The Things You Still Do For Swag

The crowd counts down: 3…2…1 Then the show floor opens, and the race is on, a sea of frantic women trying to get to the back of the show floor. Some  are not even sure why they are running or where they are going. They just know if something was good for someone else to run for they should probably be a part of it.  Some women breathlessly discuss what they are running for: “Fancy…..Pants…….cute aprons….first 50.” Arriving in time to see the last few aprons handed out proves that to get the swag some must be willing to go “the extra mile” (Fancy Pants Designs apron pictured below.)

Swag [Stuff We All Get] are the promotional and giveaway items handed out by manufacturers and vendors at an event, and are a fun part of trade show culture. Whether you blame it on a “sign of the economy” or just manufacturers wanting to limit promotional items to those that purchased from them as incentive, this year at CHA Winter 2011 the swag was a bit more difficult to find, however.

As at previous shows, tickets for giveaways were handed by many manufacturers. Yet for many companies the number of giveaways were fewer, and tickets were not as freely handed out. Most tickets had to be earned in some way. Participation in a make-and-take, viewing a demo, or discussing product with a sales rep would earn an attendee a chance at winning product from the manufacturer. The more time spent in the booth participating in what was going on there, the more chances could be earned to win. Another addition in Los Angeles to the typical scrapbook product giveaways were Apple iPad giveaways. Manufacturers such as Momenta, Echo Park Paper Company, and even the CHA show itself held drawings for the popular device.

At past shows typical giveaways were at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. This year companies usually only held one big giveaway that attendees had to be present for to win.  Many of these events happened at the same time, causing attendees to have to choose a favorite to be at for their chance to win. Attendees at these giveaways could be rather ruthless, giving people merely seconds to check their number or hear their name called before declaring the person not present and demanding a new winner be drawn.

As in years past the most predominant item being handed out were bags, since companies know that attendees have a tendency to collect a lot of stuff on the show floor. Promotional bags are an easy way to get your name out there while providing something useful at the same time.  There were gift style bags emblazoned with a company’s logo, oversized vinyl bags showcasing a companies product or logo, and eco-friendly bags with colorful designs reminding us to reuse and recycle. An attendee couldn’t walk down any given aisle at the show with out being offered one or two (or a dozen) bags.

Product samples were another popular giveaway. Offerings we saw included adhesive samples, swatch books, cards of ribbon, embellishments, and (as in the case of Painter’s Pyramid) a 10 pack of their product. Following the adage “if they try it they will buy it” some manufacturers gave potential customers a chance to  sample the product before committing to place an order.

Many publishers offered copies of their latest editions. Magazines Crafts-n-Things, Bead Unique and Scrapbooking & Beyond found their way into many attendees bags. Those with a few moments to spare could net not only a new book but a copy signed by the author. Celebrity authors Mark Mantano (pictured below), Margo Potter, Becky Fleck and more held appearances all over the show with not only their publishing companies but with manufacturer partners as well.

One thing obviously lacking this year were the usual t-shirt giveaways. There were a few promotional clothing items walking the floor: aprons from  Fancy Pants Designs, Making Memories, & Silhouette, plus hats from We R Memory Keepers. But with the exception of the t-shirt giveaway at the Cricut birthday party, there weren’t many company logos being worn by attendees on the show floor.

While attendees could come home with a fair amount of crafting treasures from CHA, it was obvious this time around there wasn’t as much available as there has been in the past and what there was didn’t flow as freely to attendees as at past shows. Perhaps it was just a sign of the economic times, or as one manufacturer told Scrapbook Update, “I don’t really know why we didn’t offer any swag this year. We just didn’t do it.”

So…what article on swag would be complete without a chance to share in the “loot”? Would you like to win one of 3 boxes filled with some swag from CHA Winter 2011?

How To Enter: All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Sunday night, March 13th. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. U.S. mailing addresses only please.

[Editor’s Note: Enjoy this article? Check out Betsy’s report on CHA swag from CHA Summer 2010.]

