Say Hello to the Digital Swag Bag



Swag bags are on the downhill slide. No one wants a swag bag at a conference. They say that 80% of the products in the bag ends up in the garbage can at the hotel and never even makes it into the suitcase for the flight home. If it does, it is either used as the gift mommy brings home from the conference for little Sally  and Jack or, its taken to the office and added to the collection of junk on the bookshelf. There has got to be a better way!

Whether you call them gift bags, swag bags or goody bags, the challenge remains the same.  How do you offer your delegates something they can truly use while providing your sponsors a measurable return for their support? By going digital. This is the end of the Swag Bag.

Digital swag bags offer the advantage of being unique, effective, environmentally friendly and easy to manage.  For the planner, this means no more chasing sponsors for inserts, or stuffing bags at 2:00 am with products knowing full well that half the bags will never leave the event. For the sponsors or exhibitors you’ve worked hard to attract, it means an opportunity to engage directly with your attendee’s and a chance to lead development that a logo pen simply can’t offer.

By the way, we are not saying that promotional products have no value. They have HUGE value, but its not in the swag bag anymore. It is in the strategic promotion of your company through customized and creative gifting and products that enhance a clients daily experience. That is a whole other story so pause on that one while we go back to the swag bag.

There is a new kid in town and its called the Digital Swag Bag. They are cost effective, strategic and measureable.

These “bags” are really online “accounts” which attendees can access from anywhere from their phones. They can be used by sponsors to run contests, offer discount codes, or host online promotions. Guests at events can be linked directly to the sponsors site or your event site and best of all, you as the planner control the content in the bag and how it’s being presented. You also control the timing of the offers. 

For the guest, there are many reasons to choose a virtual bag over a physical one. No more schlepping bags from room to room, high value discount codes and coupons for products and services offer real value gifts rather than the usual trinkets, gear and gadgets. In addition these virtual bags can hold an endless number of “gifts” so you have an opportunity to monetize it and increase the level and longevity of exposure for your sponsors and key vendors.

Finally, this is a big step toward helping to keep our events environmentally friendly.

Here are a few companies that can provide you with some more information about how you can incorporate these cool concepts into your next conference or show.

[author ]Stacy Wyatt is the Founder & Publisher of Canadian Special Events. For 20 years she has been one of Canada’s industry trendists, moving the event industry forward through her innovative publications and events. Through her career, the consistent thread woven through all of her roles has been her passion for the power of connecting people through live events.  A strong advocate of fostering the development of event management as a recognized and trusted discipline, Stacy supports her industry peers through programs with Seneca College, Event Industry Kids, ILEA and her non profit program, Eat, Love, Shop, which she founded in 2010 to help end violence against women. Stacy has held two terms as President of ILEA Vancouver, has received 7 International Event Award nominations and was honoured with four wins. in 2009, Stacy was the recipient of a visionary award for contributions to the future of the event industry in Canada. [/author]