Archive for August, 2010

Conferences: Sex and Swag

Does sex still sell and does swag/tsotchkes get you to buy from a company?  I’ve been to maybe,  6-8 different conferences with different companies over the past several years but saw for the first time, 2 girls in bikinis giving away business cards.

As you can see from the guy’s look in the background, he was quite memorized.  Is this the attention you want for your company and brand?  The answer might be maybe.  It depends on what you sell.  The conference host actually responded to this recently by re-posting a blog post with a poll he did on “booth babes”:

Most people are less likely to visit a booth if they have aesthetically hired help.  Having attractive people to help man your booth couldn’t hurt, but are they able to help you answer questions and help your business?  I guess they are receiving more traffic from people like me- creating a buzz, right?  But does it translate into revenue?

I received 2 pieces of swag at this conference that I’ve never seen before:

  1. A bag of instant “just add water” type camping food- chicken flavor.  They branded this food package with “just add [Company X] to see how delicious earning the highest commissions in one of the hottest new markets can be”
  2. Candy Cigarettes.  “Warning: Using [Company X] may result in increased revenues!”

I wonder how these companies justify their additional spend on this swag.  It is hard to directly tie to new customers.  I used to love getting this stuff in college but in the past few years have grown weary of all the pens, notepads, and knickknacks that were piling in my house.  I can’t recall any piece of swag that has been really useful.  I might have a t-shirt or 2 for the gym, and I do remember getting a t-shirt for Dan last year from ashleymadison.com (online dating site for married folks) that read “life’s short. have an affair.”  (No, you’re not allowed to wear that anymore.)

Work conferences aren’t very fun unless you’re going there for something you’re passionate about, and you really want to meet and network with people, and create/maintain those relationships.

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After my recent knee pain from running, a friend suggested I try to take more calcium.  I watch Dan diligently take his vitamins every day, so I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea, and had Dan buy me a gigantic bottle of Women One-a-day’s from Costco.

The first time I took it, I immediately got really nauseous.  It was like a wave that hit me maybe a few minutes after taking it in the morning.  I hadn’t taken it with any food, so I looked around to eat something right away because I felt like throwing up.  It subsided after an hour or so.

The next time I took it, I made sure to eat something first (I normally don’t eat breakfast, just coffee) and still about 10 min later, felt the same wave nauseousness that I had to lie down for half an hour to keep from throwing up.  Now I’m officially scared to try it again.

I did some research and it looks like many women are experiencing this after taking vitamins.  One review suggests that it’s specifically the iron that make people sick.  Apparently, only 18mg of Iron is recommended for women under 30 and this pill contains all 18mg.  So if you eat a lot of red meat, which I do, it might be too much.  I am OD-ing on vitamins!

I wonder why my body is rejecting nutrients – should I keep trying it or forget about it?  I have a full bottle with 2109385203958 pills minus 2 so if anyone else would like to try some, let me know!

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