GlobalCapital's SFVegas 2024 Swag Awards
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GlobalCapital's SFVegas 2024 Swag Awards

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A totally unofficial review of the best conference merch the SFVegas exhibit hall has to offer

Can you really say you were at SFVegas if you didn't have the quintessential Vegas experience? Namely: wandering aimlessly around the exhibit hall, feeling and looking somewhat worse for wear, looking to steal the rather spectacular swag that different firms are showing off at the conference — without actually talking to anyone.

Boring, isn't it?

Not for the GlobalCapital team, we like it. So much so that we decided to undertake a *totally unofficial* review of the best corporate merchandise that SFVegas 2024 has to offer.

Modern Classics

Morningstar DBRS, US Bank, and law firm Katten all opted for the well-worn path of clothing you can never be bothered to buy yourself. However, note that US Bank socks appear to be made for hobbits. Further investigation is needed here.

DBRS and Katten both tried to push the boat out further with their extra swag. DBRS opted for light-up yo-yo's, although we marked these down for triggering painful childhood memories: this GlobalCapital journalist has always lacked the dexterity to get a yo-yo to yo.

Katten, on the other hand, went all in to ensure their visitors sparkled with two traditional shoe shiners. Completely free — but there is concern for ignorant Brits unsure as to how much an appropriate tip would be.

Totally useless, but cute

This category does exactly what it says on the tin, with entries from the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, Netroadshow, Schulte Roth & Zabel, and Carey Olsen (modelled by Tom Lemmon).

Law firm Schulte opted for the attention-grabbing orange display, but upon picking up these squares one discovers it's actually a difficult-to-grip stress ball.

Cayman Stock Exchange has got a perfect "gift" for a young one, although claims that the fish is actually Nemo appear inaccurate.

Netroadshow also went down the stress-relieving route. Sensible choice, given every minute in Las Vegas is a brutal attack on any calming receptors in the brain — though it remains unclear exactly what this product is.

This reporter lost his Ray-Bans at the Dana Point CLO shindig in December, so these shades from Carey Olsen are pretty handy. They do not appear to be polarized, but we're not sure if that's strictly necessary given that here your eyes mostly need protecting from the glaring lights of the casino.

Weird and/or Wonderful

Other exhibitors took the road less travelled with their swag selections. Some would say their marketing budget is far too big or wonder what the ROI on this stuff is, but they scanned your badge and you will pay later for taking these snazzy gadgets.

There are entries from KopenTech, Assured Guaranty, WSFS, Finsight, and Vichara Technologies.

First up is KopenTech, with its wireless phone charger. Luckily for KopenTech, this product was one I could never justify spending money on, and I'm still convinced that some sort of magic is what makes it work.

Assured Guaranty also went down the practical route, with what we think is a foldable Tupperware box — particularly useful for those constantly running around like headless chickens, whether it be at a conference or normal day-to-day life. Not to name names.

WSFS had its own mini networking event, at which freeloading journalists could grab a swig of the delightful Toki whiskey. This initiated the painful headache with which this article was written.

Vichara opted for swag so amazing that the phone camera struggled to pick it up. It is a handheld fan that lights up with a collection of structured finance phrases as it cools you inside a toasty conference room.

Wise delegates will have brought the fan to the various bank parties that took place on Monday evening in the oven otherwise known as The Cosmopolitan Hotel's Chandelier Bar.

Incredibly practical and garishly colored, Finsight's six foot phone cables went like hot cakes. Finsight's CEO, Leo Efstathiou (pictured) clearly wants to win and attempted to curry the favor with the GlobalCapital team through his second-hand marketing of our beanies.

However, there can be no better respite from these conferences than some good old-fashioned fun...

The Winner: Mario Kart with Sequential

Congratulations to tech firm Sequential, who win absolutely no prize — aside from the prestige of being GlobalCapital's first ever Swag Champions.

Nintendo, Mario Kart, competition. What's not to love? They're Aussies but they seem alright (for Aussies). Still not quite sure how you can win the Nintendo Switch on the desk, but anything that makes you not think about the countless meetings just for five minutes is a worthy winner.

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And with that, grab a drink and visit the Liquidaty stand to stock up on pain relief for tomorrow!

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