Free stuff is not really my thing but some people go for it. The thrill of picking up pens, mugs, stickers and other such commercial detritus has passed me by. Occasionally at a trade fair I’ll pick up a bag to carry stuff in but my drawers are still full of promotional notepads from years gone by. To be honest I don’t need more stuff in my life.
I guess this is why I have never gone for swag for #CyberFest. Yes, I have the T-shirts but they are for promotional purposes only. See the video that Waterstons put out to see what I mean.
With BSides it’s a different matter. They go for swag in a big way and so as part of the organising team this year, I have been pulled into their world. From a standing start I was soon up to speed with lanyards, mugs, stickers, T-shirts (already there), succulents and jam. Yes, succulents and jam! I’m sure there is something I have forgotten.
Anyway, it turns out that I was the only one who had suitable storage space and transport so my garage became the logistical centre of the operation. It started with two rigs (the kit to run the audio visual) then the jam, followed by T-shirts, banners and finally lanyards. They arrived on the last day before the event.
Piling it all in the car to take it down to the Helix site was a job in itself. I just managed to squeeze it all in and by the time I had unloaded it, even though I had some help at the other end, I was exhausted.
One thing I have learned this year is that jam is very heavy. The guys who helped me unload the car were eager and, despite my warnings, carried three cases of the stuff rather than two. They soon learned their lesson and it reminded me when I did some summer work on a farm, mucking out the cow byers. The farmer advised me to take it steady, not to lift too much at a time and I would be able to keep going. What’s good for manure is good for jam, if you know what I mean.
The good news is that this year all of the swag for BSides has arrived on time, ready for the eager collectors. I have nabbed a T-shirt and, after all I have said, quite fancy a mug.