Having been to TechEd Australia and New Zealand over the last two weeks, I’ve had the chance to see the Expo halls at both events. I’ve heard attendees even comment/complain about the significant lack of SWAG (free stuff) that vendors are giving away.
Personally – SWAG is not what I want from vendors. What I want and expect from vendors at an expo or conference is for them to have their OWN people on the stand that are targeted at the audience for that event. Here’s an example for you – when I attend TechEd, i expect the vendor to be able to answer pretty well any technical question I throw at them. I expect that the people on their stand will know the ins and outs of their product extremely well. What I don’t want to see is some marketing dude that has no idea what I’ve just asked. What I don’t want to see is some booth babe handing out brochures. Ok that last one is probably where I’ve lost most of you 🙂 To me – you get one shot at making a great impression. My time is valuable and I don’t want to be messed around with blonde babes with no idea about the product.
So vendors – please pleas please – understand this and make sure you pitch your booths accordingly. Give us what we need to be successful and no – it’s not another mouse mate. The great conversations I’ve had at these events stay in my mind longer than the $1.00 mouse mate you give me.