events

Why A Mobile Map Matters (and Please Ditch the Paper)

via torontoist.com

via torontoist.com

With most people having an advanced computer in their pockets (and with the Apple Watch - attached to their wrist at all times) - we're more in sync with our surroundings than ever. But when we go somewhere new - a festival, an event, a new venue - we're suddenly put into a place we want to explore but don't have the first idea on how to do it. Enter: the map.

We've all been there. You get somewhere and you get a big, flimsy, paper map. It has symbols, it has paths, and it's another thing you get to keep track of and, OMG, they folded this thing like an origami swan and once it's opened, it's never the same. It gets wet and rips on one of the seams. When you open it up to find a bathroom, you get to look around like a disoriented wildebeest looking for something - anything - that matches one of these little symbols that's printed right where..oh, where the seam ripped. Great. Look up to find the sun, it's in the West - now I'm going to look for the compass rose on the map to give me a general idea of where the info station is so I can get a new map. Or I'll just pick one of the many thrown on the ground with footprints on them.

Does this sound familiar? Is it just me?

We're in the 21st Century. Why are we still relying on printed event maps when there's a better way to get around already in our pocket (or on our wrist)? And why should I have to download an app just to look at something for a day, maybe two?

After a trip to the zoo, I was reminded about why Walkabout exists and the problem it's solving. Saving paper (guys, enough with the paper already), an easy web interface where I don't have to download an app or go to an app store, and a thing that measure my location in time and space. How novel!

Are you ready to ditch the map? Have any stories on getting lost? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter (or both).

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.

 

 

 

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.

Best Events Happening This Weekend

via asocialmess.com

via asocialmess.com

There's no shortage of magic happening this weekend - especially if you're a sports and festival fan. 

 

Atlanta Braves Home Opener vs. Mets - April 10-12th - Turner Field

The Braves are back. Opening day is an Atlanta holiday, so Braves Country will be in full swing. Traffic will be horrendous. The tailgating will be plentiful. The tomahawk chop - epic as always.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival - April 10-12th - Piedmont Park

We've already gushed about our love for this festival but the time has finally come - Dogwood weekend is here! There will be a lot of events, great food, music, and arts & crafts. 

Assuming the weather holds up - this will be the best weekend to be outside if the pollen doesn't swallow you up first.

 

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 Teaser

On top of our involvement with One Spark, LexArts, and the Nashville Opera - we're happy to announce our partnership with Atlanta Streets Alive on April 19th! This event will take place in West End, an historic neighborhood just west of downtown. 

Atlanta Streets Alive's mission is to create a healthy, sustainable and vibrant city street experience. Roads are temporarily closed to cars so that people can walk, bike, or skate - an idea they adopted from open street projects all over the world.

The event is funded by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition , as well as others, and supports a diverse transportation culture, using the streets as a common thread for all people. Because all of us at Walkabout believe in urban walkability, sharing your place, and celebrating community - Atlanta Streets Alive is right up our alley.

To support this awesome event, we'll be donating 1/5th of our proceeds to Atlanta Streets Alive and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to support our shared goals.

We've created a custom map with the West End route for all attendees to enjoy and we'll have more information next week. April 19th is going to be a great day in the city.

 

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.

Walkabout Goes to the Opera

nashvilleopera.jpg

Nashville is known as The Music City and is the proud capital of country music, major record labels, and several music-centered museums. But it's not just all Grand Ole Opry (though that's to be expected). There is a thriving arts and culture community - which is why we were thrilled to work with the Nashville Opera on creating a custom mobile app in time for their opening of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic The Pirates of Penzance.

The Nashville Opera understands that patrons want an engaging social experience, so we created an app that shows the area around the Tennessee Performing Arts Center with real-time information on how to buy tickets, places to dine, and areas to explore before and after the show. It's an easy to use interface that allows the Opera to provide meaningful information that patrons can use and get the most out of their experience.

We think that apps like this can be game changers for all sorts of venues, communities and arts organizations, and we're happy to break new ground with the Nashville Opera!

Wanna take a peek? Check out the custom app we created here and explore the opera in a whole new way! Buy tickets, find drinks at a cool bar before the show, or maybe catch dinner with friends. The opera's gone digital!

