BlogHer 2015 Snag my Swag Giveaway

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Yesterday afternoon the family and I got back from the BlogHer conference in New York City. When I was researching what to pack for BlogHer everyone said save space in your luggage or even bring a separate suitcase for all the swag you’ll be bringing home. While I never before attended a blogging conference, I’ve been to my share of trade shows and industry conferences and have been excited by the reusable totes, logoed sunglasses, travel mugs, and windbreakers but have learned with experience to politely decline because that stuff is rarely ever used (except the travel mugs, I still use one from a 2004 conference).

But BlogHer swag? That’s a whole other animal. You receive a heavyweight well-made tote upon Check In, full of goodies. That evening is Night at the Expo, two floors of brands and vendors offering all kinds of amazing stuff. Then there’s private events and non-conference events taking place in the city at the same time where you receive even more free stuff. My research was right, even if you politely decline 75% of the time you still need a separate suitcase (or the big sturdy reusable tote offered at the Cost Plus World Market booth stuffed to the gills) to take home everything.

blogher2015 swag giveaway wardrobe oxygen

And while I came home with some lovely things that I am already enjoying, I brought home just too much stuff for one small family in a small home. Some is being donated to local organizations who can benefit, but I’d like to give the rest to you! The reason I attended BlogHer is because I am a blogger, and the reason this blog exists is because of you.

One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win the official BlogHer 2015 canvas tote received at Check In chock full of swag (click here to see what brands sponsored the event and were at the Expo Hall). Yes there’s swag from BlogHer, but also swag I received from two recent fashion events and some of the items that were in the gift bags at my blog anniversary party (as well as one of the party’s reusable totes). To sweeten the deal, I’m also including a business card case from Dagne Dover and a leather handbag from ECCO.

BlogHer was a crazy, overwhelming, fun, and inspiring experience and I have you to thank for the opportunity. So are you ready to find out how to snag my swag?

How to Enter

The giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified.

Dagne Dover Promo Code

Use ALISON10 at checkout to get 10% off your order at Dagne

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  1. I don’t get to go to trade shows, but my husband goes to lots of them, and I just steal the goodies he brings home! He’s in IT in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he comes home with lots of good gadgets. I let him keep all the t-shirts (it’s the basis of a techie’s wardrobe!) and I get the flashlights, phone stands, grocery bags, etc.

  2. My favorite swag memories are from college orientation. My friends and I would grab EVERYTHING just for the sake of getting something for free. Of course we ended up with tons of junk . We were so eager and desperate… It’s still hard to resist but now I force myself think twice before I grab a freebie! Your swag bag looks awesome and thank you so much for your generosity!

  3. I think the only swag I’ve ever received is a tshirt. A tshirt that was 3 sizes too small.

  4. I read your recap and am sorry to hear you didn’t have the best of times! Not really relatable, but I live in DC and when I’m running around the mall and get jostled by selfie sticks, people stopping in the middle of paths, kids running around and cutting me off, I feel very overwhelmed! Seems like BlogHer was a similar experience.

  5. I have worked an annual conference geared towards parks and recreation and those were a blast…..full size playgrounds, rock climbing walls, raffles for outdoor events. The swag was geared appropriately, BPA free water bottles, frisbees, etc.

  6. Wow sounds like fun! I don’t blog (but would love too). I do trade shows but nothing this fun-I sell food.
    Thanks for the generosity.

  7. The only big thing I have ever won was a beautiful suede purse when I entered one of those monthly giveaways by a current woman’s magazine. I had never entered before and thought why not? Imagine my surprise when I got a package in the mail!

  8. Honors Studies conference once in college… far from as interesting as this appeared to be! Think the best part may have been heading down for breakfast early and seeing just whom had the spent night with whom, including professors!

  9. I have no exciting swag/conference stories…I’m not a blogger so I’ve only been to a couple of accounting conferences and many running expos…most of the swag you get there is pretty lame…pens, chapstick, etc. I think it is incredibly nice and generous of you to give some of your swag away – thanks for the chance to win!

