Archive for January, 2014

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The Hottest Social Media App for 2014: Instagram

January 28, 2014

Here is the article I wrote for the January Issue of RSVP MN Magazine. You can find it here.Instagram

The rise of the “Phonetographer” generation is upon us. Even though Facebook was the No. 1 social media app overall in 2013, its photo sharing subsidiary Instagram was the fastest growing app among the top 10.

Instagram is an online photo and video sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. It first launched in 2010. In 2012 Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and made a subsidiary. Instagram saw a growth in audience by 66 percent to 32 million users in 2013 (according to Nielsen Data) and shows no trace of slowing down.

While Instagram is made up of the same demographics as Facebook, it is also still growing in popularity among teens, which are shifting to single purpose or messaging apps, including Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Whisper and others.

Instagram has many uses in event marketing from several perspectives. On the marketing side, Instagram is being used for everything from shots of the venues to displays, speakers, products, crowds and interaction. On the consumer side, guests, visitors and attendees are participating in contests, recording presentations, products and displays for co-workers that are off-site, and for reviews.

Here are three ways you can successfully integrate Instagram into your events this year:

Promote your event or participation in events:

If you are traveling to a national trade show or hosting your own event, document your location with Instagram to promote traffic to your booth or event. Shoot photos of the outside of the venue to help with directions. Share photos of your booth or event to allow people to see what they will see at the event. Post photos of your booth reps or event managers so that people can more easily recognize your team.

Promote your products, services or offerings:

Highlight any new products, etc. that you will offer at the event. Especially feature a product if it is an exclusive being offered during the run of the event. Photos of this sort are great to share across Twitter, Facebook and your other marketing channels such as newsletters. This can expand your reach even to people that aren’t in attendance at the event.

Engage your audience with a photo contest:

Have attendees take photos on Instagram and post them with a message that includes a keyword you are tracking (a hashtag for example) and offer a prize to participants. This extends your reach even further as they share the photos on their channels and to their networks.

The ideas are only limited by your imagination. 2014 is upon us and the trade shows and events are in motion. Smile and get ready for your close-up!

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Gazing into the Crystal Ball: What 2014 Will Bring Event Marketers

January 28, 2014

Here is the article I wrote that appeared in the December Issue of RSVP MN Magazine, you can find it here.Crystal Ball

It’s that time of the year again, when we reflect on the year that was and set our sights on what the New Year may bring. One thing we know for sure is that live events still reign as the No. 1 business driver for business-to-business companies (according to a recent survey by webDAM). In fact 67 percent of all companies in the business-to-business segment will be investing in and relying on live events. New technology will make those events much better. Here are some of the new trends you’ll be seeing at your next live events:

Digital Displays & Signage Graphics hung on collapsible backdrops are very outdated. New materials allow for high-resolution video displays on a variety of backdrops, from traditional flat screens to curved and flexible screens that can be wrapped around booths and positioned to create dynamic spaces. These screens have the ability to be completely integrated with computers to orchestrate programming and presentations.

Interactivity This is an exploding area of new technology. It incorporates everything from embedded cameras running facial recognition software, to smart sensors that can pinpoint when visitors are close to displays, or recognize motions and cause displays to respond accordingly. For example, when your potential decision maker from ACME company steps near your booth, they can be identified and the displays will immediately change to target and represent ACME’s branding and logos, personalizing the display for that individual. Facial recognition can be as sophisticated as picking out specific individuals or parameters can be set for age, gender, and many other demographics. Motion detecting devices utilizing the same technology found in video game systems like the XBOX Kinect will enable your visitors to interact with displays and programming.

Hyper Local Broadcasting Products like Apple’s newly announced iBeacon and its predecessors can broadcast on Bluetooth to mobile devices that are enabled to receive Bluetooth signals. Kiosks and displays can be equipped with Near Field capabilities where a person can touch a sensor with their mobile device to download a sales presentation or information about your company and products.

Wearable Technology Even your people working the booths can be supported by new wearable tech devices from smart watches and Google Glass to allow for hands free computing, to clothing that can recharge mobile devices from someone walking around the booth.

The future of tradeshows is definitely being shaped by new technology, and with the innovations for 2014 alone the future’s looking so bright you might want to wear shades (if Google Glass has some cool ones)!