We’ve all been there, staring at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen without a clue of how to tap into your inner creativity. Sure, thinking outside the box seems simple enough, but when the possibilities seem unlimited, it’s hard to know where to begin. When it comes to imaginative projects, inspiration is key. Lucky for you, we’ve got the top 5 hacks to finding the best inspiration that will boost your creativity.
Creativity often comes when you least expect it, and if you’ve got time to kill (i.e your project doesn’t have a fast approaching deadline), this website is the perfect place to start. StumbleUpon works by introducing you to random websites that fit your interest. These sites can feature anything from photography and design to science and math. Once you’ve filtered your search to a specific category, simply press the stumble button, sit back, and enjoy as you browse through a plethora of websites that are suited to inspire and encourage discovery.
Believe it or not Pinterest has a lot more to offer than just wedding mood boards and “mom crafts”. It’s an excellent resource for all things DIY, artistic, and creative. Use key words to search through dozens of articles and tutorials posted by local artists, self-taught crafters and even expertise businesses. Better yet, save your findings in categorized folders for future projects.
There’s no denying that hobbyists and bloggers can teach you a thing or two, but if you want to learn from the best, Behance is the website for you. Behance features the top photographers, artists, and designers who are breaking new ground in their industry. It showcases innovative portfolio pieces from a variety of mediums to inspire experimentation and curate popular creative trends. Behance users can interact on the site by following their favorite artists, liking posts, and even contributing their own work (once the creative block is conquered).
Creative inspiration comes a lot easier once you’ve expanded your skills and hand-on abilities. That’s where the website Instructables comes in. This site boosts creativity through DIY tutorials that show you how to make everything from anything. Whether it’s a glass bottle chandelier, a paper doll house, or homemade biscuits, Instructables has tutorials it all. Search for specific ideas or browse through their endless feed of projects to find inspiration in the most unexpected places.
Like Instagram for all things design, this website is great resource for finding visual inspiration. If your creative block is partnered with a dash of boredom, then Designspiration is a great place to start. The feed features a wide variety of design work all in one feed, so it’s an invaluable resource for finding photographic, illustrative, and stylistic inspiration.
Reality TV shows just seem to never go away. You can now make a reality TV series about anything you want and it’s almost a guarantee that someone will watch it. This got us thinking…there’s actually a pretty interesting parallel between Reality TV and one of our favorite subjects: Apps. (Stay with us on this one). If you think about it, Reality TV and Apps actually have a lot in common. Neither have many restrictions or limits. They are both conversation starters and don’t show any sign of slowing down. FLIRT is of course all about App news, since it’s an award winning offering of ours, and some of our staff members definitely would say Reality TV is their guilty pleasure (although they may wish to remain anonymous 🙂 )
Interestingly enough, Apple has combined both of these seemingly different worlds as they recently announced their new TV show, “Planet of the Apps,” where celebrities judge developers on their apps. It’s basically the app version of “Shark Tank” where entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to the “sharks” and the sharks decide whether or not they would like to invest in the idea. People watch the show for different reasons, whether it be strictly for entertainment or whether they are thinking of their own entrepreneurial endeavors, but whatever the case may be it seems that people can’t get enough and Apple wants a slice of the pie.
Planet of the Apps will differ from Shark tank in the sense that instead of the typical elevator pitch developers and entrepreneurs will have to make an escalator pitch where they have to pitch their idea on an actual escalator. They will be pitching their ideas to celebrity judges such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Will.i.am, and Jessica Alba for potential funding by the celebrity as well as prime real estate within the Apple Store. The show not only judges apps; it COMES with an app where viewers can be interactive during the show and swipe left or right depending on whether the app sounds promising or not. The show will even be released in the Apple Store. This is one we’ll definitely be tuning in for. So what do you think? Over reality TV? App’d out? Already DVR’d it? Let us know in the comments!
