8 Unique Branded Merchandise Ideas for Your Next Event

Creating unique event merchandise ideas is an essential item on many event planners’ to-do lists. Attendees love to buy stylish and thoughtful swag they can use long after your event. Branded merchandise is also a great source of free advertising for your company. Thousands of people may see your event logo on a single T-shirt or tote bag. 

There are hundreds of options for brand merchandise, so choosing the best products can be challenging. We’ve done the research to find the eight best-branded merchandise ideas for your next event.

Why Sell Branded Merch?

If you’re new to selling brand merchandise, you may wonder if these products are worth the effort. Branded merchandise requires you to invest time and money. You’ll need to design your merchandise, spend money to produce the items, and set up a system to sell them. 

Luckily, branded merchandise has many benefits that make these products worth the investment. Here are the top five reasons to sell branded merchandise.  

1. Advertise Your Brand

Branded merchandise is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness of your company and events. According to the American Marketing Association, the average person keeps promotional products like coffee mugs and tote bags for five months. These items get around 1,000 impressions monthly as their owners wear or use them publicly. Branded merchandise is the simplest method to increase your exposure if you want to advertise your company to a broad audience. 

2. Generate Revenue for Your Event

Most event planners want their functions to earn the highest possible return on investment (ROI). You can increase your event earnings and diversify your revenue streams by selling branded merchandise. These items often have a high profit margin. For example, you can purchase branded coffee mugs in bulk for as little as $2.00 to $5.00 each. You can triple or quadruple your investment if you sell each mug for $15 to $20 at your event. 

3. Create Excitement

Strategic releases of branded merchandise can build hype for an upcoming event. Consider hosting event giveaways on social media. For example, you could invite people to share posts about your event and enter participants into a drawing for a free swag bag filled with branded goodies. You could also encourage event participants to buy branded apparel ahead of time and wear it to your event. These strategies can increase anticipation and enthusiasm for your exciting event. 

4. Boost Your Brand’s Reputation

The right merchandise can create a lasting impression on event attendees. A 2019 Promotional Products Association International study found that 72% of people associate the quality of branded merchandise with the company’s reputation. Selling durable, high–quality products is a great way to enhance your event brand and keep participants coming back for more. 

5. Connect With Your Target Audience

Branded merchandise can help you connect with your target audience. Conduct market research to see which items resonate the most with your primary demographics. For instance, GreenPrint’s Business of Sustainability Index reports that 75% of millennials would willingly pay more for environmentally-friendly products. You could appeal to this age group by selling reusable water bottles and other sustainable products with your event logo. 

8 Event Merchandise Ideas Your Attendees Will Cherish

Even the most creative and experienced event planners can find it challenging to think of distinct ideas for branded merchandise. You want to invest in products that event participants will eagerly purchase, love, and use for a long time. Here are eight branded merch ideas you can use for any event, from comedy shows to endurance races. 

1. Fashionable T-Shirts

T-shirts are a classic piece of event merchandise for several reasons. Many participants enjoy collecting stylish event shirts as fun souvenirs. Well-made T-shirts can last years, and attendees will think of your event brand every time they wear them. And T-shirts are one of the most versatile clothing items, so you can buy a few sizes that will fit most of your participants. 

A trendy T-shirt is also a great way to market your event brand. 80% of U.S. households own promotional T-shirts, and these items get an average of 3,400 impressions over their lifetime. People who spot your T-shirts in public may feel inspired to research your brand. 

2. Reusable Water Bottles

The popularity of reusable water bottles has grown rapidly in the past few years as awareness of plastic pollution increases. In 2021, sales of reusable water bottles reached an estimated $8.64 billion. Between now and 2030, sales of these products will grow at an estimated 4.3% yearly. That’s excellent news for the environment — and your event.

Selling branded reusable water bottles appeals to environmentally-conscious attendees. During your event, you can encourage people to buy these products instead of drinking from disposable cups, saving you money. Plus, many people carry reusable water bottles daily to the gym, office, school, and other locations. These bottles are one of the best and most sustainable ways to promote brand awareness. 

3. Gift Cards

Gift cards let attendees share their favorite events and brands with their loved ones. You can sell gift cards for branded merchandise, event tickets, food, and other products. For example, people could give their family members gift cards for virtual events like cooking classes or online fitness events. 

Attendees could also use gift cards to buy merchandise after your event. If you sell out of popular items like bandanas and T-shirts during your function, gift cards make it easy for people to buy these products online after you restock them. 

4. Stain Remover Pens

No one wants to walk around a festival or run a race with a coffee stain on their shirt. You can save the day by selling branded stain remover pens. These products easily erase stubborn stains, so your participants can get back to enjoying your event quickly. 

Stain remover pens are highly portable and often last for a long time. Your attendees will remember your brand positively every time they use this product to fix their clothing. 

5. Free Trials for Software Products

Some of the best branded merchandise ideas allow event planners to collaborate with sponsors. Consider partnering with a technology company to offer free trials for relevant software products. For instance, attendees at a fundraising event for an art museum could receive a free trial for photo editing software. 

Teaming up with software firms and other companies to create branded merchandise has many benefits. These partnerships can help you reach new audiences and increase your event’s credibility. Sponsorships can also be a great source of additional income. 

6. Eco-Friendly Bags and Backpacks

Eco-friendly bags and backpacks printed with your event logo can reduce plastic waste and increase brand visibility. Tote bags and duffle bags receive approximately 3,300 impressions over their lifetime. 

Event attendees can use these versatile bags at grocery stores, libraries, schools, and other places. And unlike T-shirts, you can bulk order eco-friendly bags in one size. This feature decreases the risk of getting stuck with leftover merchandise after your event. 

7. Drinking Glasses

Are you looking for more unique branded merchandise ideas than a coffee mug or water bottle? Consider selling classy drinking tumblers and pint glasses engraved or printed with your brand logo. These items get used frequently, making them excellent reminders of your event. 

You can sell high-quality glassware for a higher price than smaller products like stain remover pens. While you may sell fewer expensive items, they can have a better ROI. Choose dishwasher-safe glasses for maximum convenience. 

8. Branded Portable Chargers

Event attendees use their smartphones to find parking, post pictures on social media, display their tickets, and much more. By selling branded portable chargers, you can make it easy for participants to stay connected. People can plug their smartphones into these handy devices to recharge on the go without interrupting their event experience. 

Experts estimate that global sales of portable chargers will increase from $6.8 billion in 2021 to $17.3 billion in 2031. Adding these items to your merchandise store can generate significant sales. These chargers are especially beneficial for all-day or outdoor events with limited access to electrical outlets. 

A Software Solution That Helps With Brand Recognition and More

Unique merchandise ideas can help you boost brand recognition and excite your audience. These products can also increase your event’s ROI by helping you earn more income.  

Many attendees are eager to buy quality merchandise that will remind them of their experience. You can satisfy this demand by offering fun products that appeal to your target audience. 

Remember to utilize these simple strategies to maximize your event merchandise sales

  • Use a consistent theme for all branded merchandise. The same colors, fonts, and logos should appear on every item to make your brand instantly recognizable. 
  • Release merchandise before the event to create hype. 
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest merchandise trends. 

You can also increase merchandise sales by using Events.com’s innovative event management software. This convenient platform lets you sell merchandise and tickets, manage inventory, and market your event. Make all of your event ideas a reality today with Events.com.