Swag was among the many things that disappeared during Covid.
The formula was simple: No business travel or corporate events or client cocktails = no swag.
I was reminded of that recently when I came across a vintage backpack from a StockTwits conference I attended in 2017.
The event was the annual Stocktoberfest conference put on by Howard Lindzon, who runs Social Leverage.
It was the first time I attended Howard’s eclectic assembly of traders, bankers, founders and investors on Coronado Island, just over the bridge from downtown San Diego.
I tend to travel to see clients, not to attend events.
I made an exception for Howard and didn’t regret it. It was a fantastic event due to both the laid-back atmosphere and wide variety of people.
I left with not only the backpack but a content deal, a slew of new connections and the awareness that day traders were increasingly focused on crypto.
Zoom is good and we will all probably travel less, but videos can’t replace the kind of random interactions and conversations that occur at events.
I went back to Stocktoberfest in 2018, but missed the following year and then Covid intervened.
Howard doesn’t plan to hold the event this year.
He may bring it back in the future.
I hope he does.
I am missing the connections. And the swag.
The swag I received in 2020 — face masks from Columbia’s School of Public Health, WNYC public radio and Community Healthcare Network (the not for profit whose Board I chair). I also received T-shirts for campaigning for Mark Levine for Manhattan Boro President and Alvin Bragg for Manhattan DA. Social action, not corporate swag is the way to go!