What giveaway would entice you most to attend an event?

Suppose a free event was in your town and someone was trying to entice as many people to attend it as possible.  What giveaway trinket would most entice you to come?

Please take a look at the poll on the left of the site and select which option you think is most appropriate.  For example, is it more enticing to have a chance to win the much more expensive iPad, or is it more enticing to have a much greater chance to win 1 of 4, or 1 of 20 of the other giveaways.  Got it?

If you think all of my suggestions are lame, feel free to suggest your own in the comments to this article.

I appreciate your help in advance.

----- Signature and Disclaimer -----

Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Evangelist at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

5 thoughts on “What giveaway would entice you most to attend an event?

  1. wts says:

    Since, by contract, my employer would appear to own any such giveaway, my answer to the poll is “my expectation of a game-changing knowledge gain”. How about a 100% chance of a grocery shopping bag or really cool water bottle?

  2. shcart says:

    My employer limits handouts by value so if its under a certain threshold I am actually permitted to accept it. But I have to agree with Wayne, my time is finite and how I spend it is important to me. Gaining knowlege of something thats useful or that can really improves how I spend the time I have available is far more likely to attract me than what basically amounts to a bribe to attend a sales pitch. I look for completely new ideas or novel uses of old Ideas. I’m not likely to attend a meeting that puts a new badge on an existing product unless there is something really beneficial to either me or my employer.

    As an aside. Can anyone explain why we all love Apple products and they are so popular as giveaways. With all the lockins, limitations and restrictions associated with them it really is hard work making them do what you want thru ITunes after you rebuild your PC. BTW like 90% of the readers I would love an IPAD hidden inside my free environmentally friendly grocery bag, how lame is that.

  3. stu52 says:

    I wonder how many companies still have that policy of not allowing their employees to keep give-aways or drawing prizes from events like this? I used to work for a large manufacturing company in the Pacific Northwest that had that policy and then changed it. It had something to do with the fact that there was no special “favoritism” with the drawing and every attendee at the event had an equal chance of winning.

    I can understand a company restricting the value of freebies coming from a vendor because that smacks of bribery. But something like a drawing for an iPad at an event like Curtis is describing doesn’t fall into that category at all.

  4. Chris K says:

    Honestly Curtis, I could care less about what little prize I could possibly (but never do) win. I attend the seminars for the knowledge and networking. But would does factor in 75% of my decision to attend or not is how easy can I access the location, do I have to pay for parking, is lunch being served (that last one is not a biggie, but it’s nice). I will use your last event I attended as example. It was located here in ATL at JW Marriot in Buckhead. Not sure if you know about ATL traffic, but its horrendous. Took almost 2hrs to get there, and to top it off I had to pay over $12 in parking and no one was validating. I can honestly say if your seminars held in this location again (although it was a very nice hotel), I will not attend no matter what prize is being raffled off.

  5. cpjlboss says:

    @Chris K

    LOL. Got it.

    FWIW, that was not “my” seminar. It was a TechTarget seminar where I was hired as a speaker. I am working on some of my own events, which is why I’m asking.

    As to your comment on traffic, I do think it’s important to get some local intel on where to host an event, but what I’ve found is that most places every location screws some ppl and helps others.

    Where would have been better in Atlanta? Something outside the main loop?

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