Exposition Swag

Despite having finished graduate school four years ago, there are some habits acquired during that period of indentured servitude that I just can’t shake. One tendency is the overwhelming desire for free stuff—no matter what its form. To this day, if I hear that there will be free sandwiches or cookies somewhere, my knee-jerk reaction is to plot how many of them I can fit into my pockets to save for later. The exposition at the ACS meeting is the perfect place to indulge that cheap-nick tendency. I always enjoy walking around the plush-carpeted floor looking at the wares vendors have brought to draw attendees in to their displays. But my days of being on “the outside” have made me picky. No longer will I stop at tables for the pedestrian hard candies and pens. I want more serious swag.

Meeting tchotchkes (santizers, mints, and a baseball). Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN

Cotton T-shirts (even though I don’t wear them often), mugs, and totes suck me in with the force of a tractor beam. Late last night, I got a JACS-Beta T-shirt at Sci-Mix. And let’s not forget about the sweet yellow “CENtral Science” T-shirt you can get for the blog keywords contest. I’ve also heard rumor that Sigma-Aldrich is giving out free glass beaker-like mugs in the exhibit hall. Can’t believe I missed that one.  A lot of booths this year are also offering a chance to win iPads and Kindles—a solid choice for attracting customers. Frontier Scientific is giving attendees the opportunity to play a little Wii baseball at its booth. Sadly, I didn’t hit a homerun during my turn and lost the chance to have my name entered in a drawing for Red Sox tickets. But I did get a free baseball (Frontier Scientific gets an A+ for that unique tchotchke).

Caricature artist at ACS booth. Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN

John Wiley & Sons, which is advertising on the back of the On-Site Program, has a number of giveaways at its booth: ear phones; aluminum sports bottles; and my favorite, a cute container of hand sanitizer shaped like a chemist. ACS’s own Chemistry for Life booth even has a caricature artist at work. So what has drawn you in? And are there any noteworthy tchotchkes I’ve missed?

Author: Lauren Wolf

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  1. VWR had little foam Einsteins. My son calls his “the squishy man.”

  2. Thanks, Rachel, for the little green frog on a lotus leaf. It joins the cow and the elephant on my tabletop menagerie.