Rehm agreed. "It's always impressive to see people use bags for markets not typically associated with business and travel," he stated. "For example, we've done a few projects for political conventions this season with portfolio bags and other traditionally business-oriented items." He also mentioned churches and religious conferences. "Organizations such as these, with annual meetings and large conferences in which gifts and documents are exchanged, can be a great target for distributors," he said.
One of the biggest selling points to business and travel bags is the wide variety of decoration options, allowing for flexibility when it comes to branding. Want an understated, traditional look? Rehm recommended screen prints or embroidery. "Screen printing is often more cost-effective, while some people simply prefer the look of one to the other," he said. "Both are durable, and depending on the promotion, either can be ideal for bags such as these."
Want something a bit flashier? Richard Hennessy, vice president of Bagworld, El Monte, Calif., suggested full-color decals, 3-D decals or rhinestones. "These new trends in decoration allow customers to have a larger range of colors and produce full-color logos that are superior to the traditional methods," he explained.
Either way, business and travel bags provide plenty of opportunity to get creative. "The most creative promotions are the ones that take an item with a commonly understood use and turn its function upside down by branding it in a specific way," Rehm said. He mentioned one promotion where a company printed an aquatic scene on the exterior of a clear vinyl portfolio bag. "The water-like appearance of the material lent itself to alternate interpretations," he added.
The guy next to you on the subway. The woman pretending to pay attention in church. Your five-year-old nephew. What do they all have in common? They're probably using a smartphone or tablet, right now.