TED conference attendees are getting a $550 piece of luggage from the luxury brand Rimowa.
The TED conference is legendary for offering attendees — who pay anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 to go to the weeklong annual event — plenty of high-quality free stuff.
In past years, attendees have had access to something called the Gift Cave, a room filled with all manner of free take-home products, including Lululemon bags, Allbirds sneakers, and Ring home-security systems.
Think of it as a normal conference swag bag taken to an unimaginably fancy level.
But attendees of this week's conference in Vancouver are getting something a little different: a $550 piece of luggage from the luxury brand Rimowa. The company is giving away 2,000 TED-branded polycarbonate Salsa suitcases to attendees.
On the first day of the conference, the bag was everywhere. Attendees rolled theirs past the TED bookstore, into the coffee bars, through buffets, and even inside the theater where the talks are held.
Rimowa, a 120-year-old brand, was recently acquired by LVMH, a luxury-goods conglomerate. The brand says it's now adjusting its communications strategy.
"We had already been a leading manufacturer of luxury luggage," Hector Muelas, the chief brand officer of Rimowa, told Business Insider. "We'd put the emphasis on having a superior product, but when it comes to the communication part, we'd neglected it a little bit."
Rimowa chose the Salsa suitcase for TED attendees because it was the first polycarbonate suitcase to hit the market when it was released in the early 2000s.
"We wanted to have something with a bit of the DNA of innovation in it," Muelas said.
Each piece of luggage comes with a special TED tag and custom red straps inside.
And considering how omnipresent the suitcase is at the conference already, it's clearly an effective marketing tool.