Conference swag bags are a double-edged sword. If you opt not to hand out gift bags to conference attendees, they may feel you don’t fully appreciate their presence. However, a corporate goodie bag that doesn’t impress means that your guests are tossing their gifts in the trash before heading home.

The best conference gift bags are filled with useful, high-quality items that fit easily in carryon luggage. You want guests to leave with a positive opinion of your event. Unfortunately, this can be hindered by a low-quality gift. Alternatively, great event gift bag ideas can keep attendees talking about your conference long after they head home and you may even find your most popular swag show up in social media photos.

Conference Gift Bag Ideas

Use these ideas to create corporate gift bags your event attendees will keep, enjoy and share.

  • An event-specific USB drive. The presentations and workshops from the conference provided attendees with a lot to think about and implement after heading home. Including them all on a large USB drive, along with any other resources guest might enjoy, such as information about local attractions, is convenient and cost effective.
  • Professional headshots. Hire a professional photographer and let guests know they’re welcome to have new headshots taken with a small slip in their conference goodie bag. This is especially great for events catering to students, young professionals or freelancers.
  • A durable, sustainable bag. It’s not just what’s inside that counts. Think about what you’re putting all your swag in. Make sure you choose a durable, sustainable, reusable option that’s easy to carry. You could even opt for something designed by a local artist.
  • Local attractions. Consider gifting conference attendees with experiences instead of “things.” A free class at a nearby gym, tickets to a sporting event, hotel spa gift cards and restaurant guides are all great ideas.
  • Allergen-free snacks. Keep guests happy with lots of healthy, delicious snacks in your event gift bags. This is one idea that will definitely be appreciated as attendees bounce between seminars and checkout nearby attractions.
  • Travel-sized fitness gear. Frequent flyers who have a hard time balancing fitness with their travel schedules will love a small, portable piece of fitness equipment that fits in their carryon.
  • Beautiful books. Was there high-profile book published about your industry lately? Is your keynote speaker planning to heavily reference a classic? Include a high-quality version of the volume in your conference gift bags.

Event Gift Bag Tips

Regardless of the items that you choose for your event’s goodie bags, following these tips will help you wow guests.

  • Choose quality over quantity. Fewer gifts, or even a single item, that guests will truly use and appreciate is worth much more than smaller, low-quality filler items.
  • Focus on sustainability. Unfortunately, conferences aren’t great for the environment. Focusing on sustainability where possible, including your swag bags, is important.
  • Customize gifts to your guests. For smaller events, or very well-staffed conferences, monogrammed gifts could be a nice touch. If that’s out of reach for you and your team, think about what your guests enjoy, whether it’s gadgets, fitness or literature.
  • Keep airport security in mind. Attendees flying in to your event will also need to fly back home. Swag needs to be airport security-friendly if you want your gifts to make it past the hotel garbage can.