Stand-Out Swag at SXSW 2014

Having been on a SXSW street team and designed swag pieces for clients in the past, I’m interested and analytical in the swag companies hand out during conferences.

I didn’t pick up much this year but I’m enjoying two pieces I received: sunglasses and a car phone charger, both picked up at the Samsung House.


Branded sunglasses are a common swag piece but as someone who wears these freebies instead of designer sunglasses, it works for me. The ones from Samsung are unique, as you can see from the photo, which draws me to them for my collection, but I would probably wear these less often.

The other piece, the car phone charger is something I’ve been wanting and needing for months. I’ve already used it multiple times and it’s always with me. Branded and most importantly, useful.

Other pieces I saw:

  • T-shirts: I recently donated a huge bag of branded shirts I never wear to Goodwill, so I stayed away from collecting shirts. There are always takers for free shirts though.
  • Re-usable bags: These are great for Austinites because of the no plastic bag law. The re-usable bags are especially great giveaways when they have a bbq sandwich inside, as Lithium found out from giving them away from a roaming bus.

As I waited in line on a rainy Saturday, I wondered if any brands were handing out branded umbrellas or ponchos. It would have been a one-time use item unless it made it back home, but it would have helped many getting drenched.

What standout swag did you pick up at SXSW this year? What would you recommend to companies in the future?

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