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And the MIC Swag Awards Go To …

Kim and Angela rate the swag giveaways at an industry conference. See what wins 1st prize!

On March 2nd and 3rd, the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado (MIC) rolled out the red carpet for more than 100 sponsors and exhibitors from around the country at their 23rd Annual Conference and Trade Show in Denver, Colorado. Anticipation was high among the 1,000+ attendees, excited to catch a glimpse of the Who’s Who of the Meetings Industry and most importantly… their swag.

Would there be freebies? Would there be eye-catching trade show displays? Most importantly, would there be snacks?? Yes, yes, and a million times yes.

Competition was stiff. But, as curators of corporate gift box content, we feel like we’re in a good position to weigh in on branded freebies. So without further ado, we present to you the winners of our own (unofficial) MIC 2023 Swag Awards!

Category 1: Consumables & Snacks

1st prize: Girl Scout Cookies - Presented live & in-person by Girl Scouts!

A perennial fan-favorite, the Girl Scouts never disappoint! Dressed to impress in their classic green vests, those girls earned another badge in our eyes when they treated us to this year’s collection of delicious cookies. You won’t want to miss GSUSA’s breakout star for 2023, the Raspberry Rally. Way to support your local Girl Scouts, Visit Aurora!

2nd prize: Fat Tire Beer keg with branded reusable cups

Fort Collins brought the party with a keg from local favorite New Belgium Brewing. In the spotlight was their classic Fat Tire Ale as they showcased its fresh 2023 makeover, including not only updated branding but an exciting new recipe. Reusable, branded cups were not only great giveaways; they support New Belgium’s environmental commitment, as Fat Tire is now America’s first certified carbon neutral beer.

Honorable Mention: 2 oz YellowBird hot sauce bottles; locally made, ready to travel!

Visit Austin, TX brought the heat! If you have a hot sauce aficionado in your life you know the value of having some quality spice at the ready. These 2oz bottles are perfectly sized to throw in a carryon bag, scoot through airport security, and whip out for a dash of Austin heat wherever you are.

Category 2: Sustainability-Minded Reusables

1st prize: Reusable Grocery Bag


A seasoned professional in the field of sustainability, reusable grocery bags never disappoint – especially if they’re the kind you like, with durable seams and comfy handles. MIC’s welcome gift may not be an industry newcomer, but its consistency as a solid performer and asset to any trip to the grocery store deserves to be celebrated!

Ineligible for Nomination: Swag Fails

You may notice an absence of some trade show mainstays from decades past. Much like how video killed the radio star, innovation has killed the keychain. Below is a list of swag items that may have made an appearance but were ineligible for award nomination due to being “so last season”, wasteful, or dreadfully overexposed.

  • Stress Balls (Remember those? The landfill does.)

  • Too Many Koozies (Who doesn’t have at least 12 of these crammed in a kitchen drawer already?)

  • Useless Keychains (Unless it’s a bottle opener… why bother?)

  • Mugs (Everyone’s cabinets are already crowded with their favorite ceramic mugs. Sorry, yours won’t make the cut)

  • Cheap Plastic Water Bottles (Those thin ones that leak and melt in your car on a hot day… are not a good look.)

  • Low-Quality Pens (Pens can be a valuable giveaway if done right, but the last thing you want is someone looking at your logo while they struggle with a pen that’s popped open or run out of ink 2 weeks later.)

Celebrate Earth Day with Gifts that Last

Earth Day is coming up on Saturday April 22. This is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate with an unexpected gift for your clients or employees. Reusability is always top-of-mind for us when we’re curating our signature gift boxes, no matter the day of the year. We’re full of great ideas for customizing an Earth-friendly gift box for your VIP list. Get in touch for an initial meeting.

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