Updated: July 21, 2022

23 Best Swag Bag Ideas For Events & Employees In 2023

You found our list of fun swag bag ideas for events.

Swag bags are gift sets made up of promotional items, and are often given out at company events or holidays. For example, work from home survival kits or new employee onboarding kits. The purpose of these presents is to promote company pride and show appreciation for attendees, employees, or clients. These bags are also known as a “swag box.”

These packages are made up of branded gifts for employees bought from swag companies. These ideas are types of staff presents and employee appreciation gifts, and are often given out at events like corporate retreats.

This article includes:

  • swag bag ideas for events
  • annual swag bag ideas for employees
  • swag bag items for business
  • swag bag gift ideas
  • corporate swag bag ideas
  • swag bag ideas for adults
  • corporate gift bag ideas
  • virtual swag bag ideas

Here we go!

List of swag bag ideas

Here is swag bag inspiration to help you assemble awesome swag packs that employees will be excited to receive.

1. The Pet Parent

Items to include: Bandanas, collapsible pet bowls, treats, toys

People often spoil their pets more than themselves. Showing love to beloved furry friends can earn employers major goodwill from employees, not to mention many cute pictures to boot. First, find out which employees have pets and what kinds of pets they have. Then, send swag packages with items like collars, leashes, toys, water bowls, and animal-themed frames. You can send these swag packages when employees adopt a new pet, or for occasions like National Dog Day.

For more work fun with four-legged friends, check out this post on office pets and this list of virtual take your dog to work day ideas.

2. Work Traveler Starter Kit

Items to include: Power bank, travel mug, backpack or messenger bad, Tile, earplugs, eye mask, passport cover, luggage tags, business card holder, phone charger cases

This loot package is highly practical for employees who travel for work, or just for folks who are often on the move. This kit includes the essentials for moving from place to place, such as a sturdy bag, to-go cups, and chargers. You can include items to help in a pinch, such as sewing kits, as well as accessories to make travel more comfortable, like neck pillows and earplugs. Tracking devices are a nice touch, as these tools might prevent post-work-trip, “I think I might have left my office keys in my hotel room” calls.

This concept is also one of the best luxury swag bag ideas. Upscale versions of these products make good gifts for busy executives.

For more ideas, check out this list of luxury corporate gift options.

3. The Coffee Fiend

Items to include: Mug, mug warmer, thermal mug, French press/chemex/pour over equipment, bag of beans

Coffee gift sets are one of the best swag bag ideas for employees. These gifts are equal parts practical and enjoyable, and these presents offer the promise of a pick-me-up when teammates need to power through the work day. It is a must to include a company mug to enjoy the coffee in, as well as a special blend to brew during those coffee dates with coworkers. You can also include items to elevate the coffee-drinking experience such as mug warmers, milk frothers, or a stencil with the company logo to make coffee art.

4. The Party Animal

Items to include: Portable speakers, shot glasses, sunglasses, glow in the dark or light up jewelry, drink koozies, bottle openers, temporary tattoos

This party pack can be a compliment to a company celebration such as annual parties, retreats, or product launches. This concept is an adult version of the goodie bags handed out to kids at birthday parties. The treats in this bag help employees let loose and have fun and can make good times even better.

5. Fitspiration

Items to include: Water bottle or blender bottle, athletic socks, towel, travel mat, T-shirts, sweatshirt or windbreaker, drawstring bag, resistance bands

This gift bag might give staff the push needed to hit the gym. Exercise can help offset sedentary office hours and improve mood, plus, it can be a group activity and a way to socialize. A fitspiration swag bag includes accessories like water bottles, workout apparel, and mats. This goodie bag does not tell employees how to work out, but does encourage staff to get moving in some way.

Bonus: Include offers for trial virtual fitness classes, or a QR code for a company fitness challenge

6. The Gourmet

Items to include: cheese boards, spice jars, sauce sets, pizza cutters, kitchen timers, wooden spoons, pot holders, whisks, snacks

The venn diagram between employees and folks who love food is often a circle. Gourmet goodies tend to be a good gift option because everybody eats and most folks enjoy indulging in a treat on special occasions. Many companies offer food baskets you can add a company logo sticker to, however you can also hand pick your assortments and get the company name printed directly on the packaging of each edible item.

Beyond the standard snack pack, you can also include accessories that help recipients prepare, serve, and eat the food, like dip bowls or measuring spoons. This gift is ideal for foodies, adventurous eaters, and employees who are down to try new recipes.

7. “It’s Five o’clock Somewhere”

Items to include: Glassware, coasters, drink mixes, cocktail napkins, stirrers, bottle openers

This swag bag provides incentive for teammates to show up to virtual happy hours. “It’s Five o’clock Somewhere” is one of the best swag bag ideas for adults. These kits contain all the mixings to mix up a cocktail or two, like napkins, glasses, drinks, and garnishes. You can also include bar snacks like popcorn, pretzels, or nuts, and games like cards or mini board games, Bingo, and conversation starter cards.

