BoS Conf Giveaways – Doing Things Differently

At Business of Software we want to make a positive impact to you and your business and not a negative impact on the world, as we deliver the great, inspiring, conferences you have come to know and love.

When we moved our 2020 Europe Conference from in-person to online a lot of stuff happened very quickly. Once the event was over, I was faced with a mountain of unusable merch – T-shirts, bags, notebooks, and cups all had “2020” on them, equating to 1000 items. I was determined that they would not end up as landfill. I had no idea how we could reuse them, I just knew we absolutely had to.

BoS Europe 2020 giveaways prepped and ready

I did regret this decision when we had to carry the many, many boxes to their THIRD temporary storage. 

I slightly regretted it as I ironed the 100th patch onto a bag.*

I didn’t regret it when all the items were re-branded and we gave them away at our In-Person Europe conference. They looked great!  

  • *Ok, I may have ‘persuaded’ my daughter to do the remaining 100s.

I still have 2020 items left, I’m looking forward to re-dating them again and giving them a new lease of life for next year’s Europe conference. 

iron on patch gif
100s of patches were manually ironed on

Over the years we have thought long and hard about our event giveaways (I hate the word swag – it implies the items are somehow stolen or undeserved). We love creating lovely things that people genuinely want and enjoy. Where we can, we source things locally, that are produced responsibly, and arrive in minimal, recyclable packaging. To reduce the chance of items being unwanted or discarded we have always chosen things which are useful and made to a high standard. I don’t know what I’d do without my extensive stash of BoS shopping bags – they are strong and sturdy and will seemingly last forever. I also love spotting people ‘wearing’ them out and about in Cambridge. My BoS EU 2022 insulated cup is indispensable to me – it’s the only way I can have water by my bed that my cat doesn’t get to ‘share’ and/or knock over.

However, we want to ensure that the giveaways we give away are wanted and used. To reduce the environmental impact our events have, we have decided to reduce the number of items we give away and allow our attendees to opt in for those that we do. For BoS Conf USA we will produce a T-shirt and on registering for their tickets attendees can opt for a T-shirt or for us to make a donation to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, a local Boston charity instead.

We still want everybody to have a memento of each event. So, we will also produce an iron-on patch and a laptop sticker (what’s better than stickers and patches?) allowing you to start collecting as many different patches and stickers as you can!

I plan on customising my BoS bag collection with the many iron on patches coming up in the future (I am now an expert at applying patches afterall, and I also grew up in the 70s!). I may even pop a few on my favourite jeans (not really).

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