Leaving with a jam packed goody bag has always been synonymous with blogger events and although not the main focus, they do stand as a lovely parting gift for guests, giving them something to rifle through on the journey home and a few weeks worth of trialling samples. Since my previous post about #BloggersFestival was rather lengthy, I thought I could justify another – this time focusing on the very generous brands who donated samples for guests to take home.
We were lucky this year in the sense that both our exhibitors and external brands wanted to donate to the ‘main goody bags’, in addition to many of the individual showcasers giving out filled totes of their own. Most people left with their arms laden with canvas totes emblazoned with an assortment of logos – and I did joke to several that no workout would be needed that weekend, since they were so heavy!
Georgia was our goody bag superwoman, getting in touch with the brands, arranging the deliveries and overseeing the packing of all 250 of them (taking her and a team nearly two hours!). She worked tirelessly to make sure they were well worth the weight in carrying and I think you’ll agree, she did a brilliant job.
The actual canvas tote goody bags which I tweeted about a couple of weeks ago, were a talking point in themselves, displaying the very apt (well, in my opinion) ‘Blogging is thirsty work’. They were sponsored by Life Tonics, who also donated bottles of their delicious drinks for every bag – and I think they went down really well with everyone. Although I must own around 50 canvas tote bags (you could say that I’m ever so slightly addicted), these are super handy because they’re about double the thickness and really strong (always handy if you’re using them while shopping!). The drinks themselves are a fruity and coconut water mix, with added vitamins and minerals – making for a very healthy but refreshing beverage (especially served ice cold). My favourite is the Elderberry and Juniper flavour!
But without further ado, here’s what they contained…
The main goody bag:
A mix of beauty and food items featured in the main goody bags, including full size tubs of Ogx Shampoo and Conditioner. I spotted their bits in Boots quite awhile ago and I’ve been addicted to their conditioners ever since, so when I heard they’d like to contribute, I was so pleased. Bloggers took home either a Kuku Oil Shampoo and Conditioner or a Coconut Water Shampoo and Conditioner. I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of this!
One of our exhibitors Browhaus donated their Classic Brow Lead Pencil, which gives a really natural but waterproof finish. The colour is actually perfect for me and can be built up to achieve more of a ‘power brow’ if required. LEGO, who also attended as a brand exhibitor, donated packs of their LEGO Friends kits, which were a really fun addition in among lots of beauty bits. I’ve seen so many tweets of bloggers putting these together – it’s so funny how we’re all big kids at heart! It did actually make a really cute memento for the event and the built ‘finished article’ is now on my shelf as a little reminder of the day!
BareMinerals, who hosted a number of fun competitions throughout the day, gave away mini samples of their Lash Domination product, which I’ve been using for a couple of days now and absolutely loving! It doesn’t have that sticky, clumpy texture that many mascaras do, nor does it flake off if you get a bit hot and sweaty during the day (TMI, sorry). It does a great job of lifting and volumising and when I’ve powered through my sample, I might have to treat myself to the full size version!
In keeping with our ‘festival’ theme, Azzy London kindly donated packs of their jewellery inspired tattoos which I saw in the flesh – and are incredible! I knew that metallic tattoos were taking the beauty world by storm, but it wasn’t until I tried one for myself that I realised why. They’re fab for holidays, parties (or festivals) and there’s something so fun and chilled about having them on! Temporary, glitzy tattoos for grown ups!
Doll White donated samples of their teeth whitening strips, which I’ve previously reviewed on my blog (here) and so couldn’t wait for others to try too. Although there’s a few companies out there that offer teeth whitening strips, these (I’ve done my research) are the safest for your teeth and in my opinion, the easiest to use. They’re also really affordable and within two weeks, you’ll see noticeable results.
Deep Heat Muscle Rescue provided all guests with their Neck & Shoulder Cream, which eases muscular tension – perfect for when bloggers arrived home after carrying all those goody bags! I have tried products similar in the past, however I’ve found that they had a very artificial, almost-chemical like smell which put me off, even if they helped with aches and pains. This however, has a really subtle herbal fragrance and within a few minutes, you barely notice it at all. It’s very light and gets to work quickly! Perfect!
Green People have been very loyal in the past few years with events I’ve hosted, choosing to donate to every single goody bag I’ve put together, which is a bonus – as I love their products and take pleasure in the fact that people who haven’t tried them yet will get a chance to. They packaged their Fruit Scrub Exfoliator and their Vita Min Fix 24 Hour Cream into the cutest little white drawstring bag – making it feel almost like a gift. I use the exfoliator once a week, as it’s really gentle on sensitive skin but clears any pesky dry patches or dead skin cells away without stripping your skin completely. It still feels hydrated afterwards – and super silky smooth!
