The Best Free Swag To Give Out At Career Fairs

By Gretchen Kernbach on July 25, 2016

As summer progresses, companies should start planning out their appearances at career fairs. This means what information you will be promoting, who is going, and, most importantly, what kind of free swag you will be giving away.

What you give away at career fairs can greatly determine how many students will visit your booth. It is the sad truth: free always wins.

Therefore, now is the time to figure out what your company’s giveaways will be, and get to ordering them. Luckily, there are many cheap things in the world that will attract any college student to your booth. Once one gets something “cool” for free, he or she will spread the word and before you know it, your booth will be swarmed with greedy, broke kids.

And within that giant group of handsy students, there is about to be a few who are actually interested in your work. Hey, it is better than an empty booth! Consider ordering the following items to pimp out your business at the next career fair.

1. T-shirts

Everyone loves t-shirts. It is simply a given.

College students and graduates are as broke as it gets. Any opportunity for free stuff, especially clothes, is eye-catching. In addition, just slap on your logo onto the shirt so whenever someone wears it, it is free advertising. We all win here.

2. Snacks and candy

What is better than free clothes? Free food.

If you want to get off easy, go ahead and place a bowl of candy on the table. But remember, this isn’t Halloween. Get creative; anyone can buy a Kit-Kat.

According to, college students will “take anything to get a break from Ramen noodles and Easy Mac, but something like the Eros Custom Chocolate Bar also leaves you with a pretty big area for your company logo, slogan, and contact information.”

Giving away small bags of popcorn, cotton candy, granola bars, s’mores, or drinks changes up the game of free snacks.

3. Pens

Losing pens and pencils seems to be a hobby for some people. So being offered one is hard to turn down. However, make sure these look good. By good, I mean something shiny with a grip on it, not a pen you would buy in bulk at Office Depot.

4. Drawstring bags

Although drawstring bags tend to be a middle school type of trend, they have a lot of uses. They can be used as a bag for sleepovers or amusement parks, and even for carrying stuff around school.

If you do decide to order these, pick a cheap brand because most of the time drawstring bags endure a one-and-done kind of usage. Do not forget to put your logo on the bag.

5. USB adaptors

According to

“Students are constantly using their mobile devices, so any chance to plug in and power up is much appreciated. These branded USB Auto Adapters are equipped to charge phones, MP3 players, GPS systems and more, all on the go! The handy size means the adapter can be easily kept in a vehicle and would be a welcome giveaway if your school attracts many commuter students.”

In our day and age of technology, giving away something of the sort has the potential to be even more popular than free food. Hey, you may want to throw in a charger for even more attention.

6. Smart Wallets

College campuses tend to assign all their students an ID. These can be used to buy food or get into certain buildings. Fortunately, most male students carry around wallets and just keep their ID in there. However, this is not the case for females.

Image via

Yes, lugging around a purse is possible, but it can get annoying. Tagging your phone with a smart wallet is a simple way to keep track of not only your ID, but a credit card or a driver’s license as well.

According to, “Another benefit of the Smart Wallet is how easy it is to transport back and forth from college fair to college fair. As a flat lightweight giveaway item, the Smart Wallet is small enough to travel easily while being innovative enough to leave a lasting impression.”

7. Water bottles

On a personal account, forgetting to clean your water bottle allows mold to grow on the inside. And once you realize it, cleaning it out with bleach becomes a hassle. Lucky for me, I attended a promotional fair for Amazon Student and received a free water bottle there. For the next couple months, that was all I used for water because I was too lazy to wash my other bottle.

Not only was I immensely satisfied with my free swag, I advertised for the company everywhere I went. The design on the bottle wasn’t too flashy so, no, I was not embarrassed.

Remember when you do print your logo on whatever you give away, keep it simple and neutral for everyone.

For more ideas of free giveaways go on

By Gretchen Kernbach

Uloop Writer
Virginia Tech

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