Conference Loot – The Best & Worst Swag

What would a conference be without free stuff? Whether we admit it or not, taking home a couple of bags of free goodies in bags that were free as well can lift the spirits. If it’s the right stuff. We’re not screening for fighter pilots here, but you want the stuff you give away with your company logo on it to bring on a warm and fuzzy. Not a cold and scratchy. If you’re looking for ideas for conference giveaways that will put your company in the best light and avoid the opposite, here is some advice.

Good: Mobile Device Chargers

The only thing people do more at conferences than use their phones is…nothing. Even the most engaging lecture by a world authority can’t stop people in the audience from checking their emails and texts. Ant that means the phone is going to be down to half its battery life before lunch.

If your booth gives out free mobile chargers, you will be everyone’s darling. Not only will absolutely everyone stop by your place, every time they plug in, they will see your logo and think of you fondly. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving even long after the conference is over.

Bad: Phone Cases

A phone case is an item that each person only ever needs one of. Phone cases are losers as far as swag goes unless you can approach them from a different angle. A phone case can also serve as a card holder and a carrier for your wallet and keys, but are only useful if a person is willing to take the time to change out what they already have. And when might that be? At the beach or the pool or hiking or any place that increases the risk of getting one’s high value items wet or dirty.

What you need is a lanyard for your special phone case with your logo on it. An online lanyard specialty company like can set you up with everything you need and make lemons into lemonade. It’s good bang for buck.

Good: Seasonal Items

One of the reasons seasonal items are so good is that they are special. Most companies will prefer to offer gifts that have a general purpose or that can be used year-round. But that is precisely the thing that makes seasonal items stand out. For a summer conference at a beach resort, think frisbees and beach towels. These things will probably be used after the conference and your company’s exposure will go far.

Bad: Pens

Outside of the fact that everyone can always use another pen, what does a pen offer that serves to put your company in a favorable light? Pens are just about the oldest, most unimaginative giveaway there is. Besides saying that your company lacks fresh ideas, it also says you’re way behind the digital mobile curve.

Good: Umbrellas

Here is the item everyone forgot to bring and always misses. It is also a huge advertising surface for your logo.