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Day four of City Spotlight features Los Angeles, and a guest post by Vanessa (the 4sqDay Cupcake girl).

Being the foursquare enthusiast that I am, I decided to bake foursquare badge cupcakes and bring them to last year’s #4sqday event in Los Angeles! They turned out to be a huge hit not only at the LA event but were even featured on Mashable and on foursquare’s blog!

This year, I was excited to attend again yet saw that no venue had been announced yet. I reached out to Sara Cho ([@gurlinla] who organized last year’s event) and offered to help her plan this year’s #4sqday! We immediately started brainstorming ideas on how to make LA’s event even bigger and better than the last and began reaching out to potential sponsors and scouting local venues!

Working together, we quickly secured an amazing venue (Casey’s Irish Pub) in downtown LA that features an awesome outdoor patio and a beautifully spacious interior as well! The pub will be offering their all night happy hour special as well as free pub fries for everyone who checks in on foursquare! Oh and of course, I will be bringing my famous foursquare cupcakes for everyone to enjoy.

Sara and I used our connections as well as the @4sqLA Twitter handle to secure several amazing event sponsors including Ghost Post, Digital LA, Jenga, Snap Fiesta and PubCrawls.com! Needless to say, these awesome sponsors are providing a wide array of activities and entertainment! Guests will be greeted with official foursquare swag including Mayor crowns, #4sqday t-shirts, buttons and more! Snap Fiesta will be generously donating their photobooth services to document the night with group photos that can be printed and taken home as a souvenir and Jenga will be providing games including a Jenga XXL set to play outside on the patio.

Ghost Post will be sponsoring a scavenger hunt where guests will be invited to participate for a chance to win an iPod Touch! To keep the night foursquare focused, Digital LA will also be hosting a panel discussion on how foursquare can be used in the entertainment industry. For this, I will be a featured speaker along with one of my clients, Daniel Bedingfield to talk about how musicians can utilize the network to connect with and reward loyal fans.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we hope that you will join us in celebration of #4sqday (RSVP here)! Stay tuned for more details to be announced and look for photos on instagram with the tag #4sqday to follow celebrations around the globe.

Vanessa Bedard (@aLAnessa)


While we are gearing up for 4sqday 2.0, I found this great guest post from 4/16/2011. Better late than never… :)

 

Bangalore is no different from a dream city if you really exist online. Its common to see people peeping into their mobile apps while they’re waiting and boarding a bus, crossing streets when lights go green, sipping coffees, and who knows on toilet seats (I do all that too). Social media has its place on taste buds for people in Bangalore. They’re open to anything new technology can offer, they are active in propagating it in fellow men, and above all, they are genuinely involved.

Foursquare reached Bangalore in its early stages itself. Every office, coffee shop and street is on foursquare. And being mayors at special places have an ongoing war, as it should be. The brands are here, the specials are here. Its a buzz. And we got up one night to find no reason of these users being unaware of each other. It was Feb 1, 2011 and we knew that foursquare day is happening this time. Starting preparations early, we could only make it to 25 people or so in two months. A week to foursquare day, and we almost quit thinking everything else. It was time to involve @dhempe. We too aggressive ways to reach out to fellow 4sq’ers in Bangalore, we were moving really fast now. Meetup.com had a 4sqDay RSVPs shooting now to bring Bangalore in top 10 cities in terms of population. 139 of us promised to be there.

Foursquare Day. 04.16.2011. We rushed, and managed to be at venue a few mins before the scheduled 7pm drive. And very soon, the place exploded with people. Bangalore grabbed a swarm badge in no more than 27 mins, and the toll rose to 80+. Crowd annihilated all the coffee store had, and the focus moved to shouts, swags, tweets, checkins, tees, stickers, prizes and those cool badges. Now this was a good start for Foursquare Bangalore (http://www.4sqblr.com), we knew it right then.

We, @santoshp @dhempe & myself, @crashuniverse thank our sponsors @CafeCoffeeDay @itchotels @snapdealblore and @funcinemas to make it a huge success.


At long last, another guest post about 4sqday 2011! This one is from China and was contributed by Alice Hu of Hilton Shanghai!

 

Foursquare and China’s relationship is complicated. Western social media has little chance of surviving in a land where Chinese doppelgangers run the show. Surprisingly, foursquare has managed to remain popular.