  10. I work in the beverage alcohol industry and see tons of t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, towels, champagne stoppers, wine and beer openers…some of it does follow me home. My husband has 75% of his shirts branded with liquor/beer/wine logos, I’m sure people think he’s a drunk. LOL

  11. I just came back from an education conference. We got a bag at checkin as well but only filled with a few goodies. I surely did go around and accept every freebie thrown my way! Teachers love to collect things! 🙂

  12. I guess I have a look that says “she loves reusable bags” because I get those all the time! And also t-shirts from the university I work and study at.

  13. I went to BlogHer a few years ago and UPS practically lost the box the swag I shipped home in. Got it in very beat up condition.

  14. I never got anything more than pens and once a lip balm from a company called BJ something or other.

  15. I’ve never had the opportunity to get real swag but as an educator, every conference I go to seems to yield a bag of some sort, lots of office supplies, and books…every once in a while I get a tee-shirt or an umbrella or a water bottle. Just once I’d love to get beauty products, jewelry, or something cool from one of these conferences but it hasn’t happened yet! 🙂

  16. At a medical conference I received a stress ball that was supposed to be shaped like a stomach (which is weird in and of itself)… except that it looks like a misshapen tomato. It’s a great conversation starter 🙂

  17. When I was 8 and in 3rd grade, my parents couldn’t afford to get us a Christmas tree. At Christmastime, the elementary school entered all of the students’ names into a drawing. Out of all the names, they drew my name, and the prize was a Christmas tree. I still think that was the best Christmas tree I’ve ever had!

  18. I attend a fair amount of health insurance type conferences and usually the swag is tote bags and pens and pads. This looks amazing! Love you blog!

  19. I am a sucker for pens and pencils from vendors. I am a math teacher and my students can always use pencils!
    Thanks for offering such a fun give away!
    Stacy L.

  20. Thank you so much for the opportunity to receive some of your swag! In addition to all the fun stuff you got I bet the conference was informative and inspirational. Have a great day!

  21. My husband works for a large organization that gives out swag at company events. I think my favorite item was a pair of rainbow colored striped knee socks. I plan on wearing them to a 5K race some time. Swag is fun.

  22. I’m not a blogger so I’ve never had the opportunity to go to a conference. Just a lot of meetings for work and the free swag has been our business logo things from shirts to mugs, so in a way I guess that counts. LOL

  23. I won a big screen television at a work conference once. Unfortunately, our home was broken into and they took the television. It was lots of fun while we had it!

  24. Before kids, I worked at an insurance company and loved the swag. Most of it was food, but I was always hungry and loved when the vendors came in with various goodies. There were a few other perks, like the glass vendor who installed a big glass mirror in my bathroom for free.
    I was young and at the time didn’t realize that was probably unethical, but we were poor and it was great. That was 20 years ago and it’s still in our bathroom.

  25. I was at a conference once and this girl claimed to be stalkerish obsessed with me. She followed me around everywhere — even into the bathroom! She kept taking photos of me. It was really strange!

  26. I have never been to a blogging conference but during one year I was winning a huge award at the bank and I was called and was out calling my talking to my son. It was pretty embarrassing trying to explain where I was. I had no clue I was going to win.


    Would love to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  27. Oh that is amazing! Thank you for sharing!! I never take much at conferences for the same reason (healthcare IT usually are pens etc). I have never won a conference giveaway either!

  28. I worked down by Wall Street in NYC and whenever a company is having an IPO, they do giveaways. It is amazing how all these finance people and lawyers will line up for a key chain or t-shirt just because it is free, when they can more than afford it!

  29. I went to a big government conference that includes multilateral negotiations. There’s always a swag bag from the host country, and this one was pretty good! It included a USB stick…can never have too many, right? Not so much…the Canadians helpfully sent over an e-mail that they’d scanned it, and it was full of spyware. Nice try though!

