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What Do Kitty Litter and Chocolate Mustaches Have in Common?

Kitty litter and chocolate mustaches, a couple of seemingly oddball items, can be some of your biggest assets at a conference or trade show event and can significantly increase your ROI. That’s right, kitty litter can increase your ROI. These kinds of creative gimmicks can boost both the quality and quantity of booth traffic at these popular events.

For pMD’s upcoming conferences, including the athenahealth User Conference and SF Uncubed, we considered many different attractions and giveaways for our charge capture booth before deciding on the final winners. The pMD team gathered together for over an hour to discuss the best and most effective ideas for the booth. This thorough brainstorming process led to a list of fun, weird, and possibly even illegal ideas, including a Porsche giveaway, shots of tequila, goat milking races, and digging through a bin of kitty litter to shovel out $0.99 prizes.

Eventually, we had our aha! moment and decided on an ultimate booth attraction along with some great giveaway items that were not quite as peculiar as the aforementioned ideas. If you’ve ever watched The Price Is Right, you know what a Plinko game is and how excited people are to play this fun game of luck. To play the game, you take your disk and walk up a set of stairs to the very top of the game board, carefully choosing a starting point to release your disk from. As the disk bounces down the board in an erratic motion with each peg that it hits, you hold your breath hoping that it will take a last minute detour and land in the prized center slot at the bottom. Every player is a winner and the fate of the disk decides your prize. The prizes we chose for this game were iPads, chocolate mustaches, toy goats, and stickers. We also threw in some tequila bottles for take-home consumption.

Booth activities can be an effective way to draw people in, and the giveaways serve as important company branding after the show ends and everyone goes home. Selecting the right activities and giveaways for these events is a special challenge. You want to have something that attracts the right audience, whether that may be doctors or college students, and feels relevant. You’re also competing for the attendees’ precious time given the numerous other booths in attendance. In the end, your business’s key messaging and a valuable product are what’s going to generate legitimate leads, but if you can’t get people to actually stop by your booth and talk to you about these points, then your message will fall on non-existent ears.

The goal is to get people to come to your booth and also make it a memorable experience. When they reflect back on the chaos of the conference a week later, they can pull out a stuffed toy goat and remember how great that company was and that they can benefit greatly from its mobile charge capture solution.

We’ll see you at the upcoming athenahealth User Conference and SF Uncubed fiestas this season!
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