It pays to know your local market.
Sun’s Brazil team had the bright idea to have 2000 small soccer balls printed with logos, to use as giveaways at FISL. Along with much other show stuff, these arrived in the bus that drove from Sao Paolo to Porto Alegre. Then they had to be stored in the hotel we were all staying at…
When we finally got them to the show floor, they filled a tall column (which had holes near the bottom to extract them from):
There were over 8000 attendees at FISL this year, so not everyone could have a ball just for the asking. And they did ask: we had a constant flow of people into the booth requesting a bolinha (little ball). They were cute, all right.
The few little kids at the show got one automatically, but everyone else had to work for it, usually by doing soccer tricks:
Even in Brazil, soccer ability is not a given in a geeky crowd like this, but three girls who were not only beautiful but knew how to play soccer had been hired to “coach”:
They were very popular; all the young men and boys wanted to take photos with them (a few of them also asked for photos with Teresa and me, to our surprise), but they smilingly refused – that wasn’t part of their contract (and they would have spent all day doing nothing else, had they agreed).
The girls also kept the coffee machine running, a big plus for those of us working the booth, as well as the many who happily lined up for free coffee – this was a trick discovered by Sun Brazil years ago, now imitated (with less booth-filling success) by several other companies showing at FISL.
By the end of the fourth day the tower of balls was empty, but there was a reserve bag of souvenir balls for us hard-working Sun employees. I took four, and gave them all away before I got back to the US, the last two going to Bill and Sherry’s kids in Brisbane.