The Jetson’s came to life with the Millennia Robot manning Hoover’s booth in the DMA 2010 Exhibit Hall. Despite living in a world where almost everything has some sort of computer, Millennia’s “Hi Heidi” stopped me in my tracks. Unlike the mechanical computer generated voices of car GPS systems that get irritating and need to recalculate whenever you’ve make a wrong turn, Millennia takes everything in stride.
At a trade show where more than a few booths had employees who were either too busy to talk or unwilling to make eye contact, Millennia was upbeat and positive. Despite his star status as a member of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky IV cast, Millennia is undeterred by visitors’ reactions. This makes him the quintessential social butterfly and a great addition to any marketer’s trade show booth or other live event.
Millennia reads people’s badges and converted the names to speech. Millennia could continue the discuss as well. With Millennia, Hoovers got me to stop at their booth and engage instead moving on. While I was familiar with Hoovers’ offering, if I hadn’t been, Millennia would have created a warm lead for a member of their sales staff.
The take away for marketers is that sometimes a gimmick is just what you need to break through to get to your target. When human interaction is required for our marketing to work, sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to make contact. It’s great to have at least one member of your booth staff that has the ability to say hello without being hurt if there’s no response.
Note: Even if you’re not interested in using a robot for your next trade show or other marketing event, Millennia is still worth reading about because he breaks through to autistic children and the sight impaired.
Photo credit: © 2010 Heidi Cohen – All rights reserved via Creative Commons