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screw the swag

swagbagI’m pretty new to this blogging world.  But I have learned a lot of lessons, fast. You have to learn fast in this ever changing, highly competitive blog culture if you have any hope of surviving.

One of the early lessons I learned is that conference swag is important to bloggers.  Like ridiculously important. If you ask 10 bloggers why conference A is better than conference B at least 7 of them will tell you it’s because conference A has a shit load of cool swag.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t care about swag.  In fact, I think it’s pretty over the top and ridiculous.  I don’t believe it adds any value to a conference and I don’t want to lug that crap around all day.  I’m there to learn, to network, even have some fun.  I’m not there for free shit that I don’t really need or want.

Here’s an idea.  Why don’t we ask sponsors to donate all of the sweet free stuff they were going to give us to charity?  That is the kind of brand that I want to work with. I went to one conference where, among the bag loads of crap, they gave everyone a loaf of bread.  Seriously?  Nobody at that conference needed a loaf of bread. I sure as hell wasn’t going to take one and try and stuff it in my suitcase for my journey home.  I’m pretty sure the local food bank, and its patrons, would have been pretty stoked to get all of that free bread.

Yes I understand the importance of promoting your brand and your products.  I have been on the other side.  I get it.  But does it really have to be so extravagant? If you have to take a spare suitcase to a conference in order to bring home your swag then you need to give your head a shake.  A hard shake. A brain rattling, why can’t I see what it so terribly wrong with this kind of shake.

About bluntmoms

bluntmoms
An amazing collection of bright women who somehow manage to work, play, parent and survive and write blog posts all at the same time. We are the BLUNTmoms, always honest, always direct and surprising hilarious.

4 comments

  1. Brooke

    I know that at a conference where lots of food was handed out, coordinators arranged for the food to go to the food bank. I didn’t think a loaf of bread was all that great.

    I feel frustrated at conferences lately because I feel the most beneficial thing is just sitting in a room and chatting with other bloggers. Maybe we should plan a blogging cruise instead.

  2. Here here! The last conference I went to I was presented with a giant jug of laundry detergent, a 1 liter bottle of maple syrup, a yoga mat and shoes (along with a ton of other stuff that wouldn’t fit in my luggage). I left it all for the hotel maid. I love your suggestion of donating to charity. I wish brands would understand that product is not compensation; money is!

  3. Bloggers not get swag?!!?!Shh! don’t let other bloggers here you say that. They will forever ban you from the blogging world. Bloggers want to be authentic, so when brands provide them with free product and the blogger likes it then they know an authentic review/post will result. There’s a connection made…then comes the compensation.

  4. Sorry but swag is a huge part of the conference appeal and experience. It’s so cool to try out new products and brands, and that includes edible products. But hey, if you hate it, no problem, it just means more for the rest of us right?

    It goes without saying though, leftover food items should be donated to a local shelter.

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