Booth Serves up Beer, Blues

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NEW YORK -- Showgoers probably came away from most of the exhibit booths here last week with a business card, press kit and maybe some candy. But if you found the Freedom Graphic Systems booth, you walked away with a 32 ounce mug of Miller beer while humming a blues tune.


Officials from Freedom, Milton, WI, a direct marketing production company, were looking for something to attract attention because they registered for the convention late and got a booth in one of the Hilton's more remote locations. In fact, the company wasn't even listed in the DMDNY directory.


"We are not trying to promote the drinking of alcohol," said sales representative Mark Soljacich. "The location that we were given is also pretty far out of the way, so we needed something to help drive some traffic through here. I think because of the music and the beer, we brought a lot more people into this section than would have been here had we not had these things."


According to DMDNY president Chuck Cavanagh, a company is allowed to serve beer at a booth as long as it is purchased through the Hilton. Cavanagh said this was the first time he could remember anyone serving beer at a booth, but it wasn't the strangest request he had ever dealt with.


"Last year someone wanted to bring a monkey with them," he said. "That seemed like too big a risk, so we told them no."


-- Michael Bush


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