While large in-person events are still considered a no-no, especially given the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the country, small outdoor gatherings are a popular (and safer) alternative. Of course, check your local and state guidelines to make sure you’re adhering to proper safety protocols before sending out those invites, though.
But regardless of whether you’re hosting an intimate event in IRL or virtually, practical and timely swag—like stylish masks, branded hand sanitizer, and handy antibacterial wipes—is always welcome. Even Khloe Kardashian gifted her guests on-trend sanitizer and masks that were customized with her face at her recent 36th birthday bash, which was designed by Mindy Weiss.
For another recent event, Weiss and her team created a “stay safe” swag bag that included a thermometer, a tape measure (to stay six feet apart), a package of wipes, and mask. She also stresses the need to make sure that items like hand sanitizer are packaged in the same design and theme of the party. "Even though this is necessary, it’s important to make it pretty and part of the event experience," says Weiss.
But she shies away from going too far when it comes to gifting. "I avoid anything medicinal—nothing medication-related, no drugs. We’re not doctors, we’re party planners." Weiss also cautions against setting up a giant grab bag of goodies like masks. "Don’t set up anything that invites all the guests to go through and touch the same items. We’ve even taken this into account during check in; one staff member administers hand sanitizer to all guests so they don’t have to touch the pump."
From fun branded masks to non-toxic hand sanitizer, here are some more event swag ideas that are health and safety must-haves.
Recently, some companies recalled their hand sanitizer products due to the use of methanol (wood alcohol), which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. Wellnesse’s Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer ($10 a bottle) is made with 62 percent alcohol to satisfy CDC guidelines and doesn’t contain methanol. Plus, it comes in a sustainable, recyclable glass bottle (to help cut down on COVID-related waste), and contains tea tree oil for its antibacterial and antifungal fighting properties and eucalyptus oil, which naturally soothes skin. Wellnesse will donate $3 to the COVID-related charity of your choice for every purchase that includes hand sanitizer.
Designed to stash hygienic essentials, the Simple Satch belt bag features a hidden rubber port that allows you to easily pull out antibacterial wipes without having to fumble around opening a packet. There’s also a special zipper pocket that securely holds wipes to help keep them moist. The Simple Starter Kit ($50) comes with a belt bag with wipes dispenser, plus a pack of antibacterial wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and a non-medical-grade face mask and filter, available in blush, gray, black, camo, and a bandana print. The bag is also sold separately for $38. Customers also have the option to donate 10 percent of their purchase to a charity of their choice.
Perfect for theme parties, direct-to-consumer site MaskClub sells branded face masks for both adults and kids with designs from brands like Warner Bros., Hello Kitty, NASA, Sesame Street, Care Bears, Betty Boop, Popeye, and more. In addition to selling individual masks ($13.99 each), the site offers a subscription service ($9.99) that mails out a mask a month. Plus, for every mask purchased, MaskClub donates a mask to the First Responders Children’s Foundation to be distributed to frontline workers.
Although most of us might be grounded for the foreseeable future, you can prepare event attendees for their trip with a custom mask from Airportag, a retailer that specializes in travel-related goods. Made with two-layered polyester and elastic straps, the masks are available in small (for kids) and medium sizes. In addition to masks emblazoned with airport codes and patterns, this Wings mask ($24.99) can be customized with a guest's name and initials—an appropriate alternative to a sticky name tag.
Worn like a watch, HandiGuru ($11.95) is a lightweight, refillable wristband designed to store a variety of gels and lotions for on-the-go access. It’s made of recyclable silicone and can be filled with hand sanitizer, bug repellent, sunscreen, and more. To use, load any gel or lotion into the gadget’s self-sealing compartment using the included applicator bottle. When it’s time to reapply, squeeze the silicone band to release the desired amount of product.
Similar to your grandmother’s eyeglass chain but much cooler, the mask chain by jeweler Dea Dia lets you add a bit of bling to your mask game. The "masklace," which is available in silver- and gold-plated styles ($44 and $58), connects to the elastics of your facial covering with two extra-large lobster clasps, so you can easily remove your mask without misplacing it. The 30-inch chain can also be converted into a sunglasses chain.
Scarborough & Tweed’s UV Box helps keep accessories like iPhones, keys, and other small gadgets sanitized thanks to ultraviolet light, which kills off germs. Plus, the top of the box can easily be imprinted with a logo. Pricing starts at $43.70.
The B-Safe Key from Scarborough & Tweed is a handy way to reduce exposure to germs from public spaces. The tool lets users open doors, press keypads and smartphones (thanks to its silicone stylus tip), push elevator buttons, lock bathroom stalls, and more. Pricing starts at $5.99, and the copper-plated key can also be customized with a logo.
Scarborough & Tweed also offers several PPE kits (pricing starts around $17), which come in customizable sacks and include items such as a face mask, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, phone spray, tissues, and a reusable thermometer.