Goofiest Energy Conference Swag

on July 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM
What am I supposed to do with this?

What am I supposed to do with this?

One of the best and worst things about conferences is the giveaways. It’s the worst when you’re stuck with another one of those ugly canvas tote bags covered with weird company logos. And it’s the best when you get something so bizarre, so gloriously useless, that you have no choice but to keep it forever, or at least until you’re forced to get rid of it. Here is a list of some of our favorites.

Gigantic Floral Cuff Links

One particular financial firm – previously part of a former Soviet state’s foreign investment arm, which went public in the late ’90’s – presented attendees with a cornucopia of weirdness at its conference in New York this past spring. We got shiny blue backpacks, artfully-decorated CDs telling the “fairy tale” history of the bank, and best of all, a pair of what might be the planet’s ugliest cufflinks. A gift that truly says “this conference is only for men”.

floral cufflinks

Reflective Snap Bracelet

Welcome back to 1989! This European oil company’s sleek, branded, reflective snap bracelet is the perfect accessory for your 1980’s thrift store prom dress party, or a nighttime jog. But watch out – according to the New York Times, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning in 1990 that the fabric on the bracelet could wear down, exposing the sharp metal underneath. Let’s hope the oil company’s state-of-the-art R&D department came up with a safer way to manufacture this indispensable bit of bling.

snap bracelette

Plastic Rolling Eyeballs

Thank you, unnamed behemoth of an energy consultancy. The only thing that could have complemented presentations and panels on oil & gas sector trends and M&A better would have been some of those huge plastic lips. Maybe for the next conference?

Plastic Rolling Eyeball


Oversized Classic Toy Cars

These large, red, plastic classic car toys came courtesy of an investment bank, which was clear from the investment bank logo above the rear drivers’ side wheel. Too big to fit in most desk drawers, too lightweight to hold down paper, these beauties sat on flat surfaces all around our office, gathering dust, until we moved and finally had to throw them away. (Full disclosure: they were not nearly as attractive as the below picture might suggest).

Staff Prepare For Summer Guests At The Haynes Motor Museum


Bottles of Bakken Oil

No one at Breaking Energy is going to pretend we don’t wish we had our own bottles of Bakken crude oil. But there were too few to go around at the oil and gas conference in New York where they were left  on a table, free for the taking (surely some unscrupulous attendees took more than one). I bet if we had one on our windowsill, it would create beautiful rainbows on the wall when the sunlight hit it just right. Or it could have been a delicious nightcap. We’ll never know.

Las Luminarias de San Anton Festival

Crappy Plastic Golf Tees

The point of plastic golf tees is they are more durable than wooden ones, right? Well not in the case of these branded beauties that came gratis from a major energy law firm. I was really excited about these brilliant (in concept) conference tid bits that came in nice canvas pouches, until quickly realizing they were more fragile than a commodity price forecast.

The Race To Dubai - Launch

We welcome any and all contributions to this list, please add your favorite weird energy conference giveaways in the comment section below.