top of page

Swag Bag Ideas

Did you know swag bags can help your business grow?

Here is a site that shows you Recent studies concerning the topic of swag bags’ and promotional products’ effectiveness have concluded the following:

83% of Americans report that they like to receive promotional products with advertising messages on them 25% of people report having more positive impressions of companies after receiving their promotional products via swag bags 50% of people report daily using the promotional products they have accumulated from swag bags 85% of consumers admit to doing business with a company after receiving a promotional product from them 89% of people who received a promotional product in the last 24 months remember the name of that company 67% of people pass promotional products on to someone else, providing further exposure Consumers report holding onto promotional products for an average of 6.6 months 6 out of 10 people report keeping promotional products for up to 2 years.

But enough of the %'s and studies. Let's get to the good stuff!

1. ALWAYS add a business card even if that's all you can afford to do at least it is something in the swag bags so that way they can look you up on Facebook, Instagram, or even your Website.

2. Flyer about your business and all your info (like the business card)

3. Coupon that they can use the day of the event. As people come up to your table to look and you see they have a swag bag then (only if you have a coupon in all bags) ask them if they seen the exclusive coupon (only given in the swag bags) you gave them to use. you could make it a 1 day only coupon or exp. on (example 12/31/2019).

these can be made at home or you could use a print service (I can help if you need a design or needed them printed).

4. gift bag - with samples, and your business card. or go to dollar store and get a pk of small clear or holiday bags and put nail clippers, fun items, or around the holidays buy a box of cocoa, marshmallows, and candy canes, wrap up single bags in a fun little holiday baggie with your card and also come up with a sweet saying.

5. just samples of your product and business card.

6. OK here is one I like - go to a place like Sam's get candy, chips, trail mix, cookies or drinks. (make sure the items are individually wrapped) then print labels that have your business info on the label. (do not cover the Nutrition facts or Allergy warnings)

Ok I found these next few ideas online and seem like great ideas! From Made Urban.

7. Can you give an incomplete item?

Sounds like you’re short changing swag bag receivers but hear me out. What can be used to complete your swag item? Create a bit of a scavenger hunt or puzzle to get them wondering what they can use your swag bag item for. The item may be a mystery to them but has a note attached to “find _____ vendor booth to complete this item”. You can give away half an item in the bag and the other half at your booth so they need to stop by to complete it; once they’re there you have the opportunity to show them your other products and potentially make a sale. Or you can give them an item that is useful on its own but requires a purchase from you to take it to the next level. Getting them started with a swag item but requiring them to stop by to complete it will get more people intrigued and interested in visiting your booth. Here are a few examples: Jewelry – include a chain that they’ll want to come purchase a pendant from you to complete it.Knitted Goods – place one boot cuff in each swag bag with a note to come find you for the other.

Bath & Body – give out Step 1 of your 4-Step facial cleansing process; include a note that this is just a start and to visit you to find the other products that make #1 even more effective.

Food  & Drink – an empty jar they can fill up with your candy or snack mixes or a paper cup with your branding and a note asking them to stop by and sample your hot apple cider.

Art – an empty frame they’ll want to fill with your art, or for a more cost effective version, a photo frame card they slide one of your prints into. Allow them to stop by and choose a print of their choice from your selection. Home & Office – give out 1 coaster that they can head over and purchase more to create a set.

8. Can you make it a novelty item?

As in something unexpected for what you sell but still related. If adding a piece of your work doesn’t make sense cost wise, brainstorm some fun novelty items that will catch shopper’s attention and that you can tie back in to your business. If you can make it humorous…bonus points! A few more examples: Jewelry – you may place a candy necklace in a swag bag if you sell jewelry that’s “really sweet”. Knitted Goods – static guard or Bounce sheets to protect the wearer of your knitted hats from the dreaded static head look.

Bath & Body – a stress reliever ball may help you advertise your stress relieving bath bombs.

Food & Drink – mini mug with a mini sample of your hot chocolate mix. Art – a little piggy bank might be great to advertise your art that won’t break the bank.

9. Can you use up scrap materials?

To make swag items more cost effective, use the scraps you were going to toss anyways. If you have leftover pieces of fabric, beads and other materials that aren’t big enough to make a full sized product out of, consider what you can make that’s a smaller version.

Accessories – if you make handbags, you could sew up some coin purses out of leftover fabric.

Jewelry – make some key chains or fancy hair clips out of leftover beads you don’t have enough of to make a full necklace.

Knitted Goods – you could make little crocheted ornaments at Christmas time out of the ends of a yarn bundle.

Bath & body – use smaller containers to create sampler sizes.Food & Drink – snack size is obviously the way to go here. Art – take one of your favorite pieces and create prints you can turn into bookmarks, magnets or a holiday card they can use on one of their gifts.

Home & Office – if you make wreaths, you could make gift toppers out of your extra supplies or mini signs if you have scraps of wood leftover from your full-sized signs.

10. What can be used with your products?

Maybe they haven’t purchased from you yet but if they do, they’ll have a handy tool to use with your items! Shop around to find discount prices for buying in bulk or check out your local dollar store or thrift shop.

Jewelry – buy some polishing cloths and stamp your logo on them

Knitted Goods – something they can clip onto their hat, scarf or mittens to spruce it up like a bow or button

Bath & Body – facecloths they can use with your products or a hair tie to keep their hair off their face while they apply your mask.

