps.
Another self-care swag bag idea for employees, a hygge gift should include items that promote a cozy and comfortable state of mind such as soft bed socks or slippers; fleece-lined winter hats; sherpa throw blankets; sweet treats like chocolate; and cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or pine scented candles.
Along with the Wanderer Bundle, other great swag bag ideas for employees and clients include PB&J for grown-ups; weekend getaway; gourmet s’mores; Seed the Future Gardener’s Gift Set; Hole in One Golf Bundle; and BBQ pitmaster.
Business Swag Bag Ideas for Events
Event swag bags and welcome kits for events often include small practical gifts that make business travel and networking more tolerable such as:
- ready-to-eat snacks like granola, protein bars, rice crispy treats, and dried fruit
- refillable water bottles and travel tumblers
- notepads, pens, and padfolios
- pour over coffee packets and individually wrapped tea bags
- travel neck pillows, foam ear plugs, and eye masks
- portable tech gadgets like Bluetooth earbuds and wireless chargers
- reusable tote bags and travel pouches
Classic swag bag ideas for business events include:
The Perfect 6 Gift Set
This six-piece gift set includes the Eat Right Cooler Tote, journal notebook set, metallic stylus with highlighter, 20 oz. travel tumbler, portable LED flashlight, and a pocket aluminum tool pen.
Artisan Gourmet Gift Bag
Artisan gourmet gift bag includes pistachio cherry cookies, dipping pretzels, sweet and tangy mustard, berry nut mix, cinnamon seed bar and a maple waffle to naturally fuel your day…all packaged in a reusable drawstring gift bag. Pair with a cooler, sling bag, backpack, tote, or drinkware item of your choice.
Welcome Kit #1
This five-piece gift set includes a smart backpack, wireless earbuds, portable power bank, MFI-certified Micro-USB charging cord, and SpinSocket fidget spinner, stand, and tether.
Cocktail Party for One
The handy Avery travel pouch is paired with Long Grove berry nut mix and a W&P cocktail kit, which contains all the premium ingredients needed to create several top-shelf cocktails wherever you are – just grab your spirit of choice and mix it up.