I’ve spent the past year attending many conferences. Green conferences. Sustainability conferences. I’ve also spent time counseling clients on corporate responsibility thought leadership strategies and how to engage with key influencers. Some of these discussions go down to the pedantic, such as being appropriate in terms of the brand’s presence at shows.
At every show, there are branded reusable shopping bags. I have so many – too many – strategically placed in my office, in my car, etc. There are also a variety of other tchotchkes. I use the word because its definition is: inexpensive, showy trinket. I wonder if we could do ourselves a favor and not buy trinkets for the sake of branding, but instead spend time, money and resources on doing, connecting and making a collective difference in the issues that matter.
Instead of another pin, bag or magnet, why not sponsor an extra networking session, a special guest speaker or a donation to an important cause on behalf of attendees? Your company will still benefit from the brand recognition, but instead it will be tied to a thought-provoking discussion or issue, not desk drawer clutter. We can and do work with companies, NGOs and others to make this world a better place – one less trinket at a time.
- Jonathan Yohannan, Senior Vice President