    1. oh that’s terrifying! I heard one booth at BlogHer was giving out battery packs that caused a bunch of attendees’ phones to lock up. I’ve gotten really wary of anything that has to connect to my phone or computer thanks to the sketchy things I’ve heard about at my job!

  30. How amazing to get swag worth giving away! I’m a lawyer, and neither law firms nor law firm vendors tend to give good swag. Over the years, I have gotten law-firm branded sunblock (Coppertone has nothing to worry about), cheap chocolate bars stamped with law firm logos (not to say I won’t eat cheap chocolate, so I should be careful about sounding like I’m complaining about that one), neon green sunglasses with the law firm name emblazoned on them (which was tucked inside a little bag that said “The future’s so bright . . .” — yikes!), and, my favorite, a portable charging device that works by hand-cranking and requires you to crank for TEN MINUTES to get ONE MINUTE of charge on your phone or other mobile device. I’ll be ready when the grid goes down! Thanks so much for your story, Alison, and thanks for your blog. You’re the first fashion blogger I started following and will always be near and dear to my heart!

    1. LOL at your swag, I have so received all of that kind of crap! Must say there ARE some WordPress-logoed sunglasses in the swag bag I’m giving away but they are clear frames and a perfectly decent pair to have in the car just in case!

  31. My 7 year old niece loves all manner of swag. Everything I get goes to her. My brother & sis-in-law are not pleased. 🙂

  32. I was at an early childhood conference where a vendor gave me a stress ball shaped like an apple. Two weeks later, it was found in the toy kitchen with a bite taken out of it. 🙂

  33. I haven’t been to any conferences however, one time I did get an incredible deal on 1 subject notebooks as a teacher (they were 1¢ a piece–yes!!)

  34. My dad and I used to go to NYC for a day each winter, and one year we were killing time and wandered into an academic history professors’ conference. Not surprisingly, the swag was minimal, but the day was really really fun.
    Thanks for the chance.

  35. At one conference, AFLAC was giving away stuffed ducks that screamed AFLAC! That was about 13 years ago and it still gets used by my kids.

    1. At an Adobe conference I got a monkey that if it was shaken it would cheep in this creepy way that sounded like an evil laugh. We’d throw it over cubicle walls at people and scare the crap out of them, monkey evil laughing as soon as it hit a hard surface. I wonder what happened to it… likely someone got fed up and threw it away! 🙂

      1. Ha ha! Yeah, before my kids got to the duck, my co-workers and I would annoy people with the screaming AFLAC! Good times. 😀

  36. I have been to several educational technology conferences in the past few years. They give out the cheapo mesh/nylon type totes. My first year I went to basically every booth gathering freebies. Then like you said found I had little use for plastics sunglasses and XXL or XXS tshirts! But I also really do love the rush of swag. Now I go and hit up booths and I use the swag as give always in my PD sessions that I teach!

  37. I don’t have any good/crazy swag stories to tell, but I do like what Cheryl Pudney and her husband did–collecting useful swag for schools. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever have an opportunity to do something similar.

  38. I’ve followed your blog for a long time and I love you! I’ve never won anything so this would be super exciting. Thanks for the chance!

  39. I don’t know that I have any good swag stories. But, in most of my workplaces, I end up being the orderer of the swag, so I have been known to joke around that my unofficial title is Queen of All Swag.

  40. I feel like I’ve been on both sides of this. I must admit, science conferences don’t always get the best swag, but a free thumb drive is worth hunting for. Whenever I was leading student groups at conferences, we’d eye the swag other people had and try to find the good stuff. However, nothing beats the free orientation t-shirts when I was in grad school. I was on the giving side of that and was worried I’d lose a finger. The number of people who got annoyed that they couldn’t have their free shirt BEFORE the one hour orientation was crazy. When they let out, people were acting like I was handing out gold bars. Seriously. They were just t-shirts.

