Digital marketers and #eventprofs alike can agree that our native langue is technology and we are fluent in social media. It should come as no surprise to you, dear reader that today’s consumers drive brand image – they are empowered to speak up and take part in the shared revolution that shapes and constructs product fandom, brand trust, and business success. In order to appropriately guide our clients, we must be well-versed in online communication because we are the connectors to the other side, between the corporation and coveted current and potential consumers. So please sit back, relax, and learn with us in our mission to unveil how to use social media trends to engage with your audiences.
Human attention is a privilege because it requests your audience to allot special time for your message. With that being said, gathering the right event attendance in one, key location can be a little tricky. For some, flying to a sales conference hosted in San Francisco when you live and work in Chicago may not be the most convenient or realistic. What better way to engage remote audiences than through live streaming? Live broadcast videos allow coordinators to create an immersive and authentic story-telling experience with a personalized message. Think about it, it is the best way to amplify your event and content because you are reaching a target market of customers and employees who already “like” and trust the brand. It’s a great way to be all-inclusive and demonstrate that you care for the entire company, not just the selection of people who attend the event in person.
There’s a lot of interest surrounding the photo-sharing experience at events and conferences. Mobile apps like the renowned Snapchat and EventsTag help brands create 3D facial tracking lenses and filters that move and adjust to facial movements. It’s a modernized photo booth and Step and Repeat banner all in one without the set-up hassle, photographer, and plethora of props. Best of all, this trend is customizable. You can work one-on-one with designers who can help incorporate your logos and themes into one or multiple filter artworks. It’s an easy and engaging activity that can be made, printed, and shared by anyone on all social media outlets.
Let’s switch gears a little bit here to exit the events and focus on brands physically on social media. We’re starting to see more and more “digital influencers” on outlets like YouTube and Instagram. You might be asking yourself, who or what is a digital influencer? Imagine the typical consumer, now picture that same consumer with an accumulation of mass followings across multiple social media networks. Much like a blogger, digital influencers build their following by focusing on a single expertise or niche like fashion, food, beauty and gaming. The influencer and his or her followers share a unified appreciation for said activities and build a fandom based on trust and amusement. Digital influencers drive real-time brand engagement and marketing initiatives because they are in front of the target audience. So, if you are hoping your brand obtains social media attention and presence, maybe consider contracting a digital influencer.
Multiple established brands like Kate Spade, JackThreads, and Macy’s are exploring Instagram’s recent mobile shopping update, which features taggable products that bring users to direct retail links for purchasing. It’s online shopping made easy, mobile users simply tap on the post to reveal products and their prices and then make the decision to act by utilizing the “touch to purchase” button. We’ve become so accustomed to wanting more products, information, and options in the moment, and this taggable little feature delivers desirable simplicity and immediacy. Furthermore, debuting this feature specifically on Instagram adds to the social shopping experience. Users can still comment and tag others like before, but now brands have the opportunity to use the platform to give product recommendations and take on global expansion.
This comprehensive list of notable social media trends is sure to grow as 2017 progresses. So, keep an eye out for new innovations that will help shape and mold the events and digital marketing industry, and if you discover something cool, send it our way. We’d love to hear from you!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music nonstop on my morning commute, in the office, and well everywhere in between. One song in particular has struck my fancy; aren’t you curious as to what it is? Alright, no need to whine, Santa is watching after all – It’s Andy William’s “Happy Holiday” of course, an anthem to all things merry! My version differs, for it goes a little something like this:
We have a big, fun FLIRTcasting up on the blog
With lots of activities for you and for me
So leave a comment or like for good ole’ FLIRT
Written on social media
Pretty catchy, right? Keep on reading to see how many winter activities you’ve accomplished this holiday season!
Grab your scarf, mittens, puffer jacket, and hand-warmers for caroling at the Cloud Gate – This Friday (12/16) from 6-7PM! You don’t have to be gracious singer; you just simply have to enjoy spreading some holiday cheer alongside Chicago’s local choral groups. Perhaps even Mr. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance, delighting the inner child in all of us. Afterwards, feel free to take a twirl on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park equipped with frosty views of the bean and Chicago’s staggering 69-foot Norway Spruce Christmas Tree.
Deck the zoo with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights in Brookfield’s 35th annual Holiday Magic. See the enchantment zoo-wide all month long and enjoy multiple activities including a 41-foot talking tree, model train display, Christmas carolers, ice carvers, and photos with Santa and the Mrs. If all of that holiday cheer has yet to woo you, you also get to sing to the reindeer, big cats, and bears, oh my! “See the lights, Feel the Magic, Continue the Tradition” at Brookfield Zoo.
Finish Christmas Shopping
Bake Christmas Cookies
Enjoy Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest!