So why are you watching Super Bowl LI? The game? The commercials? Lady Gaga? Just want to fit in? Well you’re in luck. 2017 has already been full of surprises and with Super Bowl LI just around the corner here are some things we can expect. The Super Bowl has evolved from a championship game between the two best teams in the league into one of the world’s largest marketing events. Not only have prices increased exponentially to air advertisement, but the types of ads are also ever evolving. We currently live in a world where if something is not talked about or posted on social media, it might as well have never happened. With a constantly changing world it’s hard to know what to expect, so here is your guide to everything you need to know about Super Bowl LI with the exception of the actual game.
As one would expect, prices have increased from $4.8 million to $5 million for a “30 second ad” from 2016. On top of the initial price companies can plan to pay at least a million or more to market the ad effectively. With “80 national commercial slots” available, we can expect to see a lot of familiar companies as well as some new faces. Companies such as KFC are airing their first ever commercial during the Super Bowl. Other companies such as Doritos, a long time Super Bowl contributor, is not airing an ad for the first time in ten years. We can assume to see many familiar faces such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audi, GoDaddy, Intel, P&G, and others big name companies.
Super Bowl ads are notorious for taking the next step in creativity and thinking outside the box, just think about last years “Puppy Monkey Baby” ad by Mountain Dew. This year Snickers is not only taking their ad to the next level, they are bringing it to you live. Snickers will be airing the “first ever live TV ad” during Super Bowl LI. The ad will be performed and broadcasted during the first commercial in the third quarter. If live ads are not enough, what about virtual reality? Super Bowl organizers have partnered with NASA in creating a VR experience unique to the event. Individuals taking part in the activities surrounding Super Bowl Sunday have the opportunity to “visit Mars via VR“.
Super Bowl LI is already being referred to by some as the “Toilet Bowl“, and no it’s not because the teams are garbage. When thinking about Super Bowl ads most think of cars, beers, food, and more cars. 2017 took a different approach. This year is the first year ever that four household brands will be airing during the Super Bowl, reinforcing how surprising 2017 has already been. A not so surprising fact about Super Bowl LI is the “effect social media will have on the event“. Airing the actual commercial is only part of the marketing. The impressions, posts, conversations via Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Youtube are what marketers are really looking for to create long term connections with the potential customers.
With that being said, we hope you have a splendid Sunday and let us know how you feel about the game in the comments below!
Super Bowl LI Photo via Wikipedia
Puppy Monkey Baby Photo via Ron White Design
Toilet Bowl Photo via The Malcolm Auld Blog
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!
We are stepping into December, which means we are not far from 2017! Have you had a chance to think of your new year resolutions? Well, learning something new is always a beneficial goal to set for a new year and for event professionals (or aspiring event professionals), web and design are always good topics to learn about. These areas are essential parts of events. I mean, can you imagine an event without a website or branding? You may not have direct interest in becoming a developer or designer, but having more knowledge on these subjects will make working with designers much more smooth. Plus, it’s always fun to learn!
Here are some online resources that provide fun and efficient ways to learn about web or graphic design:
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization created by Salman Khan. It has a wide variety of subjects to learn such as math, science, economics, history, music and of course, web design! For learning about web design, Intro to HTML/CSS is the go to course. It has more than just videos, it also offers activities, and even games! The best part, it rewards you with badges upon completion.
In comparison to Khan Academy, Code Academy differs in that it is specifically for learning how to code. It offers coding classes in 12 different programming languages including HTML, CSS, Java, Python and more. For learning HTML & CSS, it provides step-by-step instructions and an online editor, so you can learn and practice at the same time.
Lynda.com offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business. Compared to the two sites above, Lynda.com is more project-based, meaning you can watch videos on certain topics that you are interested in, while the above two sites offer more of a step-by-step process.
If you can’t find what you are looking for from the sites above, of course there are many other websites that provide lessons. For instance, YouTube can be a go to when looking for a quick/free video tutorial. The growing use of technology and the internet has made learning easier and much more accessible. So really, there are no excuses big enough to stand in the way of your new year’s learning goal!