As conference organizers we sometimes get really conflicted about conference swag. On one hand, as attendees ourselves we often find ourselves swimming in cheap throwaway swag. The n-th flimsy pen with a corporate logo that disintegrates after the second use, the beer-opener-disguised-as-toy-sword that airport security will be keen on taking off your hands - we all been there. But then, some of us would indeed enjoy the occasional sweet little keepsake of the memories and friends we made at a great event.

A tough nut to crack, surely, one that the team at RustFest has been gnawing on for years. Fitting high-quality and witty swag into the budget of a multi-day conference with a 100 Euro ticket price is tough. We had some amazing allies on the way, though, so occasionally we still managed to sneak you some cutesieness, though, and we have been trying to figure out a way to go back to this wonderful tradition(-to-be). Hopefully this rather long intro could provide some context to today’s announcement:

In the history of RustFests for the first time in RustFest Rome we will be offering unique T-shirts with custom designs to our attendees!

There is a catch. The T-shirts are limited and cost you 35€ (incl. VAT). You can head over to our page right now and buy one today — you will be able to select your shirt size (find the sizing chart below), but there is no shipping, as you will only be able to pick your shirt up at the registration desk in RustFest Rome.

In case you were wondering, we prepared a mini-FAQ, to try to answer some of the questions you may have.

Why do I have to pay?

Well, as we mentioned above T-shirts pose a tough challenge: we don’t want to raise ticket prices, so that everyone can have one — even if they don’t want one, effectively subsidizing others’ shirts, but we do want to let you have one if you would like.

Since Paris we have been working with the amazing team at the Ura Open Source Design Studio to gradually improve the slightly dated design language and branding of RustFest (that has served us well for the past 3 years), some of this cooperation was already starting to bear fruit in Paris, but you will truly see it blossom at Rome. One of the (many) things that came out of this cooperation is the brand new T-shirt designs for Rome - we think it looks great, I hope you all love it, too:

RustFest Rome T-shirt mockup
Click image to view full resolution

Why is it so expensive?

We have had another realization lately. Our scholarship programs received almost as many applications as our CfP! If we were to fund every single applicant, we would have had to spend the amount of many that’s equal to the entire conference budget. The few thousand euros we allocate specifically for this purpose was only able to fund a fraction of the applicants and the diversity donations on tito only offset that by a small margin.

For this reason, every penny that is beyond the production cost of the t-shirts (roughly half of the price) goes straight into our scholarship fund, to be used to help people get to the next RustFest who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to join.

These look pretty cool, can you share the designs please?

Of course! In fact, we already did. All of Ura Design’s work, and thus the work on the RustFest brand is done in the open and once ready shared under a CC-BY-SA license. Feel free to grab the assets and create your own t-shirts if you’d like!

T-Shirt Sizing Chart

T-Shirt sizing chart