The Pirates of Penzance will be April 9th through 11th at TPAC. There are also many other exciting productions in the works like Turandot, Puccini's last (and arguably best) opera, and Hydrogen Jukebox - a masterpiece by Philip Glass that sets Allen Ginsberg's beat poetry to music.

Follow the Nashville Opera on Twitter and keep up with the arts in The Music City.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Most Logical: Getting, Keeping, and Using Data

What do you mean, you're not using an event management system?

What do you mean, you're not using an event management system?

Data isn’t just a commander on the Starship Enterprise - it’s an integral part of making an event that works. When you’re looking to build a community, gain fans, get feedback, invite attendees, launch products - the devil’s in the data. But who wants to spend time doing manual entry in the 21st century? Hint - NOT you. There are a lot of options out there for gathering and managing data in the digital age that can help you put on a great event, grow a following, and get the word out!


Ticketing Apps

In recent years, the popularity of ticketing apps like Eventbrite and Freshtix have been a welcome addition to the event realm. And it makes sense! You not only want to know how many people are attending your event, but you want to know about them too! Are they inviting others? Are they sharing on social media? Ticketing and event apps give you the ability to see the reach of your event in a completely digital way that beats paper tickets any day. And once you have that data, you can use it to make bigger and better events.


Subscribers

It’s not enough just having a blog or website and hoping people find it. You need to encourage people to follow you. Having a way for people to sign up for updates via email is essential. Whether you’re doing email newsletters or regular blog posts, make sure you lean on your subscribers and learn about them. Pay attention to what links they open, which posts they comment on, and make sure you have a way to contact them for updates. Who’s viewing is just as important as the number of views.


Tablets

The world of tablets has been a game changer for lead retrieval at events. Filling out paper forms requires manual data entry that is time consuming and costly. Using a tablet to get lead information is essential in getting the data you need quickly and easily so you can start using that data right away! There are several apps that can help compile the data at trade shows, festivals, and other events into any format you want such as iCapture and Bartizan. Also, offering a prize giveaway, membership, or other incentive will encourage people to sign up and give you the data you need.


Make a map

Not to humblebrag or anything, but a mobile app like Walkabout can be an excellent way to get real time data you need for your event. You can see how people navigate your event in a digital, easy to use, and data friendly interface. Paper maps just can’t do that (and a little self promotion never hurts).


Getting data at events can be tricky but, luckily, the digital age has brought newer, more effective options for events large and small. Using tablets, ticketing apps, lead capture, subscribers, and embracing the beauty of a digital map can give you the tools you need to utilize your information. And Commander Data would agree, that sounds most logical.

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.

5 Festivals That Celebrate The Weird

We had a chance to talk about Spring Festivals last week but there are thousands of other festivals we didn’t get to mention. While doing research, we found some really unique events that were too weird/bizarre/curious/fun that it felt like a shame not to include them. If a lovely Spring festival is a little too tame for your taste, here are some bizarre festivals that might satisfy your need for the strange and unusual.


 

photo by Barbara Lawlor

photo by Barbara Lawlor

Frozen Dead Guy Days - Nederlander, CO

Maybe it’s the thin, Rocky Mountain air, but whatever it is, the residents of Nederlander, CO put on one of the most bizarre festivals every March. Salmon tosses, coffin races, and turkey bowling are just a few of the festivities. Between twisted events there’s food, live music, and macabre delights at every turn.


 

Elvis Week

Are thousands of Elvises too many Elvises? If you’re a fan of Graceland’s Elvis Week - then there’s no such thing as “too many”. This 10-day event that celebrates “The King” attracts thousands of Elvis impersonators and casual fans alike, with live performances, dances, discussions and, of course, no shortage of peanut butter and banana sandwiches, thankyouverymuch.


 

Jesse Skoubo/Corvallis Gazette-Times

Jesse Skoubo/Corvallis Gazette-Times

DaVinci Days Festival - Kinetic Sculpture Races

This festival in Corvallis, Oregon combines art and engineering in a way that would make Leonardo DaVinci proud. One of the highlights of this three-day July event are the Kinetic Sculpture Races which is just as cool and terrifying as it sounds. Teams create elaborate human-powered vehicles that resemble everything from medieval mountain bikes to mythical dragons. Spectator costumes highly encouraged.