Foursquare Day Shanghai organizers Ming Alterman, Mike Fung and Gao Ming were hoping to make this year’s event bigger and better and decided on Hilton Shanghai’s Galerie on the 40th floor for the venue. In the weeks before the event, people were buzzing about the possibility of getting a super swarm badge.

We had no idea how many people to expect for a platform that is mainly used by foreigners fighting to go “digitally native” and tech savvy Chinese people. On the day of the event, attendees arrived very punctually and most of them were Chinese! Meituan (Chinese group buying website), Vitamin Water & OMG Bakery supplied drinks and cupcakes. Hilton Shanghai provided some yummy foursquare cookies. Meituan gift certificates and one free night stay at the hotel were also given out to lucky draw participants. As the night progressed, more people decided to join the festivities and before we knew it we had reached super swarm badge status!

It seems that there are quite a few foursquare fans in the Hai—hoping that businesses will realize this and offer more specials to create an even more engaged community.


Continuing the guest posts about 4sqDay. This one is the from the official report for FoursquareItalia.org by  4sq Ambassador Michael F. Forni and 4sq Superuser Eleonora Rossi. :)

 

In the splendid Medieval and Renaissance City of Bologna, the small – but still superfast growing – Italian 4sq Community chose the magnificent setting of “Piazza del Nettuno” (Neptune’s Square) as the perfect set for the the first – ever –Italian foursquare day 2011, organized by foursquareitalia.org (alias Mimulus) and WeAreSocial.

 

Most of the participants were waiting nearly for a full year and, despite the bad meteorological omen, the day was promising: crispy air and sunny sky, with a bitter wind that, made unfold more than one raincoat lapel … but who cares… it’s 4sqDay, as we said before, the most “geo-ref-day” on the Planet!

Dozens of backpacked randomly-aged guys (with eyes glued on their smartphones) started to show up and began suspiciously to glance each other, pretty surprised that most of the people was gathering for the 4sqdayITA: girls, boys, families with kids coming from Modena, Milan, Vicenza, Pesaro, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Macerata, Florence … lots of places then, not just a “Bolognese” Meet-up!

As time passed and check-in increased … at 15:54 the SWARM BADGE was unsurprisingly unlocked, while familiar faces on twitter and 4sq avatars, suddenly became 3D, together with several new entries!

 

With the valuable help of several assistants and co-organizers (mentioning few above all: @Tommaso @Luca2D @ilbisbetico @suonatorejones) the guys of Mimulus and WeAreSocial rapidly distribute paper maps, instructions and all the necessary material for the “Explore your City Game in Bologna” … together with some super gadgets: fantastic 4sqday Italian logoed buttons designed by @Luca2D, “Mayor aboard” Car decals and “Your hanging with the Mayor” T-Shirt.

 

Soon it was pretty clear that we were just the right opposite of a “community of misogynist geeks”: we finally had the opportunity of meeting our favorite bloggers together with users and tech-enthusiasts in order to  share ideas, dreams and amenities… not necessarily related to the digital life!

 

The “Explore Your City” Game about Bologna (3 path in 8 hidden-clued venues) resulted to be truly funny and in tribuing: after first cryptic clue, the gamers had to move between faithless wives, statues of saints, ancient “tortellinis” codes and old Towers, turned into B & B … and lots more!!

Diverse fellowship gathered: the “heavy runners”, eager to win, the “Ask Google” ones and the “Family group”, people cheerfully pushing their “babies-on-wheels”, amidst laughs and contagious merriment.

 

Bolognans were astonished, surprised but also intrigued by a strange and awkward show, starring: people running here and there -some of them out of breath- looking like their smartphones were a sort of natural extensions of their hands useful just to take pictures of churches, towers, shops and roads! (The Game needed pictured Check-ins, indeed).

Although there was no true race, everybody fell in the mood of a good competition: everybody wanted to get the clues, or squeeze the best from Google (a player was heard screaming «I feel lost without Google!») but it had also been an opportunity for sharing opinions and decide, together, the path to be followed.

 

Once back to the Venue “Neptune’s Butt” players and their new friends stressed out the several anecdotes of the geo-loc treasure hunt, with large smiles and noisy laughter!The strong feeling of living something good and new, together with new-born friendships, gave us the true proof that the 4sqDay event had been truly social!!

