STARS ON HOLLYWOOD BLVD
You know the Walk of Fame in Hollywood? Beatles followers will be glad to know that Ringo finally got his star recently. And they’re moving the scattered Fab Four next to each other.
But I digress. I was in Los Angeles recently attending the Solar Power International Trade show. Reading up on the Hollywood tourist rags, I found an interesting tidbit. The Walk of Fame is not run by some film or entertainment society. No…it’s run by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
CHEESY, OR A GREAT IDEA?
In 1960, a group of local businessmen decided to create the Walk of Fame as a way to attract people to downtown Hollywood and their retail establishments. They decided to “borrow” the name equity of the stars created by the studios nearby as a way to build their businesses.
What was thought to be cheesy by many turned out to be the number-one tourist attraction in Hollywood. The Walk of Fame has attracted millions of visitors, and many of them stop at the shops and restaurants right next to those stars. Cost? About $25,000 per star — and the celebrity (or his or her fan club) pays for it, not the Chamber! Now that’s a win-win.
TRADE SHOW PROVES IT
The trade shows I’ve been attending prove that adding a little show business to your business can be very helpful. The bigger, taller booths with the high-tech video screens attracted a lot of attention — except that almost ALL of the booths looked that way.
My client and a few others staged LIVE demonstrations of their products, and those pulled bigger crowds than anything else.
BARKERS ARE BACK
That’s right, there was a guy with a portable microphone headset — it reminded me of an upscale version of the “barkers” at the Canfield Fair (the guys selling juicers and slicers and dicers).
He narrated as a couple workers demonstrated how their product goes together faster or in a simpler way than their competitors’. He pointed out the features and benefits. He answered questions.
CROWDS LOVE IT
Onlookers applauded after the demonstration. They whipped out their iPhones and took video of the entire process. Sure, there were competitors in the crowd (my client and I visited most of their booths together) — but the net benefit of the interaction was great.
The bottom line is, a “live show” still attracts people. High-definition video is no substitute for “FLESH definition” — people showing what a product can do right in front of you.
Learn a lesson from Hollywood. You may not be able to install a Walk of Fame in front of your business (or can you?). But figure out a way to add some show business to YOUR business.
Stay Tuned and Stay Smart.