Too Many Bags Ordered for an Event?

Author: Convene Editors       

event donations

Many organizations — charities, orphanages, hospitals and more — accept extra bags or other items left over from events, even when they have logos on them. (Jacob Slaton Photography)

PCMA’s Catalyst community offers members a platform to ask each other questions, share ideas, or, as the website says, “communicate and collaborate.” Each month Convene features some of the most popular topics in the forum. Here’s a sampling from a recent Catalyst discussion.

Extra Baggage

“We ordered too many bags for our most recent annual meeting,” Ada Phillips, CME, director of meetings for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, wrote on the PCMA Catalyst forum. “Any recommendations for ways to get rid of them without just throwing them away? Any recycling options? If you live in the D.C. area, do you have any places where you donate these types of items? They are branded with the logo and conference artwork if that makes a difference.”

Donate them to a youth charity, orphanage, or hospital for [kids in foster care] or orphaned children to pack their belongings in. I saw this suggestion on Facebook in regards to throwing away luggage!

— Rachel Renney, National Sales Manager, The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Not the D.C. area, but you can reach out to Throw, a New York–based company ( that upcycles surplus materials, including used carpets and vinyl banners from trade shows — so your logo and artwork shouldn’t be a problem. I’m sure they’ll gladly take your bags.

Daniel Rincon, Senior Manager, Destination Services, NYC & Company

Please look for a reuse center. They specialize in donating school supplies to teachers and students. Here is one in Alexandria: Upcycle Creative Reuse Center.

— Eva Sitek, Director of Meetings, Higher Learning Commission

Have you talked to your local food bank? Most food banks will take them and use them for packing food. I know Experient does this here in Denver, so they may also be able to help facilitate in D.C.

— Carter Dunham, Account Executive, Corporate Events Group

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