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Picture of giveaways

What's your favorite giveaway?

Mine is a backpack that I got at the very last Arbortext User Conference in 2005. This backpack had perfect balance and is great for bicyclists as well as pedestrians. Even though it's 13 years old, it's held up magnificently. I still use it. For years my husband appropriated it when he was an active bicycle commuter until I took it back from him. It was a great conference gift, but backpacks are not the kind of thing you can give away every day in exchange for a mailing list signup.

Giveaways we've created

We do our best to create cute and memorable giveaways. You want to create something people like and that they'll keep around. We have a lot of fun coming up with ideas and have and we've given some cute stuff away over the years.

You know when we're creating a new giveaway, because you can hear Janice and me giggling, laughing, and causing a ruckus. No one has as much fun as I did when creating the "I shot the serif" magnet. There I was, editing a Serifed "S", adding a bullet hole to the serif and then a pile of "serif blood" at its feet. It's still the one I had the most fun creating.

Save & Exit

The serif magnet was only one in a set of four magnets that we created originally which debuted in 2006. Those magnets became the tchotchkes we are best known for. They've been a staple for several years.To get one, you had to find us at a live event and then sign up for our mailing list. You could only get one at a time. If you found us at a different event, you could get another one. It took finding us at four events to collect the set.

picture of magnets

This year, we created a set of bookmarks to give away at the end of the new Future Teller presentation I gave this year. I like people to be engaged during a presentation, rather than having to focus on taking notes. So we created bookmarks with the three key concepts on the back and gave them out at the end.

picture of future teller themed bookmarks

During the presentation, we also gave away these beautiful marbles that would double as crystal balls to help solidify the point.

At STC Summit, we gave the last of the orange keychains away. These were the first giveaways we ever had. We had the for the first time at a PTC User Event in 2010. They were cool that first year because it turned out that at a nearby booth they had real orange motorcycles. It made it look like we'd planned it that way! (We didn't.)

In October at Lavacon we'll be debuting two new buttons that are based on a conversation we had at Summit. A very creative editor was telling us how she uses two phrases regularly. We decided she needed a button to wear. And Voila!

These two buttons will debut at Lavacon in October 2018. It's not the first time we've done something special for Lavacon. It was there we first gave the Guru D presentation: Life with Guru D: Adopting a DITA Mindset and Converting Others . Like the Future Teller presentation, this one had special buttons we gave out to attendees at the end as we inducted people into the Cult of DITA.

It was a fun presentation to give--it's more skit than presentation, actually--but we retired the presentation last year. We only gave these particular buttons out at the Guru D presentations. There was no other way to get one of these buttons. Until now.

How do you get one if you can't get to a conference?

When we retired the Guru D presentation, we we realized, with some sadness, that it meant the DITA Cult button would be retired too. We never gave it away at any other time. We've had some requests for it over the years, so decided to make it available to our TPC Affinity Group members: To thank you for your continued engagement with us, we're giving away one of each to you! Pick your favorites and pack your goodie bag. Check the monthly reminder email for the link.

Key Concepts:


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