Having attended a half dozen conference already in 2015 alone including The Game Developer (GDC), Facebook’s f8 developer conference, and the eMetrics Summit, below are some of the most memorable and unique conference swag I have snagged so far.
A Mini Drone
Handing out a mini drone may seem like an obscenely expensive swag item, but how much is connecting with hard to reach customers worth to your business? At eMetrics in San Francisco, the analysts and analytics experts behind of the nation’s top companies come to talk inside baseball and learn from other industry experts. Enterprise analytics packages can easily be $10k+ a month and have strong long term vendor lock-in from difficulty the migration to a new solution. Now that $30-$40 retail item doesn’t seem that expensive, especially compared to what some business dinners cost or even the travel budgets to attend a conference. Receiving a mini drone has been ridiculously fun and creates a memorable takeaway along with all that conference knowledge.
The Selfie Stick
The love to hate gadget that venues like to ban and that you are too embarrassed to buy yourself, the selfie stick makes a great swag item to take home to the family. Facebook at its f8 developer conference promoted the new Messenger Platform with a printing station with photos taken with selfie sticks. If you don’t know, the selfie stick works through bluetooth while cradling your phone a few feet away from yourself by enabling at the push of a button to take a self photo. At $10 retail, a branded selfie capturing puts you in a good light.
The center stage of GDC was next generation VR headsets, but Google was making the experience available for free with Google Cardboard. Loads of content already available through Cardboard Apps from the Google Play store, Google Cardboard is a clever way to experience a new viewing perception. Like most VR, the Google Cardboard experience is immersive but not fully physically interactive. So far I’ve kept mine around to show people who have not yet tried it on. You can buy Google Cardboard kits for $25 online for your own amusement.
Traditional swag like battery packs, pens, t-shirts, and usb sticks are now not worth the weight of carrying it around for the day. Consider unique and nostalgic swag that also stands out such as electric paper plane motors or branded kites. I will post an update if I run into any other top conference swag items in the coming months.