Swag Etiquette at #GHC18

This year’s Grace Hopper is in Texas, where everything is big – the number of people, the chances to get a job, but most of all, the chance to score some great swag.

There’s also the chance to commit a big swag faux pas in front of people you might one day want to work for. Don’t do that!

Like everything else in life, there are some lessons to keep in mind, so to help you have a Swagtastic experience, we’ve listed a few good rules to follow. Hint – once again, a good plan makes everything better.


  1. Not all swag is created equally. There’s good swag and bad swag. You want to get the good stuff.
  2. You don’t want to be sitting back in your apartment three months from now and be asking yourself, “Why did I think THAT was a good idea?” Last year spinners were the hot item. How many spinners can you really need?
  3. Scout – do a couple of laps to see what’s out there.
  4. Get a tote bag. A really good tote bag. Swag is heavy
  5. What makes cool swag is something you’ve never seen before.
  6. Get stuff that is well made. Avoid the poorly made and the boring. Who wants a boring pen?
  7. It’s fun to take novelty stuff, but take stuff you’ll really use every day
  8. Go to the booths early – that’s when companies have the most amount of stuff.
  9. Get the real thing, not the knock-off.


There are fewer of these rules, but in some ways, they’re more important.

  1. Don’t commit a Swag Party Foul – Don’t cut the line!
  2. Don’t just walk in and grab armfuls of stuff – You at least have to introduce yourself and ask for the swag!
  3. Don’t get multiples of things! Just take one. Be considerate of your fellow conference attendees
  4. Companies have finite amounts of swag and at the end of the day people can get feisty, throwing elbows, cutting lines and getting competitive and rude. Don’t be that person!

Some companies have created rules to govern the distribution of swag because of the anti-social conduct of some. Be cool. Honor their rules!