Surely not! Only last week I picked up this delightful tiny 4 GB USB memory stick (only 2.5cm long) from sponsors Gazprom at the ICIS World Baseoils conference.
One person noted that the best part of free swag is that he doesn’t have to stop over at airport stores to buy trinkets for his kids. Please remember that giving swag to wives and sweethearts is definitely tacky, even during a recession.
Other important traditions at tradeshows that seem to be getting trimmed back this year are networking parties, outings and even golf matches. I saw someone wince at the idea of canceling golf matches although another was gleeful.
I agree that certain receptions and events seem to be too extravagant, but I had the impression they were the lifeblood of getting new and more business. Just cut out the life-size jungle ice sculptures, expensive cigars, champagne giveaways and yacht parties. Well, maybe the yacht party should stay.