Did you know that the Chicago NATO Summit Host Committee made up swag bags to give away to dignitaries and journalists? Me neither.
With all the high security measures being taken here in Chicago in preparation for the event, you would think they might be ditching filled promotional gift bags. But they’re giving ‘em out. What’s so ironic is that there are a number of places where you can’t bring a bag during this time. Case in point: Hubby rides the train into downtown from the ‘burbs every morning. Even as early as today, a few days before the actual summit, no one could get on the train with a bag of any kind and there are armed guards on the train. Hmm… so if some of our city’s visitors get a bag of goodies, will they have to surrender them if they hop on public transportation where bags are prohibited?
Curious about what’s in the bag? Thanks to Lynn Sweet’s column in the Chicago Sun-Times, we get a sneak peek into the Chicago NATO Summit swag bags.
So is it a swag bag or gag bag? Here’s what I think of some of the contents (you knew I’d have an opinion, right?):
- The Bag. It’s made of recycled plastic bottles. Scores some green points! The design is a bike messenger bag to highlight how bike-friendly Chicago is. Are we talking about the same city? My observation of downtown Chicago is that it is a bike rider’s nightmare except for maybe some specified areas. What comes to mind for me is Wabash Avenue in the loop during rush hour. I’m surprised bike riders make it out alive. But I digress. We were talking about the bags. Next…
- The Bike Map. No, wait, we’re STILL talking about the bike thing. Bag included a bike map of Chicago. I’m sure the heavily guarded dignitaries will be hopping on a two-wheeler while they’re here. Not!
- The Free Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Download. Nice.
- Chicago-Made Snacks. Made in USA. Yay! Made in Chicago. Double yay! But I hope if the Garrett Popcorn was the Chi-town fave (and my fave!) cheese and caramel combo, they included enough napkins so those dignitaries don’t get their sticky, cheesy fingerprints over any documents. Just saying.
- Buttons. So they included a bunch of Chicago-theme buttons. Hope those were made in Chicago, too. There is a supplier here who does a super job on metal buttons (and who does many of our button orders).
Actually, I think they could have gotten away with just giving everyone a box of Frango Mints. Don’t know what they are? Well, getting some should be on your agenda for YOUR next summit in Chicago. You’ll then understand.
Overall, I think it was a nice mix of small souvenirs for trade show type attendees and the journalists. But I don’t think it was a dignitary level package. What do you think? Share your thoughts or suggestions in the Comments below.
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