SWAG: We all get it (hence the acronym: stuff we all get). But do we really want all of the “it” that we get? We asked event planners and hospitality insiders to share with us their best and worst SWAG items—what they keep on hand and what gets tossed in the bin.

Best: Items that are useful, such as power banks, TSA liquids bags and thumb drives.
Worst: Toys/trinkets that end up in the waste; candy and snacks. (Don’t we get enough at the show?)

- Janis Ross, CMP, Vice President of Convention & Sports Marketing, Travel Lane County

Best: I love getting slippers for the room. 
Worst (or at least overdone): There’s nothing I hate, but I have enough cloth glass wipes!

- Tara Thomas, CMP, DMCP, Sales Manager, Ruth's Chris 

Best: A portable charging station. You can’t be on-site with a cell phone, mobile hot spot, etc., without a portable charging station. And of course, it is branded so everyone knows where you received such a gem.

And a key-chain box cutter. Sounds weird, but once you get on-site you need to open so many boxes, and it always comes in handy. Although I do not put it on my key chain, I do have it in my backpack. It’s TSA-friendly too!

- Dana Colwell, CMP Conference Manager, Washington State University 

Best: The piece of SWAG that I have loved the best and used for years is a Brighton lanyard. As an event planner, I am constantly wearing a badge and I get so many compliments when I wear it.  

Worst: Phone screen wipes. They get grimy, and I never use them to clean my phone. After a few months, I just throw them away.

- Lacey Hein, CMP, Senior Event Marketing Manager, Concur

The Northwest is home to a number of intriguing international districts in which to host your next meeting or event. From a museum in Seattle to a traditional Vietnamese restaurant in Portland and a high-energy nightclub in Vancouver, here are six spots you should definitely check out. 

SEATTLE; CHINATOWNI NTERNATIONAL DISTRICT

Wing Luke Museum

 

Autograph Collection Hotels announced The Blackstone will join the brand's portfolio of more than 100 independent hotels across the globe on June 7.

 

Global Gaming Expo has been named one of the top 25 fastest growing trade shows in attendance by the American Gaming Association.

2016 was noted as one of the show’s biggest years to date in which there was a 6 percent increase in attendee registration and a 5 percent increase in conference registration.