It’s a new beginning, and the top of the pops is Apple’s brand-new game changer, the iPad. As tech-savvy consumers scramble to get one, every brand marketer is dying to get a taste of its cool factor by putting the device front and center at every event they can. The fear of virtual events is subsiding, too. But things are different than they used to be. The days of flying an entire sales force to Monaco for the Grand Prix, and incidentally having a few meetings and trainings, are over. Instead, companies opt for hybrid and satellite models, keeping most of the attendees at home or in-office, and turning the travel into an incentive for exemplary performance. Bar codes are paving the way for RFID and, soon, NFC technology, while mobile apps are just now showing off how powerful and exciting, they will become in the next few years.
Baby Boomer and “mom” marketing rise, like the Generation Huggies program that asks what motherhood means to consumers, and IFC, which sets out to find the “rockin-est” mom in the nation. Elsewhere, Hershey and FOX invite 10 bloggers and their kids to a late-night VIP event at the Smithsonian Museum to build buzz for the film “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.”
The age of the paperless ticket arrives. Smartphones are the newest platform for paper-free event ticketing and platforms like Eventbrite sell tickets for a commission.
Virgin Galactic hosts an out of this world launch event in the Mojave Desert and EM goes on-site: It’s the maiden voyage of the Virgin spaceship enterprise and 800 VIPs and press members attend the logistically challenging California event.
Kenmore transforms a former art gallery to showcase its new look as the Kenmore Live Studio, which features new products and delivers experiences while being streamed on Facebook a la Food Network-style live cooking shows. Social media is coming into its own, and brands are relying heavily on it for buzz building and reach.