You’ve probably never heard of her. She has been working away for many years in the Accounting offices of Regal Tent Productions in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada. She wasn’t an industry figurehead, she didn’t appear in the pages of industry publications and she certainly didn’t stand up in front of a crowd to deliver education at one of our conferences. Yet, she impacted my life more than any who did.
Maureen was the funniest, kindest, snarkiest woman I’ve ever met. She was a fighter. She battled lung cancer, brain tumors and MS. She fought harder in her life than every other woman I know combined. She earned the right to be funny and snarky.
She ate ‘cup of soup’ every single day at lunch. She finished with a bag of Cheetos. She ate plain hot dogs for dinner. She sipped a few glasses of white wine every night. She smoked when she knew she shouldn’t. She lived life on her terms.
Yesterday she lost her battle. But not without a fight. I will miss her terribly.
For the past few years, Augmented Reality has been gaining a lot of buzz…and for good reason. According to Wikipedia:
Augmented reality (also referred to as AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics.
The idea of holding up your smart phone to something you see and your phone providing a rich source of information about the subject seems like something worthy of a sci-fi plot. But we’re seeing great apps doing this right now…and if you use your imagination, the possibilities for Event Planners are seemingly endless.
Take TAT for example. Simply hold up your smart phone to someone and the face-recognition software will provide you with icons linking you to the individual’s social profiles.
Or, there’s Word Lens, an app that will let you hold up your phone to a sign and translate the sign from English to Spanish or vice versa.
Check out Yelp’s lesser known augmented reality function:
We are in the very early days of Augmented Reality. In fact, most apps have yet to work out all of the kinks. But it’s not hard to imagine a day very soon when you can hold up your phone in front of a city street and be told about events and friends nearby. Or use your phone at a conference to scan other attendees, share notes, send information or access contact information. Or attend a trade show and hold up your phone to find the booths you want to see on the floor. And once you find a booth, hold you phone over an item to access purchase details like price, availability, matching items, etc. Sounds exciting, right?
I do believe we’re going to be hearing a lot about Augmented Reality in the coming year.
So, if you could create an AR app, what would it do?
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:00PM - 5:30PM, Room 227ABC
I’m very excited about this presentation; it’s the culmination of months of research, interviews and reading on the topic of Social Influence Marketing.
Tuesday, January 25,2011 2:00PM - 3:30PM, Room 232ABC
I’ve compiled an incredible panel to share their journey to social media success. In this honest and interactive session, they’ll share their failures, lessons learned and recommendations. Come prepared to ask questions.
Sally is the co-founder of Page.ly which has been dubbed the fastest and easiest way to WordPress website creation by tech industry experts. Page.ly was written up as one of the top 20 companies of 2010 in the industry and has been featured in ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, TheNextWeb, FastCompany, SEOMoz, etc… Some notable clients include GetSatisfaction, SimpleGeo, Viddler, Texas A&M, and various radio station personalities. Before Page.ly, Sally focused on her other company BestPartyEver.com which is a social network/ directory for vendors and their potential clients.
Rick Turner has spent the past 12 years working in various roles within the Hospitality, Culinary and Special Events industries. He is currently the Director of Business Development for Event Source. In addition, he is co-founder and executive producer of Event Expo, a regional showcase of the products, services and ideas related to the special events industry. He has recently taken on a role as Partner in Cleveland’s newest culinary venture, “Emerging Chefs”, producing culinary themed events, social media and marketing efforts for Chefs. Rick is very involved with a number of civic and industry associations including ISES and is currently serving an unprecedented second consecutive two-year term as President of the Cleveland Chapter of HSMAI. Rick is the current PR Chair for SEARCH.
Elizabeth Beskin is a 20-plus year veteran in the event industry. She is now running three businesses, so she uses social media as her main means of advertising for all three. Her core business, Fifth Avenue Digital, is a photography agency providing talented, experienced photographers for corporate and social events. The Album Boutique is an e-commerce site used to create high-end wedding and special occasion photo albums for people who own their images and want an heirloom-quality album to pass on to future generations. The Ultimate Engagement is a new type of bridal show that is much like speed dating, bringing high-end vendors together with pre-screened luxury brides. Elizabeth graduated Harvard Business School this year with an executive MBA.
Lindsay Fultz is the obsessive compulsive Manager of Sales and New Media Marketing at Grosh Backdrops and Drapery, located in Hollywood, CA, Lindsay has successfully transitioned the marketing department from 100% traditional to the world of new media. Her social media campaigns and call to action email marketing style have brought in over $300k in revenue, raised $24k for charity and decreased the marketing budget by $70k .
If you haven’t already signed up, there will be a tweetup at The Special Event on January 27, 2011 at 7:00pm. I’ve signed up and hope to see you there!
A little perspective on a Thursday… (or a Friday for those of you who subscribe to the blog)
(click on image to enlarge)
How to respond to negative feedback online is a hot topic and one that deserves some good dialogue. In fact, just yesterday I weighed in on a discussion on Quora about How to deal with negative reviews and before the holidays, I had a similar discussion on my LinkedIn group.
I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’m very wary about research ‘statistics’, but depending upon the study you read, between 20-30% of Americans post online reviews. And, a vast number of us do online research to influence our buying decisions. And recognize this, the more fluent we become in the social media space and the more powerful we recognize our voices are, the more we will post reviews on the products and services we use. If your business is not currently thinking about to encourage and respond to reviews, you need to start.
Dealing with criticism online is fundamentally the same as dealing with it offline. The key difference is the number of people who may become exposed to this feedback, amplifying the number of people who will be swayed to buy or not buy your products and services. Some things to consider when responding:
Going through this process not only shows other customers that you care about feedback but that you are compelled to use it to improve the experiences for all of your customers.
Also remember that if someone has addressed you online, you need to respond online. However, there may be a point where it is beneficial to take the conversation offline. Examples of this could include that the issue is too complex to address in writing or that you require personal information. I would suggest that if this is done that the resolution be captured online. For example: “Dan, thank you for taking the time to continue this discussion with me offline, where we could better delve into the details of your issue. I’m so happy we were able to resolve your issue by doing X. I appreciate you taking the time to provide your feedback.” The best scenario is that this prompts a delighted response from Dan.
You cannot make every customer delighted with you, no matter how incredible your company is. Sometimes it’s a bad fit, sometimes things just go wrong and sometimes there are other issues at play with your customer. But recognize that no matter the reason for discontent, your ideal customer may be listening.
I’ve heard many of you say that you love to keep up with the blog, but getting daily emails or visiting the blog every day is just too much. Well you talked and I listened. You can now get monthly updates featuring the 5 best READY2SPARK stories. Click here to sign up for the Monthly Blog Recap.
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I created this community a few months ago to continue the dialogue on topics I write about on the blog…and there have been some great discussions! Please note that this is a closed group, which means that I approve every member and I monitor posts to ensure there is no spam or blatant off-topic selling. Join the READY2SPARK LinkedIn Group.
I hope you find at least one of these four ways to stay connected helpful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts & opinions. I love that we’ve been able to create a few new ways to stay in touch. If you have any other ideas, please don’t hesitate to connect with me any time!