Have you noticed at conference how much stuff (SWAG) is given away and grabbed up quickly by some people. I am really wondering what is done with some of this swag that people grab without thinking about if they need or want it.
We have been at some conferences and it is amazing to watch people when they enter a vendor area. Some people will look around and see where the best free items are and immediately head for those vendors. Once they get there, they do not look up at the people are the booth but look at the table and grab what they see as nice but never talking to the people at the booth or even looking at them. In some cases these items may never be used by the person that took them but given away to someone else and in cases to someone that has no clue who the vendor is or what the vendor does.
I really want to know how many pens, canvas bags or even t-shirts do I need with various vendors names or logos on them? I know that vendors want to make sure you remember their name but enough is enough. If I really want to learn about you have some info that I can take away and look at. A pen doesn’t tell me what you do or how you can benefit me.
The other thing that gets me is now many vendors at shows have the prize that they give away at the end of the day. OK, now you expect me to spend the entire day at a show and in some cases I may not have the opportunity as I also need to meet the needs of my clients. The prize normally requires that you drop off your business card to enter the draw. So now what you have done is given all the various vendors your total contact information just because you have a small chance to win a prize. For the vendors it is a great way to get a lot of possible client info without doing anything. Now you are going to be getting a lot of phone calls and/or emails from all the vendors where you dropped off your business card.
OK, I will admit that there is one piece of vendor giveaway that I like and those are the journal books that some give away. Yes, I use these books and normally have at least one of these books with me at all times. The other thing I like that is sometimes given away are the small books from the “Dummies series”.
So when you are at conference next time just watch what some people are grabbing and how full their bags are and think about where some of that stuff will end up.