Sunday, October 16, 2011

Great Minds Needed!

Great conferences are a melding of many minds. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I took the suggestions from last conference and made several changes for next year. That said, I’d like us to put our heads together about another thing I’ve been thinking about.

Each year we give out bags we stuff with post cards, bookmarks, pens, flyers, tablets, and sometimes magazines. I was wondering . . .

·      What do you do with all those postcards with book covers on them? What about the bookmarks? Do you use them or throw them away? Do these items encourage you to buy the book?

·      Since the hotel supplies pens and tablets in every session, do you actually use the ones in your bags?

·      Do you read the flyers advertising other conferences and contests?

·      Do you like the free magazines that are either in your bag or on the free table?

Another thing, I would like suggestions, within reason since we are on a limited budget, what would really be beneficial in your bag? Or maybe you’d just like it empty to use for all the stuff you brought?

Please email me: with your thoughts or post them to this blog.

Thank you for your help!  


  1. I use the post cards as bookmarks and the bookmarks. I need many because I often forget to remove them from books when I return the books to the library or pass them on to other people.

    I look at the flyers about other conferences to see if any are appropriate or usable.

    I never have too many pens or note pads.

    Anyway, that's what I do and use.

    I really liked it the year we had bottles of water. Yes, there are usually glasses and pitchers of water in each room, but the pitchers are sometimes empty, and sometimes no clean glasses available.


  2. I use the bookmarks and never have too many pens and tablets. I would like to see frequent drawings for free books. I'd be willing to donate a few books for such a drawing.

    I have always believed that a free book is the cheapest form of advertising.

    Pat Browning

  3. I use the bookmarks and postcards as bookmarks. I always like the pens and notepads. For some reason, I can never find a pen when I need one, so I need every pen I can get. I don't look at the magazines or read the pamphlets. A bottle of water would be nice and you can't go wrong with chocolate.

  4. I ditto what Vivian said, a girl after my own heart. However, I don't remember the bottles of water, but that could have been before I attended regularly.

    Like Pat mentioned, I remember the days when we had drawings for freebies at the conference. I can't remember if it was one drawing per change of session or one in each room per session, but it kept enthusiasm high. Of course, all the prizes were from donated items.

    A freebie map of the area from the Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Dept. is always helpful to out-of-towners who are unfamiliar with the area, as well as a list of recommended eating places for those who prefer to leave the hotel area for a while.

    New visitors to the area like to visit the Murrah Building Memorial or send their families on activities while the OWFI member is at the conference. So perhaps a list of sites to see or visit while in the area -- zoo, museums, omniplex, etc. Many of these places I've never been to, even as an native Oklahoman.

    Just a few ideas off the top of my head.

    Thanks for all you do, Linda.

  5. I use the bookmarks & look them over carefully but don't recall ever buying a book as a result. Postcards not so much. I use the pens, especially if I find one that writes particularly well. Even if I don't use it at the conference, I take it home & it reminds me of its advertiser. I read ads for contests & conferences carefully as I'm always on the lookout for those. I read everything in my bag but it may be weeks after the conference. I LOVE the "Oklahoma Today" & other mags I pick up. I sometimes get out the map. Some ideas for advertisers: mints or gum w/company logo on wrapper; a clever, durable paper clip; lip balm; comb; bottled water. Might suggest an advertiser buy space on backside of bag or an imprint on our name tags. Could let them participate in the Basket Wars.

  6. You can't have too many pens or notepads at a writer's conference. I also use the bookmarks.