Everybody likes free stuff. Let ‘s face it, SWAG (Stuff We All Get) is one of the great benefits of attending professional conferences. While it doesn’t make up for dealing with airport security or writing trip reports, SWAG is cool… most of the time. But is technical communications SWAG better than other professional SWAG? Going by the responses to Lauren Hart’s recent thread on the email discussion list, it can be pretty impressive, and even worth trading. Sometimes the SWAG is relevant and useful–books, thumb drives, trial software, etc., can enhance the experience gained from participating in a technical writing event. Other SWAG is just for fun (and that’s important) or is unique enough for bragging rights or conversation starters.
Tight budgets and limited resources often limit participation in technical writing conferences and other professional development events. So we want to find out if SWAG and other incentives (such as reduced registration fees or complimentary event tickets) can make a difference in which technical communications conference(s) you choose to attend. Does either SWAG or incentives impact how you make the business case for conferences? Should they? Take a few moments to vote in this week’s technical writing poll, and post your comments about the best SWAG or whether it should be a factor in attending.