Celebrities love the Emmys and Oscars – all that free press, red carpet attention and – maybe best of all – swag bags filled with expensive goodies such as jewelry, watches, the latest electronics, certificates for dream getaways and more. All they have to do is visit a “gifting suite,” usually at a swanky Hollywood hotel, to collect the bounty.
Yeah, well, we have trade show swag! And we’re not alone. Most industries give freebies to attendees at their trade shows. Exhibitors may not be able to offer gifts worth thousands of dollars to every visitor like they do in Hollywood, but there’s still plenty of free stuff. I’ve heard of everything from bamboo cutting boards with the exhibitor’s logo etched in it to bottles of wine and/or wine cooler bags, insulated travel coffee mugs, logoed Snuggies and the like.
I’ve certainly picked up my share of freebies from pool and spa show booths. Let’s see, the list includes colorful brooches, hats, stuffed animals, pens, bags, freshly made popcorn and candy. That doesn’t even count the raffles, contests and big giveaways that you'll also find at shows.
The most unusual trade show giveaway I ever heard about occurred before my time. In 1973, Pool News reported that a 150-pound wheel of aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese was shared with attendees who stopped by one exhibitor’s booth at the NSPI Fall Trade Show.
Can’t wait to see what exhibitors at the 2013 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo will be giving away in Vegas. Cheese, anyone?