For a long time at Scout Books we resisted the term “swag.” Never used it in our marketing and said it with a whispered voice when we talked about it internally. But times have changed, and so has the swag landscape. Swag is less and less cheap crap that you throw away as soon as you come home. These days, swag is used to elevate the impact a brand can have at an event, and companies understand with that comes with an expectation of quality. Enter Dribbble, who is taking that expectation up a notch with their meetup kits. In case you haven’t heard, Dribbble is a platform for designers and creatives to showcase their work and connect with other creatives and businesses. We talked with some of the team from Dribbble about creating these meetup kits, and their thoughts on designing physical goods for use at events.
Can you share a bit about Dribbble Meetups?
Dribbble Meetups are self-organized events that allow designers to socialize, talk shop, and foster their local design communities. They range from the casual, five-person, coffee-shop roundtables to a 200-person extravaganza with incredible speakers and presentations. We see Dribbblers host around 15 meetups per month, all over the world.
Our team sends out a box filled with Dribbble swag to each meetup—which we lovingly refer to as the Dribbble Meetup kit. Each kit includes stickers, buttons, pencils, name tags, and a few other goodies. We love seeing where our swag ends up!
“If you have pizza, beer, and swag… they will come.” This quote from the book is so good, and definitely matches up with our experience putting on events. Can you share some tips for hosting a good meetup and making good swag?
We’re always so impressed with how passionate our meetup hosts are about organizing a fun-filled event. Planning is key for a good meetup so it’s common for hosts to have activities lined up like ice-breakers, games, design talks—and snacks and drinks don’t hurt! Hosts can get super creative with meetup activities—we’ve seen all kinds of things from a full-on design trivia game show to an origami playoff. The most important part about a Dribbble Meetup is that designers have time to share their stories with each other and build lasting connections.
Swag is a great way to get people excited about the community so we love injecting some fun into items attendees can take home. It’s a meetup souvenir and a nice visual reminder of the amazing community they are a part of. Additionally, designers have done an incredible job making their own Dribbble community-specific swag! We also like to include a special gift for the meetup host as a thank you for all of their efforts in bringing the Dribbble community together.
Dribbble has been making Scout Books for years now, and for a variety of different projects. Any tips for designers who are currently working on a Scout Book project?
We’re big fans of Scout Books here! We have made a few blank books with fun covers, but this is the first time we’ve designed the interior of a Scout Book. In our Dribbble Meetup Guide, we wanted to share some tips and tricks for new meetup hosts. In the book, we share some best practices, a day-of checklist, and our code of conduct. There are also some blank pages where they can take notes during the planning process.
For anyone working on a Scout Book project, don’t be afraid to get creative. We intentionally changed up the layout for each page to keep things interesting and also used some photos from real meetups. As a community of designers, we’re in front of the computer screen a lot of the time, so creating something physical is always super fun.
Also… pro tip: Did you know you can choose two different colors of staples? You can see them on our Dribbbot Scout Books.
These books seem to be all about creating a community with other designers and creatives. Can you let us know how others can get involved or host their own meetup?
If you’re a designer interested in meeting up with your local design community, be sure to check out any upcoming meetups in your area. And if you want to host your own, we highly encourage you to give it a try! There are just a few simple steps between you and your first Dribbble Meetup: find a venue, plan a few activities, and have fun with your design friends! If you’re looking for some meetup inspiration, check out our blog where we share photos and recap meetups every month. Once you’re ready, you can submit a Dribbble Meetup request and we’ll be in touch to send you swag, provide resources, and help to promote your meetup.
Huge thank you to everyone at Dribbble for taking the time to talk with us about this project! You can find more about Dribbble via their website, and on Instagram @dribbble.