WALKABOUT

Inman Park Festival This Weekend!

via historicinmanpark.blogspot.com

via historicinmanpark.blogspot.com

We hope you've recovered from last weekend's festivities because this weekend will be no less awesome. And to change it up a bit - we're focusing on one of our favorite Atlanta neighborhoods - Inman Park.

The Inman Park Festival will be happening this weekend, April 24-26. Taking place the last full weekend in April, this is widely known as Atlanta's best street festival and showcases the eccentric spirit of Atlanta's oldest neighborhood.

Home to some of Atlanta's best music and theater venues (as well as some really spectacular eats), Inman Park also boasts gorgeous homes and classic, tree-lined streets. As part of the festival, there is a tour of homes that will take place on Friday, April 24. The weekend will have a parade chock full of costumes, floats, and silliness - as well as food from some Atlanta heavy-hitters, an extensive arts and crafts market, and a community corner featuring Atlanta non-profits (and how you can help). 

The parade begins at 2pm on Saturday and will take up most of the Moreland Ave and Euclid intersection - as well as surrounding streets. So instead of driving through (boo), park and walk on over to where the fun is (yay!). And you know we love that. And it's free!

Planning on checking it out? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! And #dropyourpin and let us know where you're at.

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

Let's Take Some Stock

It's been a little over 9 weeks since we soft launched Walkabout 1.0 in mid-February, and with so many awesome things happening in the last 9 weeks it seems like a great time to take a moment and take stock of our favorite moments of 2015 so far.

 

This One Time at OneSpark
If our Twitter and Instagram accounts were any indication we had a heck of good time in Jacksonville, FL at the OneSpark conference. Among some of the highlights: getting some drinks on the beach at the Lemon Bar, spending hours on hand blowing up hundreds of balloons, hearing Fort Stories play at  least 4 times, and hanging all week with Sweet Kitty. Shameless Plug: we're still running the crowdfunding campaign for OneSpark until May 7, so head on over to the site and contribute!

 

Walkabouting Out of State
With Nashville Opera, LexArts, National Banana Pudding Festival, and Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, Walkabout has officially gone nationwide! We're so proud to have amazing new partners like these and to start to see more of the country.

 

200k and Counting...
With the West End Atlanta Streets Alive and Dogwood festivals in the books, Walkabout has been used at a bunch of festivals with a total attendance well north of 200,000 people. 200,000! And with even more festivals in the works, we're going to reach even more.

 

And We Have Lift Off!
On April 16th we officially launched Walkabout 1.0 at Foster ATL. It was an intimate affair, but it was a ton of fun to bring together the whole team and our current and future clients for drinking and general revelry. Thanks to Foster ATL and Freshtix for making it possible.


It has been a pretty crazy quarter of a year so far, and with fingers crossed we fully expect it get even crazier. Check out our new Calendar and Our Clients pages for more information on where we've been and we're we'll be.

How Food Trucks Can Improve Your Event

visa Manahawkin Flea Market

visa Manahawkin Flea Market

Once I saw "Starting A Food Truck for Dummies" on a bookstore shelf, I knew there was something to the mobile food movement. In the past 10 years, food trucks have gone from late night bites to a nearly billion dollar industry - attracting established restaurateurs and passionate novices alike. It's cutting edge culinary stuff, with many city parks booming with mobile food on weekends or at special events. The growing popularity of food trucks and the sheer amount of variety they can offer means that this trend is a very good thing for event organizers.

So how can you take advantage of the food truck trend to heighten your event?

It's All About the Food

The thing that unites all events, whether it's a wedding, an outdoor festival, or a large scale corporate shindig, is that every successful event has good food. Events also share a sense of community, and food trucks embody both of these ideas perfectly. Because there are so many food trucks in major cities, offering that kind of variety can be a major benefit to your attendees. Regardless of food preferences - carnivore, vegan, paleo, fry fiend, health nut - chances are, there's a truck for that.

Built-in Marketing

Every food truck owner is an entrepreneur. Because of the amount of competition in the mobile food game, every truck relies on word of mouth, marketing, and social media to stand out. What makes this a big win for event organizers is that food truck owners will notify people of their location in real time - which can be a big marketing push. Food truck social media savvy will get the word out on your event - and fast.

Easy In - Easy Out

It's not unusual for food trucks to travel to multiple sites in a day, so the efficiency of the operation has an added benefit of less work for event organizers. There's no need for tents, tables, stations, or any other food needs. The food trucks bring everything, taking the hassle out of setup and cleanup.

