It was during the welcome reception. You know the one. A complimentary glass of fizz when everybody is supposed to be mixing, but it’s just an excuse for the resort to do some pitching.

The diving guys had all their kit set up, the excursion table had brochures and the managers nodded and asked, ‘So where are you from?’

It was a Mark Warner resort (lots of tennis courts); the young professional was looking for business and he had one hour.

So what to do?

He simply worked the room and introduced himself to everyone with this:

At six, I’ll be on the main court. Play one game against me and if you can win a point, I’ll buy you a beer.  If you can win the game… I’ll buy everyone a beer.

This would be a pretty cool challenge to watch. And hey, maybe there would be free beer.

But then he revealed the kicker.

By the way, you can use a tennis racket; I’ll be using this.

And at that point he would hold up… a frying pan.

I had absolutely no interest in tennis, but I wasn’t going to miss this for the world.

And as it happened, neither were the 60 others who turned up for the show.

I can’t remember the details of exactly how many beers he had to ‘buy’ but I do know that for the rest of the week from 7am to midday and 3pm until late he was full with high paying private clients.

Of course, nosey Michael had to have a chat.

Just as expected, he confirmed that once he hit on the Frying Pan Challenge he was guaranteed to fill every slot for the rest of the week.

For the first few months, he had a table and a couple of roller posters: ‘How do you sell tennis from a table?

If you don’t stand out – you’re part of the background. 

Whatever your passion, to differentiate in a fun and interesting way will always pay back.

Do you have any examples of brilliant, fun marketing ideas? I’d love you to share them below.

Be Brilliant!


PS Next week I’m going to launch my Write That Book Summer 2021 programme with a huge announcement, but I’m looking for a hook. Maybe it should be something to do with a frying pan?


  1. May 20th 2021 by Jim

    Joel wheldon hall of fame key note speaker – his business “card” is a small can with Success comes in cans not in cannots

  2. May 20th 2021 by Chris Tsielepi

    We tried to book a stand at a rail industry conference with networking opportunities at tea time and during lunch, we were advised however, that a competitor had already paid for exclusivity at that event i.e. no other cycle parking company could have a stand in the exhibition area. Not to be outdone, I ordered a company polo shirt and had embroidered on the back “Ask me about my new, user-friendly two tier racks”. i sat at the front of the theatre during the sessions and wandered around the networking areas getting maximum exposure. The opposition were rooted behind their stand, . We landed our company’s single most lucrative client that day.

    1. June 17th 2021 by Michael Heppell

      LOVE Everything about this

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