One of the really fun things about WordCamps is the different swag you can collect as an attendee. People LOVE swag. I’m people. I love swag, too.

BUT…here’s a post about swag. For attendees and for sponsors and organizers. Please take this to heart.

Let’s Start with Organizers

When you’re choosing swag for your WordCamp, please, please, please keep the following in mind:

T-shirts aren’t really all that accessible.

T-shirts are great for most men. Well, most men of average size. Often T-shirts don’t fit a woman’s body well. And often they don’t come in all sizes for all people. As someone who attends a lot of WordCamps, I have a collection of T-shirts that don’t fit me. That makes me feel sad and, worse, disenfranchised/excluded from the fun of swag and full participation in the camp.

Some great camp swag I’ve received includes:

  • Paper notebooks (Yes…paper is still useful)
  • Drinkware (insulated or not, I use these in my office and at home)
  • Coasters
  • Stickers
  • Battery packs
  • Pens
  • Tech or office packs

Sponsors, This is for You

Some of my favorite sponsor swag shows me why I should love your company, and also pertains to your company. Your swag shouldn’t be disconnected from who you are and your mission.

Some terrible swag ideas include:

  • Environmentally negligent – please don’t package your swag with a lot of waste, even if it’s recyclable. Many of us travel to WordCamps and will remove packaging to make travel easier, which means that we leave that behind in the hotel. Most hotels don’t have recycle bins in the rooms.
  • Edible swag – I may enjoy your chocolate or s’mores kit for a moment…but rest assured that once it’s gone I won’t see it or remember it again, for the most part. Swag should live on someone’s desk so they are reminded about you on a continual basis.
  • Stress balls or anything else that has been overdone. Most attendees have a million of these already.
  • T-Shirts (See above)
  • Perishables – the tulip bulbs I received were moldy by the time I could plant them.

Some great sponsor swag I’ve received includes:

  • Wireless charger
  • Reusable drinking straws
  • Pens
  • Bags (great for collecting more swag!)
  • Notebooks
  • Passport cover
  • Stickers
  • Wapuu pins

And Finally, a Note to Attendees

Swag is a ton of fun to collect, but please be mindful of the environment. Take what you will use. Leave what you won’t. If it will end up in a landfill without being used and/or recycled, please leave it for someone else.

Visit and learn about the companies that provide the swag.

Use and enjoy!