The National Preservation Conference is this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Staff members from around the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be blogging from the conference and sharing their experiences. Earlier today, Alison Hinchman, web technology manager, took a break from working in the Forum booth to go in search of goodies in the exhibit hall. Here is what she found:
Tulsa is the 14th National Preservation Conference for me. No matter what my job, I always seem to end up spending a lot of the conference staffing a booth in the exhibit hall. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that you gotta find out where to cool freebies are. Those of us who staff the booths form an underground network, letting each other know who has the cool pen and who is giving away food.
Food, preferably candy, is key if you want to lure folks over to talk to you and to keep your own energy up. The Center for Preservation Leadership specializes in dark chocolate because it's our favorite. This year, it's dark chocolate Hershey kisses. The Spokane CVB is giving away melt-in-your mouth peanut brittle. The Brown Mansion has peppermints and Aerial Data Service has gum -- both are handy if you had a garlicky lunch and don't want to offend your neighbor on the field tour. I even saw a basket of apples in one booth. If you want to take home a taste of regional food, Bryant Pecan Company and Arkansas Delta-Made are selling their products. I am particularly intrigued by the BBQ gift box -- perfect for tailgating.
This year there are a couple other booths selling cool stuff. Both the Route 66 and Vintage Roadside folks are selling great t-shirts. It's worth stopping just to take a look at the designs. There is also Frankoma Pottery and the preservation bookstore. Goaltrac is raffling off an iPod and the Cherokee Nation has a gift basket of Cherokee handicrafts. I haven't had a chance to peruse the Preservation Action silent auction but that's sure to have an item or two to pique your interest.
The must-have item is the portfolio from National Trust Forum. I might be biased on that. Don't miss the cow shaped flashlight at the National Barn Alliance; it moos. And the Department of Defense booth has temporary tattoos. Of course there are also to requisite pens and post-it pads and pins. Really who needs to airport gift shop when you have the exhibit hall? You might even learn something about historic preservation or a new product. (There are lots of product demonstrations going on.)
Now I'm off in search of the booth giving out fudge samples.
-- Alison Hinchman