 

Depending on your city, there can be some strict guidelines on food trucks and where they are allowed, so it's always encouraged to refer to local rules on the matter. But food trucks can be a very effective way to feed your event, as long as your city permits them.

Have any favorite food trucks? Have you used food trucks for your event and want to give some shout outs? Comment below or hit us up on twitter and Facebook!

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

 

 

What's Happening This Weekend April 18 & 19

via Urban Explorers

via Urban Explorers

With Spring in full swing, the weekend roster of events is beginning to get tricky. Can you do multiple festivals in a day? We believe in you.

Georgia Renaissance Festival

It's opening weekend of the renaissance faire, so put on your Middle Ages best and rub elbows with some turkey legs. We've already talked about how family-friendly this place is - so enjoy the revelry with the kids and enjoy a trip back in time (without the pesky complications actual time travel would bring).

Atlanta Streets Alive

We're a little biased here, but this is an Atlanta event that is a ton of fun and supports a great concept. The mission for Atlanta Streets Alive is to create a healthy, sustainable, and vibrant city street experience. This open street festival will be taking place in the West End of Atlanta, so come ready to walk, ride, or skate your way through the neighborhood. There will be music, a "Funkadelic Cyclicious" bike parade, and other surprises along the route.

Sweetwater 420 Festival

Sponsored by Atlanta's own Sweetwater Brewery, this festival will be going down at Centennial Olympic Park (which is on the streetcar line, btw). Music, festival food fare, a comedy tent, and of course, cold Sweetwater brews are on tap for this event.

 

Have we made this difficult enough for you, yet? While we don't support full-blown caffeine addiction, we think due to the sheer amount of things you need to do this weekend, it might be in order.

Which event(s) are you checking out? Let us know on twitter or send us a shout on Facebook! Or use the hashtag #dropyourpin this weekend and let us know where you're hanging out. But we can't promise we won't crash your party.

 

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

 

 

Atlanta Streets Alive and the Rise of Bicycles

Biking has grown in popularity over the past decade, with many cities seeing it as an effective transportation solution that can ease the traffic sprawl across the country. With the low cost, health benefits, and low impact on the environment - biking can make make a big impact on communities, and the government agrees. From this study in Bicycle Magazine, Federal funding for Bike lanes and other projects has grown by nearly 400% - so it's no wonder that advocacy groups like the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and events like Atlanta Streets Alive are spreading the good word.

Atlanta is one of the cities that has seen the highest increases in bike usage, and with the Beltline and other bike path projects of the past few years, bikes are only going to get more popular for families, the environmentally-conscious, and those looking to live in the city.

Atlanta Streets Alive, taking its cue from other festivals around the world, is making an effort to show how roads can unite communities for a common purpose, not just something for cars to drive on. Every year, some roads are closed off to cars and opened up to other human-powered modes of transport. People can walk, skate, ride, run - you name it - and this sense of community raises awareness for reducing the dependence on cars and supporting healthier ways of getting around.

It's estimated that if American made one 4-mile trip by bike instead of car each week, the country would save almost 6.6 billion dollars annually. Figures like this highlight just how much impact bike transportation can make, and with Atlanta Streets Alive and other groups doing some heavy lifting, Atlanta will have a chance to show just how awesome a bike ride can be.

And for One Spark, we've committed to pledging a dollar for every 5 dollars we raise as a part of our crowdfunding campaign to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. We believe in the work they do and we think you should do. If you'd love to donate, check out our page here.

 

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

 

Things Going On This Weekend

Curtis Compton/AJC.com

Curtis Compton/AJC.com

Weekends are for fun. So in the spirit of kid-friendly (and Easter and Spring Break upon us) - we thought we should give you an update on fun happenings this weekend that kiddies young and old can enjoy. 

  • Stellaluna - Hurry! Last Shows 4/4 - Center For Puppetry Arts - Stellaluna, the enchanting story of a baby fruit bat who falls into a bird’s nest, is adapted from the beloved book by Janell Cannon.  And if you haven't been to a production at the Center For Puppetry Arts, you and your kids are really missing out.

 

  • Spring FUN Break - Starts 4/4 - Stone Mountain Park -  4-D attractions, rides, magic, and a plethora of events for kids. And, of course, the classic lasershow will be a part of the festivities (Spring FUN Break ends April 11th).

 

  • Frog Feeding - 4/4 at 11AM - Atlanta Botanical Garden - On Saturday mornings a public frog feeding allows visitors the opportunity to observe one of the most interesting aspects of these amphibians - their feeding behavior. Are we really promoting a frog feeding event? You bet we are (and kids really love it). And there are always the gardens to enjoy afterward.

