Preparing global give-a-ways

Each year the Sponsorship Director, also known as the Director of Development, works to secure in-kind donations for all of our locations. Some sponsors give us support annually and others give once and move on. Regardless, every year we work hard to get good stuff for you to pass on to your attendees.

Below we have formulated answers to questions we are often asked. If you do not find the answer you are looking for here, we encourage you to reach out anytime by sending us an email ([email protected]) or messaging us on Slack (#ask-global-team).

What are global give-a-ways?

In-kind sponsor donations are usually offered as product give-a-ways, such as full software licenses and books, or limited-access subscriptions. Usually donations are a mixture of both.

Do all locations get give-a-aways?

We do our best to ensure all location get equal representation and are grateful to the companies who provide us with in-kind donations annually. All donations that are distributed digitally are made available to each location. Donations that are physical in nature, such as books, are shipped by the sponsor. We share our commitment to inclusivity with each sponsor and in situations where donations are too costly to ship, we do our best to secure digital downloads that can easily be distributed.

When and how are they distributed?

Global give-a-ways are made available in early February. A link to the full list will be added here at that time and shared with all location leaders through their email addresses.

How we distribute give-a-ways really depends on the nature of the donation. Sponsors who wish to send physical items to our locations are responsible for shipping logistics. The global team may request a mailing address in these cases. For donations such as software licenses, subscriptions and digital books or libraries we are using Mailchimp to distribute these give-a-ways digitally.

What it is a digital swag bag?

A digital swag bag is an interactive, virtual gift bag featuring in-kind give-a-ways from our global sponsors. World IA Day attendees will receive access to our swag bag through an email invitation sent by the celebration organizers.

How do organizers distribute the digital swag bag to attendees?

Send your attendees an email with the link the morning of your celebration as well as the day after. We will provide email templates to help make this process easier for you.

We understand that each celebration is unique and the recommended method of distribution may not work for every location. With this in mind, we provide 2 additional methods to distribute the digital swag bag to your attendees:

A slide will be included in our Intro Slide Decks.

If you do have time, feel free to create your own email and include the link to give your attendees access. Ideally, we will provide a link in January for you to include.

When do attendees get their stuff?

Using one of the distribution methods provided, attendees access the link and select the give-a-ways they wish to receive. Once selections are made, attendees will be prompted to enter their email address. Upon clicking the ‘get your bag’ button, they will receive an email with the necessary details to claim chosen give-a-ways.


We have several give-a-ways that are provided for a limited number of attendees. We leave the method of distribution for these items up to local organizers. If the give-a-way is not a physical item, like a book or sticker for example, organizers will be required to collect the name and email address of each winner so that we can get the proper information to each respective sponsor for distribution.

All winners for the individual give-a-ways will need to be submitted through the Give-A-Way Winner Information Form, which will be distributed to everyone in January.

We will also provide a template that can be printed out and used during your celebration to keep track of this information. If you choose this method, you will still be responsible for entering the information for each winner into our form.

Ideas to randomly select your winners

From giving a prize to the first person who checks in or to the first question, organizers have shared some creative ways to distribute these items. So we are sharing a few with you.

  • The Raffle This is a popular way to give away items to lucky winners but it can also leave you susceptible to pulling orphaned tickets for what seems like an eternity. To ensure you are only picking raffle tickets held by people in the room, you may want to collect tickets just before you plan to raffle the item. Names of checked-in attendees work too if you do not have raffle tickets handy.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Kick-off the day with a raffle. Everyone is likely to be there.

  • Collect tickets after lunch as people return to their seats

  • Collect tickets before you start or once you conclude your workshop

  • Surprise Winners It can be fun to surprise attendees with inconspicuous cues placed on name badges or under chairs to announce they have won a prize. A few common ways to do this include: Draw a small shape or place a sticker on name badges to indicate which prize they will win. Tape Post-it Notes under chair chairs with the name of the prize hidden on the back, out of view.

  • Assign Numbers Assign numbers to attendees as they check in and then use an online tool such as to randomly generate a number based on a range of your choosing. Or you can do it the old fashioned way and pull the number out of a hat.

  • Play a Game Depending on how you arrange your day and the number of attendees, you may be able to squeeze in a few fun games to keep the audience engaged and interacting with one another. Here are a few we thought might be worth considering:

    • Simon Says is a great way to get people to practice listening skills. Be sure to explain the rules of the game and have some tricks up your sleeve to keep the game from dragging on too long.

    • Conference Bingo can help attendees meet new people and learn new facts about each other. This takes a little bit of planning and is likely to produce a winner towards the end of your day.

  • Use as a Survey Incentive Many locations send out surveys after their celebration to obtain feedback and gain insight for improving the experience for attendees the following year. Why not use a couple give-a-ways to entice people to complete the survey?

Some suggestions include:

  • Announce the numbers of the winning submissions. For example, ‘We will award [give-a-way 1] to the 5th person and [give-a-way 2] to the 11th person who respond to the survey.’

  • Enter all names from the survey responses into a drawing and select your winners. Be sure to disclose how the names will be drawn so people know it will be random and fair.