Lessons Learned from Tailgating

tailgatingWith college football season in full swing, we’ve gotten inspired by the age-old tradition of tailgating.  Tailgating is closely tied to college football, but looking at the history, the first tailgates had nothing to do with sport.

The first recorded tailgate in the U.S. may have occurred in mid-summer of 1861 in Manassas, Virginia, before Confederate forces and Union soldiers met in the First Battle of Bull Run. Civilians arrived at the battlefield in wagons loaded with wine, whiskey, and food. This is not unlike the party atmosphere that surrounded the late 18th century French guillotine executions during which people gathered to eat in the square near the scaffolds while the list of people to be executed was read.

Today’s tailgates may take place before less gory events, but the idea remains the same: people with a common interest gather together to share food and drink and talk about the event they are about to witness.  While there may be many “I’ll never do that again” personal lessons learned from tailgating, there are other things a successful tailgate can teach us about holding a fun and engaging event.

Continue reading

The Possibilities for Big Data

1bigdataBig Data continues to dominate headlines across almost every industry. With a projected 40% growth in data generated each year, every industry is looking for ways to use this growing resource to make more informed decisions. The possibilities for Big Data are extensive, but we want to highlight some major trends impacting the ways people use Big Data to gain actionable insights.

Continue reading

The Show Without a Speaker

NoSpeakerIt may seem revolutionary, but imagine an event without any big name speakers, no keynote, or any session led by a single speaker. What would attendees do? How would they learn? Likely, there would be a lot of collaboration among the attendees, as well as ad hoc discussions and demonstrations. While it’s not realistic to cut out speakers completely, there is something to be said for limiting their place in the agenda, and we may be more ready for it than you’d think.

Today when we make a purchase online – anything from a car to a new pair of shoes to a new shampoo –  many of us scroll first to the comments and ratings of previous buyers. Peer review has become a powerful part of the decision making process. Incorporating this type of “experience sharing” into events is a great way to extend how we are making many decisions in life. Continue reading

Harnessing the Power of FOMO

FOMOFear of Missing Out, popularly known as FOMO, is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it is a modern take on “the grass is always greener” which is a rendition of a Latin proverb translated into English in the 1500s. Today, we may feel it more acutely because social media gives us constant connectivity to what others are doing and what they have.

Social media both feeds this compulsion to compare as well as overwhelms us with information. How do marketers rise above the online noise? One way is to understand and embrace FOMO as a natural human emotion. Marketers across industries do this including AT&T’s “Don’t be left behind” campaign, Duracell Powermat “Stay in charge” campaign, and the Heineken “Sunrise” campaign. The Heineken campaign, in particular, aimed to encourage responsible drinking by portraying excessive drinking as a way to miss out on the best parts of a party. This gets across the message of safe alcohol consumption without the traditional, “it’s dangerous” or “bad for your health.” Continue reading

Behind the Curtain: Modern Day Marine

mdmFor this Behind the Curtain we’re taking a closer look at what goes into planning Modern Day Marine. A production of the Marine Corps League, Modern Day Marine is a unique platform for the Marine Corps to meet and discuss their biggest challenges with industry.

Held on the Marine Corps Base Quantico (in Quantico, VA – about 35 miles south of Washington DC), this event brings companies with innovative products directly to the Marines. This year’s event is being held September 27-29. We spoke with show director, Charles Baisley to get a sense of what goes into producing this show and what attendees can expect this year.

Q: What is the history behind Modern Day Marine

A: The show is going into its 36th year. In 1996 the show moved to its current home at Marine Base Quantico. This location gives us a distinction among the military shows. Being on base we can easily draw large military attendee numbers. This has been especially helpful during times of travel budget restrictions. This location also supports our efforts to make this event a platform for the Marine Corps to share their stories of success and challenges. Modern Day Marine is produced for the Marine Corps with the support of our exhibitors.

Continue reading