  41. I went to a big blogging conference a few years ago – and a few adult-oriented companies were in the expo. Needless to say, there were LINES around the room to get their swag. Free battery-operated items, IYKWIM

  42. Nothing too exciting, but at one conference I attended they had color changing plastic cups that were a huge hit at home and temporary tattoos with farm animals that were on arms for a week.

  43. Only story I have is I went as a judge in a local dog show and after they handed out bags with a few doggie items as prizes and mine had some jars of gourmet dog food in it…which leaked all over the other stuff while in the back seat of my car and my car smelled like roadkill and the zoo for a month at least.

  44. Ooh, Ooh, pick me, Allie. As a busty 12-14, I adore you and your style.

    I theoretically won a book from the Daily Connoisseur (10 item wardrobe/Paris), but it never arrived. Somehow, I feel you would make sure people got what they won.

    1. That’s happened to me too. When I was pregnant I went on a giveaway spree and entered them every day on lunch hour. I had a few who never sent their stuff and never replied to emails about it. I have had some brands be slow or shifty in giving the prizes, but I do reply to those asking where their items are and give those brands heck about being tardy. But sometimes the issue ends up being the brand offering the giveaway and not the blogger. Sucks.

  45. I can’t think of any swag stories but I will profess my undying love of roaming the aisles of Sam’s Club with my oldest making a meal of of their samples, lol! Thank you for the generous giveaway!

  46. Thanks for sharing with your readers! I’m always impressed when free t-shirts are offered in women’s cuts. It’s rare because it seems like the default t-shirt swag is in men’s cuts.

  47. I’m a preschool teacher and have been to a few early education conferences. I stock up on pens and pencils for my classroom writing and art centers at conferences. However, the weirdest thing foisted on me was multicolored shredded tires in a ziplock bag from a playground cover company. It wasn’t even enough to use for art, so I tossed it in the hotel room. Um, thanks? I never could figure out a way to say no to swag without sounding rude.

    1. I hate stuff like that! I used to work for a construction company and brands would put their logo on a piece of tire, or roofing. What the heck am I supposed to do with this, and how much did it cost to cut up this perfectly good material to make craptastic swag that will be thrown away?

  48. Ah, swag.. I love the stuff, but yes, it’s often stuff I don’t REALLY need. There’s just something about getting free stuff! As a law school recruiter, I see my share of “swag” on the road. Students don’t really care about it either, but there are always the “outlier” event attendees who like to sidle up to my table, slyly take a pen while giving me the eye and never saying a word. Makes me laugh. Thanks for the swag opportunity, Allie! Glad you enjoyed BlogHer!

  49. I used to go nuts for the free stuff my dad would bring home from conventions and conferences with his fellow engineers! Now that I’m older I realize it was all cheap marketing materials, but it felt like exotic souveniers at the time.

  50. I’ve never won a blog giveaway so all of my stories are from corporate trade show and vendor fairs. The typical water bottles, notebooks and pens. Oh the pens. I’ve had to go through swag pen rehab, and luckily it’s working. I still can’t seem to say no to all of the other corporate branded crap that I inevitably donate to a non-profit. But after years of storing free pens all over the house, I’ve realized that I could write for years and years and never run out of ink!!

  51. Never won a giveway. My son recently went to a boy scout camporee and came away with the most random, useless swag and he loves every bit of it!

    1. LOL my daughter is having a BLAST with the random swag I got. Her favorite is a pencil case from the Staples booth – it looks like a giant soft pencil with a real eraser, built in pencil sharpener, the point is a highlighter and there’s two compartments to hold a whole lot of nothing (currently containing Lalaloopsy minis and some pennies).

  52. First conference ever. Flying there was a disaster. Arrived 12 hours late. Rerouted 3 times. You guess it: Luggage lost. Since I’m a smart girl of course my essentials were in my carry on. But my change of clothes was shorts and a t short. After being in my travel clothes for so long, I had to shower and change.

    So I went to my first event in shorts and a t shirt instead of the appropriate suit. Fortunately Delta delivered my luggage before lunch and I was able to change then. And several others had similar problems, so, I was met with empathy not criticism. .

