Swag.  Conventions are full of vendors giving away swag.  But the term has lost it’s meaning these days.  

The term “SWAG” originally meant “Stuff We All Get”.  It was coined a few years ago for the Hollywood elite when “Swag Bags” were given out at events and they had exclusive Louis Vuitton and Cristal Brut merchandise inside.  The term and the merchandise has trickled down to those of us who barely afford a ticket to Comicon, and have come to realize that “free” means “advertising”.  The SWAG being offered these days is a leaflet or bookmark promoting whatever the artist/vendor is selling.

I understand it.  Advertising is only a part when it comes to making money on any venture a person starts out on.  Working for my wife at these cons, I have seen it all.  I’ve even come home with it all.  No, I’m not coming home with a $2000 piece of jewelry in an LV satchel.  I’m talking more about free buttons, free lanyards, free bookmarks, free crap.  My kids love getting free stuff.  I’m done with it.  I walk the con floors and have to say “no” when someone wants to hand me free SWAG.

However, there are people who walk the halls of the convention floor, and stockpile whatever free stuff they can.  Even business cards.  At the end of the day, I guess the term SWAG holds true, but the value isn’t there anymore.  

Perhaps the term should be “Shit We All Grab”.


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