Yesterday, we talked about how to have fun at HR Tech without getting fired. But it’s no secret that swag has been at least a brief topic of discussion in your plans for the conference. It’s also no secret that the majority of what you will find on the expo floor is not worth taking home. Thanks to a seemingly permanent airline policy to charge for checked bags, you have to travel light and pack the best swag into the smallest bag possible.
Here’s a few tips to do just that:
If you don’t think you’ll actually use it, don’t grab it. You might think you’re doing vendors a favor to take their swag because you made awkward eye contact with a looming booth rep. Is there a chance that by not taking that weirdly heavy post-it holder that only has a dozen branded sticky notes in it, we could send a message that vendors need to think about utility and style when they’re choosing their tchotchkes? I don’t know. But we won’t find out until you stop agreeing to carry 10 tote bags filled with stuffed animals and stress balls.
You totally have time for experiential swag. Aside from pens, I have four items of swag in my house that have made it through many garage sale and charity purges. Three of those things are photos taken in vendor booths. When you see a celebrity impersonator, a photo booth or an improv singer who’s going to make a weird song with your name in it, you should definitely stop and check it out.
Be selective with t-shirts. Are you going to be brave enough to wear that “HR ladies do it better” shirt around your family or is that going to be a whole inside “thing” that you’ll have to explain? Slogans aside, feel the shirt and make sure it’s something you’ll actually wear so you don’t end up dumping it in your hotel room the day before you leave.
In a post-apocalyptic conference world, high quality pens will be the new currency. Stock up. When we’re all trading them for firewood and shelter, you don’t want to be the guy who needed room for that clunky business card holder branded heavily with someone else’s logo.
We had a whole section on swag in the recent ebook we released, “Burn After Reading: The Vendor’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition Manual.” So if you want to hear more on what we think about swag from a vendor perspective, check out what HR influencers and industry analysts had to say in the book here.
Best of luck out there. May the best swag bag win.