All I Want for Christmas is my USB!

business events logoAndrew writes a monthly column for Business Events News (BEN) called “Confessions of a Compulsive Conference Goer” in which he discusses issues and observations from the conference front-line”
Business Events News is part of the Travel Daily group of publications which also include: Travel Daily, Cruise Weekly & Pharmacy Daily.

Andrew Klein, director of SPIKE Presentations, presents his front line observations on conferences in a regular feature in BEN.

As this is my final ‘Confessions’ column for 2013, I feel I need to make a big confession to round off a big year of conference confessions.

Here it is. I use my conference t-shirts as pyjamas. There, I’ve said it. As a compulsive conference goer, I receive lots of free “stuff” usb– conference polo-shirts, baseball caps and a never-ending stream of sponsors’ paraphernalia and stationery items from Exhibition Halls and conference satchels.

I wear those t-shirts once, at the conference. But on my return, I don’t wear them ever again, except when I go to sleep. My “Onwards & Upwards 2004 Microsoft Sales Conference” t-shirt is thin and faded, but it must be said, cosy and comfortable in bed.

And it’s not just t-shirts. My son recently remarked that every second toy in our play-room seems to have a company logo.

So while I’m in end-of-year confession mode, I’ll admit that a few of the frisbees, mini footballs, calculators, torches, jelly-bean jars and the majority of pens lying around the house, may have been “sourced” at conferences.

Sure, they were given to me as a free gift by a friendly exhibitor, but at least I was thinking of my children when I collected 3 of each item and returned home with “gifts” from my days away.

“Another plastic drink bottle with logos of obscure IT companies, just what I needed, um, thanks Dad, welcome home”.

My top drawer is jam-packed with little containers of mints – none of which have use-by dates. So, while Blockbuster may no longer be renting out videos, their delicious 2008 mints still do the trick in keeping my breath smelling fresh.

And because I’m confessing all, I must say that to the best of my recollection, I’ve never purchased a USB stick in my life, but I have enough of them to back-up the entire contents of the Wiki-leaks office.

So clients and sponsors, at least all that stuff you give out is getting good use.

Actually, those Bunnings Conference USBs might make a great Christmas present.

© Andrew Klein 2014