It’s the season to be JOLLY!

Last week I took some time out for a Costa coffee and one of my favourite pass times, watching the passing show!  It sure is the crazy season, the city is full of frantic people running around searching for gifts, whether it’s the singles with bewildered looks trying to find the ‘perfect’ gift for their significant other or the parents running around wild eyed, trying to track down the gifts their little darlings have on their never ending Christmas List for Santa,  one thing we all have in common is trying to find the perfect gift for the people in our lives we care about the most.   Why is this?  We want to make them feel special!  It got me thinking about the fact that we all love to receive something special, whether it’s a drawing from my daughter or a beautiful gift from my significant other, it means someone has gone to the trouble, to remind me why I am special to them.

Most times, it is not about the gift, but it’s about the thought & care that went into selecting that gift – this got me thinking about the industry I am in.  At most events we organise, or attend ourselves, we are usually excited to receive a ‘ goody bag’ but how often does that excitement end up in disappointment when you open it and it is just full of flyers & business cards.  It really does not inspire one to hang on to it and all too often when all the guests have left the venue, I cannot tell you how many goody bag contents are being retrieved from the floor and thrown away, what a shame!!  Often people have paid a premium to access the goody bag in the first place, so why not put some thought into what you drop into it, after all, it is giving you access to a lot of people at one time, so what is going to make you stand out from the crowd? This goes for what you hand out on your expo stand too!    Many of us are constrained by budget, but sometimes, just spend a little more on your marketing and you are going to be the person they remember!  I read a great BLOG about what is trending in the States at the moment for their ‘swag bags’ as they call them & it inspired me to put together our favourite five!



It’s not a new concept but we all still seem to love a good pen!   One of the best pens I saw at one of our expos this year was a 3 in 1 pen, it was not only a pen, it had a torch on the one side and a stylus on the other!  I was given three of them and lost all of them to the rest of my family because they were so ‘cool’!  Yes, they were cool, but more to the point I remember exactly who I received them from and he will be my go to person next time I need an electrician!!  Now if there were two electricians in the room, who do I remember?


If you are in the travel or hospitality industry consider giving away a branded travel tag.  So many of us travel, it is so useful, it almost certainly will be used and just think about the visibility your business will get with all the potential globe trotters, using your travel tag!


We have received a few of these as handouts or gifts that have come through the post and it has to be said they are so useful!  I will not go on a long day out without a USB charger popped into my handbag as my phone battery will inevitably let me down and it is good to know there is a backup especially when I am further away and need to be on call for the business and my family.  I recently received a set of earphones from a law firm in their handout at one of our expos and I remember thinking, wow, that is something I will actually use!

4.  SOCKS!

I have not seen socks in any goody bag yet, but I read that they are becoming a popular handout and I have to say it rather appeals to me!  They can be sourced in all sorts of fun colours and will almost certainly make a fun addition to any goody bag and get you noticed!


Let’s face it, we all get peckish at an event & the goody bags that include gorgeous chocolates, cool biscuits or a fun bag of popcorn, nuts or dried fruit will almost always go down a treat and be sure to get the recipients attention!

The moral of the story, whatever your budget, give what you hand out at an expo or pop into a goody bag some thought and attention.  A well thought out gift or hand out, will capture your audience’s attention and is sure to help them remember you a few months down the line!  In this age of technology and short attention spans, you can’t afford not to stand out!