At the last conference I attended two weeks ago, I told the registration attendant to just keep the bag and only give me the program. Why? Because I’m tired of dated conference bags. They only seem to collect dust in my closet. Here’s proof. And this is just half the stash I pulled out from the top shelve in my continued quest to go through the closets and pare down before the move.
So here’s my question… why do conference totes* always have to have a date on them? To me, this makes the bag undesirable to carry around the minute I step on the plane home. As you can see from my stash, they get such a tremendous amount of use [cough, cough]. In fact, the only time they ever do seem to get pulled out of closet is when my mother visits and needs a disposable bag to carry the girls' art work and “grammie treasures” home in.
Anyway, the asterisk (*) in my question above does have a caveat worth sharing. For when I spoke at the New South Wales Public Library Conference in Australia in July, I actually received a conference tote worth keeping and using. What made this bag a keeper was ...
1) is was not printed with the conference name or date on it.
2) it was designed by a local artist and
3) (perhaps most importantly for the conference sponsors) it contained two small plastic removable slip covers that
a) allowed the conference sponsor to promote itself &
b) accommodated a business card so that people in crowded conference room could tell whose bag was whose when they were piled up on the ground.
Photos of the "keeper bag" are here and here.
I don’t know if this is standard for all library conferences in Australia, but I gotta say that this is an approach I’d love to see adopted by conferences over here. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to receive a bag that was artistically attractive? Or at least one that wasn’t dated the minute you hailed a taxi for airport?
BTW: If you’re wondering what I’m going to do with the 14 bags I hauled out of the closet today, it’s this … I’ve decided to give them to the library’s outreach services department. With all they haul around and leave here and there, I figure they could use a handful of disposable canvas bags.
How about you... how many dated conference bags do you have in your closet?