Add Chicago’s biggest indoor winter playground to your weekend to-do list! Why not bring the whole family and enjoy 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, 15-foot snow tubing hills, and the Chicago Blackhawk’s ice skating rink. It’s a great way to stay warm and toasty hidden away from the Chicago cold; yet, still enjoy Father Winter’s glorious activities!
Let’s be real, who hasn’t had visions of sugar plums dance in their heads? Whether you have or haven’t, go buy your tickets to Joffrey’s new Nutcracker, performing all month long at the Auditorium Theatre. This reimagined ballet with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon celebrates Chicago’s mysterious 1893 World’s Fair through the playful eyes of a child, an electrifying spin on the classic fairy tale about a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets.
Mm…do you smell the inviting aromas of sausages, Strudel, and Glühwein, a traditional German holiday market hot spiced wine? Why, that’s enough to please the pallet and warm the soul, especially in the North Chicago Pole. Check out Chicago’s largest open-air market inspired by a Nuremberg, Germany market that was founded way back in 1545. This special holiday exposition brings cherished German and European traditions whilst welcoming an international flair and new cultures each and every year. After indulging in the large assortment of savory food, drinks, and treats, complete your shopping experience by meeting and greeting the other vendors. Perhaps you might even come home with a few cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and hand-painted ornaments!
New Year’s Eve Festivities
2017 is just two weeks away! With that being said, have you made plans to ring in the New Year? Chi-Town Rising embarks on its second annual celebration along the Chicago Riverfront between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. This year’s party will feature activities on the Chicago Cultural Mile, live entertainment, and of course a dazzling fireworks display alongside the beautiful Chicago River courtesy of Navy Pier! The countdown will commence with the Rising Star ascending 36 stories up above the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s West Tower, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to the party, NBC 5 will be broadcasting the event live.
Why not finish this off with a song and dance? Check back next year for another edition of FLIRTcasting!
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you and luck in Q1 2017!
My good friend Mr. Frank Sinatra once sang, “Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside. Painted candy canes on the tree. Santa’s on his way. He’s filled his sleigh with things, things for you and for me…” but even Santa has a budget, am I right? To get the most out of your holiday shopping this year, you should consider taking a look at our compilation of apps and websites equipped with the best deals and holiday steals. So, you savvy shopper you, I invite you to read on and take some notes…without further ado, please enjoy FLIRT’s Holiday Shopping Edition!
Don’t you just love discounted gift cards? It’s like finding that Christmas cash you stashed away 2 years ago in an envelope under your iHome Dock (*cough, cough* I found $200, winning). Raise is a mobile app and accompanying website that allows you to buy and sell retail gift cards. It’s free to list, and you set your own prices controlling how fast or slow your cards sell. So why not try it out and buy your male teen cousins gift cards to Subway and/or Chili’s, considering you most likely have no idea what to get them.
The Black Friday catalogue days are quickly coming to an end, so how else can you keep up with retailer’s savings? Well of course, my dear shopper, you use DealNews! DealNews is a website that emails you the best deals available from all across the Internet. The experts only list products that are at the lowest price and offered from reputable companies. It’s the thrill of the shopping chase, but you actually get good deals – shop smarter, not harder.
Coupons in the 21st Century
Who remembers sitting at the kitchen table cutting out coupons from the Sunday paper insert? Or in my case, watching Nani snip away at the vitamins, popcorn, and frozen TV dinners, buy one, get one free deals. Save time and hand cramps with SnipSnap, the app that saves any printed coupon to your mobile phone. Simply snap a photo of a printed coupon and be amazed as SnipSnap recognizes the text and images while converting it to a digital, mobile-ready offer. In addition to uploading your own deals, you can browse the database to discover featured offers from select retailers. Discover it, snip it, redeem it!
The holidays give an extra reason to be romantic (hint, hint: Peter, I want a puppy). So why not Spoil that special someone with beautiful gifts and same-day delivery from anywhere in the United States with just one click? Spoil is the simplest way to give; the app is available at the App store and with just a few taps, you can send anything from macarons and champagne to mystery boxes. Try it out and (*wink*) you’re welcome!
Shopular is an app that finds daily and weekly deals based on your favorite stores. This app is special in that it uses location-based notifications to send relevant deals to your smart phone the second you walk into the store. Users choose which deals they want to see and can simply redeem their coupons right from a mobile device. Shopular also offers consumers a community to interact and share saving tips and tricks with to enrich the entire experience. I, for one, would like to see a Black Friday deal on Burberry coats…Nordstrom, I’m talking to you.
There you have it, savvy shopper – you made it to the end. I hope you gained a lot of relevant information that will help you maneuver the holidays. Check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting! Take it away Frank.