 

  • Easter Bunny Pictures - Ends 4/4 - Atlantic Station Dillard's - It's your last chance to get the kids a picture with Easter's most famous bunny. Dress the kids in their Easter best and let them take pics with a holiday icon. Best case scenario - you have lovely pictures to send to the grandparents. Worst case scenario - the kid freaks out and you have blackmail fodder for future love interests.

 

Now get out there and explore the city! If you have any Spring events you'd love for us to include for next weekend, hit us up on Facebook or send us a shout out on Twitter!

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

 

3 Family-Friendly Spring Festivals

I think it's safe to say that Spring has finally sprung. With the better weather, longer days, and lack of excuses to stay inside, getting the kids out to festivals and other events is a great way to spend a weekend. But parents want to have fun. Kids want to have fun. Is there a happy, reasonable middle ground? Of course there is! Atlanta has no shortage of family-friendly events guaranteed to keep the kids busy and out of their parents hair (bonus) and keep the parents entertained, too.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival  April 10-12, 2015

Piedmont Park is Atlanta's perfect springtime spot. The Dogwood Festival is the unofficial symbol that Spring has arrived and has tons of events the whole family will enjoy. There's a 5k that takes place on day 2, food and crafts vendors from all over the city, and The Dogwood Festival also does "Family Friday" - opening day festivities that include rides, inflatables, activities, and food discounts.

The Georgia Renaissance Festival  April 18 - June 7, 2015

Lords and ladies, costumes, and giant turkey legs. The Georgia Renaissance Festival has a little something for everybody. And great news for parents - kids under 5 get in free. There are many activities such as storytelling, jousts, and animal shows that delight the kiddies and adults can dress in period costumes without fear of persistent ridicule. At least for a day.

Chastain Park Arts Festival  May 9-10, 2015

An arts festival created by artists for artists, the Chastain Park Arts Festival features local and regional artists in a variety of disciplines. There are glassblowing, painting, and metal working stations, as well as places to do some hands-on crafting. There's also a kids area that's perfect for kids-centric crafting and general running around.

 

Going on a family adventure doesn't have to be a battle of wills between parents and kids. These festivals have something to offer everybody. Do you have any festivals you'd like to add? What's your favorite renaissance fair activity? Why don't people wear suits of armor more often? Comment below or give us a shout out on twitter.

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

How To Organize A Family-Friendly Event

Getty images/via bloomberg.com

Getty images/via bloomberg.com

When organizing an event, thinking of your audience when planning activities is a no-brainer. But what if your audience is older, younger, crawling, walking, and everything in between? How can you possibly plan an event that pleases everyone? Whether you're sponsoring a fundraiser, planning an outdoor festival, or just doing a neighborhood party - look for common ground activities, keep safety first, and don't forget to keep the kids busy.

 

Have Stations

With many different people at your event, having specified stations will keep the event easy to navigate and provide ongoing services throughout. A first aid station, a water station (especially in hotter months) and a lost parent/child station are especially helpful. Other ideas can be an Information Station where people can ask questions about specific activities or booths going on at your event (having these at a main entrance makes them easy to find).

Location Location Location

Parks are an easy location for family friendly events for a good reason - they have a big green space, easy to find entrances and exits, walking paths or trails, and trees (for shade). The openness of a park is great for families because it's much easier to see children playing and making sure they don't wander off. Even if a park isn't available for your event, organize your space as if it were by making distinct entrances/exits, having plenty of tents to provide shade, and reducing hiding places or wandering points such as side streets, alleys, or yards between houses. Making your event navigable will be much appreciated by parents, and everyone else.

The Kids Stuff

Entertaining the kids is about 90% of what a parent does and what they'd really like your help with when going to your event. So for the kids, have a range of activities going on so that the younger and older can be equally entertained. A bounce house is a pretty standard event staple. Think about dress up stations, petting zoos (assuming you can have one), face painting, arts and crafts, coloring stations, and other activities.

 

Planning a family-friendly event can seem like a daunting task. The important thing is making sure that everybody feels like they have something they can do - kids and adults alike. Follow a few of these tricks and your event will be fun for the whole family - which is kind of the point.