I’ve recently undergone a couple of surgeries and due to the nature of them, was strongly advised not to catch a cold. Although this isn’t something I can really control, I’ve been really careful about making sure I get the right intake of vitamins and keeping my hands clean and free from germs. I do use the hand sanitisers however they leave my hands really dry, so I was on the lookout for an alternative. Aquaint, kindly donated samples of their 100% natural sanitising water which is described as being suitable for ‘hands, skin and mouth’. It comes in a handy travel size and designed to cater for even the most sensitive of skin. Although it might sound weird to spray sanitiser in your mouth, it tastes just like water and just freshens everything up. It’s a really handy little item to carry round with you, especially for when you need a quick refresh!
As well as beauty items, there were several snacks, nibbles and drinks to keep hunger at bay on the journey home. These included a firm blogger favourite – Metcalfes Skinny Popcorn, which is always delicious (my preferred flavour is sweet’n’salt) and usually under 120 calories for a filling 25g bag. Walkers also donated samples of their delicious Pure Butter Gluten Free Shortbread, which I discovered shortly before I became dairy-free and absolutely loved. They also do a chocolate chip version which is INCREDIBLE! Who needs gluten?!
In keeping with the snacking, OLOVES also gave bloggers little packs of their Lemon & Rosemary pitted olives to try out. I’m not a huge fan of Olives if I’m honest (I’m hoping I’ll start to like them soon, because they seem like the most sophisticated of nibbles) but I gave them to a friend who was an olive fan and she confirmed they were indeed delicious – and a great healthy snack to keep with you for on the go!
For those keen on baking (which is also often synonymous with the blogging community), OXO offered their Good Grips Cupcake Corer, perfect for adding tasty toffee, buttercream or chocolate fillings. I’ve never quite ventured into anything that adventurous in the baking world (I’ve just about mastered a normal cupcake – without topping) but with my new gadget, I might have to take a leap of foodie faith!
CLIF, the energy bar/food specialists kindly gave bloggers samples of their Tropical Punch Energy Chews and their Crunchy Peanut Butter Energy Bars, the latter of which went down an absolute treat (they pretty much double up as an amazing flapjack/chocolate bar). They certainly make a change from those usually flavourless (and ridiculously artificial tasting) energy bars I’m used to! Plus, they’re dairy free – great for me!
In case bloggers had a long journey back home (I can’t believe how many of you travelled from afar – Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool!), we had a copy of Hello! Fashion Monthly in each goody bag which I’ve actually never come across before (aside from its more well known sister publication Hello!) but it contains a whole host of really great (and interesting) features!
In addition to the main goody bags that we put together for guests, many exhibitors chose to bring their own goodies along (in their own bags) – some of which, I managed to snag to take home and photograph for this post. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but a little idea of what bloggers have to try out!
Grace Foods wowed everyone with their flavoursome drinks and tasty treats over on their stall – but they also kindly gifted everyone with drinks, snacks and sauces to take home too! Grace gave out samples of their very own Aloe Vera Drinks, which I personally love (Aloe Vera is so good for you – for so many reasons), in addition to two Nurishment High Protein Milk Drinks (in Strawberry and Vanilla flavour), Encona Mild Sweet Chilli Sauce and Jamaican Jerk Marinade, as well as some Kale-O’s in tomato and basil pizza flavour (YUM!).
I also sampled some bits from Yoogaia and Smallman Media’s goody bags, including some Chia Shots (Chia seeds are great if you’re gluten/dairy free), Multi-Vitamins, Maped’s Box of Colouring Pencils (my little sister is LOVING these), sketching pencils from Derwent and the cutest hot water bottle from Smiggle.
I even managed to pick up one of the last Jewellerybox.co.uk parcels, a brand who focuses so much on all the amazing intricate tiny details but still maintains to retain affordability. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something wrapped so beautifully in my life!
One last massive thank you to all of the wonderful brands who donated, without you – we wouldn’t have had such spectacular goody bags to hand out! As I said, although the main feature of the event shouldn’t ever be the goody bag, we were really lucky to have people on board to make the parting gift extra special – plus it’s lovely to be able to thank guests for taking time out of their day to visit. Georgia, Danielle, Abi, Charlotte and Jess did a fantastic job of filling them all up with goodies on the day – so thanks girls!
If you received a goody bag at this year’s #BloggersFestival, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!
As always, if you’d like to get involved in my next event – please visit my dedicated events page here.