Pro tip: Give recipients a choice between cocktails, wine, or beer kits so that teammates can toast each other with the preferred drink.

8. The Kid at Heart

Items to include: Bubbles, yo-yos, frisbees, slime, water guns, bouncy balls

All work and no play makes for a dull workday. While toys may seem like a silly swag choice, employees often embrace playtime and get excited to unleash their inner child. These novelties can help staff let down their guards, unwind, and have fun together, which can improve relationships and make it easier to work together. If nothing else, then then your staff can pass along the trinkets to the kiddos in their lives and instantly earn cool parent/aunt/uncle/babysitter status.

9. Fun in the Sun

Items to include: Sunglasses, sunscreen, beach ball, towel, portable speakers, flip flops, beach bag

This swag pack celebrates the arrival of summer. This kit is ideal for upcoming company outings like beach days, cruises, or block parties. Otherwise, the gifts are a good way to welcome the warm weather, get ready for vacations, and encourage employees to get some sun.

10. New Employee Onboarding Kit

Items to include: Journal or notebook, mug or water bottle, pens, badge holders, lanyards, USB, Tshirt, hat, keychain

New employee onboarding kits are one of the most popular work gift bag ideas. These gift sets give new hires a warm welcome to the organization and provide plenty of ways to show off company pride. The kits include items to help the hire get settled into the new job. Meanwhile, rocking the company logo helps new team members feel like part of the team already.

Check out this list of ideas for remote employee onboarding.

11. Planners for Planners

Items to include: Planners, calendars, stickers, markers

This swag bag functions both as a gift and a professional development tool. Beloved by type A employees, these gifts are also a way for less organized employees to get their acts together. Despite the rise of digital tools, planners remain popular, perhaps because the permanence of writing tasks down inspires action and accountability. Paper planners also offer a space for folks to doodle, jot down ideas, and express themselves, and can boost creativity.

We recommend building this swag box around a good quality notebook, such as a passion planner or bullet journal. Be sure to include plenty of writing instruments, and feel free to add accessories like mini desk calendars or sticky note tabs.

12. Clean Machine

Items to include: Hand sanitizer, germ keys, masks and mask holders, mobile device screen cleaner, travel wipes

While cleaning products may not be the most exciting swag bag gift ideas, they can be the most useful, especially come flu season. These packs are especially helpful for big events with lots of attendees where germs can spread quickly. The kits are easy to throw into a desk, work bag, purse, or car, and are useful to have on hand. These swag items encourage employees to practice hygienic and healthy habits and are sure to come in handy sooner or later.

13. Ready for Anything

Items to include: Band-aids/first aid kits, sewing kits, mini tool kit, flashlight, Swiss army knives and multi-tools, USB, flashlights, keychains and carabiners, mini toolkit

While this swag bag might not seem like the most exciting prize, this kit can be a lifesaver when crises come up. These supplies ensure that your employees are ready for any challenge. When things go awry, your staff can fix the issues in a minute, and will be thinking of you and thanking you when they do. We like to call this swag bag the “headache prevention kit” or “the anti-uh-oh kit.”

14. New Parent

Items to include: Onesie, bib, blanket, bottle, stuffed animal (for display only, or baby-safe!)

When the stork drops off the new addition to the family, the postman can drop off another special package– branded baby goodies. New parent packs are one of the best swag bag ideas for adults. This gift box is a way to celebrate the major milestone with employees and a signal that you care about your employees’ non-work lives. While the parents are sure to have some of these supplies already, one can never have too many baby clothes or bottles on hand. Plus, that logo may remind the employee of friends at the office while they are away on parental leave.

Bonus: Include info about a parent employee resource group, if you have one.

15. Newlywed

Items to include: Photo frame, housewares, blanket, thank you cards, jewelry dish/polishing cloth, date night kits

Newlywed swag boxes congratulate employees around wedding time and are a way to celebrate the milestone together. Some cute ideas include a fake company ID tag with the title “Mr & Mrs/Mr & Mr/ Mrs & Mrs EMPLOYEE’S NAME,” as well as housewares, photo frames, and champagne flutes.

Pro tip: Avoid outdated gender norms and stereotypes like “his and hers.”

16. Welcome Home

Items to include: Keychain, key holders, blanket, candle, plant, snacks, coasters, glasses or mugs, wireless speakers,

Buying a house is a major life event. You can celebrate this achievement with employees by sending staff a housewarming present. You can include promotional versions of basic home items such as kitchen accessories, candles, and blankets. If feeling generous, then you could even include a gift card or coupons to a home goods store.

17. Brain Benders

Items to include: Rubix cubes, wooden puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, cube mazes, 3D puzzle, Sudoku or crossword books

This swag bag kit is ideal for folks who love a challenge. The items included consist of puzzles and brainteasers to pass the time and boost problem solving skills. If your team consists of super smarties, then choose a more unusual and harder-to-solve puzzle to give employees’ brains a real workout. You could also use a photo printing service to create a custom jigsaw puzzle with a company picture.

