So, you want to create a swag bag? Well, there are a few things you need to know about creating the ultimate Swag Bag for your event.
1) Not every brand or product is a right fit for your event or bags.
Allot of people think swag bags are all about getting any and as many products as necessary. This is simply not true. Swags bags should be well thought out and match the theme of your event. The rule quality over quantity stands true. You can have over 15 items in a bag, but if they're paper or all samples, you've just lost credibility of your gift. On the other hand, you can have 1-4 items that are worth a significant value and the credibility of your gifting is praised.
2) Do your research.
Search brands, services or products that would be likely to align with your event's theme. Look for brands or products that would be of great interest for your audience. Also, look to see if the company ships to your country, there's no point in reaching out to a brand who doesn't ship or sell to your home country. Brands who don't sell or ship to your country, most likely they will say no to sponsorship, as they are likely NOT to see an ROI.
Look at past events similar to yours to see what kind of brands sponsored. Also, looking at gifting suites and local events are a great way to reach new brands you've never heard of who may also be looking for exposure.
Make a list of the brands, products or services you like in Excel, with their contact information.
Note: As you are searching brands, make life easier on yourself and while your on their website or Instagram page, copy their contact information and paste it into Excel. This will save alot of time.
3) Know the right person to pitch
It is essential to find the correct person to pitch to for sponsorship. Search their website to see who the PR/Communications or Marketing Manager is, they tend to be the key people who handle product requests. Helpful tip: use LinkedIn or search previous press releases to obtain contact information.
If you happen to only the the Info@, don't fret, write a brief email explaining you are looking for in-kind products for EVENT Name and you would like to know the right person of contact. Also, make mention that you have a sponsorship package you'd be happy to send over. This lets whoever on the receiving end know you mean business and have all the details ready at the click of a button.
4) Have an email pitch
It is imperative to have an email pitch ready to send to potential sponsors. It should be short, sweet and to the point. It MUST outline the date, time and location of your event. Also, be sure to add the number of products and the exact products you are looking for.
5) Make it easy for them to say yes
If your sponsors feel unsure or have to many questions to ask from your pitch and sponsorship package, they will likely say no. Try to make it easy for them to say yes. This is where EXACT DETAILS are extremely important. As mentioned you must provide the following in both the email pitch and sponsorship package.
- Date / Time / Location
- The exact number of products requested
- List the products you specifically want from that brand
- List the benefits to the sponsor and why partnering with you will increase their brand visibility
- YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION (You'll be surprised how many people forget that)
- Your sponsorship tiers and price values
- Let them know that you'll follow up
- Include any stats, testimonials and images from previous events
7) Follow Up
Try to follow up every three - four days, unless they've specified that they will get back to you. (In that case, follow up if you have't heard anything in two weeks.) We have a three time follow up rule, if we've touched base three times and haven't heard back from a sponsor, they automatically get a red highlight so we know not to contact them anymore.
Yes, you want their product, but you don't want to seem like a bother either. It's not attractive.
8) Your bag size will make or break you
Don't skimp on the quality or the size of your bags. Crappy bags will break and get crushed easily. Pay for quality. Bags should be bought the week of your event. You need to see the size and number of products you will be giving out before you purchase your bag. It always looks better to have a smaller bag that is rammed to the top with product, than a big bag that's weightless and fully of paper or samples. Your gift bag is like food at a wedding. It's the one thing your guests will be talking about!
9) Promote the products you have secured for your swag bags before the event.
It looks super good on you, if you promote the products you are giving away in your gift bags.
One, the sponsors will appreciate the promotion and love. Two, it will build hype and anticipation with your followers and guests. We like to promote images of the shipping boxes and a few of the items on our social. It leads to anticipation and excitement for whats to come.