Since our post on highly killer custom swag ideas went mini-viral, today we’re going to explore it’s complement: highly unkiller custom swag that registers very low on the swagnitude scale indeed. Here are some ideas to get you and your business started not making an impression on anyone:
Giving away branded sunglasses isn’t a bad idea to begin with, but becomes one when people arrive at your table with a bag already boiling over with sunglasses, the individual pairs’ frames spanning the entire spectrum of light and then some. Instead of imparting coolness, the cheap plastic sunglasses you find at most companies’ tables probably speaks to a more systemic dearth of thoughtfulness and creativity that pervades the entire company culture. It’s truly that bad.
2. Candy that’s not chocolate
Giving away edibles is cool; my finest memory of a recent job fair is actually of a cookie, finely baked and sparing nothing on the thickness, that one astute company was giving away. But the real reason the cookie was a winner? The chocolate chips. Every sweet hawked as swag at an event must contain chocolate. Must. Probably minimum 55% dark. Chocolate flavored lollypops don’t count; nor do tootsis rolls. Invest in some real chocolate and the rest will follow.
3. Informational pamphlets
To be sure, this is barely swag. You need like a special really sensitive instrument to measure it on the swagnitude scale. If swag is all about imprinting on the senses something memorable about your company, does a pamphlet accomplish anything like that? Coat it in Febreze, then maybe. But the best, most enduring swag isn’t didactic—it’s dumb. It’s a frisbee or toenail clippers or chocolate frisbee or chocolate toenail clippers. Never just hand out pamphlets.*
4. Keychains that don’t open bottles or light up
Giving away keychains as swag that don’t perform some sort of job is almost offensive in its thoughtlessness. Bottle opening and flashlighting are just two examples; the possibilities are endless…though, um… I can’t seem to think of any right now.
Pens were useful in the 80s and 90s, but much less so today. If pens are going to be your swag in the 21st century, they have to do something else (light up, be chocolate, come pre-loaded with Britney Spear’s entire discography, which starts playing when you write).
That does it for our lesson in event swag today. Join us back on the blog next time for our third installment about event swag, when we list out all the most mediocre swag that takes fairly minimal thought and would be perfectly satisfactory to give out at an event.
*Chocolate pamphlets that can be consumed after reading are fine