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!
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?
Even though it has been almost four months since Pokemon Go was released, you can still find people of all ages playing. Everyone knows the concept but what people don’t know is that its main component utilizes a technology that the world is still trying to adapt to—Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a live view of a physical environment in which the elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Pokemon Go wasn’t the first to showcase AR, but they brought it to a mass audience. One of the first functioning AR systems came out in 1992 when Louis Rosenberg developed Virtual Fixtures. These Fixtures allowed the military to work in remote areas. In 2004, see-through AR was brought to cell phones. Other than in mapping and gaming, there are many other uses of AR. Here are some applications of AR that you may not have realized before:
Imagine visiting all historical sites and seeing what they looked like hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Augmented Reality has made this a possibility. With your smart phone or tablet, you can now relive what these areas were like in the past.
We thought greeting cards that played music were exciting but now greeting cards can be implemented with digital content that users can view by scanning the card with their smart phones. The content can be pictures, videos, or 3D objects which the viewers can interact with. Mage and iGreet are some places where you can get AR greeting cards.
Donating blood is not always the most pleasant experience. Now, with AR, giving blood has become a quicker and less painful process. Devices like VeinViewer can locate veins inside a person’s arm using harmless near-infrared light allowing for quick and painless entry.
Traveling in foreign countries and figuring out directions can be very challenging and even nerve racking. With Augmented Reality, foreign text on signs and menus can be translated and re-displayed in the user’s language. In 2014, Google incorporated Word Lens into its Google Translate, so now it has the function of instant translation from your phone’s camera.
AR is still developing and the potential uses are endless. Pokemon GO opened the door for other AR apps to flourish, but it’s only the beginning. We are eager to see how Augmented Reality grows and evolves in different aspects of our daily life over the next few years.
“Augmented Reality.” Mashable. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.
Nelson, Fritz. “The Past, Present, And Future Of VR And AR: The Pioneers Speak.” Tom’s Hardware. 30 Apr. 2014 Web. 04 Oct. 2016
Millennium Park’s Autumn Blaze Maples and Homestead Elms are beginning to lose their warm green hues. A collection of spectacular-colored crimson, orange, and sunglow yellow paint the sidewalk with expressions of fall. The harvest is upon us, now we can cherish the last leg of produce available at farmer’s markets and of course devour everything artificially pumpkin flavored. Ah, it’s finally Autumn. The weather may be cooling off, but there are still many events and commemorations to enjoy. Without further ado we present, Fall Festivals in Chicago:
On Sunday October 9, 45,000 participants will embark on a 26.2 mile journey across Chicago’s best known neighborhoods. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the race that raises millions for charities like Advocate Health Care, American Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though it is too late to sign up for this wonderful event, you can cheer on racers at Grant Park at 8AM, Sunday morning.
It’s the best time of the year to go to museums! For eleven days this month, Illinois residents can get up to 25% off admissions at Chicago’s best cultural institutions. This year’s museum week runs from October 13 through October 23. Other than the BIG 5 (Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute,) there are many other institutions that provide a spectacular experience for you and your family.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum located just north of Chicago. This Halloween event will showcase 1000 hand-carved pumpkins, some with Chicago icons, classic Halloween characters, garden “monsters,” and artwork representing Día de los Muertos. Check it out, October 20 through 23. (Note: you might also encounter zombies and other dangerous creatures along the pathway)
Join us for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2nd annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 22. Family-friendly festivities begin at 2PM in Millennium Park, Grant Park, and George Solti Garden. Enjoy an afternoon full of mask-making workshops, acrobatic performances, a children’s costume parade, and Chicago’s Longest All Souls Train on the Van Buren Bridge between Michigan Avenue and Columbus. End the celebration with The Halloween Gathering Spectacle from 6–8PM. Be amazed by an electric procession jam-packed with ghosts, ghouls, artists, and 13 new Creative Spirit Fellows. Perhaps you might even encounter a couple of FLIRTies working, and if you do, come say boo!
The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual event organized by Cinema/Chicago. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival will be held at AMC River East 21 from October 13 to October 27. This event showcases films from around the world that were previously unavailable in Chicago. Viewers will also have the chance to meet directors, producers, writers, and cast members.
Monday, October 31 marks the 20th birthday of Boystown’s Halloween Parade. Participation is free, but registration is required to partake in the procession and costume contest. Brace yourself for an extravaganza of weird, wild, and spooky costumes, kids, and pets, oh my! The event begins at 6PM and spans across Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. Remember to get a little creative with your costume because you’ll be competing against the best of the best!
If all else fails, you can always visit a pumpkin patch to find the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (oops, er…we mean loyal readers). Take a day trip outside of the city to Goebbert’s, Sonny Acres, or Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, just to name a few! Who could say no to a day filled with apple cider donuts and hayrides? Certainly not the FLIRTies!
According to the United States Census Bureau, Millennials account for a staggering 83.1 million or a quarter of the nation’s population, surpassing the size of our baby boomer parents by a whopping 7.7 million. Millennials are currently between the ages of 18 and 34, born between 1982 and 2000, and are quickly taking the workforce by storm, but don’t let all of that intimidate you.
Being a millennial myself, I can be the first to tell you that we were born at a time of technological innovation making us a little different from generations past. We have a digital “sixth” sense, naturally because we grew up with the immediate expansion of the Internet. We’re social beings who are not only accustomed to every aspect of our lives being shared, tweeted, and instagrammed, but we are also deeply interested and motivated by other people. Though optimistic, we have high expectations about what the future holds and truly relish in the idea of the “team” effort. Don’t be too quick to judge us without understanding that Millennials in the workplace are mostly these 5 things:
We are ready to learn, to grow, to absorb everything and anything we can get our hands on. We are deeply anxious to get involved, be entrusted with responsibility, and awarded the opportunity to interact with the “real” world.
2. Digitally Native
The digital world is our home. We can navigate the Internet, respond to emails, post on social media, while texting with ease, and all before noon! We’re social beings who think expansively in terms of how
each idea transcends and affects every party involved.
We commit to our work. We want to be challenged and given a sense of purpose. We invest ourselves in the workplace not only because we want to expand our skills to reach our potential, but also because we want our work to be appreciated. We flourish when praised for completing demanding and difficult tasks. Please critique us, we crave feedback because we’re constantly reaching for improvement.
We’re not afraid of change, in fact, we invite it! We’re excited that ever-evolving technology and our flexibility to learn and master new mediums are helping the industry progress. We live in a world where information is readily available; therefore, when we don’t know something we look to the Internet, and then self-teach, asking plenty of questions along the way.
5. Crave Impact
We want to make the world a better place and see our efforts through. We care about sustainability, the environment, and most importantly, people. When Millennials Instagram, they’re looking to get connected with others and share support for causes like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Suicide Prevention, and of course animal cuteness. We are problem-solvers, have civic-minds, and our ultimate goal is to create a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Fromm, Jeff. “Millennials in The Workplace: They Don’t Need Trophies But They Want Reinforcement.” Forbes. N.p., 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.
Fry, Richard. “Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation.” Pew Research Center. N.p., 25 Apr. 2016. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.
Gilbert, Jay. “The Millennials: A New Generation of Employees, a New Set of Engagement Policies.” Ivey Business Journal September/October (2011): n. pag. Ivey Business School. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.
Reynolds Lewis, Katherine. “Everything You Need to Know about Your Millennial Co-workers.” Fortune. N.p., 23 June 2015. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.
The Millennial Generation Research Review. Rep. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2012. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.
United States Census Bureau. Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse. United States Census Bureau. N.p., 25 June 2015. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.