From the May 1999 issue of Entrepreneur

As popular myth would have it, everyone in the world has a twin. As Valerie D'Ambrosio would have it, that twin resides in Nantucket, Massachusetts. This isn't a case of long-lost siblings reuniting, however: D'Ambrosio's twins are part of a clever promotion for her gifts, glassware and fine jewelry store.

D'Ambrosio's Find Your Twin And Win contest takes place every December during the popular Nantucket Stroll weekend. Visitors to the six-block downtown area of this island resort community are each given a numbered tag in either red or green. Their assignment? To find the wearer of that same number--in the other color. Once "twins" are matched up, they proceed to D'Ambrosio's The Cutting Edge to enter a grand-prize drawing.

All this name-dropping, according to D'Ambrosio, 38, boosts her business' sales by 50 percent. Increased sales, however, aren't the only offspring of her innovation: Believe it or not, marital engagements have occurred as well. Guess this makes D'Ambrosio a matchmaker in more ways than one.

Back To School

Learning the tricks of the trade show.

There's no business like show business - of the trade variety, that is. What better opportunity exists to meet and greet would-be customers? Yet, as simple as it sounds, exhibiting at a trade show isn't a snap - and, no, we're not just talking about foot fatigue. To do it well, you've got to be something of a show-stopper yourself.

Which is where the Tradeshow U seminar comes in. Introduced last year, Tradeshow U provides a thorough grounding in the basics of booth management. "The objective is to educate exhibitors on how best to approach shows," explains Pam Pietrok of GES exposition Services in Las Vegas, the trade show and event marketing firm responsible for Tradeshow U. "Our goal is to help exhibitors be as successful as they possibly can."

To that end, this $49, three-hour seminar covers everything from attracting people to your booth and establishing goals to doing publicity. To find out more, visit http://www.gesexpo.com - but only if you can be trusted with a trade secret.

To Infinity And Beyond

Oh, the places ads can go!

Talk about taking it to the limit. Recognizing there's no such thing as a blank surface - only surfaces in need of advertising makeovers - the practitioners of promotion are working 24/7 to select an unusual medium for their message. Here's a rundown of some of today's hot spots:

  • Drawing lines in the sand: Believe it or not, Patrick Dori's company, Beach 'N Billboard (http://www.beachnbillboard.com) in East Rutherford, New Jersey, can actually imprint a company logo onto the sand at the beach.
  • They don't call them supermarkets for nothing: Grocery cart ads may be passè, but ad-emblazoned checkout sticks are a cheeky addition.
  • Waterworks: Superior Design Construction (http://superiordesign.eugene.net/watergate.html) in Springfield, Oregon, can make marketers go with the flow with their water billboards. The 60-foot aerated waterfalls have a kiosk at each end and feature full-motion, three-dimensional projections and animations.
  • Fruit punch: Promotional stickers on fruit prove there's an appetite for ads ad nauseum.
  • Your name in lights: Projection systems like the ones Orangevale, California's Derksen Graphic Projection Systems creates can shine logos and graphics onto any surface, from floors to walls. (Call 916-988-0390 for details.)

Contact Sources

Beach 'N Billboard, P.O. Box 128, Leonia, NJ 07605

GES Exposition Services, (562) 802-7550.