# Merchandise at competitions

Asking as a rookie team…how much give-away stuff do most teams seem to bring along? We’re thinking about doing custom team buttons, but can’t agree on a good number.

A thousand or so ought to do it easily. If you can’t decide for sure, more is better (in this case).

Or, if you want to get mathematical…
x=#teams
b=#buttons needed
15=avg. people per team that are interested in buttons

b=x*15+120

The extra 120? Judges and volunteers, plus extras. Ideally, round up to the nearest hundred. Bring blanks in case you run out.

For a less technical answer, we use two cat litter buckets full of buttons at each regional. And three at CMP.

(The buckets are cleaned before use)

I think the equation x*15+120 is a good means of determining how many to bring. But I would probably only bring about 30-50 extra instead of 120. After all, not everyone needs to receive a free gift, only enough to help your team image get out there. That amount should be more than enough to make an impression.

Do the cats know?

We had a tight budget last year, so we brought 400 buttons. We ran out sometime during day 2. I believe we’re bringing 600 buttons this year, as well as some other giveaway items.

NJ 2007 had the best giveaways I ever experienced.
I usually dont pay attention to that stuff, focusing on our robot instead.
However, at that regional, I got a 1 gig flash drive, competition toggle switch for our robot controller, a \$12 Walmart-large First aid kit, flashlights, etc.
Not your average gifts to giveaway. Team 75 provided a water station with cups, and cups, and cups with 2 students whose sole purpose was to man that station in the pit. WOW!

When you are on a finite budget of give-aways, divide them up into days.
You can only give away so many per day. You may decide that one day is a big day for those so you can allocate more for that day and less for the others. Then stick to it. You have budgeted so many per day. Then think about how you will distribute. Make sure that you try to cover the areas evenly if you can. Easier said than done, I know, but with a group of 2 or 3 and a little planning, it is amazing how well you can spread out your give-aways and feel that you’ve done a good job. (This planning works at the regional and in Atlanta.)

We are very lucky in that we have an alumni parent who donates purple beads to our team and has for several years. We take Carol’s suggestion of 2 kitty buckets full only ours are in their bead bags and stored in a blue bin :). We take a finite number of beads with us leaving the rest in our storage at school - else you see people walking around wearing 10 strands of beads. If the crew that is responsible for the give-aways - budgets - them, it works out well, keeping everything within reason. We do the same with our button give-aways. Now smiles, we’ve got plenty of those, no limit or budget on giving away a smile.

We have different color buttons (yellow and black) that have the two logo’s on them and we usually bring around 100 of each to the regionals. We also have some West Virginia key chains with our team number on them that we give away about 50 per day. We try to give each team a bag with things in it that they might need such as a small first aid kit, pencils, sticky pads and things like that. This year we have a suprise give away for the teams in Pittsburgh and Clemson. See you at the regionals.

So, instead of Kitty of Parts, MOE gives out Kitty of Pins???

Sweet! lol :rolleyes: