Instagram is a free online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking platform that allows its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking platform such as: Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. Launched on October 6, 2010, it hit #1 in the App Store within 24 hours of launch. It also became the iPhone App of the Week. It holds the record as the quickest platform to reach 1 million downloads, and today has over 150 million users, worldwide. 90% of users are under 35 years of age, mostly female. Instagram, although first created as a tool to share experiences and memories by uploading photographs on the go, has evolved exponentially.
Savvy marketers have taken advantage of the technology to market goods and services with the use of photographs and video. By the use of hashtags, people are able to find these pictures and similar pictures to see the product or service first hand on their own device. The reason marketers see Instagram as an effective tool for marketing purposes is because the user has the choice of what they can see, and therefore their followers choose to follow them because they are a fan of the product or service. For this reason, marketers have the advantage of marketing products and services directly to their target market on Instagram.
The best thing about Instagram is anyone can use it; it is extremely user friendly and quite simple to operate. Anyone can be a photographer and build up there profile with whatever pictures they want. People tend to build an identity through Instagram based on the pictures they post. Instagram can be accessed by computers, IPod, iPads, and smart phones and is operated the same way on each platform, which allows for a consistent experience. It is an extremely beneficial tool especially for events because event organizers can take photos from the event and upload it almost immediately and get real time feedback from followers and non-followers (with the use of hastags) by seeing how many “likes” and “comments” they receive on a particular photo or video (15 sec. maximum).
It can also be used as a promotional tool by having contests, which awards a person with a prize just by following them and commenting. Of course, the main purpose of this promotion is to build followers so their messages can be reached further. With hashtagging, a user is able to spread their message or photographs to non-followers just by that user searching for a specific hashtag. It is very important to make hashtags relevant to the photo so users searching that hashtag will land on your photograph. Instagram will continue to grow and evolve by including new features to remain ahead of the competition. As new features are added, marketers will certainly take advantage of the progressing technology. They’ll make use of it to better market their brands or events in the future.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday my Event Marketing class had the chance to volunteer at the Sponsorship Toronto conference that took place at the Grand Hotel and Suites. Sponsorship Toronto is a two-day conference in which professionals from the sponsorship community come together for an exchange of ideas and knowledge on the topic of sponsorship. While this conference was relatively small compared to others I’ve volunteered at, it was a great event to be a part of. It was interesting to see how the conference was organized and executed, especially because there were multiple sessions running simultaneously.
I volunteered on the Wednesday morning as a Room Manager. As Room Manager, my partner Haiming and I were in change or ensuring that the presentations ran smoothly and on schedule. We were also in charge of the lighting and sound for the room during the morning workshops. I was primarily responsible for introducing the speakers, informing the conference attendees on when lunch was, what time the next sessions were at and what the speaker’s topics were on.
Haiming and I worked during the session “Harnessing the Internet: Creating Digital Value for Sponsors” with speakers Jane Hopgood and Regan Zuzarte. Jane Hopgood is the Senior Vice President of Arts & Communications and Regan Zuzarte is the President and founder of Triangles. Both Jane and Reagan were absolute pleasures to work with. They were both very relaxed and easy going, especially during times of technical difficulties with the presentations. I was expecting the presentations to run extremely smoothly, but they didn’t.
The number one thing to remember when working or running an event is, something can and will go wrong. In our case, we had things happen twice during the presentation. The first blip was the fact that a video on the slideshow wouldn’t play. Eventually I was able to make the video play. The second technical difficulty was the fact that the computer decided it was going to shut down and auto update itself halfway through the presentation. Jane and Reagan were absolute pros during these difficult few moments. Instead of sitting there with nothing to say, they dived right into questions from the audience. Once the computer rebooted and we were on track again once again, the speakers switched right back into their presentation as if nothing had happened. While it was a bit stressful dealing with these issues, it was great to see how problems can be handled in a calm manner.
Overall the Sponsorship Toronto was a great event to be a part of. It allowed me to see how smaller-scale conferences function and how to calmly deal with issues when they arise. No event is ever perfect and this conference proved that to me.
Last Monday my Event Marketing class had the opportunity to attend an etiquette seminar, Dine Like a Diplomat, at the beautiful Faculty Club, University of Toronto. The Faculty Club is a beautiful ivy-covered building, situated near Spadina Avenue in Toronto, Ontario. Built in the early 19th century, the Faculty Club is used as a social centre for the University of Toronto community (particularly faculty and alumni). The venue can also be booked for private events such as weddings, meetings and afternoon tea.
Our etiquette course was on the fine art of dining. Before attending this seminar I had never given dining etiquette much thought. Growing up I was taught basic table manners: keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, don’t slouch and keep your cell phone off the table. With these basic table manners etched into my mind, I was sure that this etiquette seminar would be a breeze. I mean really… what more do you need to know than “keep your elbows off the table”?
Boy oh boy was I wrong. For starters, I learned that the fork always goes on the left side, not the right (at home I set it on the right side because I’m right handed). There is a whole placing system for dinnerware and glassware. Often in formal dining settings, you will have about 2-3 sets of silverware to use. You generally always work from the outer most cutlery, inwards. It was exhausting having to basically learn a whole new way of eating
During our seminar Leanne Pepper, our etiquette coach gave us some very good tips:
- It can take up to 21 days of practice to get into the habit of developing and maintain good dining room etiquette.
- You must always wait for the host or hostess to start.
- Never reach over the table to grab something. Always ask politely.
- Always excuse yourself when you need to get up from the table. Exit your chair to the right side, push your chair in and leave your napkin folded (neatly) on the back of your chair.
- You never want to be the first or the last person to finish.
- The knife sits in the right hand and the fork in the left. Never “saw” your knife back and forth to cut the food. Also, always keep the tines of the fork face down when eating.
