From Forbes, a piece about a company that didn't get a spot at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Summit - and took things into their own hands and found that got better results anyway.
Mashery failed to make the cut for prime placement at tech’s hottest conference of the year, the O’Reilly Web 2.0 Summit in November. So while thirteen other Web infants paid $10,000 to debut their new products on stage for under ten minutes, Michels sipped margaritas and nibbled on nachos.
His investors had rented out a conference room a floor above the O’Reilly show for $900 a day. Two margarita machines swirled lime green goodness from morning ‘til night all three days of the conference. The Palace Hotel’s couch and coffee table rental fee was too high, so Michels bought some modern-looking stuff at Ikea that an employee wanted for her apartment anyway.
His loss, turns out, was his win.
The article describes the resulting traffic to their suite and attention they got. The lesson here: if it's buzz you want, it helps to be doing something a little different than everybody else. I'm not suggesting that the spots at the conference weren't valuable - just that something simple but different from everybody else can pay off. Buzz is, after all, about keeping people interested.