Putting Together Great Event Bags

22nd February 2016

Putting Together Great Event Bags

One of the perks of going to a trade show, exhibition or award ceremony is the event bag or goody bag. It always feels good to receive a free gift but there’s an art to putting together a successful goody bag that won’t end up in the bin at the end of the event.

We work with a number of event organisers and provide them with a range of promotional products for their events. Here are a few simple ideas we have put together over the years.

The Bag

The bag itself is important. Make sure it’s something that is creative, attractive and practical, to encourage attendees to use it after the event. This will increase your reach. Bags with long shoulder straps are useful for trade shows and exhibitions where attendees are walking around and networking. They can be worn over the shoulder and won’t get in the way.

With forward planning, event bags can be used prior to the event to encourage early registrations. For example, the first 100 registrations will receive a goody bag with x items etc. Similarly opportunities to include literature or products within the bags could be an incentive for exhibitors to rent space at the event.

Inside the Bag

Goody bags are a whole marketing discipline in themselves. They need careful planning and consideration to maximise opportunities. Think carefully about your audience or attendees and tailor the content to them. If your event has a theme, make sure this is continued within the bags.

Maps and Show Guides

An obvious choice, but make sure you include a good floor plan and show guide to allow attendees to navigate their way through the venue. If you are responsible for a number of events think about cross promotion if you’re marketing to the same audience.

Useful / Practical Items

Useful, practical items that can be used repeatedly make good promotional gifts. Their practical nature encourages repeated use which will further your brand recognition. Items such as trolley tokens, travel card holders and keyrings work well. Gadgets and novelty items also prove popular.


Though most event bags contain notepaper and pens, it can be useful for trade shows, especially if your event includes keynote speakers, seminars and networking. Focusing on good design will encourage attendees to keep the items to use after the event.

Journals and Trade Publications

Free copies of trade publications provide good reading material for breaks. Publishers are often happy to provide them alongside subscription discounts and promotions. This can also be a good incentive for journalists to cover the event and run interviews, articles and features.

Food and Drink

Bottles of water and small snacks are a welcome addition, especially at events that last all day. Make sure the items fit in with your overall theme.

Wearable Items

Wearable items such as t-shirts and wristbands make great goody bag additions as they allow attendees to market your brand for you, long after the event has finished. Creativity and design are extremely important if you’re going to persuade people to wear your products.

Be Creative

Thoughtful, unusual and unexpected items will ensure your goody bag (and event) are talked about and shared. Be creative. Come up with something unique and fun. Provide hashtags to allow easy social sharing.

Have we missed anything? What would you add to your event bag or what would you like to see at your next event? Leave us a message in the comments.

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