 

International Tuba Day

It’s hard being a Tuba in a woodwind world. Tuba players unite in Millersville, Pennsylvania every May in an event that’s part festival/part support group for thankless brass blowers everywhere. There’s great tuba music all around and the event is free - because tubas need love too, guys.


 

Spam Jam

Spam: the world’s favorite mystery meat. There’s no better place to celebrate the famous foodstuff than Waikiki, Hawaii - a well-known lover and consumer of the canned meat product (Hawaiians consume over 7 million cans a year - more than anywhere else in the world). Over 25,000 people come to the event every year and there’s no shortage of festivities, live music, and yes, Spam.


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.

5 Must-See Spring Events

This winter has been especially rough for many of us (thanks A LOT, Punxsutawney Phil), but not to worry. Spring is coming, and with it, the triumphant return of festival season. Exploring new places is so much easier in good weather and to make sure you’re ready, we’ve compiled a list of some Spring festivals you can check out no matter where you are in the US. Some of these are big, some have more local flair, but there’s a little something for everybody.

 

The Dogwood Festival - Atlanta, GA - April 10-12th

Coinciding with the blooming of the Dogwood Tree (they’re everywhere around here), Atlanta hosts a festival to celebrate this popular plant in Piedmont Park. Foods on sticks, arts and crafts, and music make this a fun place to welcome the warmer weather.


 

Photo by Kiwanis Club of Little Havana

Photo by Kiwanis Club of Little Havana

Calle Ocho - Little Havana, Miami, FL - March 15th

Carnaval in Miami is a 10-day event filled with music, special events, and food from restaurants all over the city. Calle Ocho is the culmination of Carnaval and is a 23 block street festival in Miami’s Little Havana. There are over 30 stages of Latin music and this mother of all street fairs hosts almost a million people.


 

One Spark - Jacksonville, FL - April 8-12th

Think about Kickstarter. Now infuse food trucks, seminars, craft beers, and music. One Spark is a crowdfunding festival that helps entrepreneurs with big ideas get funding. The organizers wanted visitors to have that festival  environment, which makes this festival equal parts head and heart. They also wanted to cultivate a startup culture in their own backyard, throwing this in their hometown of Jacksonville rather than somewhere in Silicon Valley (and we can definitely relate to that). And there’s one more thing that makes OneSpark awesome: we’ll be there presenting Walkabout to the masses, so hit us up in the Barnett Bank.


 

Skagit Tulip Festival - Mount Vernon, Washington - April 1-30th

Mount Vernon in the Skagit Valley of Washington can put on quite the nature show with its blooming tulips oom every year. The beautiful sights attract visitors from all 50 states and 85 countries as the town explodes with color. Mother Nature is sometimes on her own schedule, especially when it comes to flowers, so we recommend checking the festival’s site regularly to make sure the tulips have opened up before you get there.


 

SXSW - Austin, TX - March 18-22nd

South by Southwest (SXSW) is one of the most anticipated festivals in the world, featuring world-renowned artists, a film festival, and a digital innovation conference. While it definitely isn’t cheap, SXSW is a bucket list event that needs to be checked out.


We hope we’ve inspired you to explore new places and destinations, and remember if you go to any of these festivals take lots of pictures and use the hashtag #dropyourpin.

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.

Moving Target: 3 Clever Ways to Use Mobile To Secure Sponsorships

image via Wilfred Iven

image via Wilfred Iven

We’ve all been there. You finally get a key sponsor on the phone, only for them to ask if there’s anything new happening at the event this year. You do your best to keep things exciting and fresh for attendees and sponsors alike, but it can be hard to come up with new ways to keep existing sponsors excited and win new sponsors.

Fortunately, mobile technology offers a variety of fun and clever ways to pique the interests of sponsors, attendees, and vendors. Just about everyone has a smart phone in their pocket, so let’s get smart with how we engage them. We’ve put together 3 clever ways for you to make your next event pop, and target your next big time sponsor.

