5 Popular Virtual Event Merchandise Ideas for 2020

5 Popular Virtual Event Merchandise Ideas for 2020

The best selling merchandise of the year is always different from the year before. Determining the most popular merchandise that will sell takes time; you need to study your target market, their interests and purchasing behavior. 

With more events making the switch to virtual or live streaming, online merchandise sales can be tough to sell. However, with the right branding and product choices, you shouldn’t see a tank in your merchandise sales online versus at live events. 

So here’s our list of the top 5 most popular merchandise ideas you should sell online. Keep reading, because at the end we’ve also included our tips for selling merchandise online and how to guarantee guests purchases. 



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#1 The iconic simple t-shirt

Let me emphasize on the word simple.

As we see trends bounce back and forth, one staying put is the idea of simplicity. One image or word says a lot. It might seem like an easy design, but if it’s simple, with a powerful meaning or statement all in one…you have a winner. a black shirt that says Five Time and has an animal on it


Grey shirt with elephant on it

T-shirts will always be a number one seller for any type of event. And yes, people will still order them for virtual events online if presented in the right way (keep reading).

Branded shirts are an easy seller for customers that relate to the organization or their overall message. There’s something about wearing a brand you’re proud to represent that makes that purchase well worth it. 

#2 Quality reusable water bottles

The industry of reusable water bottles has been rapidly growing each year. Just a few years ago, the market exceeded $8 million in reusable water bottle sales.

This demand is mainly thanks to the growing concern over our environment and living more sustainable. Not to mention, the toxins that live in plastic water bottles, but we can save that for another time. 

a bunch of reusable water bottles sitting outside on a table

Short story, reusable water bottles sell.

Slap your logo or slogan on it and you have a product for your events. Why virtual events? Truthfully, this works for any event, but customers will be more willing to purchase it online because it serves a function and functionality sells (more of this below). 

#3 Eco-friendly products (helping a cause)

The world is shifting and in a positive way.

People are noticing the environmental changes and the negative effects our actions are taking on the planet. Thankfully, living sustainable and eco-friendly has become the latest fad over the past few years.

You can make any product more eco-friendly by using: 

  • Recycled material 
  • Naturally sourced material
  • Having zero toxic chemicals involved
  • Made by manufacturers that are run by solar panels 
  • Making things that are reusable (not onetime use)
  • Eco-friendly packaging 

Start by researching the product you want to sell.

Then, find a sustainable way to manufacture these products by outsourcing from companies with the environment in mind. Tip: scan their website or ask for any awards and certifications they may have to prove their methods of production are green friendly. 


#4 Send stickers with every order

Hear me out.

Event stickers are a minor price to pay for endless marketing done by your consumers. Send a sticker that reflects your event or organization with every order placed online and guests can use them as they please. 

But, do people still use stickers?

Think of stickers like personal recommendations. If someone enjoys your event or likes your organization, if given a sticker, they would be more willing to use it. Depending on how strongly they feel about the brand, using a sticker is essentially an endorsement.

Others seeing stickers used by their peers translate this to mean it’s a trusted brand, that that person liked enough to stick on their personal item. According to Sticker Beat, 82% of Americans will seek recommendations before making a purchase and most of the time this is done offline; asking friends and word-of-mouth referrals such as stickers usually do the trick!

Mind Market stickers stuck on laptop and notebookThere are endless reasons event marketers shouldn’t ignore the power of stickers. (1) People can stick them anywhere to act as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. (2) They are not perceived as annoying ads, rather just a sticker or a gift from an event, and people are more accepting of them.

(3) People want to buy stickers! (4) They stick them on laptops, phones, water bottles, bathrooms,…that is, if they’re cool enough. (5) They are lightweight and cost nothing to include with other promotional material, event tickets, products, etc.

#5 Functional items 

  • Flashlights
  • First aid kits
  • Totes/bags
  • Beach towels 
  • Coffee mugs
  • Notebooks/planners
  • Guitar picks 
  • Stationary
  • Travel accessories 

What items can you sell that also serve a purpose?

People are no longer willing to invest in one-use products, or random items that don’t have a place in their everyday lives. Think about the functionality of the items you sell and how they can add value to everyday chores. Turn this experience into shopping online; instead of going to Amazon for an item, customers can purchase your merchandise.

A tool they needed at home and now, free marketing for you! So, now that we know the most popular merchandise for virtual event sales, how do you sell them?

A. Start by using a registration software that supports merchandise sales.


Because this will allow you to sell merchandise as people are purchasing tickets and checking out. Convenience is the key word here. The more convent the process, the more likely they will add something else into their cart. 

Learn more about Purplepass' mode for selling merchandise online here. 


b. Offer an array of choices when possible

If selling t-shirts offer small, medium, large, extra small, extra large,…cover all the sizes so everyone can purchase one. If a water bottle, offer unique colors, and not just two; blue, red, yellow, white, black, etc.

c. Encourage people to buy merchandise using discounts

“Buy 2 bags, get one free”

“Buy 1 shirt, get the next one 50% off”

Discounts and promos are always the secret ingredient for making a sale. If people are on the fence, these discounts will be just the incentives they need to make the purchase.



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