Microsoft Build 2020: Virtual conference with a real swag

Microsoft Build (also known as //build/) conference has just finished. This is major annual conference held by Microsoft, targeting software engineers and developers. This year’s conference was quite different, as Build 2020 was all-digital event for the first time. It was originally planned to take place in Seattle, and with physical events getting cancelled Microsoft decided to proceed with a virtual one. And to make it available free of charge for all, requiring just a simple online registration.

And as is the case with most conferences, attendees got a “swag” with some goodies. Being digital conference, Build 2020 has Digital Swag that includes various wallpapers, banners and watch faces. Nothing to write home about, but it can be found at Build2020_DigitalSwag on GitHub. But I was pleasantly surprised when around a week before the start of Microsoft Build, I’ve received a package with real, physical swag! I signed up for the conference some time ago, and I am not sure if Microsoft sent this to all early registered attendants?

Microsoft Build 2020 swag

A package included the following:

  • A lanyard and conference name tag (without a name). Just plastic tag, no embedded RFID tags that Microsoft uses on many real conferences.
  • Two sheets of labels – Azure, Python, Microsoft Learn, racoons. Someone might stick these labels is on their laptops. I won’t.
  • A pair of socks, with unique “Microsoft :heart: Developers” design, great to work from home. Because you probably would not want to be seen wearing them in public. Socks are good quality, soft cotton blend, made in the USA by the Sock Club.
  • A reusable lunch box with cutlery. Made with bamboo fibre composite. It can be useful not just for sandwiches, as it comes with elastic band to keep it closed, while cover has rubber membrane. That should help with keeping some cooked food without spilling, though I wouldn’t dare using it for soups and curries.

It was nice to get a real swag for the virtual conference. Thank you, Microsoft people.

Linguistic clarification is needed – in Australia, “swag” has much different meaning, and refers to a roll-up bed you use when you sleep out in the bush. For the stuff you get at events, in Australia we use terms “goodie bag” or “show bag”. But since virtual heart of Build 2020 was in Seattle, and my Build 2020 goodie bag was sent from the USA, then “swag” it is.