Cash for demos – good idea or tacky?


At a conference last week, one particular vendor’s booth was covered in cash.  Curious, I stepped up and asked why.

I expected it to tie into an analogous pitch for their services.  I expected the cash to be primarily a prop.

Nope.  The company founder excitedly told me I would get one dollar if I immediately tweeted about their service, and five dollars if I sat through a five-minute demo.

I was authentically interested in their service anyway, so I asked for the demo.  After five minutes, they handed me five dollars.  I tried not to take it.  It honestly felt a little dirty.

They claimed that giving away cash like this was more “efficient” and “effective” than spending the same money on the same old booth giveaways.

But is handing out cash this way at a booth a good idea?  Is it tacky?  Does it really drive the right prospect behavior or lead qualification?

I’m leaning towards “tacky” but am curious what you think.  Would you do this at your booth?  Have you done it?

Let me know your opinions and experience.