Are you promised a goodie bag?

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I belong to multiple Facebook groups regarding various topics, and audiences.  I joined these groups to stay current on what people are talking about, excited about, and concerned about.  In one of the groups a women had posted that she was torn on whether or not to provide goodie bags at her 4 year olds birthday party.  She was concerned about the cost and time elements for creating the bags.  She wanted to know if she didn’t provide one would she be considered a bad host.

It’s amazing how many people chimed in with passionate opinions regarding these goodie bags!  One mom was very adamant about not sending children home with a goodie bag.  She felt they are filled with candy and plastic junk that was no more than landfill fodder.  YIKES!!  Some moms felt goodie bags are simply a nice thing to do.  Others felt the free food and entertainment the kids received was enough, and goodie bags were simply unnecessary.  These comments went on and on!  Since this appeared to be such a hot topic, I thought I’d take this opportunity to address how a host should handle goodie bags.

Goodie Bags at business events

AKB Events goodie bags twitterGoodie bags are popular giveaways at business events (i.e. networking events, conferences, etc.).  They are not
required, but are a good idea for two reasons:

Extend your reach.  Businesses that include items in goodie bags, have an opportunity to extend their reach beyond the event.  So, when attendees go home, and use a pen, lip balm, or flash drive with a business’s logo, name, and website on it, they are likely to think of contacting the business that provides services that can help them solve a problem.  Remember, including your business information on these items has the potential to turn into thousands of dollars of revenue.

Revenue generator.  Creating tiered sponsorship levels is a great revenue generator.  Have an option that allows top tier sponsors to include items in the goodie bags.  This is very attractive option for sponsors because it gets their item or information in the hands of every attendee.

Goodie Bags at Social eventsgoodie bags

Social events for grown-ups.  Goodie bags at social events (i.e. weddings, birthday party, anniversary party, etc.)
are optional.  Before opting out of providing them, keep in mind, it’s a great way to thank your guests for participating in your special celebration.  If cost is a factor in not providing goodie bags, remember they can be as simple or ornate as your budget allows.  Ideas such as mints on a tray with a thank you card near the doorway, or homemade cookies for guests to take home are completely acceptable.  Get creative and have items that incorporate your event’s theme, color, or your personal favorites. 

Social events for kids.  Goodie bags for a children’s party is, again, optional.  Selecting items for these goodie bags should involve extra thought.  For example, you don’t want to send kids home with lots of candy, or unnecessary little plastic toys that are likely to get lost and stuck in the vacuum cleaner.  A good idea for a kids party is to allow an activity or craft be takeaway.  Again, let the goodie bag items be a thank for guests attending the party.

My final word on goodie bags is this:  Don’t get caught up on providing or receiving a goodie bag at an event.  Keep the focus on the ultimate reason we are coming together, which is, to celebrate, create, and share memories with our loved ones.

Do you want to weigh in on this topic?  What tips do you have for selecting goodie bag items for events?

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