Swag with a Purpose

The world is slowly starting to revive from COVID-19 restrictions and more in-person events are being planned.

As associations start planning their in-person events or hybrid events, event planners are looking to make their events memorable and send participants home with goodies to remember the occasion.

Events are really starting to ramp up, said Annie Ellefson, Promotion Select senior account executive.

This summer there have been a lot of organizations hosting golf events and booking September in-person trade shows, she said.

While Promotion Select is not seeing a lot of changes in what exhibitors are passing out to event participants, Ellefson said there is more call for eco-friendly items.

Even though eco-friendly products can be more expensive, “… we are hearing from a lot of clients that they want to do eco-friendly,” she said.

“It is nice to see the plastic being reused instead of trashing,” Ellefson said.
“It is also really cool the apparel and other things going in the direction of helping the earth and the animals.”

According to Ellefson, reusable tote bags, pens and note pads are always the most popular.
“Even with the growing computer and electronic tablet use, people still want to write things down on paper,” she said.

Event vendors and participants also becoming more conscious about the ecological impact of trade show swag.

As a response to the need, swag providers like Promotion Select are offering more items made from recycled materials, using less paper.

Eco-friendly items can be found at all price levels.

Low Cost

• Pens made of wheat and bamboo
• Lanyard from recycled plastic
• Plastic/wheat sunglasses

While the pens made of plant-based materials can be more expensive than plastic, it is still low cost at roughly $1 per pen, said Ellefson.

The producers of the lanyards made of recycled plastic do a good job. “You would never know it was made from plastic. It is nice way to reuse plastic water bottles.”

In addition to making sunglasses that are eco-friendly, the company also gives back 1 percent of its profits to planet-focused groups and another 1 percent of the profits to the non-profits, said Ellefson.

Midpoint Items

• Reusable Straws – three packs and single
• Journals

Higher End

• Bamboo Fast Wireless Charging Dock Stations
• Wheat Straw Quake Wireless Charging Phone Pads
• Mugs
• Sherpa Blankets
• Backpacks
• Umbrella
• Apparel

“The mugs feel like plastic, but use wheat and recycled plastic, as well as non-recycled plastic,” said Ellefson. “The CamelBak water bottles are 10 percent plant-based materials. People would never know.”

Promotion Select has received a lot of positive feedback on both drinkware items.

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