Check out more problem solving game ideas.

18. Snack Packs

Items to include: Snacks! mug or cup, picnic blanket, utensil sets, lunch bags, storage containers, chip clips

Snack packs are one of the most popular swag bag ideas for employees. These boxes can consist solely of single-serving foods, or can also include accessories such as picnic blankets or reusable utensils. The snacks can have themes such as healthy bites, international eats, chocolate, holidays, or Black-owned businesses for Black History Month. The best part about this swag idea is that it is repeatable, and employees will likely be hungry for more!

18. Eco Friendly

Items to include: reusable straws, fabric grocery bags, bamboo/wooden utensils, metal cup or water bottle, recycled paper journals, wood bento boxes, seed paper

Sustainability is one of the biggest trends in branded items. Many folks have become more environmentally conscious and worry about swag’s impact on the environment. By choosing eco-friendly swag items, you can reduce the use of disposable products and help employees feel better about their carbon footprint. The most popular objects in this category include metal straws, reusable grocery bags, and high quality water bottles.

For similar ideas, check out this list of virtual Earth Day activities.

19. Green Thumb

Items to include: Plant, plant pot, spray bottle, stakes, seeds, lights

Plants are welcome additions to any workspace, whether folks have a desk in an office or work from home. Low-maintenance plants such as succulents tend to be the most popular option, however you could also give employees herbs, vegetables, or flower seedlings. A fun plant pot adds a splash of personality to the package, and you can also include accessories like water bottles or droppers or lamps to make caring for the new green friend a little easier.

20. Rest and Revive

Items to include: Candles, tea, chapstick, lotion, journals, soap

Self-care items remind team members to take a break and take care of themselves. These swag bags include pampering items like scented candles, journals, bath salts, and headphones to listen to calming music. This goodie bag sends the signal that you care about your staff’s state of mind and want your team to feel good as well as work hard.

Check out this list of employee wellness ideas for more inspiration.

21. Santa’s Little Swag Bag

Items to include: Ornaments, cookies, stockings, hand warmers, cocoa, cozy socks, blanket

You can hand out holiday swag bags as holiday gifts or as favors at corporate Christmas parties. These swag sets can be a mid winter mood boost and let employees know that you are thinking of them around the holidays. Be sure to include comfy treats like fuzzy socks, hot chocolate mixes, and fleece throws. You can also include decorations like ornaments with the company logo.

Pro tip: Good to go for generic winter holidays rather than exclusively Christmas to be more inclusive.

Check out more holiday team building ideas and end of year budget spending ideas.

22. Work from Home

Items to include: Airpod case, wifi extender, laptop case, succulent, USB/other tech stuff, T-shirt, webcam cover, clip on selfie ring light

Swag bag items can help work team members feel more like employees rather than folks randomly typing on a laptop in a living room. You can send your telecommuters accessories and essentials for living the WFH or digital nomad life, such as a ring light for better Zoom meetings, a laptop case, desk organizers, and noise-blocking headphones. You can also include comfy company apparel like tees and pajama pants. Rounding out the pack with snacks is a nice touch, too.

Check out more gifts for remote employees.

Final Thoughts

Swag bag gifts are a way to say thank you to attendees of events or to employees. These items boost company pride and raise brand awareness in the wider world. These kits are also a way to engage with employees and celebrate important milestones in your teams’ personal or professional lives.

There is an art to making the perfect swag bag. The best swag bags items are both practical and fun. To ensure these gifts make the best impression, think about recipients’ needs and interests, and select items that are ever-helpful or that are unique and unlikely to be in the standard swag bag. One good tip for creating goodie bags is to offer multiple options so that employees, guests, or clients can pick the most appealing and appropriate presents.

Next, check out this list of virtual Administrative Professionals Day ideas, this list of remote conference ideas and the best ideas for remote employee appreciation.

We also have a list of tips for team building attire, a list of conference swag ideas and a list of conference giveaway ideas.

FAQ: Swag bags

Here are answers to common questions about swag bag items and gifts.

What are swag bags?

Swag bags are collections of complimentary promotional gifts often given out at professional events. Examples of events that might involve swag bags include company retreats, recruiting fairs, holiday parties, and product launches. Common contents include T-shirts, key-chains, water bottles, and pens. The bags often have themes, and sometimes include out-of-the-ordinary items meant to leave an impression.

What are some good swag bag ideas for work?

Some good swag bag ideas for work include new parent packs, new employee onboarding kits, work from home survival kits, pet parent kits, and happy hour kits.

How do you make a swag bag?

To make a swag bag, the first step is to set a budget. Then, pick a theme, preferably one that relates to employees or theme of event. Next, select items to put in the bag and place bulk orders. Be sure to note processing times and leave plenty of time for items to arrive before the event! When the items arrive, assemble boxes or bags. Make the packages look nice, and include a personal note.

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Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com.
Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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