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Luring Journos to a Tech Product Show

September 4, 2000, 12:00 AM EDT

Amanda Kay (left) and Kadee Jacobsen were hired by event organizers PepCom Inc. to lead attendees from the main space of the Metropolitan Pavilion to the hidden fourth floor, which housed the DigitalHome Experience portion of the exhibits.

DigitalFocus, MobileFocus and DigitalHome Experience Metropolitan Pavilion Monday, 6.26.00, 6 to 9 PM
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“Follow me home,” read the signs carried by young women dressed in black. The catch? Look closer and see ”DigitalHome” in smaller print underneath the come-hither phrase. The point was to lure guests from the vast first floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, which housed DigitalFocus and MobileFocus booths, to the hidden, smaller fourth floor, camp for DigitalHome exhibitors.

The three-pronged press event unofficially kicked off PC Expo week on the day before the technology showcase officially began at the Jacob Javits Center. The event was organized by Boynton Beach, Florida-based PepCom Inc., a firm that specializes in press technology showcases.

Tuxedoed servers circulated with duck, salmon and caviar hors d'oeuvres; gazpacho and dessert wontons; and cookies, all by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs. The food options also ran the gamut at the buffet, from Italian (veal tortellini with pesto and penne with vegetables in a cream sauce), to Southwestern (chicken chilliques and chili), to a full sushi bar by Oshiso Company. In addition to a martini and cosmopolitan bar, there was wine, beer and drinks mixed by Pavilion-subcontracted bartenders.

The huge space also featured a guitarist and a string trio. But there were no decorations, flowers, or interesting lights to dress up what was basically a large trade show.

Booth giveaways included a silver mint container, a bubble-filled pen-on-a-string and a disposable camera. Artist Garrett Bender drew caricatures of visitors to the Hewlett Packard booth.

PepCom used Chicago-based Porter Novelli Convergence Group to publicize the event, check in guests and hand out gift bags as guests left. Sadly, all we got when we left was a press CD-ROM and reporter's notebook in a plastic bag that would have been helpful on the show floor as we juggled plate, drink, press kits and vendor giveaways.

--Ellen Sturm

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