    1. that happened once when I was on business travel, I had to go across the country and meet a new client all on my own. Flight delayed, cancelled, next one delayed, luggage lost. I was wearing a suit on the trip but my base layer was so gross after almost 20 hours I ended up going to my meeting commando under the pants and a casual tee in my carryon I planned to wear to the gym!

  53. I want some swag! Ha, I’m learning, too, to turn down cheapie free stuff. But sounds like you got some GOOD stuff.

  54. I once won a $500 gift certificate to a place that did mail order lobsters and steaks. No idea how I was entered in the contest, but it was a delicious surprise.

  55. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I don’t really have a great swag story, but once when my office was a vendor at a conference this one women kept coming by all the tables and taking the free swag repeatedly! She cleaned out our pens and took at least 5 totes…and she wouldn’t make eye contact with any of the vendors because maybe she thought that would prevent us from recognizing her?! It was pretty funny to watch her try to sneak around!

  56. I received a bottle of fancy barbecue sauce from Kansas City as a piece of swag while attending a conference there. I thought I would score some points with my boss who loves BBQ and bring it home in my checked bag, because of course it is too big for carry on liquid. So I wrapped it carefully inside some clothes and completely forgot about it. When I arrived at the airport I thought, what the heck, let’s bring this little bitty piece of luggage on board (yes I forgot the sauce was inside). Well, long story short, the shuttle ride with luggage stacked and jostled had loosened the cap and not only did the TSA agent open my case to remove the sauce, he removed a sweater slathered in sauce as well. No Sauce on Board, No Sweater on Board and a lingering hickory smell throughout the flight.

  57. The only giveaways I tend to win are for books (because I follow a lot of review blogs that do giveaways for their reviews and I love to read!), but occasionally I’ve won things from my local radio station as well. I won tickets to see a magician and that was pretty cool 🙂 I wouldn’t have paid money to go see him, but I did end up enjoying it so yay for expanding my horizons!

    I do love getting swag at women’s expos though! It’s usually grocery totes, and they ALL get used. I love a reusable tote for grocery shopping!

  58. As a university student, the only swag I get is from education fairs – never having to buy a pen again (because of the sheer amount they give away) is kinda fun, but I’m pretty sure I’d prefer some more fashionable freebies instead lol =D!

    I know you’ve been going through tough times lately Allie, but I’m sure these little perks are the things that remind you of why you blog in the first place (not because of the freebies, mind you (although they’re a great benefit, no doubt!) but of the good vibes and advantages it gives you (in amongst all the usual stress and pitfalls of blogging too)

    Please keep blogging about both the ups and the downs of blogging, Allie- it’s great to see such honesty on a blog!

  59. I’ve only ever been to the Texas Style Council, but it was really fun. It’s rare to be in the company of so many people who are also bloggers. My friends and family are incredibly supportive, but they don’t have the same experience never having blogged themselves. I’m guessing the BlogHer conference in New York was full of amazing shared moments with other ladies who blog. Hope you had fun.

    1. It was… and it wasn’t. Very few fashion bloggers there and those who are, they have more of a slant like body image, feminism, etc. I connected most with some lifestyle and parenting bloggers who have a fashion spin, but few I met had the same issues, needs, audience, or goals that I do. I’ll be sharing more in an upcoming post.

  60. I also did the Costco tastings as a way to feed my son lunch on Saturdays….He loved going there! Love that you are giving away your haul!

  61. Best swag: free cinnamon sugar doughnuts from the booth selling doughnut making machines for farmers’ markets. You know all those cider and doughnut places that you see in the fall. Yum. I had to stop by that booth once a day around 10 am. They knew most of us weren’t buying the machine, but we did help create a buzz!

  62. I was an accountant before I became a SAHM and went to several accounting conferences. You would be surprised how much accounting/finance swag there was! Pretty boring compared to what must be at BlogHer, but I still have a few things – calculator, mousepad, etc. I love your blog and am excited to enter the contest. Thanks for your generosity!

