Promotional / Promo Bags Pros & Cons

What type of promo bags is right for your event?

Traveler Reusable Tote Bag The majority of us carry way more junk than we really need in promo bags. Seriously, do you really need to carry around the entire pen selection of Staples, the makeup counter of Macys, and loafers? Men... keeping a years supply of receipts lining the bottom of your messenger bag is a bit of an overkill... Are you planning on returning that empty Starbucks spiced latte you drank last week? No matter what crazy things you carry around every day, we all have one thing in common. We just can’t live without our trusty bag!Buyers have a love of bags that is so evident that it extends from designer styles to promotional SWAG. Investigative studies show that 31% of US consumers have at least one promotional bag at home. Considering all the different styles and features to choose from, how do you know which bag is right for your target audience?Starting with a brief history lesson...

Did you know?

In 2012 archaeologists unearthed a Stone Age burial site near Leipzig, Germany, and found the world’s oldest purse.  The rare find is regarded to be up to 4,500 years old and is decorated with over 100 closely packed canine teeth.It is believed the "choppers" formed the decorative outer flap of the handbag.Throughout the millennia the animal hide or fiber broke down, leaving just the teeth. The teeth are positioned in the same direction, so it looks a more like a trendy handbag flap than a stone age purse.  It’s the first time that concrete evidence of a bag like this exists.Leipzig Germany, fashion capital of ancient Germania. Canine teeth are commonly found in Stone Age burial sites in northern and central Europe, which suggests that dogs were considered more like a farm animal than as the pets that we think of them as – the purse’s decoration alone required the teeth of dozens of different canines.  Dog and wolf teeth were commonly used in hair ornaments and necklaces, as well as in studded blanket burial shrouds. Whoever sported this around the village was most certainly gracing the cover of Hunter Gatherer Vogue. Nowadays, there are numerous bag designs for almost every person or purpose. You can find anything ranging from travel luggage to evening bags. Briefcases, bags, purses, swag bags, backpacks or messenger bags play a part of our everyday lives. The average person rarely leaves home without one in some fashion.

Now on to business.

What type of promo bag supports your campaign efforts?How to decide on spending more money on a premium trade show bag or to use a lower end simple promo bag that still has a high ROI from the customer.Here are the pros and cons of promo bags

Back Packs (Premium $$$$)

Promotional Backpack Backpack Pros:Excellent for incentive programs, orientations, executive gifting, small to medium size sporting teams, special events and educational clubs.When durability is essential, they are an excellent giveaway for people in construction, education, sports and for individuals with a heavy travel schedule the technology sector.Users tend to hold onto them longer than any other bag style. Backpacks have a perception as being a higher value in the eyes of the public.Backpack Cons:Contrasting them to other bag styles, backpacks are much more expensive.  Due to the cost, backpacks are best for smaller scale targeting involving a smaller scale of individuals.Backpack recipients have a weak outlook on the value of items given away at large events, it's best to go for a lower cost solution like a custom printed cotton drawstring trade show bag.Drawstring Backpacks  

Messenger Bags (Premium $$$$)


 Messenger Bag Pros: Messenger bags rock for employee rewards programs, mid-level executive gifting, customer acquisition and retention programs, small to mid-sized conferences, dealer, and distributor programs are just a few of the great ways to use branded messenger bags. Higher end models with technology safety features are ideal for employees who commute with laptops. Messenger bags are especially perfect for guerrilla marketing street team staff, which allow for easy access to inside contents for quick sample distribution. This is perfect if you are targeting high traffic areas and want your team to be as efficient as possible when promoting your product. This style of bag is ideal for mid-sized events and campaigns. Messenger Bag Cons: If you are looking for a special event gift bag to hold all of your giveaway goodies, messenger bags are not the way to go. Messenger bags can be difficult to stuff because of the top folding flap and don’t merchandise very well. The long cross body straps can get easily tangled, making it difficult for your staff to efficiently distribute the bags to your guests. 

Tote Bags (Mid-Range $$$$ to low Premium $$$$)

Comic Con is always a testing ground for some amazing Trade Show SWAG bags. Tote Bag Pros: Trade shows, street teams, grand openings, sporting events and political campaigns are perfect for branded tote bags large scale giveaways. They are perfect as gift bags to hold stuffers for charity, fundraising, and other special events. Tote bags is especially popular among medical professionals and teachers, due to its spacious “carry all” nature.  It’s also a favorite style for the ladies! If you are targeting the education or medical industry, make sure to choose a higher end model tote. Consider some utilitarian, organization or fashion features that your target might appreciate. Tote bags are generally perfect for large scale events and help to keep costs down. Tote Bag Cons:   Events which require you to make an impression such as corporate gifting, orientations or conferences. The reusable tote bag is very easy to come by, and this item doesn’t hold a very high value in the eyes of the consumer. If you do opt for this style, make sure you choose something that is created to last, has unique performance features or is a fashion item, to increase perceived value of your tote.


Plastic Promotional Bags (Cheap $$$$ to Low Mid Range $$$$)

Plastic promotional bags are like a walking billboard due to the printing area they provide. Are they a long term marketing piece that people will hang onto? No. They are a short term solution at a cheap price point to attract as much attention as possible and bring awareness to whatever message it is that you want to communicate. Most of the time they are kept well beyond their intended single trade show use, and you'll see them at the beach or maybe even helping to carry that scarf that is in progress of being knitted.The economical choice for promo bags are very often the plastic ones.Plastic Promo Bag Pros: Trade shows, political campaigns, and big giveaway campaigns find it very advantageous both financially and logistically to use a lightweight plastic bag. The bags have a little bit of stretch factor to allow over-sized items to fit if needed. One really nice factor that gets overlooked is that trade show plastic promo bags that have rigid snap handles or soft loop handles are seen countless times around the show because of people choosing to carry their SWAG around in them than the cheaper die cut handle bags.Plastic Promo Bag Cons: The obvious point here is that they are perceived as "cheap" compared to a backpack or messenger bag, but promo bags are somewhat in a different category than they are. Plastic promo bags are meant for huge events where anywhere from a few hundred to many thousand of bags are handed out and they are not intended for a "Keep Sake" type bag. Backpacks and messenger bags are rarely used for such a promotion. With promo bags being made out of plastic and not rip stop nylon or leather they will have more of a tendency to tear, but for what they are it is tough to find fault in that fact.