This is the third post in a series about a survey of conference attendees and how they handle the materials and information gathered at such events. Here are the links to Post 1 (Survey Results Overview) and Post 2 (Questions 1 & 2/Attendance & Note-taking).
The third question of the survey asked respondents if they visit vendors at conferences. Only five of the 85 overall respondents said they did not. Really, who can resist all those shiny new pens, and those pins with the flashing LED lights?
Next, respondents were asked what they do with the swag they pick up from vendors when they get home. Their choices (and more than one could be selected):
- I try not to pick up vendor swag
- I only pick up what I know I’ll use
- I give it to my kids
- It’s in a drawer
- Other (please specify)
Forty-nine people claimed they only pick up what they know they’ll use — well, they’re less impulsive than I am. I always come home from conferences with a crick in my neck from carrying my conference bag full of pamphlets, notepads, magnets, erasers, rulers, you get the idea.
Fifteen people said they don’t pick up vendor swag (and, presumably, five of them were those who don’t visit vendors at all). A handful of people said they give it to their kids and/or have it stuffed in a drawer.
Thirty-three respondents had other ideas or uses for vendor swag. A few of them donate the items they pick up to their local genealogical society, library or other local organizations. A couple of folks admitted to using them for stocking stuffers. One respondent said, “Toys go to my husband who gives them to neighbor kids, so my husband is a superstar.”
Others divvy up their haul among their coworkers when they return to the office or use them as door prizes or giveaways. One respondent gathers so many tote bags at conferences, she Freecycles them twice a year.
Additionally, many folks admitted that they end up tossing most of what they gather, some as soon as they get back to their hotel room.
Stay tuned for the responses to the next question — how folks organize everything else they bring home from a conference. Read more at the links below: