Fair game

Sunday, September 30, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa - Alongside the cotton candy and Ferris wheels at Iowa's state fair in August, visitors checked out various DME at Hammer Medical's booth.
"I would say scooters are the No. 1 thing of interest and CPAP is No. 2," said Terry Flatt, vice president and co-owner. "We get a lot of interest in what we do and how it's done."
This is the sixth year Hammer has operated a fair booth. Hammer puts an insert in the local newspaper two days before the fair starts and is listed in a daily calendar handed out at the gates. Flatt said it's well worth the $4,000 booth rental fee. The fair attracts an estimated 1 million visitors and features special days for senior citizens, veterans and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"On those days, there are a lot of people attending who would be our audience," said Flatt. "And, we're in the only air conditioned building. It was really hot this year."
Hammer doesn't sell DME during its 10-day stretch at the fair, but employees--who staff the booth in two shifts from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.--hand out product literature, pens and pencils, and usually give away a few big-ticket items like scooters and lift chairs.
"We answer questions on insurance coverage," he said. "It just creates a lot of awareness."