Can you call that a ‘Goodie’ Bag?

Goodie bags have recently come under fire since the Cannes Lions event, as marketers revealed they wanted more than just one gift in the form of a pair of earphones, then what followed was a pack of 18 newsletters, leaflets and magazines. Yet, a hint of redemption was shown where the design of the bag was quite outstanding and would stand out from the crowd. Still, marketers raved that they would have liked more, wanted more and needed more. So, that is where The Sourcing Team enters telling you the Do and Do Not’s of a Successful goodie bag.


Oscars Goodie BagMost companies underestimate the value of a goodie bag, opting to spend their marketing budget in other places which leaves a huge opportunity for those who actually do a goodie bag to be viewed in a good light. Goodie bags can be very effective for a variety of activities including; conferences, pre-launch party, charity gala’s, award ceremonies, VIP or top customer events, which can be seen by the goodie bag given to guests at the Oscars were borderline insane as they were worth over £75,000. If you are not able to fund the goodie bag you can contribute towards one or, engage with your sponsors to support you with one. It is important to make the goodie bag meaningful – no one wants a bag full of leaflets which we all know, rarely get read. The meaning – a bag of little gifts, often given by manufacturers to encourage people to try their product – doesn’t really work with leaflets only!

What’s the point?

Events management is a lucrative business where clients will go above and beyond to reach particular events, so the least they can ask for is for the organisers to do the same. Attention to key aspects of the event are critical success; the venue, the refreshments, the speakers and lastly something to remember the event by – a goodie bag. Sponsors spend vast amounts on the supporting various events, however, adding something to the goodie bags helps to ensure they are remembered after the event – ideally, with a ‘wow’ and ‘feel good’ factor that the goodie bag and contents deliver.

What do you need to do?

The items you put in the goodie bag should be the second point of what you’re trying to achieve. The message that is put on the goodie should be the primary point as they should all relate to a call to action. A call to action that is worth repeating or, a message that can be replicated over to improve exposure. As that is a key theory too promotional advertising. So make sure your idea is innovative, different but understandable. Because with a little bit of thought a simple goodie bag can turn into a juggernaut of a powerful promotional campaign.

Goodie Bag Do’s

Target – Make sure you target the right audience with your goodie bag, as it should be of suitable quality and value to appeal to your audience.

Research – Who is the target market, what will appeal to that target and deliver the right message. What might they need in their line of work, or what might fit with an event in question – something they engage and relate to. Do your research.

Make sure it’s worthwhile – A goodie bag should be a reflection of your brand or event and what you are trying to achieve should be prominent within the bag or even on the bag. In addition to that, does it even need to be a bag, how creative can you be with the format your goodie bag is in.

Overall ensure that your branding is prevalent and is a product with high retention and relevance to the recipients. Contents need to be branded and should be something people will want to keep or gift out to another person.

Top items to use in a Goodie Bag

1) Mobile Device Chargers – As we’re always on our phones and tablets what’s a better giveaway than a charger

2) Seasonal Items – Everyone wants to be reminded of Christmas or the summer holiday and it just makes the item that much more relevant

3) Umbrellas – Especially in England where a rainy day is just around the corner

4) T-shirts – Always a good idea because no matter how silly they may be they always get worn or used at some point or another.

5) Unique Food Items – Chocolate is always a good idea but you should really aim it at a product people wouldn’t usually buy for themselves

6) Moleskine notebook – Always awesome


Be Basic – An unbranded bag with a pen and a notepad. That’s the equivalent to socks for Christmas; as you nod, smile and say thank you. But deep down you feel that you invested the time and effort meaning that you deserve a bit more than a basic goodie bag. Plus poor quality items should not be used as this reflects poorly on your brand and brand values

Plain – Have no branding whatsoever, as you need to have an objective set out, usually it is to raise awareness so just ensure you do just that. As this will just be a wasted opportunity and it will look unprepared or that the goodie bag was just an afterthought

Nothing – No goodie bag is worse than a basic, plain goodie bag and if you do go to an event you are never looking to walk away empty-handed. So make sure you make something nice for your attendees as they will love and remember you for it

Waste Space – It is just environmentally irresponsible to have a bag to large for your items, as when people see a bag they want to be intrigued and if they see a large bag and it doesn’t live up to their expectations (i.e. big bag small gift!) it will have an effect on their perception of the event or the company

Using Old Products – Make sure you’re not just clearing out your cupboards, putting all old branded products you need to get rid of! Your customers will quickly realize this and feel undervalued

It’s always exciting to receive a goodie bag when you leave a great event, so make sure you rethink your current method and produce a piece of promotional material that ‘wows’ anyone as soon as they look inside.