Did you check the weather this morning? Did you surf the Internet or listen to music on your morning commute? Are you currently texting your friend about your plans for the weekend? Do you plan to call your mom tonight? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions or if you even stepped outside your house today then technology has impacted your life. Let me break it down for you:
All of that brings us to today.
Technology has come so far in so little time that it is easy to take all we have for granted. Just think: the first email was sent out only 45 years ago. The first cell phone was huge, blocky, and is just 32 years old. And the first tweet was made 10 years ago. Do you still feel unattached? The App Store is only 8 years old. I feel like I’ve been using the App Store since I could first walk, which mind you was 20 years ago! So there, have I convinced you? Technology plays an important role in our personal and professional lives. From one #EventProf (okay, aspiring intern) to another, we should all spend a little time recognizing its effects:
Long distance relationships would not be possible without the World Wide Web. To be clear, I’m not talking about romantic relationships, I’m referring to business partnerships. Think of all the clients you have, and now think of how many are next door to your office. Probably none of them are, and that’s okay! That’s the beauty of technology – it allows us to connect with other professionals nationwide and even globally!
Let’s all take a minute to really thank our smart phones for that nifty little map they provide us with using the Global Positioning System. Sure you could use a printed map, but your cell phone consistently updates with the satellites orbiting the Earth to tell you travel times, routes and traffic conditions.
Imagine going to an event with no lighting, no audio direction, no headsets, and dare I say it, no Wi-Fi (ah, the horror!) It would be a complete catastrophe. A technical director or TD is in charge of the software, media, and technology behind the whole performance. A corporate event without technology is just like a library without any books.
If you’re like me, you have Google-searched anything from how to boil pasta to how to write a cover letter. Anything you could ever want to know is online, and it’s yours for the taking! A quick Internet search is your go-to for learning about the world today. We have access to 24-hour news reports, tweets, texts, and phone
calls; therefore, we’re always connected in some way, shape or form.
Technology has been around, from the invention of the wheel to the first aqueduct, we’re just now delving into the digital landscape. Our tools are quickly advancing; just this year alone we have welcomed the Galaxy S7 Edge, Pokémon Go, the first augmented reality app of its kind, the Amazon Echo Dot, a smart home and smart speaker in one, and the nationwide shift to the EMV credit card chip.
It’s always been there, now the question is where will we go from here?
I’m sure you’ve noticed the emergence of students with backpacks on street corners, traffic-inducing school buses, and Halloween decorations at Walgreens, you know what that means? Yes, it’s back to school season! It’s the highly anticipated time of year where we all become swamped with work and wonder, how will we manage everything? Lucky for you, we’ve designed a compilation of smart phone apps developed and in development that will help you balance life’s daily turmoil. So sit back, relax, and let’s get a little Zen talking about this “soothing” technology.
For Your Mind: It’s important to read up on the news each and every morning, but who really has time to flip through every article? Zolt is an app that supplies you with 60-word summaries of major news stories. Best part? The more you use it the more personalized it becomes. It’s a tailored news feed created just for you. Keep it simple, and be in the know.
For Your Stability: Are you a planner? If you’re a part of the event industry then of course you are! We can all agree that sometimes it’s a little hard to balance everything we have going on, let alone know what everyone else is up to. Check out Tweek, it’s an app that allows you to share and assign tasks with your colleagues, family, or significant other. Since everyone is on their smartphones all the time anyways, try taking a digital approach to getting work done.
For Your Body: Setting aside time to go to the gym can be difficult and anxiety-provoking. That’s why there’s Kenzai, an online health platform that pairs professional workouts with a weekly nutritional plan. You can take the app-equipped program anywhere and have 90-day access to professional trainers, nutritionists, and a supportive community. The work week may be busy, but no one can judge you from your living room, it’s a plan you can actually stick with!
For Your Heart: Humans are explorative creatures (the end.) But really, we travel to find ourselves, to lose ourselves, and to see a different way of life. Basetrip is a website and developing app that puts your journey angst to rest by gathering travel details on countries from all over the globe. Simply select where you’d like to go and be amazed by all the weather reports, electricity sockets, currency, tipping recommendations, dial tones, and many more helpful materials. What’s the official language of Mozambique, you may ask? Portuguese, of course!
And Just Because You Deserve A Giggle: Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, we all enjoy taking pictures with our friends, families and yes, pets. PictoGif is an app that enhances your pictures like no other. Snap that picture of Muffin, your cat, and watch her transform into a hilarious gif. You can share it with friends, and who knows, perhaps she will be the next viral sensation.
We hope you feel a little more at ease, and remember balance is essential to a healthy and happy life. Check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting!