Trade Show Bags

I believe that most of the tchotchkes and brochures we pass out a trade shows wind up in the trash. I have never actually done a statistically valid research study on the subject, but I base my belief on the following observations:

  1. People collect a lot of this stuff at trade shows, yet I rarely, if ever, see much of the stuff in their office or home
  2. When I look into the trash cans outside of conference centers and conference hotels I see that it is filled with the stuff. And yes, I do peek into the trash cans, but only because I’m testing my hypothesis.

Lately, however, I’ve seen an interesting phenomenon.  Now that everyone has the environmental bug up their, um, ear, they are using reusable bags for shopping. Many of these bags are trade show bags. At one time the trade show bag doubled as a garbage bag that people filled with brochures and tchotchkes. Now people keep them in their cars and use them for groceries.

Style, however, plays an important role. The cooler looking the bag, the more likely it will find its way into the supermarket. Don’t be afraid to invest in a little art & design for your bags. Unless you are Patagonia, your logo alone probably won’t do the trick. The bags also have to be of high enough quality that they can handle a few cans of chicken soup and a gallon of milk from time to time.

So, for the time being, trade show bags seem to have defied my assertion that trade show tchotchkes wind up in the trash. Remember, however, that brochures and tchotchkes are an important part of the Art of Disengagement and once they fulfill this purpose they have done 100% of their job. Used properly it doesn’t matter where they wind up.

Mike Moyer

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