5 Conference Swag Items You Need

Young woman and fellow attendees sitting during presentation at business conference.

Whether you’re hosting an upcoming conference, or you’re sponsoring one, it goes without saying that you’ll want to leave a lasting impression with attendees. Having a booth or table stocked with free giveaways and conference swag can certainly do the trick!

No matter the event (in-person or virtual), when it comes to free merch, people can’t pass it up. Just remember that you won’t be the only company offering up “freebies.” Therefore, you’ll want to ensure your swag impresses the masses vs. getting thrown in a pile with the rest.

So, the question is this: what’s the best conference swag?

Glad you asked! Before we share a few conference swag ideas, consider these 3 essential characteristics that separate good merch from blah merch.


People know the difference between quality and cheap materials. Though you might be tempted to skimp on these items to save on costs, remember this: 

Your merch is an extension of your brand’s reputation. 

Simply put, if your swag looks cheap, guests might think this is how you do business. 

This is also true if you’re planning to include branded apparel items. Would you wear a cheap t-shirt that fits awkwardness and feels scratchy? Probably not. So, how can you expect guests to do the same?

Think of swag as an investment. The better the merch, the more likely it is guests will hold onto your items for years and associate a positive experience with your brand.

DID YOU KNOW that 70% of customers admit that promotional products create memorable experiences? And over 60% of recipients say they will look up a brand’s website after receiving a free gift? If that wasn’t enough to convince you, it’s reported that 72% of people say that the quality of a promotional item impacts their perception of a brand. 


Consider the type of audience attending the event. What items would benefit their daily routine. Maybe a branded coffee “to-go” mug, mini computer screen cleaner, or WebCam cover. It’s safe to say, guests will keep these items at their desks, leaving your brand on full display in the office.  

In fact, even if the majority of attendees work from home, they will constantly be reminded of your brand every time they use these desk-related items.

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study, 67% of millennials admit to having a higher opinion of advertisers who gave them a promotional desk accessory. Additionally, 56% of consumers report using promotional desk accessories at least once a week or more.

In contrast, maybe instead of work-related items, you’d rather provide guests with a few outlets for entertainment, such as earbuds, portable chargers, or sunglasses. 

Whether you decide to go the route of work or non-work accessories, be sure each item will benefit your guests and provide opportunities for multiple uses.


As your business’s logo will be printed on your conference swag, be sure it’s consistent across all touch points. For example, if you’re planning to bring a combination of apparel and desk accessories, be sure guests can tell that both items came from the same brand.

Be sure you’re following your brand’s approved color patterns, font styles, and copy. Inconsistencies leave room for confusion, which again, sends the wrong message to your audience about your brand. 

Conference Swag Ideas 2022

Okay, back to the fun part! Check out this list of 5 must-have conference swag items to impress guests and help you stand out from the crowd.

Purple conference swag travel mug with company's trademark.

Coffee “To-Go” Mugs

 Let’s face it. If you’re going to a conference, you’re probably already 2 cups in, right? Well, so are your guests. Why not give them a hand with this morning routine by offering branded travel coffee mugs. 

Remember when we said “usefulness”? Consider the types of mugs your guests can take anywhere—that means ones they can easily fit into those tiny cup holders inside their cars. 

Classic Swag Bag

Since you’ll be sharing the spotlight with other brands, why not make sure yours gets the most attention. By offering quality branded swag bags, you’re… 

(a) helping your guests carry all those free items; and 

(b) not getting stuffed inside a pocket or purse, where no one can see you. 

And remember, after the conference, this bag will still be useful to guests for running errands—which means even more brand exposure!

Retail Apparel

You heard right! Imagine having your logo branded on a Nike® hat or North Face jacket. Combining your company’s design with the brands guests already know and love is a sure way to impress them. It’s also a no-brainer that they’ll continue wearing your branded gear on-the-go to help build more impressions and awareness.

Not all merch supply companies can offer this option. So, if you’d like to learn more, contact our team today! 

Branded Water Bottles

This might sound like an old-school swag item, but staying hydrated never goes out of style. Branded water bottles are always a popular option for guests who use them frequently. And the more often they use them (home, office, gym, kids’ baseball game, etc.), the more free advertising for your brand!

Gift Packs

Combining similar items into one gift pack is always a crowd pleaser, especially if you need to plan a few VIP conference swag items for guest speakers. 

Think about how much you enjoy getting gift baskets during the holidays. The same sentiment carries over with custom gift packs. They’re both memorable and enjoyable and will create a positive impact between your brand and your gift’s recipients. 

Order Your Conference Swag Today

Need to order branded merch for an upcoming conference or seminar? At Foxtrot Marketing, we offer competitively priced conference swag options to help you impress guests and build brand awareness. 

From in-house apparel decorating to retail branded items, we offer quick turn-around times and better quality control of your merch. We also provide drop-ship delivery, which means you won’t need to worry about traveling with your conference swag. We’ll make sure it gets to the right place in record time.

To learn more about our conference merch solutions, contact us today!