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Rachel Phillips

Schwag In The Bag!

June 4, 2008   Comments

Oh schwag, how I love thee!  OK, so I don't really love all schwag, just really fun or really practical schwag, but before I cite the reasons for my excitement, allow me to back up a bit.  I don't want to assume that everyone knows what this odd sounding word means.  It wasn't too long ago I was in the dark myself, so I'll explain. 

According to the Promosapien website, "the term schwag refers to all manner of logoed stuff given away by companies to get people to remember them, feel good about them, have their phone number and website at hand and generally make them think about them before any of their competitors."  Schwag has become standard fair for pretty much every conference, trade show or corporate affair.  Companies are not only expected to bring schwag, but there is an unspoken competition amongst them over who delivers the best, the coolest giveaways.


There are those that believe schwag can be dated back to the medieval times when
"armor makers gave out free, name-engraved wooden pegs so customers could hang up their goods." (courtesy of Promosapien).  I don't know how practical engraved wooden pegs would be these days, unless you're Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I do know what comes in handy for MY everyday life, which leads me to the source of my excitement.

Thumbnail image for Matt McGee's Pic of SBMU schwag.jpgOur spring Small Business Marketing Unleashed in Houston, TX delivered lots of fun and useful schwag.  Items ranged from mini sharpies and bounceable silly putty to t-shirts and buttons.  My all-time favorite piece was the reusable grocery bags brought by Will Scott of Search Influence, one of our first and repeat sponsors.  After months of utilization and a recent trip to Trader Joe's, I finally remembered to take a picture of my handy new bags.  The soft but durable material can easily be folded down into  glove-box size measurements, and the handles are the perfect length for carrying on you shoulder.  This is a huge help when you've got heavy items and still need your hands free.
Search Influence schwag bags


As you can see, I'm very fond of my reusable grocery bags, but I'm also anxious to see what
our fall SBMU is going to produce in terms of schwag.  The bar has been set high, but I firmly believe those involved with the September Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference will rise to the challenge! 

Gotten any really cool schwag lately?  Leave a comment and tell us about it or shoot me an email.  We'd love to see what's out there.

Oh, and here's a fun little fact for any other word nerds out there; schwag was originally spelled SWAG, which stood for Stuff We All Get.

(photos courtesy of Matt McGee's flickr pool of SBMU and me :)

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