  63. I love swag but some is useful and some, notsomuch. Like when I attend construction conferences… Who really needs shingle and siding samples? More pens and keychains? My favorite was a beautiful travel coffee set in a black case with two travel mugs, a huge thermos, spoons, sugar, creamer and cloth napkins. I still use that set every time we attend a sports event, travel or have a picnic.

    1. That is AMAZING swag! I’m reading this while sipping from a reusable cold drink tumbler, the type with the straw and I realize how great beverage or food swag is. And you carry it everywhere which is good promotion for the company providing it!

  64. All of my swag is non-profit or federal contractor conference swag. So, I have more flimsy canvas totes with labels peeling off than anyone can imagine (though they do come in handy!). I don’t know if I have a story so much as a request: You go to a professional conference, say, reproductive rights and justice oriented. International focus. What kind of swag do you want? (She says as she notes the “plan swag” meeting on her calendar later this week…)

    1. I can’t wait to read your responses! One of the smartest swag I saw at this conference was from Merk, it was a silicone pocket you can stick to the back of your smartphone or inside a folio to hold business cards. I saw so many people stick it to their phones or the front of the branded empty book BlogHer provided. Great marketing and a useful tool. Also I LOVED the empty book, and like when any company offers a nice little spiral or bound journal!

  65. Thank you for listing the BlogHer conference sponsors and vendors. I purchased the book “52 Weeks.” It looks like just the thing I need to get my sluggish life back on track. Love your blog.

  66. I attended a literary conference and upon checking in, discovered that my name tag listed NC instead of SC as my home state. The woman at the registration table crossed it out with her Sharpie and corrected it. This turned out to be a great ice breaker at the conference, especially since the news had just broken that my governor had not been “hiking the Appalachian trail,” and instead was with his mistress in Argentina.

  67. Oh I’ve been to a couple of GSA conferences. The strange thing I didn’t understand was the games. Like I just skipped the booths with games, you know spin the wheel, pick up the duck etc. One place I dream to go? CHA conference. First, I’d have to have an industry reason but man, that would be like a red carpet experience.

  68. I’ve never been to a fun conference like BlogHer, but even more stodgy legal conventions can result in me coming home with lots of “stuff” like sunglasses, travel mugs, stress balls, post it holders, ….. I just cleaned a big bag of that stuff out this past week. I would be so happy to replace my “stuff” with your “swag”! 🙂

  69. I don’t really have a funny swag story, but it seems like there is a family/community event nearly every weekend where we live. There are always local companies giving away junk and my 8 year old manages to get every worthless piece of swag there is to offer. Thank you so much for your blog – I love it!

  70. My crazy swag story comes from the other side of the table. Many moons ago, I was running a 300-attendee event for a non-profit. We had so much in the way of sponsored swag and event supplies, that I had to rent a large vehicle to bring it with me. I was late picking up the minivan I had reserved, so all they had for me was a Ford Expedition (Ford’s monster SUV.) It’s a good thing that happened, because I stuffed that thing to the gills. It was so full that when I made a stop to pick up the foam-core mounted signage, I had to take some soft goods out of their boxes so that I could squirrel them away in nooks and crannies in the vehicle to make enough room. The vehicle was stuffed floorboards to ceiling in the back, with the passenger seat stuffed floorboards to bottom of the window. Then I had to drive 5 hours to the event venue. At one point, I had to pull over because something shifted so that it was blocking my view of the right-side mirror, and there was just no way I could drive that beast with only one mirror. I lived; nothing was damaged; and the attendees seemed to love all the stuff. But, OMG, the next time I’m planning a large event, we are going to ship the swag to the venue.

  71. I’ve been to a couple of conferences since starting my lil’ ol’ blog. It’s fun for what it is – networking your ass off, listening to awesome discussion panels, and meeting like-minded individuals who have your same passion. Been scoping out BlogHer for a while and hoping to attend next year. Another bigger conference I plan on attending this year is Blogalicious. Uber excited.

    I can’t wait to read your recap (or was this your recap…)

      1. It’s also the weekend of my Mother’s birthday (12th)! But we’re planning something that day in the evening so I still can be able to attend the morning/afternoon activities.

  72. I really appreciate when friends and family donate cool swag for us to use at school. Favorites of middle schoolers are note cards, pens/pencils, stress balls, fun college or science T’s, and books/magazines. The favorite so far was a pen my husband was given when he signed up for a number at a local auction…a pen that lights up on the second click. The kids thought it was so “fabulous” that I should make it class pen to share and not offer it as a prize. Too funny.

  73. I’m a big fan of conferences sans swag — but it always seems like I come home with something! My favorite recently was the first conference I attended with a mobile app. No carrying around a booklet all day — sure helps you travel light!

    1. This year BlogHer didn’t print out a single thing, everything from the agenda to maps to feedback on sessions was via their app and it was super easy to use. I could even add additional items in there. Very impressed!

  74. I run a lot of races – mostly half marathons and get my swag from them. Usually a shirt, free snacks/granola bars/sports fuel. Unfortunately a lot of is does get thrown out.

  75. I haven’t ever been to a conference that featured swag, but my husband goes to scientific trade conferences all the time and brings home knapsacks, so our kids walk around with knapsacks with highly technical scientific logos.

  76. I never receive anything aside from pens and pencils at conferences. Your swag bag sounds great!

  77. I’m one with no funny stories, but my sis and I too, eat our way thru Costco at lunch time. We’re a little disappointed if there aren’t a lot of sample tables out…

  78. The swag I get nowadays is from my employer. So far I’ve received two insulated lunch totes, a koozie, a mousepad, a stress ball, a hard hat, a backpack, a blanket, and more. My last employer made me give back my logo clothing after I turned in my notice, which is just a tiny indication that my current job is more generous than my last job.

  79. I feel like I’m really good at winning free things. I won a Stephanie Johnson make up bag, beauty items, PS I made this book, and lots of smaller things I can’t remember. I love getting those packages in the mail!

  80. I’m a fan of the American Library Association Conference, and since it’s in Chicago every couple years, I’ve been a few times. Publishers give away tons of pre-pub books, totes, and office supplies. But my hands down favorite swag was a tiny bright pink book cart that holds business cards. I’ve wanted a pink book cart since grad school! And the FREE, hardcover, SIGNED copy of Everyday by David Levithan is a close second.

    1. I used to work for a company that exhibited at conferences like ALA. It always cracked me up when people were “on the move” for the free stuff from the vendors. Even as an exhibitor, it was fun to see what competitors were offering and snag a few goodies myself. 🙂

  81. So I’m an exhibits manager and it’s my job to manage these crazy companies, make sure they’re not trying to give away live goldfish/do anything crazy in the booth, sell them advertising, etc. I recently just threw away my second batch of convention bags after 10+ years of conventions. I also go with my organization’s booth to tradeshows where one of our more popular items is a little booklet with post-it flags. Nearly every single person picks it up and looks at me, “What is this?” I started to answer them with stuff like “the secret of youth” and “molly” (okay not really the last one). I’ve seen people sweep a table full of pens off of tables into their bags. Conference attendees also love to take pens and post-its “for their grandkids”. What are your grandkids gonna do with these?!?!??! 🙂

    1. I’m sorry but I can’t stop chuckling at the response of Molly! And one of those booklets is in this swag bag, I kept one for work because I actually do use those flags, but if I kept two that second one would get lost in the shuffle before it was ever used. And yes the hoarding of pens, what the heck? I saw people do the sweep like that. The only thing I took in multiples was those gold flash temporary tattoos from the WordPress table, but they (hey Sarah if you’re reading, go glad to have met you!) encouraged me to do so. I got one sheet and Emerson coated her body in them while in NYC and they told me to take a bunch. I expect a dozen girls in my town to be pimping WordPress in the near future – flash tattoo party at Casa Gary!