Scrapbook Update would like to thank the following manufacturers for providing swag for the prizes: AAA Imaging Solutions (photo coaster), Ad Tech-Adhesive (crafters tape), Advantus Corp (Keepsafe Photo Organizer), All American Crafts (Christmas 365), Bead Unique, Scrapbooking & Beyond, Amos Press, Crafts ‘n Things, Blumenthal Lansing (button assortment), Creative Options (tote), Cri-kits (Swirls pen), Busy B’s (paper kit), (bag assortment), Cottage cuts (die), Coredinations (cardstock), Darice (Hercules Glue), Fancy Pants Design (apron), Faber-Castell (bag/mix and match book), Fiskars (punch, scissors, bone folder), Foss Mfg (ecofi felt samples), GCD Studios (candy), Glue Arts (adhesive samples), Grafix (Metallic Foil Board), K and M of Virginia Painters Pyramid (starter pack), Make it Fun Flora (craft light up pin), New phase (embellishment keeper), Offray (ribbon assortment), Pioneer (photo glue stick), Plaid (Mod Podge Gloss), PSA Essentials (bag), Puzzled-3-D (mini puzzle), Scotch 3M (scissors, adhesive dot roller, super glue), Scrapbook Business Magazine, Sculpey (oven baked clay sample), The Robin’s Nest (paper assortment), Unibind (bag), WE R Memory Keepers (hat), Westcott (scissors), Xyron (chocolate coin).

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302 Responses to The Things You Still Do For Swag

  1. Barbs March 12, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Thanks for the chance to win a box of goodies from CHA. Thanks, too, for sharing the excitement of CHA.

  2. Neysa March 12, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Love the apron! Thanks for the chance to view all the goodies and a chance to win them. Love your coverage of CHA.

  3. Sandy W March 12, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Great pictures Betsy and thanks for the review of CHA swag. I’d love to try some of the adhesives, etc., so thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Evelyn March 12, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Love your article. Would love one day to attend the CHA. Thanks for the review and chance to win.

  5. Jennifer S. March 12, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Thanks for sharing all the great CHA stuff and for the chance to win.

  6. Kelly Sas March 12, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Great article – almost like being there! I dream of going to CHA. I love all things free and would love meeting some of the designers or reps from craft companies that I love. It would be so fun to win one of these CHA SWAGs! Thank you.

  7. Ruby Wilkes #5637 March 12, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    What a great article; I would love to go to a CHA one day it always seems like everyone has so much fun.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win fabulous prizes.

  8. Donna March 12, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Wish I had been there. Thanks for sharing your swag.

  9. Sue March 12, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Good article – almost like being there. Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. HollyMira March 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    What a cute apron. Would love to attend CHA so day. Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for a chance to win.

  11. EJ March 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    OMG what a great post would love to win some swag.

  12. Sandy March 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    So much fun

    Thanks Betsy

  13. Kirsten March 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Would love to have some swag!!! I love all the things you got.

  14. Dawn W. March 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I have LOVED all the CHA coverage. Thanks for the chance to win some swag!!!

  15. Diane Standish March 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Wow it looks as if you still got some pretty neat things- i would love to attend CHA some year-think it would be so much fun!

  16. Donna Davis March 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Thank-you for the nice give away! Swack with Swag!

  17. debbie myers March 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    oh my that is a load of goodies. thanks for the chance to win and sharing cha to all of us. debbie

  18. Jennifer B March 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    This is a great article and I do believe it is a sign of the times. Everyone has been affected by the poor economy – so thank you for the “free” article and a chance to win some great swag!

  19. Cynthia B. March 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    I’d love to win some CHA swag! Thanks for the chance!

  20. Marzee Carnes March 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Would be awesome to win!!! Thanks for the chance to enter!

  21. Maura Weins March 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this information. It’s always nice to know what to expect at these exciting events!!

  22. Mitch J March 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the goodies. Wish I could have been there.

  23. Allison LP March 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    SWAG, who doesn’t love swag?! This chance to get my hands on some of the goodies makes it almost OK that I wasn’t there in person to get some myself! TFS.

