One of the things people love about events is swag. They love getting free things that they get to take home.

Sponsors love this because it’s a great way to give them a product sample and/or a branded item, reinforcing their brand. The more you see and interact with a brand, the more likely you are to be interested in them or buy their products.

We’ve lost that with virtual events – you can’t hand out tote bags online.

Which leaves you with two options:

Mail (or porch drop off) a physical swag bag, conference survival kit or other set of goodies to your guests [Check out our blog on adding physical elements to your virtual event here]



Create a virtual swag bag!

Fun Fact – swag was originally an acronym for Stuff* We All Get.

 *Sometimes it was another s word.


Virtual swag bags are a collection of coupons, digital documents, videos, and any thing else you provide your attendees as a thank you for attending your online event.

Virtual swag bags aren’t only for virtual events. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to physical swag bags at live events as well.


When you put your swag bag together, your first focus needs to be your attendees. One of the worst parts of attending an event (live or digitally) is getting a swag bag that you have no use for. Coupons for minimal amounts at places you have never shopped before, flyers for companies you don’t have interest in, and free consultations for services that you either don’t need or already have a provider for are all examples of things that make you sigh sadly and move the swag to the recycling bin.

If an opportunity for a swag item is presented to you, ask if your guests will get benefit out of it and how much. If no benefit or very little, try to determine how you could make it more valuable and attractive to your attendee. If you’re putting together a financial conference, a coupon for 10% off of digital knitting lessons probably won’t generate much excitement. However, 10% off a course on how to better explain financial terms to clients would probably be much more useful. A digital PDF of 10 tips on how to help your clients understand financial terms and decisions would go over even better.


Work with your sponsors. Sponsors are fantastic sources of swag bag content but it’s not ideal for them to just give you whatever is on hand. Work with them to find something that will promote the sponsors products and/or services and still excite your attendees.

Ideas for your Virtual Swag Bag:

-Access to an online course
-PDF download of a ‘top ten tips’
-Video link to
-Digital photo album of event photos
-Coupon to online retailer involved in the event
-Free song download



Comment below and tell us what you’d be most excited to see in a virtual swag bag.