Goody Bags

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14/01/2013 at 10:15

Just organised an event - my first 'proper' one. Comments generally good, but everyone complaining that we didn't give a goody bag. Any advice on how to go about getting goody bags for next year. I presume most of it comes from sponsors?

14/01/2013 at 10:35
Did "everyone" complain?
I'm not that bothered about a goody bag. As long as the event is well organised and good value for money then that should be enough.
You may get one at the massive races but then the entry fees are often a lot more and they have massive international corporations sponsoring them.
For smaller local races I can't see why people are getting worked up about it?
14/01/2013 at 10:41

I haven't done a race where there's a goody bag for years.  As I recall they are usually full of rubbish given by sponsors/donors, most of which got thrown away, which is pointless.

If you really want to provide something, see if you can get a local supermarket to donate some fruit, perhaps?

However, I wouldn't bother if I were you.  Let the whingers whinge.


14/01/2013 at 10:44

I always like to get a medal (a tiny one is fine!). Other than that I'm not bothered, all goody bags seem to generally consist of is money off vouchers and flyers for unwanted advertising. Keep the race costs down I say - but a medal is cool!

14/01/2013 at 11:09

This is the first time in years that sensible comments are on the RW forum. I'm an event operater (small ones), and I'm livid when we have put on the best possible race, with great marshals, easy parking etc....and all the reviews on RW are "goody bag was rubbish"

We charge no more than £12 for our events so don't ask for a heafty fee, but cover the cost of the events. Thanks to SG, Wilkie & M1977 for good thoughts

14/01/2013 at 11:25

Thanks, these comments are really helpful to a newcomer. Not everyone who entered complained - far from it - but everyone who posted reviews did. I run a B&B and my business lives and dies by good/bad reviews on Trip Adviser, so I'm a bit sensitive on that score, but I should know by now that you can't please everyone, and the complainers are more likely to post than the the satisfied ones. That said, we did get some things wrong and it helps to know for future years when, hopefully, we'll do better. We did give a medal ( a plastic one), but the reviewers didn't like that either!

14/01/2013 at 11:45

I just like some kind of momento be it t-shirt, medal, wristband, dogtag etc -  have even had a mug at one point and that was nice. Goody bags are nice if they have decent stuff in but will probably get a 'rubbish' vote if all they have in is a load of leaflets. I'd rather have no goody bag than that, so if the cost of the race doesnt cover a decent one, then err on the side of caution and dont give one.
on the plus side they had really nice ones at the studland stampede with stuff supplied by local businesses like lush and dorset flapjacks as well as the National trust whos land we were running on, and the organisers posted it all on facebook as well so that they got even more advertising. approaching local suppliers and businesses would probably be the way to go if you do want to supply one?

cougie    pirate
14/01/2013 at 11:46
Its a race - not a kids party ? Who needs goodies ?
A mars bar and water is always good at the end and anything else is a plus.

I think some big races pay firms to source their goody bags - and it's mainly samples.

Is it new runners that are keen on goody bags ? I think it's only a very small percent that would even think of not entering due to goody bags or the lack of.
14/01/2013 at 11:50

I'm not bothered about medals, either, but I know a lot of people are so I'm not surprised that you got complaints about a plastic medal!

The thing with most medals is that they are cheap and nasty (I'd guess a plastic one would be...I've never seen one!)

If you want to give a medal, make it a good one.  Have the date (or at least the year) of the event on it, as well as the name of the event.  I've stopped taking a medal at the finish of my local half mara - they are all exactly the same, no year on. 

Spend a bit more and get a nice medal.

14/01/2013 at 12:13

Plastic medal sounds a bit rubbish, but I do like my medals and keep them as a memento of my race and the effort that went into training for it.

I couldn't care less about goody bags, as they mostly are sponsors junk. Although one of my local events used to give out Tunnocks biscuits in the goody bag which, always gets a thumbs up from me.

I've also seen some real bizzare stuff in goody bags. A bag of sugar anyone?

14/01/2013 at 12:23

First off, a big thank you to the OP for being a race organizer.

For me (surprise surprise) it's the medal - and a decent one please -  that matters. Can't get enough bling.

As for goody bags, I can take them or leave them. Sponsors' stuff gets used or junked, depending. But what I really want at the end of a race (apart from the abovementioned gong) is a cup of tea and maybe a banana or a Mars bar. Anyhoo, I see the goody bag as an extra and wouldn't complain about it.

And thank you again to the OP for organizing a race

14/01/2013 at 12:46

I'm not fussed about a goody bag either.  Did you mention anything in the publicity material?  I've noticed that more and more events are including in the publicity that they are 'no frills' events and will not include a goody bag so that people know not to expect it.  [Having said that, my first marathon was a no frills event, didn't expect anything at the end other than a drink and something sweet, but was then overwhelmed by the little trophy I got - a bit more emotional than usual]

14/01/2013 at 12:49

Agree that the medal is probably the most important thing. Generally Im not that bothered about medals (with the exception of "big" races), but I think if you're going to supply one, its best to make it a good one.

My reaction after a race to a lack of goody bags is somewhere along the lines of...
"No goody bag. Oh well..."
...and then 5 seconds later Ive forgetten about it. Wouldn't even contemplate giving a race a bad review on the basis of a lack of goody bags. As has been mentioned before, they're generally just full of useless flyers anyway.

With some people, you're never going to win. If you want to supply medals and goody bags, the price would have to go up, and they'd just moan about that instead. Personally, Id take an inexpensive race with no medal or goody bag over an expensive race with medals and goody bags. And Im sure Im not alone.

14/01/2013 at 12:51
Yep, decent medal, bottle of water, cup of tea and a Mars bar or banana. Perfect!
14/01/2013 at 12:57

Agree with SparklyG. Not fussed about t-shirts as after a couple of years you need a new chest of drawers to keep them in. Some are so bad and oversponsored I wouldn't wash the car in them or even with them.  Different mementoes that have worked for me are towels, always handy at races and in the gym, mugs/glasses, but there's only so many you can use, ornaments, slate coasters. Important thing is race/date/year on it so that it is a reak memento. Did one race recently where there were 5k/10k/Half mara all with smae medal and ribbon with neither date nor distance. Pretty poor show but they did have banana and cup of tea on a freezing cold day so forgave.

14/01/2013 at 13:35

I did a really popular race recently, the Guy Fawkes 10 in Yorkshire and everyone loves the goody bags - the race sponsor is a chocolate manufacturer and the goody bag consisted of a bottle of water and 9 chocolate bars. Plus a technical t-shirt.

14/01/2013 at 13:50

What's everyone's fascination with medals?! I could understand it if you had come top 3 but just a medal for medals sake seems totally pointless to me.

Each to their own I guess.

14/01/2013 at 13:51

I definitely like a momento of the occassion as I don't enter a lot of races so the ones I do enter are special to me.  I love a medal, but I've had mugs, water bottles and one local race does a different engraved glass each year, so they are something useful that I can use and they give me a little reminder of the occasion.  I definitely agree that you need the date on it though, whatever the momento is, and prefereably on the ribbon if it's medal so you can easily see which year it was when it's hanging up in your collection. 

I'm not fussed about a good bag.  If it doesn't say there is one in the blurb about entering the race then I assume there won't be one, but if it says there is one then I hate it when it's just a carrier bag full of leaflets with a banana and bottle of water in.  Help the environment and just give me a banana and bottle of water at the end so I don't have to go home and recycle the leaflets and plastic bag!  One race I've done did a more eco-friendly cotton drawstring bag as their goody bag (although still full of rubbish!) which at least was reuseable and useful.

14/01/2013 at 14:25

You'll never please everyone, I'm afraid.

In terms of goody bags, unless it's useful stuff, no thank you.  I don't want loads of leaflets/promo stuff.  Something immediately edible (still scarred by the year my local half gave out a tin of soup and nothing more!), something to drink and maybe something like a wet wipe.  A foil blanket if there will be big queues to retrieve bags post-race in cold weather.  Similarly, a useful memento (mug/towel, etc.) is far more my thing than a medal.

14/01/2013 at 14:39

Another vote for no goody bag - have a drawer full of shoe bags/drawstring bags/coasters/tshirts/towels etc and as three of us often run -  I do mean a drawer full! 

I'd rather the entry a bit cheaper - and surely the whole point of entering is the experience of the run - I don't need a mememto to remember it.

At a recent Christmas run the 'goody' was a mug with a block of Xmas cake in it - a nice touch but I noticed a lot of runners didnt take the mug - they were just available to take from a table - and it looked as if at least 100 were left at the end which is such a waste as such a shame and dated so couldnt be re-used.

Don't be put off by the negative comments - I've seen some really daft ones such as a plea for hot soup to be provided after a winter race - but any half sensible runner would have food/drink in their bag for the post race perk up.

Another thank you for organising a race - you are the one who needs a medal!

(by the way not bothered by them either!)

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