SWAG: We all get it (hence the acronym: stuff we all get). But do we really want all of the “it” that we get? We asked event planners and hospitality insiders to share with us their best and worst SWAG items—what they keep on hand and what gets tossed in the bin.

Best: Items that are useful, such as power banks, TSA liquids bags and thumb drives.
Worst: Toys/trinkets that end up in the waste; candy and snacks. (Don’t we get enough at the show?)

- Janis Ross, CMP, Vice President of Convention & Sports Marketing, Travel Lane County

Best: I love getting slippers for the room. 
Worst (or at least overdone): There’s nothing I hate, but I have enough cloth glass wipes!

- Tara Thomas, CMP, DMCP, Sales Manager, Ruth's Chris 

Best: A portable charging station. You can’t be on-site with a cell phone, mobile hot spot, etc., without a portable charging station. And of course, it is branded so everyone knows where you received such a gem.

And a key-chain box cutter. Sounds weird, but once you get on-site you need to open so many boxes, and it always comes in handy. Although I do not put it on my key chain, I do have it in my backpack. It’s TSA-friendly too!

- Dana Colwell, CMP Conference Manager, Washington State University 

Best: The piece of SWAG that I have loved the best and used for years is a Brighton lanyard. As an event planner, I am constantly wearing a badge and I get so many compliments when I wear it.  

Worst: Phone screen wipes. They get grimy, and I never use them to clean my phone. After a few months, I just throw them away.

- Lacey Hein, CMP, Senior Event Marketing Manager, Concur

A Planner’s Muse

 

Sample this recipe from the 2018 home of TED: the Vancouver Convention Centre.

 
If you attended the Emerald City Applause Awards on March 22, you were treated to a wonderful tribute to the meetings industry by the outrageously talented Melissa Jurcan, president of ILEA Seattle. If you didn’t, don’t worries—here are Melissa’s inspiring, entertaining and spot-on words of wisdom:
 
I am excited to have the opportunity for our chapter to bring our industry together tonight.