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Another Conference Bag
Another Conference Bag
available on my flickr

Another satchel bites the dust

For me, the worst part about registering at a conference is when they hand you over the conference bag. Yechhhh. The only comfort is that 300, 1000, 6000 other participants are stuck with the same appendege.

Out of 12 years in this game, I have taken home and kept a grand total of two conference bags. MERLOT in 2003 had a very cool travel bag that I have dragged all over Arizona (and to New Zealand). It is very functional, well built. The other was the metal toolbox giving out at a mid 1990s Macromedia Conference. That just had the ultimate “cool” factor though at this point it may have been relegated to holding old computer cables.

So here I am at Snowmass Village, Colorado, for the EDUCAUSE SAC Conference, and have just discarded my conference bag. It joins the last one I left in New York City.

If you watch people at conferences, 90% of them are lugging their own bags (large briefcases or computer bags)… so what do we do with bag number 2?

Okay, I am being “snarky” as some call it. My recent results of the Strengths Finder profile pinned me as a type who “collects and organizes things” and it just does not fit with saving stuff I do not need. I keep very little. (note that link is to the general Strengthsfinder site, my profile is Ideation Strategic Input Command Learning)

P.S. I mean no offense to our corporate sponsors who are likely subsidizing my food and drinks at this conference. I just do not need bags and think we can reduce the amount of natural resources put into the mesh.

P.P.S. Join the flickr fun and post you conference bag photos and tag ’em with conferencebag (conference bags in strange places, conference bags sipping coffee at Starbucks, conference bags on the beach…). Let’s see what we can bag up together at

Bag it!

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. A support staff member was collecting unwanted bags, pens, notepads, etc, to distribute to school kids via her church charity at my last NMC conference (Ohio, 2002). That was best way yets to ditch my conference junk.

  2. I have never thrown out a conference bag – but now, as a result of my spring cleaning (which I did over the summer) I have now accumulated a three or four-foot high pile of conference bags in my front hallways, and while I really don’t need them, I can’t bear to simply throw them out. Maybe there’s something similar in Moncton, that would allow me to give conference bags to people who could use them…

  3. I’m curious to see your StrengthsFinder profile, Alan, but the link she is broken.

    Regarding conference bags: I’m still new enough to the circuit that I’m still kinda fond of them. And I have trouble with collectionitis, or magpie’s disorder.

    My profile in order, for the terminally curious and/or bored: input, strategic, learner, belief, intellection.

  4. Pingback: Abject Learning

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