  24. scrapper al March 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    I think I still have all the swap I’ve ever collected from numerous tradeshows…and here I am wishing for more, lol.

  25. Mary C March 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Thank you for the chance to win some CHA swag. I am a sucker for the free giveaways at any event I attend. I have been wanting to go to CHA for years, hopefully I will get there eventually. This was a really nice article, thanks for sharing I saw your link on the fiskateers message board and had to check it out.

  26. kyscrapper March 13, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    What a nice thing to do! Thanks for the opportunity to win CHA swag!

  27. Kim March 13, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Thanks for a chance to win! Wish I could have been at CHA, they look so fun!

  28. Scrapbook Obsession March 13, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Betsy, thanks for telling us Memory Works girls about the giveaway. I ran right over, LOL!

  29. Ola Jaggers March 13, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    This was such a wonderful article to read…. I didn’t know about all of this amazing stuff to be found (even though it’s not as much as usual)!!! I would think that every company would have some sort of sample/item to giveaway…. you know the old saying ‘you have to spend money to make money’! But what do I know, lol!

    Thank you so much for the chance to win one of these amazing swag prizes…. I’m off to read the Summer 2010 CHA report. My husband actually took me to this one in Chicago, but we got their very late (I’m not too great at driving in Chicago, lol)…. so we didn’t find a whole lot of stuff. I was just completely mesmerized by all of the booths, lol!!

    Thanks again!

    ~Ola Jaggers

  30. Tina V March 13, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    I am hoping Summer 2011 CHA will have more swag because I plan to attend. Last year I was very happy with the swag and it actually hooked me onto some new manufacturers – the “freebies” do suck me in and I end up buying the product throughout the year!

  31. Lisa H March 13, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Great article, Betsy! Thanks for giving us a peek into what CHA is like, and thanks for the chance to win!

  32. vicki in MD March 13, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    wow – that looks like a lot of swag – and thanks for unveiling what swag means – I never knew that. Even with the less than normal give aways, it looks like everyone had so much fun. 1 day I hope to be able to make it to CHA. thanks for sharing the info and thanks for a chance to win some swag.

  33. Ashley March 13, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    What an exciting giveaway! I wish I could go to these shows! But I can win some SWAG here! 🙂 thanks for the opportunity!

  34. Nina March 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Thanks for sharing both your insight and your goodies!

  35. Lynn D March 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    thanks for the chance to win some SWAG (I learned a new term today too!) tfs

  36. mary schmidt March 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    What fun! I love getting free stuff at conventions. I would go over it all that night at the hotel and it would bring back all the fun that I had that day. Then going home with it all and trying to find somewhere to put it in my craft room. Every time I use it; it would bring back memories of the fun time at the convention. TFS!

  37. Maryann March 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Awww Cute! i love free stuff!~

  38. Jill F March 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Love the apron from Fancy Pants, so cute! Thanks for a chance to win some swag 🙂 I go to tech conferences and the swag isn’t nearly as cool as this 🙂

  39. Kellystar March 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Wish I could have been there to find my own SWAG—this would be the next best thing!

  40. Amanda S March 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    What a fun article!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  41. Jade March 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Wow! I wish I could have been there! What a treat!

  42. Sobeida Rodriguez March 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    That apron is so cute! That pile of loot is to die for! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Pam March 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    What a lovely bunch of free things that I would love to have!! Thanks for the chance!

  44. Cindy March 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Thanks for the reviews and for the chance to win some goodies!! 🙂

  45. Lucie Hale March 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Yay! I love SWAG. Hope I win!!

  46. Maureen O'Callaghan March 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    What an adorable apron! I’m salivating to try all the CHA stuff!

  47. Tanya March 14, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    Interesting article and thanks for the chance to win.

  48. Ann March 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Thank you for the chance to win some of your SWAG! I was interested in your comment about there being fewer t-shirts, as those give the companies great “walk-around” value when you wear them. Bags are great, too; you can’t have too many!

  49. Cyndi Stephenson March 16, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    That looks awesome and loads of fun. I wish there was one in my area.

  50. Nicolle July 23, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Great article! Thanks for a chance to win.

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