Tchotchkes = trouble

4 Sep



tchatchke (chäch-kə) or tchotchke

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

A Knick-knack or trinket

(Origin) Yiddish tshatshke trinket, from obsolete Polish czaczko

Definition from the Urban Dictionary:

A small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose.


Why do humans lose all sense of dignity and manners when there is a table full of samples or gratis merchandise?

What is it about a 2-inch magnet, a comb, a sticker, a lip moisturizer or any other mindless tchotchkes that make people lose their shit?

Watching the latest Shark Week extravaganza with my kids made me think about how giveaways at events are like a shark feed.

That is why I am not a fan of allowing my sponsors, or my event, to give unrelated event stuff away. 

Why?  Because you will NEVER, EVER have enough.   If you have a walk with 500 people, and have 5,000 shameless-self-promoting pieces of whatever (tchotchkes) – you will never have enough.  Imagine a walkathon with 40,000 people…

It must be part of human nature to grab, handfuls at a time, for anything considered free.   Oh – you want to distribute it? One per customer?  Good luck with that.  Make sure it is an intern and that they have health insurance.

Here are three (of many!) reasons that free stuff is a logistical nightmare at walkathon events:

1.   If it is wrapped, then the wrapping becomes a trash issue for you.

2.  How do you handle the crowd when you run out?

3.  How do you determine who gets one?

If it is a free-for-all, then back that thang up.  Here they come!

Stop the madness before it begins!   Once you open the big, ugly precedent door it will be hard to close it.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply