Although we all strive to be productive as possible during work hours, there are times where inspiration and motivation disappear just when we need it most. In search of some inspiration, I looked up a few websites that can get your creative gears turning again and also relieve some stress when working on major projects and pushing to meet deadlines.
Making the most of your time at work can be challenging—especially during a slow day at the office! Whenever I’m not feeling motivated or inspired, with school or work, I generally try to find outlets to relieve that “block” so that I can get back into action. These websites have helped me in recent weeks to be more creative and to think out of the box when it comes to client work or even writing a blog post!
One of the best things about Chicago is the copious amount of festivals that take place in the summer. Of course everyone knows the big name events such as Lollapalooza and Spring Awakening but there are also plenty of local festivals that are actually free to attend and just as exciting! But before you grab your fanny pack and head out for some electrifying events this summer, here are 5 things FLIRT recommends you to do before attending some of the best festivals and events in Chicago:
1. Research when and where festivals are happening in Chicago
If you’re college student or just want to save some money, Chicago offers a multitude of FREE festivals you can go to. Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and other music festivals can run hundreds of dollars per ticket, but there are alternative options that don’t charge for entrance such as: The Chicago’s Blues Festival, the Annual Taste of Chicago, and a variety of neighborhood-specific street festivals. Spend some time researching online and choose which festivals fit your style. This website is a great source for all of the events happening this Summer.
2. Come prepared!
3. Make sure you have solid plans and then back-up plans
Chicago festivals are jam-packed with locals and tourists alike. There is a large chance you and your friends could get separated in the mass of people, so plan a space ahead of time where you can all meet up if you happen to get lost.
4. Know your limits
Determine what is really worth seeing at the festival. There are lots of events going on at once and in addition to the substantial crowds, getting around the grounds can be tricky. I wouldn’t recommend trying to see everything, pick and choose the events you are most looking forward to so you can have time to regroup and relax instead of wearing yourself down.
5. Wear comfortable shoes.
Yes, festivals can be a place to really put yourself out there in fashion and gain “cool points”, but the number one thing to remember is to stay comfortable. At the end of the day, you are going to be so thankful for those tennis shoes you choose over the trendy shoes. Another thing to remember is that it can get muddy at festivals, so wear something you aren’t going to be too upset about getting a little…or a lot dirty!
We here at FLIRT are firm believers of planning and back-up planning for any event we go to (it comes with being in the industry). Sometimes things don’t go exactly how you want them to and in a time of crisis, plan “b’s” and being prepared usually save the day. For summertime festivals, this type of planning can be incredibly useful to create an amazing experience for you and your friends. Remember to stay safe this season and do your research before it all begins. Chicago has an incredible variety of events and festivals, creating nearly endless options for the summer!
Make sure you follow FLIRT on social media!
There are a lot of resources out on the web that make the business of building websites easy for just about anyone. At first, it may seem completely out of your skill set to make a website that looks good and is –most importantly—functional, but with these helpful tips even the most basic online user can create a good-looking website for professional networking or a personal portfolio.
Before you start building a new website, there are some key questions you need to answer first:
After deciding on the type of website you want and the theme you find most interesting, it’s important to remember that although WordPress makes it easy to build a fully functional, beautiful website…it’s going to take some work.
When installing your theme, it probably won’t look anything like the demo you previewed—but don’t panic yet. Read carefully through the instructions of your theme and download all of the necessary plugins to make the structure look exactly like how you want it. It’s important to start off with all of the right tools rather than trying to fix a website that is missing a critical plugin, widget, or other installation.
There are 3 plugins that I recommend ANY user should download. It’ll make life easier and requires absolutely no programming knowledge to make a website look like any professional website you’ve ever come across.
The internet offers many resources out there for people who are just starting to build their own websites. However, I felt it was important to share some of my website hacks (more specifically for WordPress) as I use these tools for my own personal website in addition FLIRT’s blog site. Even if you have no prior knowledge to websites or content management systems, WordPress offers you tools that both professional businesses such as FLIRT and myself as an intern, use on the daily to make our websites look good and function perfectly. You don’t have to be a professional to make your website LOOK professional.
The year 2016 has a bright future ahead of it with businesses in development of some of the most innovative technology we have yet to see. With new technology comes new practices in event marketing that will (hopefully) make things easier for the people involved. Events can get repetitive sometimes and incredibly hectic, but by using technology that is meant to make our lives easier, getting through an event will be a breeze in the future. With audience engagement on the rise plus the variety of technological tools that event marketers can use to their advantage, it won’t take much to make your events even that much better.
Even beyond event marketing, people around the globe are excited to see what advances in technology the world will make. From commercial-use 3D printing to perhaps a new iPhone by the end of this year, there are hundreds of new and cool devices and apps that will change the way people interact online.
These are just some of the few things I discovered in 2016 and it hasn’t even been halfway through the year yet! It’s exciting to be a part of a growing world that values technology, especially since event marketing can really benefit from innovative uses of such technology.
Design aesthetics are an enormous aspect of event marketing since the visual component is often the first thing people encounter. Not only does design attract people toward a particular event or idea, it also brands a company and shapes their entire public image. Most realize that design can either make or break an event’s success, but good design can take the experience to the next level. What if designs went past the typical visual element and begin to incorporate all 5 senses of the human experience? Imagine walking into an event and facing a company’s marketing design that targeted your 5 senses: a nice relaxing aroma, sensations from different textures, radiant visuals displayed everywhere, some whimsical music that gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and even perhaps offering something that you could taste.
To achieve the ultimate experience, multi-sensory design suggests hitting all those 5 senses in order to achieve a much more memorable experience. Now, this is definitely a challenge, but even if a designer could go beyond the visuals and try to connect with their audience at a much more sophisticated level by using at least 2 or 3 of the senses, it’s likely that the experience would be more effective overall.
In early 2013, designer Jinsop Lee discussed this multi-sensory design theory and how it might affect the future of design in all kinds of industries. He asked a critical question: Why would design for all 5 senses be useful in event marketing and what’s the point of it? The obvious answer to those questions would be the increase of engagement from the audience that promotes critical thinking and a more meaningful type of interaction between business and consumer. Since FLIRT is in the business of attraction, we aim to attract people to our client’s events for a rewarding and comprehensive experience. If we were to utilize Lee’s multi-sensory design theory, the events that FLIRT produce may be pushed to the next level.
Since technology is expanding and opening new doors for marketing tactics, perhaps designers will also follow that same path and begin to create much more complex designs that will captivate their audiences to a whole other level. During the production of an event or corporate meeting, it might be valuable to consider designing toward more than 2-3 of our human senses in order to create a more engaging and memorable experience for attendees. Since FLIRT is always striving to produce the ultimate experience for clients, we can try to be more intentional with certain decisions that could really hit those 5 senses. It seems like multi-sensory design could be the future of event marketing as the need to create meaningful experiences go beyond “making things look pretty” and toward the goal of intellectually and emotionally simulating their audiences across all platforms.