Let’s be honest, a reunion is just not a party without a goody bag! Memories are great to take home from your family reunion but a little takeaway is even better. Party favors can cater to the kid in all of us. Special souvenirs give family members something tangible to remember their reunion by, which justifies that the cross-country trip to spend time with relatives is worth the effort and expense.
Depending on your families reunion budget, goody bags can be assembled for families or individuals.While there’s no rule about what to include, here is a list of items that are traditionally found in goody bags:
- Family membership list (name, addresses, phone and email)
- Reunion schedule or program
- Name tags
- Favors and souvenirs
- Order form for cookbooks
- Videos and/or pictures
- Family history books
- Feedback/evaluation form
- Freebies and coupons from local businesses
- Information and brochures about local attractions and events
- Maps and emergency phone numbers.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a collection of knickknacks that show your family and friends you’re glad they came. The great news is you can often put the collection together almost free. Start with the local convention and visitors bureau and local area merchants where the reunion will be held. Several months before your reunion, determine which companies would be a great fit with your family and reach out to them asking if they’ll donate promotional giveaways to your celebration. Don’t overlook national companies and their regional offices. They are more likely to give to get their company name in front of likely customers no matter where they live. Include how your family ties to the community and how long your guests will be in town, which is important, if they’ll be able to take advantage of the company’s goods or services. Provide a range for guest count and their ages and ask for what they can spare. Don’t request specific items. Remember it is nice to show your appreciation by providing them with additional advertising in reunion newsletters, program and at the reunion. Don’t forget to send a thank you note or card and include copies of whatever you’ve done to appreciate their goodwill.
Another suggestion would be to ask reunion members to request promotion items or coupons from their own employers. Many companies have pencils or key chains and maybe a baseball cap or t-shirt.
If you or another family member is not afraid of DIY projects, homemade goodies are always appreciated.
Still don’t know where to begin? Supermarkets may be a great source of leads to manufacturers who distribute samples, ask the manager. The following are companies that regularly purchase promotional items and types of products they may have readily available:
- Banks carry promotional items such as pens, credit card cases, calendars, wrapped hard candy, change holders, note pads, golf tees and money clips.
- Hospitals may have mini first aid kits and other healthcare products as well as sewing kits, magnets and phone cards with emergency numbers.
- Insurance companies, airlines and travel agencies are a good source for pens, pencils, golf tees, and luggage tags.
- Car dealerships give away key chains and magnets.
- Beverage distributors, especially regional offices of national products, may offer bottle and pop-top can openers, chip clips and plastic beverage cups.
- Real estate companies are good places to get key tags, calendars, and magnets.
- Print shops often distribute note pads, business card holders and pens.
- Bookstores and libraries can have heavy-duty imprinted plastic bags and bookmarks.
- Long distance service providers may be a source for pens, scratch pads and magnets.
- Convention and visitors bureau are great for souvenirs and discount coupons.
If your budget allows you to pay for some of the goody bag fillers and prizes you need, go to Oriental Trading Company. They provide a surplus of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, school supplies, toys and novelties.