Modified "Pocketmod" Multiuse Coupon - Barnes and Noble Robocup 2007

Modification of custom palm/pocket paper journal to entice Robocup participants to shop at Barnes and Noble at Georgia Tech during the week of the event 

As one of the volunteer coordinators for Robocup 2007 and management staff at Barnes and Noble at Georgia Tech, I wanted to come up with a way to serve the Robocup and Tech communities' interests by giving participants a reminder, and incentive, to visit the book store during their stay in Atlanta. 

First rule of retail - get the customers in the store!

Since many of the participants were visiting from outside the U.S. and because, in my role as marketing lead for the Technical Reference department, (which includes titles on robotics, artificial intelligence, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering and all the other engineering disciplines related to robotics,) I had stocked as many robotics related titles as I could find (can't sell what you don't have in stock), it seemed like a good idea to let participants know they were across the street from the largest selection of robotics books in Atlanta, if not one of the largest selections to browse for purchase in the world.

The question was how to give each participant something they might actually hold on to long enough to remind them about the store with nothing but a work PC, internet connection, printer/copier and print supplies. Robocup 2007 Atlanta had already decided to give each participant a "gift bag" and had structure in place to get items in the bag. So I needed to come up with the item.

I decided a discount coupon was the best way to go, but realized the standard, small, tear-out style coupon would more likely end up in the trash than serve as a reminder. While searching the web for ideas, I came across the pocketmod - a neat, quasi-origami meme for making a palm/pocket size booklet from a standard 8.5 x 11 inch (A4) sheet of paper. I realized I could include the "coupon" information, as well as a calendar for the week, welcome message and some blank pages - attendees at events are always looking for scratch paper and I thought robotics types would be intrigued by the idea of getting so much use out of a single sheet.

Page layout was fairly easy since I had permission to use Georgia Tech and Robocup logos; the only sticky part was use of the folding instructions from pocketmod. A search of the forums for terms of use or contact information for the purported copyright holder didn't produce anything. As several sites explicitly state their derivative use and since the pocketmod site itself invites users to make their own pocketmods (including supposedly copyright information from the site itself,) the conflict seemed pretty minimal - a one-time use with a very limited reach. Pocketmod's purported copyright and site url were prominent on the finished product and it's obvious the intent was for temporary use with expiration date.

The final result 8.5" x 11" landscape (enlarge):


I know the discount was used in the store and I saw some of them being used for notes. 

The real success was sales - Technical Reference was the top selling book department for the two week period before, during, and after Robocup 2007 and was up over 500 percent over the same time the year before ('nuff said.)