Great British Beer Festival

Posted on August 29, 2016 at 2:30 PM


We recently published a blog on the benefits of promotional bags for conferences, exhibitions, festivals and trade shows. This can be found here: LINK. Next we thought, as it’s the summer, and the sun is trying to come out, let’s focus on a particular event, to give real insight into the marketing strengths of bags which should be adaptable to your event too. I give you the Great British Beer Festival.

Below we will discuss the best bags for your bottles and why, to ensure that you can make the most of event down at Olympia this August, and keep you customers refreshed throughout the summer.

What is the GBBF

Well, as the name says, it’s a beer festival – but not just any beer festival – it’s the biggest event of its kind in Britain, with a staggering 900 beers, ciders and perries on display to try and buy. Over the five days, from August 9-13th, over 60,000 parched punters will walk through the doors, ready to taste some of the best beer the world has to offer. And if the breweries play it right, they should be stumbling out with their hands full of goodies to take home too.

So, with 60,000 people walking through the door, you don’t just have the opportunity to impress with your beer, but make a mark with your brand. And we are going to show you how, by picking the right bags.

At the GBBF branding is clearly important, as the organisers themselves had over 100,000 glasses printed up with the GBBF design on. Sampling the beers requires a glass, and the first thing most visitors do on arrival is to buy the latest version. The cost of the glass is refundable, if you leave it behind when you stagger home. Most people however keep it. Why? Something to take home from the day, a memento, a reminder of the fun they had, and ultimately something to help to bring them back for another year.

Beer Festival Logo

Beer Festival Logo Glass

Logo Beer Festival


Which Bag?

Now, to understand the philosophy, you must understand the event, and its two sides. First, it is an all-ticket ticket event – the punters are paying. This also means you have an organiser. Second it is an event based around a purchase.


Let’s focus on the event organisers first – they have their brand to uphold – the Great British Beer Festival. We’ve already touched on the use of the glasses. On top of this, there is great opportunity to introduce a bag as a free giveaway that will be practical but also allow the word of the festival to spread far and wide.

A cotton shopper would be an ideal bag to use, which you offer to customers upon entry – within this bag there are details of the festival; a floor plan, a programme, a music list, maybe some additional advertising material from third parties to cover the costs of the bag itself. Plus, the GBBF logo plastered on each side as big as you can get. Like the glass, this will be kept as a souvenir for the day, but unlike the glass, this bag will prevail in spreading the word; on the day, as people leave the venue, high spirited, which is quite possibly the best type of advertisement, and beyond, tomorrow’s hung-over trip to the supermarket and Monday’s trip to the gym. The bag can be used as a great tool to push the festival to the next level.


What about inside the event – when the attendees are already inside – the event has already been sold to them at this point – what’s next? Now its over to the exhibitors themselves.

The event has to be profitable for them, so they need to consider their choice of bag carefully, which means they must consider the cost of the goods they are selling too.

Now – had this been a technology convention, and exhibitors were selling laptops, or tablets, spending £2- £10 per bag to present the product in may be fine, as the margins are there to cover the costs. But with the average price of a bottle of beer to be taken away for later consumption and delectation being around £3-10, bags should be cost effective.

Perhaps you need a tier strategy based on the customer expenditure.

Tier 1: If someone buys one or two bottles, with a total value under £10, a carrier bag is given – the most cost effective option. These can be picked up for a few pence, and will do the required job on the day – advertise your brand, and ensure the customer has something to hold their recently purchased brew in. Have a look through our selection of carrier bags here where you will see they can be picked up from as little as 7pence each.

Tier 2: if the amount spend is a few extra quid – £20+ lets say – why not provide them with firstly a more suitable bag to carry the beers, and secondly something a little nicer to show your gratitude. It won’t go unnoticed. For example, the jute shopper bag below can hold six bottles of wine/large beers, and has dividers. This would also have great use outside of the show itself, ideal for trips to the supermarket to do the big shop, and having your beer logo on each side, it’s the perfect place to advertise – the alcohol isle.

Trade Show


Tier 3: This could be when someone buy a singular beer/cider or perry that is particularly expensive on its own – a “limited edition” brew, etc. – and this could be presented in its own individual bag, like one of the below, to show its prestige. This may not get the same after-use, but will have the impact required on the customer who purchased the product, adding that touch of luxury to the brand.

Laminated Paper Wine Bag
Laminated Paper Wine Bag


Tier 4: Now this tier may be when a customer spends quite a lot on some of your fine brew – it could be a large order of bottles, that you can’t actually give in bags, or even a barrel. The GBBF is also the drinks industry trade show, with many brewery and pub execs – big and small – attending to see what’s new and what’s in.

In this case, we’d suggest the “gift-offering” product. This isn’t something the customer will carry the goods home with, but a nice quality product, like the ones below, to make them feel appreciated. Plus, if you choose the product correctly, the customer will use it and have a story to tell, so they will be advertising for you – it couldn’t be any easier!


Ogio Curb Laptop Rucksack

High Park Picnic Rucksack

Macau Trolley Bag

Ogio Curb Laptop Rucksack High Park Picnic Rucksack Macau Trolley Bag


So there we are – the key to success at the GBBF. Pick the right bag, and the beer will sell itself.




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London N10 2NX
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