“Going Beyond Expectations “
Marketing director Paul Ardoin stumbled onto Branders.com while he was searching foam monkeys online. These giveaways were for his company’s trade show in Austin, Texas.
“Branders.com was the only sourcing company I found that carried foam monkeys,” relates Paul, who manages the marketing and business development side of iQurious Corp., an infrastructure automation firm.
When Paul joined the Sacramento, California-based company more than a year ago, one of his major tasks was to source giveaways for trade shows.
iQurious attends as many as six events a year, among them the Government Technology Conference (GTC) in Texas and California, the Citrix Solutions show, and BriForum.
“I’ve sourced giveaways at the other firms I worked for, but I was never able to establish a relationship with a promotional products company,” says Paul, who has more than a decade’s experience in marketing and public relations.
The monkey idea came up when Paul and an independent marketing group, Spin66 Studio, brainstormed on a good mascot for iQurious.
“There is a famous monkey whose name is similar to iQurious,” Paul explains.
An hour from receiving his price quote from Branders.com, Paul ordered 1,250 pieces of the 6.5×12-inch foam monkeys with purple bodies and green arms and legs. They were to be delivered in Austin, Texas, where the January 2007 GTC was to be held.
Paul would later discover that finding the right promotional product was only half the problem.
“About ten days before the show, my account manager Angel Francs called to say the models I wanted weren’t available in the quantity we ordered,” Paul remembers.
Angel wanted to know if the rest of the shipment could be all purple.
Unfortunately, the iQurious color is celery green – very similar to the shade of the green foam monkeys. After some discussion, Paul decided to get equal quantities of the two varieties: half of the foam monkeys he ordered had purple bodies and green arms, while the rest had green bodies with purple arms and legs.
Paul would get the surprise of his life when his order reached Texas.
“The shipment arrived safe, sound, and on time,” he later e-mailed Angel when the trade show ended. “But I had no idea they were so large, and it’s one of the reasons they were such a hit!” Paul relates.
The foam monkeys were bringing in some good traffic to the iQurious booth. Paul and his staff grabbed each chance to make a pitch and got some good-quality leads.
“A lot of people told me it was, by far, the best giveaway,” Paul reveals. He also realized that the versions he received were much better than what he originally ordered.
While the foam monkeys did their part in getting iQurious noticed during the technology conference, Paul also acknowledges his account manager’s assistance in ironing out some kinks.
“Angel was fantastic! She worked with us through a couple of delivery hiccups and came up with a creative solution to make sure we were completely satisfied,” Paul says.
“Thanks to Angel’s help, we solved a couple of eleventh-hour problems quickly and creatively. The giveaway was a huge success, and I hope to order these for future shows!”