Beer and Gear surprise

Did I miss some discussion about the Beer and Gear surprise? I, personally,
feel somewhat cheated that there was no "gear" available from the vendors in

I did not spend money to come out to Atlanta to get hit upon by vendors.
... I don't even see the point of continuing to have the the Beer
and Gear part.

I have the same opinion. Having recently left the ISP competitive
rat-race to join the equipment rat-race, I attended as one of the
vendor sponsors. We followed all the rules to avoid "hitting" on anyone,
but it was only after we committed to the sponsorship that we learned
we couldn't give out "gear" to improve name recognition.

Why is the event called "beer 'n gear" if I can't hand out T shirts and
schwag? Like the above writer, I always looked forward to collecting a
drawerful of T shirts and trivia at past NANOG beer 'n gears.

Data sheets and business cards are kinda boring. Will I need to wear
a tie next time? :wink: