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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Event Goody Bags

As any conference regular can tell you, the goody bags so often handed out at these events can be placed into three distinct categories – the good, the bad and the downright ugly!

If you want to up the chances of such well-intended giveaways being equally well-received, then there is only one category you want to go for.

With some considered thought and imagination, the giveaways element can chime with the design and strategy of the event, reflect your values and message, and make its recipient remember you fondly as they integrate this new object into their lives.

But a thoughtless, useless giveaway will do the opposite and is likely to be met with an eye roll and fast-tracked into the bin. A terrible waste – and a wasted opportunity to boot.

So, here’s our quick ‘how-to’ guide to help you give goody bags that attendees will actually want to keep.

Let’s start with what not to do….



A flimsy plastic drawstring bag in a garish colour embossed with a giant logo. A branded calendar with month by month views of company products. A giant, over-engineered and cumbersome branded bottle opener in a heavy carry case.

These are items that no one wants to receive. While part of the objective is to get people to remember your company and what you do – the giveaways won’t be able to do that if they are put straight into landfill! Go in too heavy with logos and branding and you risk making a gift either undesirable or downright useless, so keep it light, and better still light-hearted. Anything too cumbersome, or truly ugly will also be unwelcome.



Into this category, we would toss anything which is either extremely poor quality – the pen which doesn’t write, the sunglasses which break the minute you put them on – and anything which has become entirely hackneyed and overdone. Items which feel exclusive or are simply cool or useful are a much better option.

And finally…



Thankfully it is possible to land it just right with your giveaways. Here are some ideas which work well in most live events.

Make it useful. Anything useful is a pretty welcome addition to most people’s lives. A water bottle, eco-friendly notepad, phone charger and headphones are handy enough to keep. Sunscreen in summer and chapstick in winter might also make it into pockets and handbags.

Eco-friendly. The disposable, plastic-heavy items which populate many goody bags are an absolute anathema to the environmentally conscious attendee. Why not take the opportunity to demonstrate your green credentials with a grow your own veg kit, reusable bamboo coffee cup, a packet of seeds, or at the very least replace the plastic bag for one made of canvas or jute.

Embrace minimalism. Forgo ‘stuff’ for some virtual swag – such as e-gift cards, ebooks, apps, or online games. It’ll certainly take up less room in the luggage!

So rather than choosing the obvious, we advocate thinking outside the bag and opting for some really good goodies at your next event. Get in touch to see how UKSV can help you get creative with this, and every other aspect of your next event, at or call 01425 480444.

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