Your big launch event, anniversary or all round celebration of your business is coming up, but how will you make sure the guests you invite will spread the word about you and not just stay for the free food and wine? The right mix of promotional items and luxury products will leave your guests raving about your business, the event itself and sharing your generosity. Be different What style will you go for?Courtesy of www.goodybag.org.uk Stand out. This usually begins with the bag. The old adage don’t judge a book by its cover is redundant here; people do judge a goody bag by its packaging. What type of bag, and what style will you use? Will this also have your brand logo on it? Will it be in keeping with your brand colours? These are all important factors in getting people to take the bag in the first place, if the bag doesn’t look appealing they might assume its products aren’t appealing either. Learn from the Best 2013 Oscar gift bag items Last month’s Oscars offer an excellent example of a great gift bag. The nominees were doted upon with some of the most outlandish swag bags the ceremony has seen in years, not that these items would fit in one bag, or even a three piece hold all set. They range from holidays to customized clothing and even electronic cigarettes. The companies getting their products into the gift bags must be near bankruptcy for the publicity gained. Clearly this is not as risky as it sounds, once revealed, used, and endorsed by the high caliber nominees at the Oscars the businesses are sure to reap what they have sown. What is key to the importance of gift bags is not the cost of products or company value, but the appeal of something different and unusual of a high quality. No business wants to say ‘we’re just like everyone else’, uniqueness is key to your brand identity. Along these lines, a great way to promote a product is through exclusivity, if you can offer a product 6 months before it is released, gain hype and interest around it and have only the most exclusive celebrities endorse it, you’re on to a winner. Be creative It is unlikely your business has the same budget as the Oscars, so don’t try and emulate their spending. Extremely expensive gifts should be avoided, instead, smaller, more practical items which have been personalized with the brand logo or event on should be given. Practical items are far more likely to be used by the receivers and as such seen and noticed. This may be a guide to what to put in your gift bag, but it is a general one and your company, with its own important features and selling points needs its gift bag to be unique to it. Think creatively about what quirky items you can put in there which 1. people actually want, and 2. will get people talking. For instance stay aware of current affairs if there is something new and upcoming then get involved, include a photo of the team doing the Harlem Shake or a work meme alongside more typical gifts. The creativity goes for the event itself too. Make the event memorable, choose a theme or focus to develop the evening around, and an interesting or obscure venue. A great gift bag, with excellent products needs to remind them of a great event or else the time and money spent has been wasted. Let them eat cake Sake infused hot chocolate in 2013 Oscar gift bag. courtesty of Splash It is likely that the first goody bag we remember receiving will have been a party bag after a children’s birthday party, so don’t forget the simple rules you learnt back as a child; the cake is the best bit. If you include something edible and tasty it is likely to go down a treat with everyone. This works particularly well if you can make your edible product say something about your business creatively. When the National Football Museum opened in Manchester their goody bags contained edible chocolate whistles which were a much tweeted and much photographed highlight of the evening. Wear your Business Beyonce uses her status to promote presidential election candidate Obama A t-shirt is a must-have for any goody bag as your clients and guests become walking publicity for your business. A high quality t-shirt with an interesting printed or embroidered personalized design will create hype around your brand and prompt your guests to even inadvertently promote you. A t-shirt designer had the pleasure of seeing their design on Beyonce Knowles on the cover of Ebony magazine after she received it in a gift bag. What’s more, staff at the event can show off your promotional clothing too and show your brand identity to high profile guests and businesses.