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Creative (re)use of swag? Edited

Darryl Lee Community Leader May 03, 2021

So, I love swag. But I'm also a hoarder. This is not a good combination.

I blame my parents, of course. :-}

My mom is inveterate bargain shopper, and is constantly on the lookout for cheap items that "will be perfect for [sons, ever-suffering daughter-in-laws, grandkids, nephews, nieces, family friends, people at church...]"

My dad loves computer shows and conferences, ever since he took me to arguably one of the first such shows targeting personal computer users, San Francisco's West Coast Computer Faire in 1981. (Oh for the days when you could pull your kid out of school and they'd get credit if they wrote an essay about what they did. Oh man, I bet my parents have that essay somewhere in their house.)

Anyways, he would always wrangle a pass from some company sales rep to MacWorld Expo, or OracleWorld (or whatever they call it), and then try to pawn off his haul to us.

Lanyards. Tote bags. Backpacks. Mousepads. Whatzits. Sunglasses. Pens. Post-its. You name it. All the swag.

So here's my question: I've seen your photos (Jeff and others that I am too lazy to tag because of the awful UI for searching) with your extra duffles and soft-sided suitcases of t-shirts and other stuff, your plunder in glorious array on your hotel bed.

(Jeff's glorious swag). Oh, this answers the question below for him:

"This is also how Dallas gets the majority of our SWAG needs for in person events."

But for those of you who don't hold Atlassian events where there is probably a demand for all this stuff...


My kids and wife are over it. I mean, I could've used a mousepad a few weeks ago, but I think my mom probably finally made my dad throw his accumulated stack away (they're working on it, and also we're limiting visits due to COVID). Sometimes our sells "grab bags" of whatzits for fundraisers, and I suppose we could donate to those efforts.

But what then? It seems like Goodwill or Salvation Army wouldn't really know what to do with novelty sunglasses. Stocking stuffers? "Oh wow Uncle Darryl. Free stuff from a conference. Thanks again!"

Do people at your respective workplaces enjoy the swag? Do you put it on a swag table? Actually, I seem to recall this sometimes working at a previous employer. [Although the coolest "swag" at that company was screener DVDs (and USB drives!) that got sent to people at the company because they were members of "the Academy". Man, the money that goes into FYC ("For Your Consideration") campaigns is something else. I have some neat promo DVDs for the Samantha Bee show, as well as a Joan Crawford mini-series. Have I watched them? Oops, no.]

4 answers

0 votes

Hi @Darryl Lee ,

I also love swag and tend to collect it. When I get home with swag, I almost have to be apologetic to my family. It does feel good when you bring it to the office though (when it's safe!), and share with co-workers. This will make you their hero for the day! I got swag for a specific Atlassian product with the plan to have my team and I demoing to the rest of the company. That's part of the show! You can also have contests at work and offer pieces of swag as prices, for a nice team building event.

0 votes

Except driving my wife crazy ("Another shirt, another pen? Are you serious?") I decorate my office and of course use my swag. Wear it, use the pens, write in the books aso. Other things like bags and cool gadgets I do it like @Carlos Garcia Navarro use it for contests at work. 

But also it hurts sometimes cause I must confess I'm hoarder too.... 

Pre-covid: I'd offer it to others in my company that don't get the opportunity to go to events. Think Customer Service Reps, IT folks, junior devs, junior hr folks, etc. Then I toss the rest into a basket in the communal kitchen at work and watch it die down to the last bits. Then those, I will collect in a ziplock and toss into those school donation drive boxes for backpack fillers. 

I have since changed jobs to a fully remote job so my plan is to take it to SWAG, which is our neighborhood action center. They offer adult and children's services including job prep and technology training, after school programs and summer programs for education and work assistance. They also do the fill-a-backpack program. I figure that some folks there could use pens, lanyards, mouse pads, earbuds, usb sticks and the like. 

0 votes
Howard Eberhart Community Leader May 04, 2021

The swag table at the next in person Community Event (ACE).

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