 

parade route

History/Art/Architecture/Food Walk
Sponsor Target: Local Fraternal Organization, Arts Council, Historical Society, Realtor, Local Restauranteur

 You’re always looking for a way to provide exciting events within your event, and there’s nothing simpler than curating a list of cool places and events for your attendees to visit. People love experiencing new things, so give them what they want all while giving a new sponsor an exciting digital venue to reach your audience. The best part? You don’t really have to do anything; get the sponsor to curate the list for you. They know their business better than you do, so let them show your audience a good time.

 

mystery location

Mysterious Scavenger Hunt
Sponsor Target: PTA, YMCA, Music Label, Shoe Company, Youth-Oriented Brand

 Let’s just say it; Teenagers are a pain. But if you want to attract their parents and their little siblings, then you have to find a way to deal with them. You’ve tried a carnival, a dance, a DJ and no matter what you do you still have a bunch of sulky 16 year olds hanging around looking to cause some trouble. So, why not engage their favorite brand and, well, let them get in some trouble? Pick an atmospheric venue around town, load up on the black lights (and chaperones), create a mysterious app and let social media do the rest. Have them paint an old clunker, create a mural painting contest, a secret “speakeasy” (secret password only, of course), and plenty of opportunities to ‘Gram some pictures, send out some Snapchats, and Tweet out the yin-yang.

 All teenagers are looking for is the feeling of danger and excitement, so use the things they like most (social media, amassing in a group, and making a mess) to create a memorable evening and bring some much needed youthful sponsorship money to your event.

 

Web form

 Vendor/Activity Bingo

The old classic. Even after years it still doesn’t get old. Vendors love it, attendees love it, and now your sponsors will too. With a beautiful app and a simple web form you can get your attendees to visit a ton of your vendors and engage with your sponsors, while looking like you’re solidly in the 21st century. It’s the mythical win-win-win, and you come out looking like the best event organizer in the world.


Securing new sponsors, and exciting old ones, is one of the most important things you’ll do throughout the planning phase of your event. Mobile technology makes your job easier by giving you an exhilarating new tool to bring new sponsors into the fold.

Tres Crow is the CEO of Walkabout, and his social media team thinks he spends way to much time on Pinterest pinning color palettes.

3 Keys to Getting people to Your Event

Photo credit: Flickr user James Crindland via Creative Commons

Photo credit: Flickr user James Crindland via Creative Commons

Getting people to your event is one of the most essential parts of event planning. Attendance is where you either win or lose - there isn’t much of an in between. A well-attended event is usually an indicator of a good event and a badly attended event is...well, you get the picture. Since the process of creating a well-attended event begins pretty much Day 1, we’ve put together these tips to draw a crowd.


Relationships are the key to success.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to get people to come to your event if you don’t know anybody. But simply knowing people is only half the battle. You have to know the right people and you have to develop relationships with them. Building quality relationships with taste makers can positively affect how people think about your event’s brand, and the more people are thinking and talking about you the more people are likely to show up. Remember, relationships shouldn’t be viewed as simply transactional; you gotta give before you receive. Simply put, only a handful of people will have a hand in delivering the majority of your audience, so focus on who these people are and develop a plan for them to easily attract their network to your event. This will make it easier to attract the larger audience possible with the least amount of effort.


Print is not dead.

This may seem weird coming from a software company, but your local newspaper and regional magazine are still operating and people still read them. Radio stations reach millions every day and the television is still on in every household. These traditional outlets are often overlooked in favor of new technology but, once combined, they can make for one hell of an attention cocktail. Radio can help you capture a new audience and social media is great for keeping you connected to this new audience. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these outlets or use your personal network to get introduced to this world. Loads of information is still passed outside of the Internet, so keep an open mind and enjoy the wave of analog nostalgia.


Get off the Internet.

Unless you're holding a Twitter chat, you must get off the Internet. Word of mouth is still the most powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. Social media is certainly attractive, but smart event planners know that it's so much easier to say you're attending an event than actually attending it. You must go to your local meetups, print and place posters near the event grounds, find the locations with a lot of foot traffic and set up an info session, sponsor another event, etc. Don’t get consumed with the glamor and ease of social media – it is not the end all, be all. It will lead you down a lonely path, filled with nothingness, empty rooms, and gallons of uneaten shrimp, if not combined with a great real world presence.


Getting people to your event is a more of an art than a science but if you can bring together these tips in a qualitative way there will be flocks of people beating down the door to attend your event.