I went to Swagapalooza and I didn't get an iPad.

I was inexplicably invited to this event called Swagapolooza last Tuesday evening.  Attendance was strictly limited to tweeters and “digital influencers” from San Francisco.

Flattery will get you a long way with me, as it did when I received the invitation only a week before the event.  I assumed that they hadn’t gotten enough RSVPs and started scraping nearer the bottom of the barrel of local bloggers and tweeters.  Or maybe I have more reach on the Internet then I think I do.

Regardless, I showed up at 7 to get my two free drinks and see if I couldn’t make a new friend.  I was lucky to have gotten to stop by my great friend Corrie’s birthday party just a block or two from the event.  There her partner Ed gave me the idea that at an event called something like Swagapalooza, one might leave with an iPad.

An iPad!  I’m too cheap to buy one, but it would sure be a great addition to our upcoming European adventure (as well as every moment of my life).  Maybe that night was the night?

I reflected on this as I waited for my turn at the bar and checked out the grub they were serving.  Crappy rolled sandwiches I know from attending far too many networking events and pizza.  I was glad I had eaten.

I asked the bartender what was included for my red ticket, and was shocked to discover I could have anything I wanted!  I searched the bottles.  “Anything?” I asked. He nodded.  I noted that this event was heavily sponsored and that I should return as I ordered a Sapphire and Tonic.

To be fair to the event, I didn’t really leave my post at the bar despite the presentations by entrepreneurs.  There was a lot of ambient noise, and no seats.  Also, I didn’t have any one to sit with and making new friends at the bar is one of my favorite activities and best skills. So there I stayed, chatting up the bartender and passing out business cards — arguably, a great use of my time.

Out of red tickets and anxious to get home, I lined up for my bag of swag on the way out the door.  Had I been paying attention to the presentations, I may have known exactly what was in it.  All I could tell from the looks of things was that I was getting a bright orange reusable bag filled with stuffs.  I searched through it.

No iPad. I wasn’t particularly surprised.  There were so many bags of swag– how could they all contain an iPad?  Also, I hadn’t spotted Steve Jobs the entire time I was there.

I looked through the bag a few days later, and here’s a sampling of the miscellaneous junk that now takes up space in my living room:

Boom Boom! Revolution: Teenager Edition
SCORE! Now I can be nice to my parents. Oh wait. I call my mom practically every day. Boom Boom! Revolution is a card game to encourage people to do nice things in the world and then score points on yet another social networking site.

As my new friend Luna says, “I get the concept but I am really sad that we need cards to tell us to be nice to people.”  Me too, Luna. But if it works, then I’m all for it.

Flings Pop-Up Recycle Bin
As someone devoted to recycling to such an extent that I get actively annoyed when I spot a toilet paper tube in the trash instead of the recycling, I am clinging to a hope that this Pop-Up Recycle Bin might encourage people to recycle at parties.

I’ve been throwing eco-conscious parties since 2001, and I just take a paper bag or a trash receptacle and slap and recycling sign on it (print your own).

These recycle bins claim to be reusable, but they’re made of cardboard and flimsy plastic.  I guarantee it that your average American isn’t going to reuse it.  Let’s just hope the contents wind up both recyclable and in the recycling bin.

I also got a nice men’s t-shirt courtesy of Sabateur, a Crumpled City Map of Milan (unfortunately not a city I’ll be visiting this summer, but a cool product nonetheless), a bunch of Drinkin’ Mate to supposedly ward off future trips to Hangoverville, sunglasses labeled Stunner of the Month (not sure what that’s about, but again, I didn’t listen to the presentations), and a stack of business cards.

Post image thanks to EcoScott.

Speak up peeps.

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