      1. Those flash tattoos are expensive! Also, I have a ton of those post-its, so I can hook you up when you’re ready. 🙂

  82. I always get a kick out of the people who come to our job fairs with their own swag bags. They aren’t loking for a job, they just go from table to table taking free crap. And it literally is crap. Mostly stress balls and pens and highlighters.

    1. I always love jobs that recruit using stress balls. What, exactly, does that say about their companies????

  83. I’ve had my share of throwaway swag items from conferences. It’s nice to see that some folks still know how to really get you interested by giving away useful / desireable items!

  84. When I first started reading blogs, I was hesitant to enter their giveaways (I had a Rafflecopter fear)! But the first one I tried, I won! Three work out t-shirts, which I still wear to this day! It was a great way to be introduced to a brand (Tasc) that I now love and wear often! Sara

  85. The only swag I’ve had the pleasure of collecting is from running expos, and I am relatively new to that world! I’ve got lots and lots of race shirts though 🙂

  86. I once worked at a conference exhibit hall. The swag was nothing especially fabulous, but still people fought to get handfuls of free pens, stress balls, magnets, etc.

  87. once, back in elementary school, i ran into a friend/neighbor who was working a free sample table at the grocery store, giving away ice cream. i sat myself down right next to her and probably ate a solid pint of butter pecan!

  88. I havent had any crazy free stuff stories. But I love free suff when it is useful – but agree with you if you dont need it – pass it on.

  89. The swag I get from academic conferences is never as fun as the swag people get from other types of conferences, to the point where I’ve started declining the swag bags. So a chance to win this one would be awesome — thank you!

  90. I don’t feel like anything particularly crazy ever happened to me in regards to swag! Although when Sam’s Club first opened near our house, my mom and I basically used the Saturday Samples as a way to not eat breakfast. So there’s that.

    OH! Wait. Here you go. My dad is a farmer. Every year i would get dragged with him and Mom to a big dinner one of the seed companies we bought from sponsored, and I would eat fair to middling food, complain endlessly, and we’d leave with a ballcap with a seed company logo on it. Every year. My dad has something along the lines of seventeen of those friggin’ ballcaps. (I have stolen four).

  91. It seems like I have twenty t-shirts from different expos and things like that. Nothing too exciting.

  92. I managed and attended tradeshows for a client for 5+ years, but my stories are pretty lame! Maybe the best one is when someone in the exhibit behind mine lost her balance and came crashing through our display. Thankfully, she was just fine. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. LOL I bet that was a shock! I remember at a trade show someone lost their balance and knocked over one of our signs causing a domino effect on the displays at the booth next to us. Nothing broken, we laughed it off but the woman FLED in embarrassment. I’m a klutz and did a bit of bumping and knocking this weekend but the worst I did was spill the remnants from my Dunkin Donuts smoothie sample. Whew! 🙂

  93. I’ve never been to a conference like BlogHer, although it’s on my bucket list!:) We have a building at our State Fair that contains all of the business vendors like our state power company, unions, the DMV and also a lot of the “as seen on tv” products. About twelve years ago, my husband and I, newlyweds, and new to teaching, went through the entire building and collected all of the school supplies we could find – the generosity of the vendors when they heard we were urban school teachers in the area was amazing, and we ended up with enough pencils to supply three years worth of classes! Certainly wasn’t the type of swag you’d get at a conference like BlogHer, but we know we appreciated it and it really helped a lot of our students, who couldn’t afford school supplies, even pencils, on their own. Now…we both still teach, but we start stalking the school supply sales in July…and stock up ourselves! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. LOVE that you did that! When employees leave my company I wait a week then go all vulture on their offices. First I snag what I and my department could use to save costs, but then I take the rest so I can donate to local organizations knowing if I don’t it will all be thrown in the trash. As you know, schools are always in need of pens, pencils, post-it notes and various other office and conference supplies it’s great to give such items!

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