Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: July 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Foursquare Your Way To a Win

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It's about time I post ths blog entry about the social media scavenger hunt I created. The past three or four weeks I've been dedicated heavily on FIJI Water Urban Hunt. I've actually been working on it since late winter or early spring but these last few weeks have been non-stop. It is crunch time!


FIJI Water Urban Hunt

Let's take a non-formal approach and talk about the event and about how I developed the event. I will tell you about the event itself, and break down what it is all about, but I will likely lose you somewhere in the middle. I hope not...just try to stay with me until the end. It is important that you try to stay with me here so you can get the whole picture.

The Event
It is part scavenger hunt, it is similar to Geocaching, part challenge, part race and all fun. Oh yeah, and you win prizes and we celebrate your awesome-ness by creating a team bio, we then share the team bio with 1000s of others online leading up to the FIJI Water Urban Hunt, after the race/challenge is complete, we celebrate with a badass post-event party.

The game itself is pretty simple. Teams must "apply" to participate and they must meet a minimum requirement of social media fans and followers or friends. I caught some heat for this little rule but I will explain to you WHY I made this a rule. I won't lie, it helps drive more attention to the businesses who are sponsoring this event. That is a fact. But when did it become such a bad thing to reward a business who is in support of a cool event? And another thing, I am not asking for people with 1000s of followers, I am looking for people with a couple hundred followers, which is about average. And, ONLY the Team Captain needs the followers, the side-kick can doesn't need a minimum.

The main reason I am targeting people with a larger followership or friendship online is because I have found that those with larger social networks tend to perform and enjoy events like the FIJI Water Urban Hunt more. They are natural connectors, they like to talk about themselves and they like to share with others the cool stuff that they discovered first. The game is going to be more fun when people with larger networks are participating. That is the honest truth. There will be more more jive-talking, a "bring it" mentality and more activity online for people at home to follow.

The game and how it is played. On race day, teams of two arrive at the starting location SUSHISAMBA where they will receive a list of items they must find. At 3:00 PM, the whistle is blown and 100 social-media-maniacs are let lose into the city to find what they can, tweet what they will, post embarrassing pics and hopefully take some cool videos. When they get to each location on the list, they "check-in" on Foursquare to receive a point and write a "tip" for bonus points. From there, they share that check in with their social networks for additional points.

After the Foursquare check-in, there will be a task. This task can be one of many things. Maybe they need to row a kayak down the Chicago River and find something, take a picture. Once they find that "thing" or "item" they must post that picture or video to their social networks.

What's in it for the teams? Why should they bother? It is going to be both fun and challenging. Being a social media FANATIC myself, I love checking in on Foursquare for no reason at all, but on this day, teams can win prizes: a year of home delivery service from the best water ever, FIJI Water, an iPad, they can win a one-night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago, four White Sox tickets, they can win gift certificates to incredible restaurants downtown.

The FIJI Water Urban Hunt will also provide them with a One-Day CTA Pass and a Shoreline Water Taxi pass so they can take a lovely boat ride to Navy Pier if they so wish. Maybe there will be a task that involves the water taxi, I cannot say at this point in time.

After a day of running around the most incredible summer-city in the world, Chicago, teams wrap it up at SUSHISAMBA who will host the after-party that is sponsored by VeeV Vodka and Northeast Cooling. (Thank you @refrigeration)

What do the businesses get? On the list will be items sponsored by local businesses. Businesses do pay a sponsorship fee to be a part of the event and in return they are rewareded with user-generated-content. Sponorship fee is reasonable and depending on their level of sponsorship, in ONE DAY, the businesses will receive about 25,000 interactive, impressions online. Not bad for a lazy, Saturday in August.

I absolutely did not accept sponsorship from any one business who was not willing to make this into a fun event for the participants. The moment I sensed someone was too sell-y, I backed off because I knew they weren't right for the event. Every business who is participating thought "Wow, this is a great idea, I want to be a part of this." Each business is committed to providing a memorable experience for the teams.

There are also many items on the list that are not sponsored but partners of the event. These items are on the list to ensure that the teams truly enjoy this experience.

What else...
  • The cost of entry is $35 per person, that gets you everything you will need for the day (CTA pass, Water Taxi pass) plus a cool backpack and entrance to the after-party
  • Oh man, I cannot afford $35 right now. Just DM @FIJIhunt and we will find a company to sponsor your entrance fee
  • We do need volunteers, if you would like to help email INFO@THEURBANHUNT.COM
  • Sponsors receive "tweets" and Facebook updates on the FIJI Water Urban Hunt pages
  • Teams can grow their social media presence and promote their own businesses as we do the same for them - we tweet & promote their "Team profile" on our Facebook fan pages
  • Yes, there is still room for sponsors
  • There will be a camera crew going around and taking footage of the event for a post-event video that I will throw up on YouTube for the world to see
  • We do ask that participants leave their social network profiles PUBLIC on the day of the event
  • HELL YES, you should sign up and you should sign up NOW!