- Always sit and walk straight. Imagine there is a string attached to your head that is being pulled upwards. This visual will serve as a reminder to always maintain a good posture.
- Always, always, always keep your cellphone OFF the table.
During out seminar we able to practice what we were taught over a scrumptious three-course dinner. We started off with a delicious autumn soup, followed our main entrée, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. For dessert we were served a delectable cinnamon peach parfait.
Overall, I found the etiquette seminar very informative. I was surprised by all of the little things you have to remember when dining out in a formal setting. While it might take a bit of practice, table manners can help or hinder your chances of getting a job in the future, especially if your job interview is done over dinner. Outside of the dining world, good manners are always important. Always be kind, courteous and confident. The way you treat others and how you present yourself can really impact your professional image.
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Toronto Waterfront Scotiabank Marathon. The marathon, which is now in its 13th year is an annual marathon held in Toronto. There are three difference races within the marathon: (5k), half marathon (21k) and the full marathon (42k). The race is considered to be a world-class event and meets the international standards as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
Every year, thousands of runners run in support of multiple charities. This year there were over 25,000 runners that helped raise money for more than 180 local charities.
While this is not the first marathon I’ve been to (I’ve done a few 5k and 10k runs) it’s certainly the biggest. It was super inspiring to get to see people running for great causes, for loved ones, to achieve personal goals and to break set records. It was also really great to see the 5k Wheelchair Run, where participants with physical disabilities are given the opportunity to take part in the race. It really was a race for everyone because you had the chance to see people of all abilities, shapes, sizes, ages participating.
On race day I was positioned as an “escort” in the volunteer check in area. I arrived really early at City Hall around 5 a.m. (after a long journey of trying to figure out which roads weren’t closed off because of the marathon) to start my shift. I was responsible for gathering volunteers after they completed check-in and bringing them to the station they were set to work at (baggage check, finish line water station, etc.). I spent the majority of day on my feet walking back and forth between the volunteer check-in area and different stations.
Although I was constantly running around, I did take a few moments here and there to cheer on the runners and soak in the bustling energy at Nathan Philips Square. There was lots activity happening in front of City Hall that day. There were a variety of companies handing out samples and promoting their products and services (food and beverage companies, running groups, health clinics). There were also a number of charity booths set up. Family, friends and supports stood beside the exit chute (where the runners came out after the race) eagerly waiting for the runners to finish. It was touching to see the amount of support and encouragement that participants got from their family and friends. I remember seeing a woman who was running in memory of her husband get the biggest hug from her parents as she came out of the chute. It’s moment like these that make marathons and volunteering in general worth it.
Overall my volunteer experience with Scotiabank Marathon was very positive. Towards the end of my shift, I remember group of marathoners who came by the volunteer check-in area just to say thanks to the volunteers for doing such a great job. It makes you realize how important volunteers are. An event like this cannot function without lots of helping hands. This year there were almost 3000 volunteers who helped to make this event possible. If I get the chance next year I would certainly love to volunteer again. Hopefully next time they put me on a slightly later shift so I don’t have to get up at 3 a.m. on race day!
 “Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon Photos.” Toronto Star. N.p., 20 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2013
Last Monday our class had the chance to visit Steam Whistle Brewing located at the historic John Street Roundhouse, downtown Toronto. The roundhouse was built between 1929-31, but is no longer operational. It now stands as a historic landmark where people can visit the Toronto Railway Museum, take a ride on the miniature railway that loops around Roundhouse Park, or enjoy a picnic on a sunny day.
Steam Whistle Brewery, open 363 days of the year is a craft brewery, specializing in premium pilsner lager. The company brews, bottles and sells their product right on premise (although it can be found at most LCBOs and Beer Stores around Ontario and in other parts of Canada).
Steam Whistle was founded by three friends who were left unemployed after the brewery they worked at suddenly shut down. They decided to go into business together and named their brewing company “Three Fired Guys”. The name didn’t strike a cord with everyone so the changed the name to “Steam Whistle Brewing”. They chose the name because the steam whistle is an iconic symbol for the end of the day when you punch out of work, kick your feet up and have a cold one.
Fun fact: On every bottle of Steam Whistle there is an embossed stamp “3FG”. This inside joke pays homage to their company’s former name.
The microbrewery offers tours daily; you get the chance to see the process of how their beer is made as well as tour the beautiful facilities. On our tour we had the chance to find out what ingredients go into making the beer (spring water from Caledon, hops from Germany, yeast and barley). We also had the chance to see how the pilsner was bottled. I even got the chance to pull the steam whistle that bellows daily, once an hour.
After the tour my class had a chance to tour the building, which is beautiful inside and out, with its exposed brick and originally wooden beams. It makes for a really unique event space for a variety of events. They host weddings, corporate events, private parties and charity fundraisers. They even hold concerts in the main hall from time to time!
At the end of our tour Adam Weed, Senior Events Manager, talked to us about the types of events they hold, what makes Steam Whistle a unique venue and a bit more about the history of the company. Overall, it was a great tour. I learned a lot about the company, the beer and the venue. At the end of the tour we were treated to a beer tasting. This was definitively my favourite part of the day!
No fire, no wire, no gas, no glass, no dogs, no drugs!
Step 1: Stay calm and check the scene! This is probably the most important thing you need to remember when performing CPR/First Aid.
As part of my Event Marketing program at Seneca College, all students must be certified in CPR/First Aid. This is my third CPR/First Aid certification course, so I knew what to except. While a few things have changed, the fundamentals have stayed the same. Continue reading
Fourty brave students set sail on a week-long adventure of getting to know each other and learning a bit about the world of Event Marketing. Navigating the world of events isn’t easy, but we were lucky enough to hear from seasoned marketing professionals in the industry during Orientation Week.