"As you may have noticed, I am a big fan of souvenirs, trinkets, and tchotchkes. And I know I'm not alone. Whenever I go to a conference, at least half of my fellow attendees join me in the pursuit for as much free stuff as possible.
Of course, it doesn't matter that I already have enough logoed pens and pads to write the entire contents of Wikipedia, twice over. Or that I have enough tee-shirts to wear a new one every day for the rest of my life (and that's assuming I live to be a hundred and fifty). No, this epic quest for swag is about something different. Something grander... and perhaps, even primal.
While swag and raffles may be free, you do have to give up something in return: a business card. This de-facto convention currency is a must-have if you want any serious loot. And there-in presents the problem. Not everyone has business cards.
Fortunately, I've got a solution to this problem. Well... actually, my employer does, but I'm pretty sure that I provided some of the inspiration for the idea.
"Don't Let This Happen To You
You find yourself in the middle of a vendor hall, with booths as far as your eyes can see. There are tchotchkes of all shapes, colors, and sizes that are practically begging to find a home in your cubicle. As you ogle all the goodies, your fellow conference-goers swarm the room and start snagging the niftiest of toys. But fear not: you've got your swag bag and are ready to collect your loot.
Now imagine the horror as you reach into your pocket for the de-facto convention currency — the business card — only to find that you are fresh out. As you fumble to find an alternative, your colleagues hand out their cards and quickly clear-out the collectables. You're left with mere scraps and gather little more than a few pens and pads of paper.
Just-In-Time Business Cards
Never attend a conference without Just-In-Time Business Cards. The backs feature Initech (à la Office Space) while the fronts offer a convenient means of conveying your vital information.
That last option kills me... LOL
BTW, If you fill out the online form they say they'll send you some in the mail. :)