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Standout swag ideas for your startup's next event

Standout swag ideas for your startup's next event
Standout swag ideas for your startup's next event

Nobody particularly enjoys networking. It’s one of those things that makes everyone feel a little awkward and out of place. However, as a startup owner, you need to get out there and tell everyone about your business!

Networking is made much easier if you can not only break the ice, but also give them something to remember you by. 

You may be attending a large conference or maybe you have your own startup event, but it’s very likely that even if you’re at a mixed event, you’ll have a booth for your business and people will pass by. That’s the ideal time to get your brand noticed

Of course, that means you need to stand out above the crowd and find something that helps people remember you for longer than just a few minutes. You should also think about using eco-friendly materials, to show that your startup isn't just in it for the money and that you care about sustainability

Showing off your brand’s personality and style helps people to remember who you are and what you’re about, but you need to use your imagination at the same time. Get creative.

Looking for ideas? Look no further. Below you'll find swag ideas for your next event including eco-friendly options in no particular order.

14 merchandise ideas for startup events

1. Branded umbrellas

The humble umbrella. Stay dry AND make your brand visible to passersby. Make sure you choose a design that tells people what your business is about and that reflects who you really are. As a corporate side, you could try golfing umbrellas, which will certainly get you noticed in the right circles. 

2. Mugs or reusable cups

While it's not the wildest idea, Brits love a hot drink. On average, Brits drink 2.7 cups of tea a day and 31% consume more than three coffees a day, according to Cartwright and Butler.

Whether being used at home, in the office, or somewhere else entirely, you’ll get your name out there and people will see your logo every time they sip a drink. It’s a great way to get extra brand exposure and give people something they actually need - they’ll appreciate that, trust us. 

And if you opt for reusable coffee cups for your event, not only is it more eco-friendly, but plenty of coffee chains and small businesses up and down the country offer discounted hot drinks for anyone who brings in a reusable cup. So in a way, you're helping your attendees save money and save the planet!

3. Reusable tote bags

Call it a Gen-Z/hipster cliché, but you can't deny that tote bags come in handy!

You’re giving people something they can use time and time again, therefore cutting down on the amount of plastic being used. And as with other ideas mentioned, they will see your logo every single time they use the bag and be reminded of you. 

To stand out, you need to choose a design that grabs the attention and piques the interest whenever people see it.

4. Reusable water bottles

Again, we’re thinking of being eco-friendly and sustainable here. People will use your bottle time and time again. Also, people at hot, busy events get thirsty. You could hand out the bottles with fresh mineral water inside and they can then refill them at water fountains throughout the day. 

5. Lanyards 

Lanyards are surprisingly useful and far more than you might think. You can use lanyards for ID cards, store keys and even pens. This is a great product to promote your business and you can print a design on it and use a bright colour to grab attention. The other plus point is that lanyards are also very easy to make and quite cheap too. 

6. Pens

Simple, yes, but very effective! Everyone needs a pen and it’s easy to promote your item when someone pulls out your pen at a random event at some point in the future. You’re also giving people something with a use, which they will appreciate. 

Go with branding somewhere on the pen that is visible, such as the barrel or even the clip. Make it bright and eye-catching but in line with your brand. 

7. T-shirts

T-shirt printing services are literally everywhere. They're also rather inexpensive. The larger size of a t-shirt compared to small things, such as pens, also means that you have more space to write something and feature your logo in a better way. T-shirts are also one of those universal clothing items that everyone wears somewhere, at some point.

8. Wireless earphones

If you can afford to push the boat out, wireless earphones are a super cool, luxury option. If you're giving out earphones at a tech event, attendees will climb over each other to get to your booth and grab a set!

9. Notebooks

The trusty notebook. Regardless of the fact that people use their phones for notes these days, you can’t beat the old-fashioned way of scribbling something down! Funky, logo-covered notebooks are a great option for merchandise and will provide enough space for you to feature your logo and perhaps even a quote or message. 

10. Laptop covers

By this, we’re talking about the zip-up laptop cases that people use to protect their tech and keep it clean. Using this as merch is ideal because you have a larger amount of space to write your logo and message, and you can go for bright colours to grab attention. 

11. Plant/seed growing kit

We all know that we need to be more environmentally friendly and having a focus on sustainability is important. However, as a business, you need to show this to people to be taken seriously. Seed sticks or other plant-growing accessories are a great way to do that! Of course put your logo on, so that people remember you every time they use it. 

Here's a photo of the seed sticks we gave away at a previous Vestd team retreat.

vestd seedsticks

12. Metal straws

A metal straw is something that someone can keep in their bag and use whenever they need to, especially as more and more cafes and restaurants are (quite rightfully) doing away with plastic straws. Plus you’re showing that you’re taking sustainability seriously.

13. Beanie hat or cap

The great thing about giving a beanie cap or hat with your logo on it is that people will see it as the wearer walks by. They may be intrigued and wonder who you are. They will then either ask the question or Google it and learn more about your business that way.

14. Branded power banks

Giving something useful is always a plus point. A power bank is useful because running out of charge is the bane of most people’s lives these days! Power banks may be an expensive bit of merch, but they’re extremely effective.

By now, you should have enough swag inspiration to start thinking about what you could bring to your next event to stand out from all the other startups. Give people something to remember you by, and show off your brand's personality while you're at it!

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