Any other tips you'd like to add? Any family-friendly events you'd like to recommend? Comment on this post or give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

 

One Spark Brings Crowdfunding to the Streets

via crowdfundingguide.com

via crowdfundingguide.com

In our 5 Spring Events blog here we had a chance to introduce you to One Spark, the first crowdfunding festival. It's like Kickstarter brought into the real world, where people with big ideas can raise money, eat food on sticks, listen to guest speakers, and innovate in their own backyard. The anonymity of the internet fundraising movement is beginning to swing in a different way. People want the human connection, to see a project come to life and to embrace a larger community.

One Spark's Jacksonville connection adds even more to the hometown feel of the event. Because this isn't some tech hub, it's where the founders of One Spark,  Elton Rivas, Dennis Eusebio, and Varick Rosete, grew up. It's creating a start up culture in your own neighborhood, creating opportunities where you live, and giving the crowdfunding community a place to gather.

And with us being upstarts ourselves, we'll be attendees at this year's event. Come see us at Barnett Bank. We're excited to be a part of the festivities and will have Walkabout & #dropyourpin swag. Maybe some games will be played. Either way - we plan on taking full advantage of the experience, raising some money in the process, and spreading the word of maps made easy.

The crowdfunding portion of the event will start on April 6th and we'll be keeping our campaign going until May 6th, so be sure to visit our crowdfunding site early and often. Here's a little taste of just a few of the cool things we'll be giving our supporters as part of this campaign: high fives, Twitter shout outs, swag bags, years of free Walkabout maps, and dropping a giant plastic pin with your name on it anywhere in the world. We're dead serious about that last one.


Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

Which Crowdfunding Platform Is Right For You?

As crowdfunding becomes an even more viable option for big thinkers and entrepreneurs, the platform marketplace has become more competitive. But too many choices can sometimes be a bad thing. How do you decide where to post? What are the pros and cons? Is there a best platform for my kind of idea?

Fear not. We’ve taken a look at some of the heavy-hitters in crowdfunding to breakdown the benefits of each, the potential cons, and give you the tools to pick the right one for you.

 

Kickstarter

As the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter has funded over 200,000 creative projects since its inception in 2009. The biggest rule for Kickstarter has always been that the project must create something to share with others, so no charitable fundraising, and all projects are vetted before being posted on the site. Also, Kickstarter campaigns offer tiered incentives to project backers.

Project Types: Design, Creative, Theatre, Film & Video, etc.

Fees: 5% (+3-5% payment processing)

Funding: All-or-nothing, no in-between.

Cons: Project may not receive any funding, stricter rules, shorter fundraising timelines.


indiegogo

Founded in 2008, indiegogo has aimed to be the flexible, inclusive option for people looking to raise funds. Creative projects, charities, and everything in-between has a chance to enter the crowdfunding arena, and unlike Kickstarter, projects keep any money received.

Project Types: Anything (barring anything illegal, of course).

Fees: 4% (9% if goal not reached)

Funding: Paid as you go (but subject to higher fees if goal not met).

Cons: Lack of urgency (since all projects keep what they raise), only 1/6th audience size of Kickstarter, more projects=more competition


GoFundMe

Starting in 2010, GoFundMe helps people to raise money for life events - such as adoptions, weddings, illnesses, tragedies and/or other charitable works.

Project Types: Life events, charitable fundraising, weddings, tuition, etc.

Fees: 8%

Funding: Paid as you go with an option to make your campaign “All-or-nothing” at setup.

Cons: Not ideal for creative campaigns, hard to stand out unless you have a truly unbelievable story

 

Rockethub

Launched in 2010, Rockethub offers a diverse crowdsourcing community (similar to Indiegogo). Rockethub also partnered with A&E for Project Startup and boasts increased exposure for projects due to this partnership. Rockethub has also been heavily involved in the legislation of crowdfunding, testifying before congress and giving insights on how to regulate the industry.

Project Types: Anything (barring anything illegal, of course)

Fees: 4% + 4% payment if goal reached (8% + 4% is not reached)

Funding: Paid as you go.

Cons: Smaller audience (though A&E partnership may change that), higher than average fees for unsuccessful campaigns, more categories=more competition

 

Narrowing down the list of platforms to feature for this article was a challenge in itself. Even though there are several more sites that may also fit your needs, ask these questions before submitting your next project:

  1. Am I creating something? Will people be able to touch it, see it, or buy it?

  2. Do I have an audience for what I’m doing? Do I think I have the support needed to hit the goal?

  3. Can I follow through with partial funding?

Have you had any success with a crowdfunding project? Which campaigns have you contributed to? Let us know on Facebook or send us a shout on twitter!

 

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.