Definitively Not( James )


Having not gone to any conferences, conventions, or the like for a while a quora post caught my eye being shared in discord.

A ways back I’d have collected all the swag I could. Heck, I only wore shirts that were swag because they were free. It was great because I wouldn’t have to pay for them and they were decently high quality!

Now a days, I don’t really want that stuff. The last conference I went to I even won a new computer monitor (thanks, I guess, Asus?) which I promptly gave to a friend because I already have a monitor and didn’t want to bring it back on a train.

Getting swag can be exciting - except for when I have 10 venmo hoodies, 4 Wayfair hoodies, 2 jackets that are branded elsewhere, and now more socks than I know what to do with. It’s just not much of a marketing channel for me anymore.

I say that - but then came the time when I spoke with the Pokemon Company. They give out nice shirts that were exclusive, high quality, and from a brand that I have an affinity for.

So, exclusive, high quality, and engaging brands. They don’t really even need to market to me, but do. So why is it that companies spend billions on low quality garbage to give out at conferences? Do we need more tiny and useless thumb drives, pop-sockets, or totes? (They shouldn’t.)

For companies giving out swag to employees there’s now entire companies devoted to creating these - like SwagUp. This is a little more interesting as an employee but…

I’d rather just get snacks, experiences, or other things that I can consume rather than more things that’ll probably end up in a landfill.