HP Guerilla Marketing At EMC World Targeted Attendees With Activities, Events Up To $599

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HP at EMC World

Hewlett-Packard is claiming success in its attempt to lure customer attendees at last week's EMC World to look at HP storage by offering them an opportunity to try some of Las Vegas' biggest attractions at no charge.

HP offered EMC World attendees with an EMC World badge who tweeted "#72hoursofyes" during the first three days of the conference the chance to ask for anything ranging from shopping to a show to a helicopter ride.

HP offered to fill up to 40 requests each of the three days of the promotion, with the retail value of the requests limited to no more than $599.

[Related: EMC's Big Reveal: Will Ship Hyper-Converged Infrastructure This Year]

HP also offered EMC World attendees a free shuttle from the airport to their hotels during the event and back.

Several EMC World attendees took advantage of the promotion. YouTube videos show attendees getting Cirque du Soleil training, driving a bulldozer, getting a tattoo, and a helicopter tour of Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

Other attendees received Lady Godiva chocolates, a Gucci bag, a pink gorilla suite, NASCAR race car driving, tickets to a Britney Spears concert and a chance to try indoor sky diving.

Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and HP partner, said he expects HP's presence at EMC World will get several EMC customers to take a serious look at HP 3PAR storage.

While Nth has yet to see any leads from the #72hoursofyes promotion, Baldwin said it is nice to be able to point at the buzz.

"From what I heard from HP, this was the fifth most popular tweet at EMC World," he said. "Can you imagine having your EMC people looking at that? I wonder what EMC is going to do to respond next month at HP Discover?"

For EMC, whether to respond at HP Discover is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario, Baldwin said.

"If EMC does nothing at HP Discover, that's probably the best response," he said. "But if it tries to retaliate, it would make people think HP won at EMC World."

For EMC solution providers at EMC World, HP's #72hoursofyes promotion was a waste of time at best, and could hurt attendees in some cases.

Eric Ransden, regional director of business development at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and EMC partner, said he sees no substantial impact from the promotion on EMC's business.

NEXT: Ethics Of HP's #72hoursofyes Promotion Questioned

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