While this post applies to a variety of conferences, it focuses on the BlogHer Conference. Often known as “SwagHer”, BlogHer can have an amazing frenzy for giveaways and free stuff, and the free stuff can be rather impressive. However, it is important not to be ‘Swagreedy’. While I previously posted about maximizing Brand/Blogger connections, as well as how BlogHer is like a Marathon, here are some tips and advice on how to deal with all the ‘Swagness’.


  1. Don’t go crazy. Seriously. There are legends about knock-outs and knock overs in the pursuit of swag.
  2. Be respectful. Remember to have decency and don’t dismiss it in the pursuit of an iPad2 giveaway.
  3. Remember the Brand and not the booze. Love to hear about all the parties happening at BlogHer, and many of them involve Mojitos and Margaritas. Yet, if you are stumbling drunk or slurring your speech in front of a Brand, they most likely won’t want to work with you. If you are at BlogHer for the booze, then fine, but if you are at BlogHer to make connections, maybe cut out a drink or two. Just sayin’.
  4. Take only one at a time. Or as my Mom would say, “Keep your hand out of the cookie jar”. Your eyes might pop when you see the awesomeness, but try to reign it in. Take only one gift bag or one freebie. Unless the Brand is unloading stuff onto you (wicked awesome), don’t assume you can freeload.
  5. Invite Only. Ugh. I admit it. I hate knowing there is some fabulous party that I was not invited to where the swag is going to be swagnormous. However, I am not going to crash the party and neither should you. Be respectful of the fellow Bloggers or the Brand throwing the party.


  1. Expect more people than you expected. Unfortunately, some people won’t have read Point Number 5 from above so expect party crashers and people taking more than one of anything you have.
  2. Invite all types. I have noticed more of this occurring this year. While the top Bloggers are “top” for a reason, Brands that focus only on these individuals for party invites may be missing out on a very influential blogger or a rising star. Depending on your Brand, a variety of Bloggers may be good for your overall reach.
  3. Don’t have us jump through hoops. While it may be good traffic for you, having Bloggers ask people to vote for them will just make everyone mad. BlogHer is an intensive two day conference where we are there to connect and learn. Not enter a popularity contest for a Kindle. Same issues as tweeting to win. One tweet is great, but contests based on the number of tweets during BlogHer has the same effect as voting. Also having Bloggers like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, send out a Tweet, fill out a form, and drop off a business card will not have many of us entering your giveaway. We don’t have the time. Pick one or two options and allow us to move on. We will appreciate you that much more.
  4. Make entering easy. If you do have the ‘Like’ on Facebook option, have computers set up to make it easy and make sure to clear it after each entry (we appreciate the respect for our privacy). If we have to fill out a form, make it super simple too. We are Bloggers after all and not accustomed to using a pen.
  5. Have practical swag. What your brand may think is super cutesy, may be super awful. Brands should periodically head to the Swag Exchange at BlogHer. What do you see in the bins? Is your swag there? What does that mean? Last year, there were a lot of bright orange logo mouse pads and wind-up logo alarm clocks sitting in the Swag Exchange. No one wanted to lug home a huge metal alarm clock with a brand name on it and what bright orange mousepad would work in a home office? Also consider other travel issues: A lot of playdough was confiscated by TSA last year as people flew home from BlogHer.


All in all, we should all keep it in check; it is a professional conference in a struggling economy. While it can be fun, it should always be kept in perspective.


Charlene is also the Founder of The Social Toast – a website and UStream show about all things in the realm of social media. 


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Image Credit: Jen_Rab via Creative Commons

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  1. It’s all so overwhelming.
    I wish I were going, but it just sounds like too many choices and so many people.

    Would you say BlogHer is a must-do? There are a lot of other really good, smaller conferences out there.

  2. This is a great post. I especially love the recommendations for brands. Blogher posts abound for attendees, but there’s not nearly enough conversations on best practices for brands.

    I’ll never forget all of those stupid alarm clocks.

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