tl;dr: Stickers and t-shirts are popular, but mugs/glassware/hoodies/etc are cool too. Offer tees in men’s AND women’s sizes!
WordCamp Central will send you a package of WordPress swag that you should distribute for free at your WordCamp. The packs vary based on supply, but usually include things like buttons, stickers, temporary tattoos, and pencils. We try to send enough to cover everyone, but we recommend making this swag freely available on a table (or several tables) at the event rather than putting it in a bag and handing it out to all attendees, as this reduces the chance of people throwing it away because they don’t want it. Since every button costs 20 cents, we’d much rather they not be thrown away. 🙂
If you have swag left over from the pack at the end of your event, encourage people to grab some on the way out, and gather up whatever is left. You can either keep it and distribute it at future meetups, or you can ship it back to WordCamp Central to be used for the next event.
Most WordCamps also have their own commemorative swag, usually a t-shirt and a sticker. If you can find a local printer to support your WordCamp by offering discounted services, yay! If not, we have some recommended vendors that have worked with many previous WordCamps. WordCamp Central will provide an official introduction and let these vendors know you are an approved WordCamp organizer if you would like use their services:
- Sticker Giant – does custom sticker printing and often prints WordCamp stickers for free. Their level of support will depend on your design, the size, and how far in advance you contact them: http://www.stickergiant.com/wordcamp
- Hi Voltage Productions – does custom printing of shirts, hoodies, and pretty much anything that’s able to be screenprinted. They provide more flexibility in ordering, allowing WordCamp organizers to do rolling orders as the ticket sales come in, so that you won’t be left either short or stuck with extras after the event, the usual by-product of having to submit custom printing orders 3-4 weeks in advance with most vendors. Located in Harrisburg, PA, Lo-fi ships FedEx (free shipping on orders over $300).
- Tattoo Fun – makes temporary tattoos.
- Busy Beaver Button Co. – makes cool little 1″ buttons.
- Scout Books – awesome, eco-friendly custom notebooks! Ask WordCamp Central for the promo code to get 10% off; free shipping in the US, too!
If you do get anything custom printed, please send one of each to WordCamp Central after the event for the archive.
Pro Tips for Designing a Great WordCamp T-shirt:
Do you want to design a WordCamp tee that will be universally beloved and worn all the time? Here’s some pro tips from experienced WordCamp organizers:
First: come up with a great graphic or logo that represents your WordCamp. Bonus if it can be printed in one-color – this will save you lots of money.
Second: just print WordCamp stuff on your shirt. Over the years we have found people don’t wear shirts with sponsor logos.
Third, pick out a shirt brand that is soft and flattering. Cheap tees are cheap but also scratchy and generally unpopular, and people won’t wear uncomfortable shirts once the event is over. Having a women’s shirt style available is an important way to show women you think they belong at your WordCamp.
Last expert tip, and very important: print your awesome design on your awesome shirt in a place that flatters people will all sorts of body shapes. Lots of people have found that the ideal placement for a centered-chest print is less than 2 inches (5cm) below the collar, and in that case it’s ideal to keep your logo height under 4 inches (10cm) and the width under 8 inches (20cm). Pocket placement can be easier to navigate, but of course you end up with a smaller logo in that case.
Past WordCamp Organizers: Do you have any swag vendors that you really loved? Let us know who they are, what they made for you, and what was great about them, and we’ll check them as possible additions to the recommended vendors list.
Tip: Here is a quiz on this article. Read quizzes page if you have any questions about quizzes and how to navigate them.