While reading Guy Kawasaki’s post The Venture Capitalist Wishlist, detailing his top 10 list for attracting VC interest, it reminded me of some of the guerrilla ways entrepreneurs have made their presence known at past VC conferences. I miss a lot of these stunts post-bubble and hope we’ll see some creative ideas at next week’s 2006 Florida Venture Capital Conference. It’s a great conference and I love investor golf at Sawgrass, but the entrepreneurial buzzmeter could use a jolt.
Here’s my top 10 list of entrepreneur guerrilla marketing stunts I’ve seen/heard for getting startup attention on a shoestring:
#10: Posting company signs (like election signs) all along the drive from airport to conference center — including arrows to help direct visiting VCs.
#9: Plastering company bumper stickers on every surface possible (poles, hydrants, bus benches, sidewalks…) outside venture conference halls.
#8: Placing company golf balls (when cartboys weren’t looking) inside every cart of the obligatory VC golf tourney.
#7: When eyeballs were king, dropping hundreds of eye-ball painted ping-pong balls (including company logo) in the grass/planters surrounding the VC conference hall.
#6: Sidewalk chalking company logos, mottos etc. near conference hall/parking lot.
#5: Draping “Company X Welcomes You to the Venture Conference” sign on overpasses leading to VC conference.
#4: Spreading hundreds of company business cards throughout the conference, including every lunch table, resting wall, phone booth, lobby table, and even bathroom urinals and sinks.
#3: Similar, but with a captive audience: placing magnetic company cards/takeaways on metal bathroom stall doors.
#2: Placing small circular signs with company name/logo at the bottom of every golf hole at dawn before the VC golfers wake up.
And my #1 guerrilla marketing stunt that probably didn’t involve VCs, unless they liked cooking: Crashing an on-site filming of “Emeril Live” for a national audience with multiple employees wearing company shirts and waving company flags every time Emeril said “Bam!” and cameras panned the audience for effect!
Yes, some of these are funny, some even tacky, but they all stuck in my mind and I appreciate entrepreneurs that find a way to get the word out about their company through shear ingenuity. I hope to see even more ideas next week!