Your Most Used or Favourite Swag Item

Yesterday there was a really interesting conversation on a tech Slack channel about peoples most used or favourite conference swag item.

I couldn’t pick just one as I use these 4 every day:

  • Stainless steel water bottle with a straw
  • Keep cup/reusable coffee cup
  • Web Camera cover
  • Pop socket for my phone (this has greatly reduced my RSI from stretching across a wide screen)

Other people in the discussion loved their socks from other conferences. We then got to discussing environmentally friendly swag. Obviously, swag that will be used again and again after the event helps with this but some cool favourites were this sprout pencil

and business cards with seeds in them

What’s your favourite or most used swag item?

Both of these came from PDXDevOpsDays 2018:

This is a charge cable with 2x Micro USB, Mini USB, USB-C, and Lightning. This thing is permanently attached to a large battery and goes with me pretty much wherever I go now. Wins as most-useful swag item ever.

The most bizarre is this one:

It’s a large (and rather heavy) hand made custom metal belt buckle with the PDXDevOpsDays logo on it. It sits on a shelf behind where I work - I’m not sure I’d ever wear it, but it’s pretty cool.

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My most loved schwag is my MoT beer tankard. It gets a lot of use.

Best one I’ve seen is a Chili water bottle that all delegates were given by App Dynamics at their conference.

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I received a wireless presenter that could be used to navigate through a slide deck. It also had a laser pointer on it which I use today to help our cat get some exercise.

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I imagine a water bottle in the shape of a chilli and now I can’t picture anything else!

MoT tote bag from TB NL! That one traveled with me to CAST & WeTest even. Most totebags are of lesser quality or inconvenient size, but these have held up well.


I’ve replaced all of my grocery bags (previously withering plastic) with conference tote bags :grin:


Showing my age here, but I had a Wordperfect coffee mug that I used for years…until it slipped out of my hand and shattered on the office kitchen floor :cry:.


A stand for my phone. I use it daily.

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I’m still using a courier satchel that I had at a conference in 1996!

Subsequent years’ freebie satchels from the same conference were smaller and eventually the shoulder straps were dropped and they were just document wallets. But the 1996 one was the best freebie ever!

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My most loved swag item is the orange MoT tote bag from TestBash Brighton 2017.
I used it for all family holidays to contain the either very important or very dangerous (as in first aid kit and drugs) stuff. The color makes sure I pay extra attention to it :slight_smile:

I know that many people don’t like them but I really dig conference shirts - especially if they’re not dark blue or black as I’m covered with those. I do wear them to work and for me they are a nice reminder of past adventures.

Even better than those are swag items I can bring home for the kids. My son (6 years) LOVES the small LED flashlight I got at EclipseCon Europe this year and actually asked me if I can get him another one for his best friend, the rubber duck from Romanian Testing Conference 2018 is a big hit with my daughter (2 years).
I do bring small gifts home with me after being away for a conference anyway, so if the conference itself supplies them that’s one less thing to worry about.

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Oh yeah I was THE best aunt in the world when I brought home the much coveted black fidget spinners from a conference I attended :grin:


My favorite swag item is actually no swag! There are a couple of companies going swagless, and you choose a charity to donate to instead of them spending money on swag to give away. I don’t add more clutter to my life, and a charity gets some money - that’s a win/win!