This year we sent our first ever “swag corespondent” (a.k.a Alexis Scott, Founder of The Fairy Job Mom) to SaaStr to report on all things swag! Keep reading to see what Alexis discovered at SaaStr.
SaaStr 2023 was one for the record books! For reference, SaaStr is the annual conference for Software as a Service sales professionals. It’s sales and marketing teams selling to sales and marketing teams which you know means the bar is high when it comes to what swag is at the booths!
The event this year was smaller than 2022. Potentially due to 2023 economics, but also because the conference coincidentally fell over the same dates as Inbound – a large technology marketing conference targeted at many of the same industry professionals.
With that said, SaaStr 2023 swag did not disappoint! From practical items to socks to game winnings to big ticket items – attendees did not walk away empty handed! Keep reading to see the goods and what items stood out at this year’s conference!
We all love a good item that you will ACTUALLY use day to day. At least I sure do! This year companies were giving away REALLY practical items like Advil, bandaids, Tide stain sticks, mints/gum, Tums… and other useful items like branded doggy poop bag holders. Not gonna lie, I was super excited about all of these and snagged them to bring home!
Water bottles I would also consider practical – and interestingly there were not as many of these as in previous years. I did pick up a few, however when considering gifting water bottles as a swag item, I’d say to consider the quality of the bottle itself being associated with your brand. If a bottle was a high quality brand like Nalgene, Hydroflask, or Yeti – that was an immediate yes from me. If it was undetermined – I passed.
So food for thought: perhaps spend a little bit more per item to make it something someone uses every single day! That logo on it can always spark a convo!
In 2022, branded socks were THE item to hand out as swag. SaaStr 2022 probably had 25 booths giving them out and I had made a game of collecting them.
Fast forward to 2023: not many socks this year!
Salesforce was the main sock provider – they had 3 different styles to choose from. All of which were well designed in my humble opinion. I did snag a couple other company socks based on design, but also based on fabric content. The better the socks, the higher the cotton % in the fabric so that did play a part in which pairs I decided to take home with me.
Some companies decided to forego large amounts of swag and instead had interactive games to engage their prospective buyers. If you won, you received a high ticket item. Some branded, some not branded.
A basketball game led to a Hydroflask cooler for TD SYNNEX.
SaaS trading cards for Captivate Talent led to prizes like AirBnB gift cards, a Nintendo Switch, or Oculus headset to name a few.
SaaStr itself had casino games to win “Swag Bucks” that you could cash in at their store and “buy” swag with your winnings. This was a lot of fun for me, and I ended up with a really nice water bottle, bum-bag, and socks!
Many attendees are looking for a fun experience so a game leading to swag just might be a good option!
Some of my favorite swag is swag that I can personalize!
This year Google for Startups had a cookie station where they took a selfie and printed it on a cookie. And yes, while this is cool – it is a play from Outreach in 2022.
Twilio was embroidering hats on the spot. Prescient Security was laser engraving metal cups, notebooks, and water bottles to whatever design your heart desired – Shout out to their team for allowing me to email my logo and then engraving it for me!!! And Fidelity had caricature artists drawing digital caricatures on the spot which was SO fun!
Incorporating personalization for attendees is definitely a way to make your brand and swag memorable.
Last but not least was the edible swag. Some of it was branded like cookies and cupcakes frosted with logos. Others were simply treats in branded containers. Either way, the way to people’s hearts is through their stomachs… it was hard for me to say no to any of the delicious treats!!
My favorite treats however were specialty vendors that companies hired to hand out fresh snacks and treats on behalf of the company. Fresh waffles with nutella for breakfast? Vietnamese coffee for a pick me up in the afternoon? A choco taco or cake pop? Yes please!
Creativity at its finest:
One item I want to mention that is in a category of its own as the most creative item that I saw at the show was for a company that touts the ability to help companies grow. They were handing out what looked to be a pencil… but upon further investigation was something you planted to GROW into a living basil plant. Now THAT is unforgettable for me!
That’s a wrap!
Overall, SaaStr swag did not disappoint. I have so many goodies to remind me of the incredible individuals that I got to meet at the show. And that’s the point of swag – to keep your brand top of mind so that when and if someone decides to become a buyer – they become YOUR buyer. Swag wisely!
Shout out to all of the companies that went above and beyond with their swag at SaaStr this year! If you have a passion for swag and want to be a correspondent at the next event you’re going to, reach out and let’s chat!