Food & Drink – metal spoons to stamp your name, logo or initials on that people can use to dish up your dips and sauces or stir your drink mixes. Art – a kit for hanging your art on their walls; perhaps picture hooks and a novelty hammer or level if you can find them at a good price. General – gift tags could be used for the shopper to put on the gifts they buy from you


1. Use that bag as an ice breaker – “Oh good, you got a swag bag! My _______ swag is in there, here’s a larger version of it” or point out another item that compliments it.

2. Make it easy for the event organizer – your item should stay clean and tidy in the bag. No multiple pieces that will get lost in there, require assembly by the organizer or be messy for them (no glitter! unless in a sealed bag). And don’t forget to get your item to them on time.

3. Don’t forget to tag the item – although we don’t recommend business cards as your sole contribution, be sure you’re attaching one to your swag item. If they love it, they need to know where to find you. Bonus if you know your booth number ahead of time: add a sticker that states “Find me at booth #___

Here is something else I found

Goody Bag Swag for craft shows does not have to be expensive!

floresflorestanis says

Goody bags are a great way to welcome and encourage visitors to arrive during a time which is typically quiet - early mornings. Visitors love getting a free gift: it makes them feel special and appreciated and it encourages them to become shoppers. It's also an amazing way to get your name out there. You can actually say to visitors - "Hey did you get that little notebook l I put in the goody bag you're carrying?" thus making for another point of conversation with a potential customer. And of course they then have some sort of way to be able to contact you afterwards if you put your phone number or email on your swag item. It's an easy, inexpensive way to get YOUR name out there & to remind visitors of you & your craft!

I've received free magnets at shows I've attended with images of artists' work and have specifically sought them out - during the show as well as after - to make a purchase just because I so liked their work represented on the little magnet. So it cost the artist maybe 10 cents to make the magnet but it translated into a $30 sale.

But it can be cost and time prohibitive to give away samples of your work. You don't want to give your work away for free however there are other things you can pass out to make yourself and your business memorable. I want to emphasize that swag does not have to be expensive or time-consuming to be an effective marketing tool. I personally give away "Fortune Fish" with a business card in all my sales and you'd be amazed at how effective a 3 cent item can be!

Here are some more goody ideas:

- One fabric artist I know made little pins by tying a little strips of her leftover fabric (with frayed edges) to safety pins. Then she pinned these to her business cards. Brilliant!!!

- One gentleman at the last Red Rabbit show, a woodworker, took slices of his leftover wood and rubber stamped his name & logo on each one to make coasters. Very cool and gorgeous. I liked the idea of stamping or printing a business name or logo onto a scrap of the material that represents your medium.

- If you happen to have a button badge machine, little 1" buttons cost less than 10 cents to make and are a great way to use fabric scraps or prints of artwork.

- Sticker paper is cheap and you can print a little bit of artwork or a logo to make great little stickers. Use a paper punch to speed things up.

- Glass artists always have lots of scrap glass around. You can fire polish or tumble the glass to remove the sharp edges and drill a hole. Add a little piece of string and tie it to your business card. Easy.

- At other shows, I've seen jewelry makers take a bead or two, and they don't have to be expensive beads at all, and string them onto a little piece of pretty thread and tie that to a business card. The giftee can later add a chain or finding and make their own artwork.

- If you've got a die cut machine (like a Sizzix or Cuttlebug) you are living the life. If you find a die that fits the theme of your art or business, this will allow you to cut your scraps (fabric, paper, cardboard, leather, etc.) very, very quickly. Paper punches in various shapes are great too although not all handle thick materials.

- How cute would it be to get a bag of those little plastic toy bubbles that you get from gumball / toy machines and put a little "fortune" inside - a scrap of paper with your business info and maybe a cute little cartoon scribbled on it? I would totally love a unique little piece of art!

- Imprinted pencils are always cool but they tend to cost maybe 30 cents each. How's about getting a box of pencils from the office supply store (or Costco!) and adding a little label / banner to the top announcing your business? Even easier if you print the labels on sticker paper.

- Don't forget about printable iron on sheets. You can print your business card sized artwork - maybe 15 to a sheet - then iron onto stabilized fabric. Cut apart then add a magnet to the back or an eyelet with a key ring. Now that's a business card that I wouldn't throw away! A variation is to print out artwork instead, make it into a pin and attach it to a business card.

- Wood (popsicle sticks, clothes pins, precut shapes) and a wood burning tool. 'Nuff said. :)

- Never underestimate the power of office supplies and their potential swagability. Rubber bands, colored paper clips, glassine or coin envelopes and ink stamps that say "Urgent" can be combined to make memorable little business card holders.

- Look around at what you've got lots of scraps of - paper, unwanted beads, cardboard, clay, ribbon, fabric, wire - and see if there isn't a way to turn that into a goody somehow. Think clever and make it cool. As long as you put some love into it, even humble leftover material can become a welcome gift.

I think the best swag is something that somehow represents your art and your business but is not expensive or time consuming to make plus it is somehow entertaining (like fortune fish) or functional (like a bookmark or magnet). You want your business info to somehow be on the swag so that people will remember you next time they see you somewhere. "Oh yeah, she's the girl who made those great magnets last time! I love her art! I think I want to buy a picture from her." It happens! I know I often purchase from artists because I remembered them from having gotten a little free goody from them once. And when you see someone walk up to your booth carrying a goody bag be sure to say "Hey! You lucky - you got a goody bag! One of my pieces is in there. Did you see it?" Heck! Offer to sign it! Then with this little icebreaker, you've just introduced yourself to a potential customer. Remember - they got there early so they are looking for art!

214 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page