FIJI Water Urban Hunt

FIJI Water Urban Hunt Facebook Page


And don't forget about me - Lotus Marketing Services

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Day My Brain Exploded

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I would like today, Thursday, July 15, 2010, to be known otherwise as "The Day My Brain Exploded". And, I would like to state that I wrote this post in 5 minutes and purposely did not check spelling, punctuation or grammar. Because I don't have to if I don't want to...ITS MY BLOG.

I don't know if you read this blog regularly, and if you don't, you really should because it is probably some of the smartest writing you'll encounter in your whole life. Or any other life. In fact, it could change your life and your childrens' lives.

I realize that I haven't blogged in a while and I needed a minute to breath so I thought I would write this post. I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately, so much stress that I needed a little doctor visit today. Most of this is partly due to the fact that I've taken on way too much and it is all coming to a head. Although I am one to complain, and complain loudly I will, I am also one to get it done.

brain exploding

Right now, I am managing four clients and an event this summer - FIJI Water Urban Hunt. It doens't really sound like a lot, well not to me anyway, but it has become a lot. The event is really what is causing most of the brain exploding. When I wrote the whole thing out, I was careful to be comprehensive and create a timeline. Of course, that timeline didn't stick and changes were made, things were added and all the usual other things that throw one off from a plan. So, here I am, exactly 30 days out working 14 hour days. Which is fine, I only have four more weeks of this. Unlike gradschool where I did it for two years (I worked two jobs and went to grad-school full time) but I am no longer 25. I'm 26 now. No, I am not. I'm 27.

The FIJI Water Urban Hunt is on August 14th. I fly to NY the next morning at 6AM for the Affiliate Summit. I come back on the 18th and then I speak at Biz Bash on the 19th. I managing the "Twitter Lounge" and giving a short presentation on "Using Twitter for New Business Efforts."

Aside from the event, I still have to pay my 2009 taxes. I have my estimated taxes due for this past quarter. I still have to manage contacts that I have for future projects. I have my other clients who need the stuff they're paying me to do. Oh yeah, and I moved last weekend. Oh yeah...AND I am supposed to be training for a marathon.

It will all come togther, I am certain of it. I have ONE thing I am grateful for, my friend Monica is staying with me this weekend and we're planning a weekend of dinners, boating, yoga, biking - all of the fun things we did when she lived in Chicago (but packed into one weekend).


Buy Some Stuff:

The Little Book of Stress Relief

Successful Event Management: A Practical Handbook

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Raconteur

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I would rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity"

It's a Stella Artois tag line...but its good anyway!

When I first started blogging (this was a while ago) I was smitten with the medium. I didn't care if not one person read what I had to say, finally, I had a place to express myself other than my "Blank Book" journals. Eventually, people started reading my blog and I would receive comments and emails from my readers. They would say, "You're a great writer" which I knew was not true. I would always respond, "I am not a good writer, I am a good story teller." There is a difference.

A good writer understands the parts of speech, they understand grammar, they can spell, they love language and they're good at manipulating the language. I am not a writer, I am a raconteur. I watch others, I listen, I pay attention to detail and I regurgitate with emphasis. I am not so much a lover of the pen, I am more a fan of the spoken word. I've been a story teller my whole life. From the time I was small, I dedicated my life to identifying and owning a good story. Make no mistake, this was always a conscious choice.

september 09

Let's Take It Back a Notch

Growing up, I only feared only one thing, I feared the ordinary. Poor doesn't scare me. Death doesn't scare me. But a life un-lived, that scares me to pieces. I blatantly put myself into compromising situations to see and feel things that I could not experience under "normal" circumstances. There is very little I would not risk for the sake of a good story.

In order for me to exist, I need constant change, I need excitement and I need progression. I have a big imagination, I am expressive, I am animated and when I produce my content - whether it is written or spoken, I command an audience. This has always been the case ever since I was a child. Even though I was shy, the only time I came alive was when I was in a situation where I had to tell a story.

I feel quite fortunate to be able to speak my mind freely and speak it often. I sometimes write about work, I sometimes write about life or my family, but whatever the subject matter, my stories are mine and I get to tell them.