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At OptimalBI we don’t sponsor a lot of conferences, but when the opportunity to sponsor the 25th annual GOVIS conference came up, we decided to go for it. We spend a lot our time working with Government organisations so it just made sense.

This year’s GOVIS conference theme is Disruptive Innovation. And us being us, we’ve decided to do things a bit differently with our approach for sponsoring GOVIS in line with this theme. One thing we’re doing is playing with our sponsorship stand to make it different to your usual boring stand. The other thing we decided to do to show disruptive innovation is to change the functionality of the conference bags that we were in charge of as part of our contribution.

Depending on the conference, there is typically a sponsored bag given to each attendee, branded and filled with sponsorship material and other useful things (often referred to as SWAG).  

Bag Drop

The bags are always of a good quality, but looking at the huge pile that OptimalBI people have brought back over the years got us thinking.  No-one really uses these bags after the event. They sit in a big pile or are taken home and left in a cupboard somewhere. We looked around for innovative ideas for conference bags and came back empty, the best we could come up with was an iPad cover or a gym bag, sheesh!

So we wondered what could we do to design the bag so it was useful after the event? We thought about what makes a bag useful and came up with a bunch of designs, but then we thought about who might find our bags useful one of our team came up with the idea of underprivileged school kids.


Bazinga! We’d design backpacks that would be beneficial to school kids in low decile areas, so that after the conference, delegates could take their bits and pieces out of them, put them in their own laptop bags or one of our recyclable tote bags and donate their unneeded conference bag to a kid at school who really needs it!

Upon running our idea past the Wellington Regional Primary Principal Association (WRPPA) they agreed it would definitely go down well and they put us in touch with a number of primary schools where most kids use supermarket plastic bags to take their books to school in. We have approximately 200 bags to potentially give away and they were snapped up in a matter of minutes from the email notification going out.

Nope, we’re not fixing the world’s problems with this. We’re not bridging the inequality gap any closer, but for some kids who really are disadvantaged, we can do this one tiny thing. And who knows? Maybe the idea will take off and we can help kids in schools get a new school bag every year.

Change, learn or fade away, it’s your choice – Shane

Shane blogs about all of the things data and business intelligence.

You can read all of Shane’s blogs here.

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