Alt.Swag for Conferences.
At this point, most developers already have more t-shirts than they can possibly wear. So if you're organizing a conference - or a sponsor looking to stand out - consider some alternate ideas for conference swag:
- Stickers! (Everyone)
Developers love stickers, and they're relatively cheap. Just be sure to get fairly sturdy stickers that won't fall apart after living on a laptop or notebook for a few months.
Sources: Sticker Mule.
- Water bottles (CascadiaJS)
Save the environment by providing nice refillable bottles instead of disposable water bottles.
Sources: Mizu, US Imprints
- Notebooks (Nodevember)
It's a bit old-fashioned, but I still prefer to take notes on good old paper. I can freeform the notes without worrying about formatting, and I don't get distracted as when I'm on the computer. Notebooks are also a great place for all those stickers!
Sources: Chameleon Like, Bound Custom Journals, Poppin, Field Notes.
How else am I going to write the notes?
- Swag bag (CascadiaJS, SassConf, Nodevember)
Everyone loves a nice sturdy bag to hold all of the stuff they accumulate at a conference. Also these are great for re-use at home or later during the conference trip.
- USB Battery (Nodevember)
A their booth, one of the Nodevember sponsors was giving away a very handy rechargeable USB stick.
Sources: Branders, 4 Imprint, Print Globe.
- Taster glasses (Nodevember)
I got a lovely little taster glass from the closing Nodevember party. They also have mustache-shaped bottle openers, if that's your thing.
Sources: Clear Water Gear, Discount Mugs, Yankee Schooner
- Hoodies! (CascadiaJS, SassConf)
A very cool item. They're fairly expensive, especially the CascadiaFest ones with the customized sleeves. But this can be a special item for speakers, or super-early ticket buyers.
I got some branded earbuds from a conference, but sadly none of the silicon tips fit my ears.
- Books! (SassConf)
Many a publisher can be talked into providing a few copies of a book as a give away. And O'Reilly will give free e-books to communities.
(The above photo was taken before CSSConf AU, but I really dig the enameled coffee mug, sturdy shopping bag, and custom lapel pin that they gave out!)