SWAG – stuff we all get, right?
Not so fast! If you want to walk away with the top shelf swag, you need to have a plan. The good stuff will disappear fast. Don’t wait until the last day!
Step 1) Find yourself a Patsy. If you’re working a booth, pretend you have a client meeting. If you’re there as an attendee and not alone, break off from the group, they’ll only slow you down!
Optional – if you can get a hold of someone else’s badge, you can funnel the follow up emails to them. You are doing this out of the goodness of your heart as you want this person to be the expert of experts with all of the valuable information they will be receiving.
Step 2) Get yourself a loot bag. This serves 2 purposes – a) you’ll be able to carry more and b) you can hide your loot for a second trip to your favorite booths. For extra discretion, write the words “NOT CONFERENCE SWAG” on the front of the bag to let everyone know you defeinitely have not already picked up 3 fidget spinners from this particular booth.
Step 3) Have a plan. Big (huge) vendors will have lots of stuff, and are likely to be fully-stocked for the whole event. Visit them, but only as fillers between the prime spots. Instead, you’ll want to target the smaller vendors who went overboard trying to make a lasting merch impression. They love the attention- flatter them, and you’ll walk away with half a dozen portable chargers. Start in the center of the floor and work your way to the edges to avoid clashing with others who are just entering the conference.
Step 4) Instead of going out of your way to awkwardly avoid eye contact, be nice and actually talk to the vendors. Don’t be that sneak that does the swag drive-by! The side benefit of the swag run is that some of these vendors will turn out to be genuinely useful and you’ll also come back to your group or booth with your re-entry fee; some great new contacts that will prove useful to your company! And isn’t that why we’re here after all? I mean, besides for the free keychains.
Enjoy the conference and happy Swagging!