Happy 25th to the State Policy Network

The State Policy Network is an impressive organization that helps improve the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations and nonprofit leaders at the state level across the country.

This week SPN is having its Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas and celebrating its 25th anniversary. A big part of that annual event are the organizations that come to exhibit, network, and spread their message.

With those goals in mind, the idea marketing pros here in the Alamo City have come up with some fun and creative ways to attract eyeballs. Every table and booth in the exhibit hall is an experiment in ideas outreach, and that real-time competition helps everyone sharpen their message and strategy.

Here are some of the tchotchkes, premiums, giveaways, and swag items that SPN members have come up with to get noticed and to keep event attendees remembering them after the event is over.

Our friends at Reason magazine and the Reason Foundation have a plenty of copies of recent issues, ballpoint pens, and postcards advertising the upcoming Reason Media Awards. But they also have pocket-sized audio devices that feature a recording of Reason TV host and news media fan-favorite John Stossel uttering his famous catchphrase “Give me a break!” The next time Reason supporters find themselves confronted with the eyeroll-inducing absurdity of modern politics, they only need to reach into their pocket to register their principled opposition.

The crew from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University have the latest research in political economy, including copies of Senior Research Fellow Adam Thierer’s excellent book Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom and Research Fellow James Broughel’s Regulation and Economic Growth: Applying Economic Theory to Public Policy. They also have unpriced cell phone charging cords in plastic cases—always important when conference-goers are spending all day in the conference hall—and sunglasses for the cool kids and stylish attendees.

CEI’s next-door neighbor in the exhibit hall is the Beacon Center of Tennessee, which served as the state host organization for last year’s successful SPN Annual Meeting in Nashville. This year the Beacon team is promoting their documentary film Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare, with posters and custom-printed earbud sets. They’re sponsoring screenings of this important new film across Tennessee, but you can watch the YouTube version below, wherever you are.