I go to many conferences, and most of them seem to want to give me a nice canvas bag, and often a shirt as well. Truth is though, I now have a stack of about 20 bags in my closet. I’ve used some of the bags, typically the backpacks, but when I have so many other bags I don’t feel a strong motivation to walk around with a briefcase or laptop bag with a giant sponsor’s logo on it, or worse, a collection of 10 logos. No matter how nice the bag is. In addition, even if I got logo-free bags I have no need for 20 of them, but I can’t really give away logo covered bags as gifts.
Which means the sponsor wasted their money. And I think this is common, for while I sometimes see people carrying a sponsor bag outside the confines of a conference, it’s pretty rare compared to the number given out. You want me to be your billboard, I want more than a bag for it.
Might some sponsors take the plunge and make a bag with the sponsor’s logo inside the bag? Or perhaps if on the outside, in a more subtle way. This seems stupid at first, but a bag I actually use, which at least reminds me of the company when I use it, is better than a bag that stays stacked in a closet. (Of course, logo-inside bags would be given away more, which may not accomplish much.) Perhaps the sponsors should go in for designer bags, and turn their logos into desirable designer logos?
If your name is Versace, you can get people to pay to carry your advertising, but sorry, not if your name is AT&T. I hope you can get over it. And while a bag is useful for carrying stuff home from the conferences and even storing literature, truth is you can use a $1 bag for that, not a $15 one. We really have to hunt to find better conference giveaways than bags, at least at conferences whose attendees all attend other fancy conferences.