OOW: The swag at Oracle Open World makes my stomach hurt.

Yesterday a colleague and I received passes to Oracle Open World. As event marketers, we’re always looking for that one special item that will accomplish these things:

  1. get their attention
  2. make them take it (some things are “oh that’s ool – nah, I don’t want it”)
  3. align with our brand (sure you can give away beer, but what does that say about the company?)
  4. something often seen (food is gone in a second and most pens get lost)
So what did OOW have? Candy. A lot of it. Additionally, all but one bag of M&Ms was not branded. What a waste of space!
There were some good items too:
  1. A keyboard cleaner – this guy is supper cute and sits on your desktop or elsewhere.
  2. small pen on a keychain – which I think is smart, so you’ll always have a pen handy, plus you see it all the time.
  3. A bobble head pen with a suction on the bottom to stick to your desk.
The rest of it was edible. First we had popcorn. No idea who was giving that away, but it was too salty. Then we went over to a candy bar. It was akin to at a wedding, you grab a bag and fill it with jelly beans and chocolate. The only reason i remember who gave that to us is because it was Netsuite and with the candy they had “Dots”. No not the dots that we all loved as kids, but A dot that goes over your iphone button. It definitely made a lasting impression, but I won’t be using it anytime soon. Then we headed over to the lollipop bar. They had all kind of lollipops – even one that looks like underwear. yes, seriously. For the life of me, I have no idea who was giving away the lollipops.
It was a fun exhibit hall. There was bocce, golf, video games, and gelato. Who sponsored those? No idea.
An insider at Oracle said that the lack of goods was probably due to the “zero waste by 2015” goal that Oracle is trying to to achieve. I understand that – and the green girl in me wants to say, “yeah – that’s great!” But the marketer in me says, “hey we paid a lot of money for this booth and we want to make an impression. Let us have swag!” Not to mention, isn’t candy something that could be waste?
There needs to be something that can be green but not candy. The ridiculous amount of candy at this conference made my stomach hurt.

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