9 Practical Giveaways to Distribute During Conferences

Aside from the learning and networking opportunities, attendees also look forward to receiving freebies during conferences. In fact, if the event is prestigious enough, like the World Mobile Congress, SXSW, or the Forbes Women’s Summit, these giveaways become badges of honor, adding to a person’s “street cred,” so to speak.

For event organizers, this means that giveaways should be more than just mere trinkets. It’s nice to have something pretty or fancy that one can display at home or at work, but going the practical route is the wiser option. Not only are these freebies easier to produce, they can also raise more awareness and interest for your event, and may, in turn, increase participation in the next edition. Here are some ideas for practical giveaways.


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Not only are silicone wristbands highly customizable, they can also serve multiple purposes both during and after conferences and other events. For example, color-coded event wristbands can serve as simple ID tags for participants or even as VIP passes for premium ticket buyers who can attend special sessions with speakers and receive even more giveaways. In fact, if you want to double up on your security measures during the conference, you can have serial numbers or barcodes printed on each wristband. This makes the item even more valuable post-event, when silicone wristbands can become collectible items, worn as a fashion statement, or used as a tag for personal items like bags and suitcases, among other purposes.

Despite their small size, silicone wristbands give you a big room for creativity. Apart from your company name and logo, you can also include other elements like a slogan or a witty one-liner on the inside of the bracelet. Debossing or embossing options, color variants, as well as different thicknesses ranging from 1/4 of an inch to 2 inches depending on your chosen style all give you even more opportunities for customization. You can even order blank wristbands from Wristband Creation and have the attendees customize their wristbands for a simple yet fun competition during your event.


Lanyards are popular event giveaways because they’re not just cheap and quick to produce, they’re also easy to customize with various designs and attachment options. Moreover, apart from serving as ID laces, lanyards can have purposes beyond the event itself, like serving as keyrings or as electronic gadget holders. In fact, based on the attachments that you include, you can actually provide an indirect suggestion as to how attendees can use their lanyards once the conference is over. This results into more exposure for your brand, company, or organization, since people who have not attended or heard about your event will know about it from participants who proudly use their lanyards afterwards.

Opt for nylon lanyards from Wristband Creation for a truly premium item, where you can imprint even the most complex logos using high-quality silk screen printing methods. If you want your event to be remembered for its catchy motto, then perhaps you can have the words interlaced into woven lanyards, which are made through a process similar to embroidering shirts. There are also polyester lanyards and tubular lanyards, which are ideal for those who want affordable options that don’t compromise on versatility and quality.

Lapel Pins

Lapel pins are gaining more and more popularity these days, especially with the resurgence of bespoke clothing. However, lapel pins aren’t just clothing accessories, they’re also popular collectibles. This makes them valuable giveaways indeed, especially if the conference is a sought-after one like the TED Talks or the World Business Forum. You can even have different pin designs for each edition of the conference in order to start a collecting trend among your attendees. What’s more, it’s easy for guests to accept lapel pins as giveaways since they are stylish and not at all cumbersome to lug around.

Lapel pins usually contain the logo of a company or the event itself. This is the most ideal design choice that makes the best use of the limited surface area of the pin. For logos with basic colors, hard enamel or soft enamel pins are good options, with the final choice being dependent on your budget or the finish that you prefer. Note that soft enamel pins have recessed areas on their surface, while hard enamel pins are flat and smooth. For more distinguished-looking giveaways, die-struck pins are the way to go. These may also be more appealing to more professional audiences. Printed lapel pins, on the other hand, work best for intricate logos that have color gradients or fine details.

USB Flash Drives

We are going digital with a lot of things nowadays, and conference giveaways are no exception. USB flash drives are certainly useful during an event, as you can use them to save the souvenir program, various press kits, and presentation decks, among others, allowing you to reduce printing costs and paper wastage. Even after the event, they are definitely going to remain very useful. Flash drives are usually emblazoned with the logo of the company, although you can take this a step further by including a small “About Us” file, like a short video or a digital primer about your brand or cause.

You’ll be a darling of the crowd if you can provide attendees with high-capacity flash drives, perhaps 16GB or more. You can get 16GB flash drives starting at $4.99 or less, depending on the brand and how many pieces you order. Otherwise, guests would be more than happy with a 4GB or 8GB thumb drive. You can’t have too much storage space these days, after all.

Tote Bags or Drawstring Backpacks

Large-scale events usually have several participating companies and sponsors, who will most definitely have giveaways of their own. Giving away tote bags or simple drawstring backpacks will make the lives of the attendees so much easier, and they’ll probably remember you as the company that made getting and carrying all of those freebies worthwhile.

You can also entice more attendees to sign up early and or to take advantage of top-tier tickets by giving them more premium bags. Collaborations with popular brands, especially when they’re also participants in the convention, can also work in your favor in terms of mileage and savings.

Coffee Mugs

Giving away mugs may seem a little stereotyped, but your guests will certainly be thankful for these items when they find themselves fighting someone over the last mug in the office pantry.

Printing your company or organization’s logo on the mug is always a good choice, but you can also opt for slogans, remarkable quotes, or even pop culture references. There are also various styles that you can choose from to make your mug more unique, like heat-activated ones or those with built-in coasters. Niche-specific mugs—camera-lens-shaped ones for photography enthusiasts, for example— can make your company stand out even more.

Water Bottles

Water bottles are also a good practical gifts for conference attendees. You can immediately encourage the use of the water bottles during the event by situating several water fountains within the venue, instead of handing out bottled water to every guest. This also sends a simple, relevant message even as you also save on operational costs.


Umbrellas are both practical and stylish, and will most likely be used more than once after the conference. And if the event is held during a particularly rainy season, these umbrellas will be all the more useful.

Depending on your budget, you can choose from the traditional styles with wooden or plastic handles, or you can opt for automatic folding umbrellas, golf umbrellas, or even upside down umbrellas that are much more windproof and which prevent water from dripping on the user and unsuspecting strangers. Printing technology has also evolved to be able to accommodate both simple and complex designs, while canopy material choices range from plastic and polyester to pongee and nylon taffeta.

Personalized Pens

Pens are notorious for getting lost or stolen. They also seem to have the habit of disappearing from sight whenever you need one. During conferences and similar events, they are absolutely necessary, as they are used by attendees for everything from filling out forms and signing guest lists to taking down notes during talks and writing queries during Q&A portions

Apart from being practical, pens are also easy to personalize, making them an even more memorable event giveaway. If you want to avoid cheap-looking plastic pens, there are always metal ones or even recycled paper pens that send a positive message of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. You can also give more premium pens to VIP guests, speakers, and other notable attendees, engraved with their names.

In Conclusion

Conferences are made unforgettable by a host of many things, like a stellar set of speakers, a seamless on-site and digital experience, and even good food. But giveaways from participating companies and organizations make these events more memorable, even coveted, especially if these items are both useful and of high-quality.

What will your giveaway be on your next event? has a Shopper Approved rating of 4.6/5 based on 3762 ratings and reviews.