8 Swag Ideas for Virtual College Events

by Apr 6, 2021

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Over the last year, colleges and universities have had to change and adapt the way they function both inside and outside of the classroom. Classes have moved online, tours have become virtual, and orientations have no longer been a face to face affairs. Educators, students, and families alike will always look for different ways to overcome in the face of a challenge, and while businesses and brands have been able to overcome not having exhibitions and conferences in person, schools have been able to host their events online as well. The success of a virtual event heavily depends on transforming weaknesses into opportunities.

While moving both fun and informative events online can be a success, it’s important to keep connections with students, faculty, and families alive with tangible items to keep with them. Swag for virtual events is a must. Giveaways and swag boxes are a great way to connect and create strong bonds with people and should not be left behind when events move online. 

Virtual event swag is a perfect way to engage your audience no matter what event is being held. From orientation to a virtual club meeting or get-together, swag is a great way to bring people together and make them feel like they’re a part of something. 

Ready for some college-themed virtual swag ideas? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite, creative swag ideas for virtual college events.


Virtual college and university orientations can provide all the information and resources that students need to begin their college careers. Virtual orientations should be carefully planned, engaging, and open to making real connections with students and families. 

1. T-Shirts

One of the best swag items you can give is a t-shirt. They’re comfortable, fashionable, and can be used at home, around campus, or out with friends. T-shirts are one of the most common swag items and for good reason. They create a sense of belonging, especially when everyone at the event is wearing the same t-shirt. These unisex t-shirts come in a wide variety of colors and are made of a comfortable blend of polyester and cotton. They range in size from X-Small to 4XL and can feature any design, name, logo, etc. that you’d like on the front or the back. 

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2. Eco-friendly Drawstring Backpack

Another popular college swag item that students often receive during orientation is a drawstring backpack. Students often receive a wide variety of swag items that they carry around in bags like these during in-person orientations, so they’re not walking around with their hands full of gear. Send out these bags full of swag to students so they still get the experience of having a bag full of swag from their school. These drawstring bags are non-woven and made of eco-friendly polypropylene so students can feel good about carrying these around. They come with corded shoulder straps and a drawstring closure. They come in a variety of colors and can include your school or organization’s name, logo, or design right on the front of the bag. 

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3. Lanyard

A lanyard is a simple and easy swag item that can be used by anyone. They can hold your ID, dorm key, or car keys. They’re light and are a great last-minute addition to any swag bag. Add these lanyards to your list when picking out swag for your next virtual orientation. Choose between different attachments like a split ring, hook, lobster claw, alligator clip, or breakaway buckle clip. There are a variety of fun colors to choose from and each lanyard comes with the name and logo of your choosing repeated on each lanyard. 

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Virtual Events for College Organizations

In many places, social distance mandates are still in effect. Limited person gatherings, 6 feet apart, and even lockdowns can put a damper on collegiate organizations when they are trying to connect with new and old members. There are plenty of virtual events that can be had over Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and even FaceTime. Events may include a Netflix watch party, a live-streamed concert, a virtual museum tour, or game nights. While these interactive activities are fun and engaging, incorporating virtual event swag can help bring these connections even closer. 

4. Mug Gift Set

College event swag doesn’t have to be a t-shirt, water bottle, or other typical swag items. Swag items can be personalized for each event and these gift sets are no different. Perfect for a night in with your club, Greek life group, or even a virtual residence life event. These mug sets are great for a night in. Each ceramic mug comes with a cork bottom. Along with each mug a hot chocolate packet, two Starbucks instant coffee singles, one rock candy stick, and two Tazo tea bags are included and wrapped up in a gift bag and bow. Your organization information, name, and/or logo can be included in each mug. 

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5. Sweatshirt Blanket

One way to feel close to your university organization’s friends and members is by gifting swag items that provide your members a sense of comfort and belonging. Cozy up with your favorite college club or organization with these soft and comfortable sweatshirt blankets. Each blanket is large enough for a person with room to spare. They’re travel-friendly, soft, and durable. These blankets can be used inside the house, around the campfire, and even as a picnic blanket. Your organization’s logo or name design can be screen printed on the front and/or embroidered onto the back. 

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6. Buttons

A classic way to show off school spirit and pride is with a pin-on button. Show off your love for your club, sorority, fraternity, or other school organization with buttons that can be easily pinned onto any bag. These buttons can be designed specifically for your organization and can include up to four colors in the design. If the original pin backing isn’t for you, consider adding a clothing magnet, bulldog clip, or fridge magnet to the back of each button. Flaunt your organization and use these buttons to promote your next virtual event!

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7. Photo Booth Accessories

Ready to spice up your next zoom call group photos? Include some playfulness in your next zoom call by sending your attendees fun and quirky photo booth accessories such as a goofy pair of glasses or a curly mustache. These photo booth accessories are great for online parties and creating fun social media posts. Each set can be sent out to individual members and includes eight different kinds of accessories, such as masks, mustaches, bow ties, and glasses. They come in an assortment of colors and can feature your organization name or logo on the front or back. 

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8. Candle

With all the stress that comes with not being able to see people in person, it is important to ease those stress levels as much as possible. Some student health organizations have started to host wellness sessions to help students learn to cope with stress levels. These organizations usually provide a simple stress kit to students. Kits can include items like play-doh, coloring sheets, tea bags, and even candles. If you chose to include candles in your next event swag giveaway, give these tumbler candles to your guests. These candles come in an array of warm and clean scents to help your attendees relax and unwind. These candles can be customized from the scent to the packaging, and can feature your organization’s name and/or logo on the front. 

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After Gifts Have Been Given

Colleges and Universities are falling into a new sense of normalcy, which can be hard, but not impossible. New opportunities to make connections and strengthen bonds are becoming possible every day and thankfully technological solutions and advancements have led schools to be able to host virtual events to the masses. Providing quality swag to members of your organization and/or attendees of your virtual event helps bring people in and keep the show going. 

Bringing swag to virtual events boosts involvement with the people attending and your school or organization. Virtual event swag should correlate to your event such as a cozy blanket and a virtual movie night, or a school spirit shirt and freshman orientation. Hosting college virtual events with virtual event swag is an awesome way to bring in more people to your future events. Engaging swag keeps people engaged in what you’re doing. It works very well for businesses and very well for schools. 

Ready to Get Started?

Once you have figured out what kind of event you will be having and who will be hosting it, its time to pick out what kind of swag you will be giving out. Not sure where to look? YouInkIt has you covered with thousands of swag items to choose from and an easy swag management platform to help you through designing, shipping and delivering your swag items. All you need to do is choose your products, receive a quote from one of our swag experts, upload your logo or design for our graphics team, and approve your finished product! Our swag experts handle the ins and outs of storing and shipping your products to you, giving you one less thing to worry about!

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