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

BIG Wall Décor challenges the notion that owning large, beautiful artwork is only for the wealthy art connoisseur. With more than 20 years of experience printing for luxury brands, the BIG Wall Décor team uncovered a new print/framing solution that makes it easy and affordable (pieces start at $125) to display large-scale, on-trend artwork in trade show booths, at events, in the office, and at home. 

 

The key to maximizing success (and limiting risk) is for marketers to better understand how their audiovisual team works. 

It is almost event day. You are excited, but you are also stressed.

You have spent the last few months preparing for your live stream: that big product launch, quarterly Town Hall, or video conference that your boss needs to go well. Your marketing and communications teams have been working hard, and everything appears ready.

 

As more women than ever hold positions of leadership in the workplace, especially in the meetings and events industry, Dr. Sherry Hartnett explains why “leaning back” to mentor younger women might be the best way to help them “lean in” and rise to the top.