Swag or No Swag?

I opened my desk drawer this morning and realized something: Every year at bbcon I scoop up swag like Homer Simpson at a doughnut shop.

My drawer is filled with branded pens, post-its, breath mints, and weird squishy things shaped like ducks, stars and earth (is “earth” a shape?). All of it untouched and gathering dust since schlepping it back from bbcon. For every piece of swag I still have I’m sure there are at least three more that went directly in the trash upon returning home from the conference.

Not this year. This year swag needs to answer a few questions before I put it in my bag.

  • Do I already have 100 of them in my office?
    • No pens.
  • Can I eat it?
    • If I can eat it I’ll take it (duh!), as long as the packaging can be recycled.
  • Can I wear it?
    • The real question is will I wear it?  I’m not a big fan of advertising on clothing.
  • Would my daughter like to have it?
    • Is it a toy or something else that my daughter would really enjoy?
  • Is it useful?
    • For example, a backup battery cell phone charger (preferably one that doesn’t spontaneously ignite).
  • Is it a piece of paper?
    • All of the information on brochures can usually be found on the vendor’s website.  If I want more information I’ll skip the paper and just check the website.

I’m sure my back will thank me for not having to carry so much stuff around.  Sure, I can run and drop it off in my hotel room but that’s time I would rather spend at the conference meeting people.  So to answer the “swag or no swag” question: it’s complicated.  See above.  And see you at bbcon!  (unless you are too busy running back to your room to unload your swag)