I’ve never been a fan of the junky, wasteful side of conference attendance. I railed about “booth babes and chotchkies” last year, and tried to make my presentations qualitatively different. But there is another class of giveaway at conferences: Solid, pricey loot.
Back in the old days, vendors used to give away Harley Davidson motorcycles and Mercedes-Benz cars (no kidding!), but even in these days of waning investment, conferences still have some expensive goodies. I decided to take a walk around the show floor at the April 2010 Storage Networking World (SNW) in Orlando, checking out the loot.
So we’ve got some solid prizes here, with a definite Apple bias. The score:
- Amazon Kindle x4
- Apple iPad x3
- Apple iPod Touch x3
- Cisco Flip x3
- HP Mini netbook x2
- Dell Mini 10
- Beats Headphones
- Flo TV
- Apple iPod Nano
- Spy Robot (!)
Folks were most excited about the iPad giveaways, and there were at least five other iPads given away off the show floor. But NetApp wins my award for creativity: The “spy robot” was a clever choice amid a sea of book readers, cameras, and music players!
Prizes like these really did draw a crowd. The smartest companies had second- and third-prize drawings as well, and some had simple tests on the form to judge knowledge of their products. I still don’t like chotchkies, but these prize drawings pass my sniff test.