This year over $17 billion will be spent on branded promotional gifts. Since coming across this statistic a few months ago, we still haven’t gotten over just how much stuff that is! To add to that, we also discovered that the event industry is one of the most unsustainable in terms of waste generation – second only to construction!
With so much stuff floating around at events and conferences, how can you ensure your conference giveaways and event gifts stand out instead of being thrown out?
The most effective event gifts and giveaways are functional, memorable and impactful. These “triple value” gifts not only get your message across, but also bring joy to your audience and support the community at the same time.
So instead of defaulting to mass-produced tote bags, mugs and pens, this year we encourage you to Shift the Gift to build a meaningful and authentic connection with your audience. Be creative in choosing gifts that align with your mission and values. A thoughtful and clever conference gift packed with social and environmental impact will be remembered and valued by your recipient, rather than carelessly left behind.
Here, we share 8 of the best event gifts and conference giveaways that give back to the world AND strengthen your brand.
These beautiful candles empower women entrepreneurs locally and globally through sustainable candle-making businesses. Prosperity Candle offers a special product line perfect for brand customizations. As a universal symbol of peace, reflection and hope, candles can help your audience center their chi, spark their creativity, ignite their passions and burn the midnight oil.
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: health & wellness, social entrepreneurship, social innovation, international development, women’s empowerment, economic opportunity, education and technology
Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit that sells handmade, fair trade products that improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world. These journals, covered in hand-loomed silk, can be branded with your logo and messaging. Purchasing these journals provides jobs and income for Cambodians, empowering them to feed and educate their children.
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: social innovation, arts and creativity, economic opportunity
Botanical Paperworks boasts an huge assortment of colorful and fun paper products, all handmade from post-consumer materials. As the ultimate eco-kicker, these seed papers grow into a delightful bouquet of flowers when planted! A section of Botanical Paperworks’ website is devoted to promotional products, offering 100% customization of your conference gift. Product selections include calendars, business cards, bookmarks, stationery and more.
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: environment, sustainability, social impact, gardening
Essence One's range of all-natural aromatherapy products is a thoughtful twist on event swag. Inspire wellness and relaxation in your busy event attendees - we especially love the essential oil rollerballs, so much so that we put it in our Daily Balance gift set to get you through your day. Essence One partners with Bring Change to Mind, a national organization working to end the stigma around mental illness by helping students start mental health clubs. Promote relaxation while getting your brand name out there with this conference giveaway idea.
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: mental health & wellness, relaxation, social entrepreneurship
Since 1986, Equal Exchange has been promoting fair trade food products that support small farmers and sustainable farming methods. Delicious options include high-quality organic coffees, teas, chocolate and more. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t like a little pick me up in their gift bag?
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: food, farming, sustainability, social impact, international development, any conference where a mid-afternoon chocolate snack could go a long way!
These certified organic, eco-friendly truffles by Alter Eco are not only delicious, but also support small-scale, fair trade farmers. Show off your brand values by promoting all of the good things associated with Alter Eco: fair working standards, climate consciousness, and high-quality ingredients. We sure did by including them in our Birthday Treat gift set.
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: food, farming & sustainable agriculture, environment & sustainability, social impact
Big Heart Tea Co. features certified organic, high quality tea - and it's delicious! This women-owned tea company partners directly with farmers to ensure that their tea is free from pesticides and helps to support small-scale family run farms. We loved this idea so much that we created the Harmony Gift Set, featuring their wonderful Edith Grey black tea. They also keep sustainability a priority with biodegradable tea bags. Showcase your support for sustainable business practices and women’s entrepreneurship by purchasing from Big Heart Tea Co!
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: food & beverage, women’s empowerment, economic opportunity, environment & sustainability, wellness & relaxation
These eco-friendly food wraps by Z Wraps are "where pretty meets practical." Inspire a sustainability mindset in your corporate giveaway recipients with the eye-catching designs of the reusable food storage wraps. We wanted to feature this women-owned business in our Sustainable Home gift set to make sustainability a home staple. This may not fit in the traditional event gift category, but it sure will give your messaging a boost of uniqueness.
Conference & Event Theme Ideas: women’s empowerment, food and beverage, environment & sustainability
Have other meaningful conference gift ideas? Tell us about them in the comments below. Do you like any of the items above and want to combine it with one of our products? Let us know, and we can work together to create a custom gift set.
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