 

The evening was the exclusive opportunity for the 60 “lucky Mayors” quick enough to enter the in-3-days-fully-booked VIP Lounge Dinner List; As soon as the organizers declared “Ready, steady, go!”, a sudden silence was the only soundtrack prize-winning game: “4sq Super Expert”, sponsored by Coin; later on the winners for the “Most voted #4sqDayITA Pic” received their prizes from Kodak, the other Main Sponsor of the event.

As it usually happens, everything ended with exchange of digital identities and phone numbers, together with the sincere gratefulness for those who worked really hard to make sure that Bologna managed to celebrate its 4sqDay, sharing the joy with the rest of the Planet!

 

See you in next in 2012, obviously on 16/04, repeating the “motto of the day”: every Check-in counts!

 

Stats of the italian foursquare day 2011 (Bologna, 16th April)

The Game

Explore Your City – 3 exploring path (created by @FrancescaFabbri) through the ancient Bologna unlocking 8 different venues one after the other discovering Bologna under three points of view: “Bologna for Students”, “Bologna for History lovers” and “Bologna for Mystery fans”.

Pssst! Wanna know a “secret”? The guys at Mimulus based their supercool Bologna Treasure Hunt “simply” on the inspiring idea that led Mr. Crowley & Mr. Selvadurai to create foursquare: smart guys, uh?

Planning to visit Bologna in the future? Check-in in the “Chiappe del Nettuno” in Neptune’s Square and choose your own “Explore your City” path! (Italian only, sorry guys)

The Target

We (the Community) were the target and we were very much happy to be part-of-the-game!

The Organizers

We can’t be so ungrateful not to mention @4sqdayIta , “Mimulus” and “WeAreSocial” … these guys made an impressive job!

The Sponsors

Many Thanks “COIN” and “Kodak” for their supportive Sponsoring (wonderful gifts, indeed !!!)!

Facts&Figures

  • 140 people enrolled for the “Exploring Game”
  • 60 Mayors entitled to join the exclusive “aperi-cena” (sort of informal dinner)
  • Participation: 80% during the day (not including the self-invited) and +90% in the Evening!
  • The brand new Venue “Chiappe del Nettuno“ registered 110 check-in in less than 6 hours!
  • The approx 1,000 check-in in Bologna surroundings contributed to reach the 3M World-Check-ins: 4sq’s all time record!
  • More than 2.000 tweets mentioning the official hashtag #4sqdayITA between 16th and 20th April ’11.
  • Foursquare Italia Official Flickr Page has enrolled almost 30 members, that uploaded almost 300 pictures.
  • The official group picture on Foursquare Italia Facebook page counts 42 “like” e more than 80 comments … increasing

Links

Official #4sqDayITA web site*

Official photo gallery on Flickr

Official #4sqDayITA video

* other links, pictures, videos, facts and figures: http://www.4sqday.it

 

Excerpts from the following articles:

- original Italian article| InTime – Condivido per Comunicare | (www.franzrusso.it)

- fousquareitalia article | Osservatorio Italiano su foursquare | (www.foursquareitalia.org)

About the Authors

Michael F. Forni is an official foursquare Ambassador, who deals from a long time with Marketing, Communication, Innovation and Company Turnaround Management. Business Consultant in Italy and Romania, he’s a polyglot and sailor… an enthusiastic “real life traveler” (Europe, USA, Caribbean a.s.o.). He adores Live Music; good food worshipper, often delights his friends with his unique dishes (Italian, Caribbean and Thai Cuisine).
He is active on twitter (@michaelforni), facebook, Linked-In and… obviously on foursquare (https://it.foursquare.com/michaelforni
)

 

Eleonora Rossi (co-author), 4sq lover and SuperUser, is going to graduate in Public and Social Communication at Bologna University with a thesis involving foursquare. She is extremely interested in everything that is social and web 2.0! She adores reggae music, photography and good films.
She’s also active on twitter (@elfolen), facebook (http://facebook.com/elfolen), Linked-in and, obviously on 4sq (https://it.foursquare.com/elfolen)


Today’s guest post is from Sara C from @4sqla. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure if LA was going to be able to pull it off, because there was a lot of confusion and disorganization early on. As you will read, the event came into focus and was a smashing success!!

 


 

Who would have thought we would be celebrating a day based on a childhood playground game, social networking and math! Even though this was my first Foursquare Day event, I was very fortunate to have connected with so many wonderful people of Los Angeles who helped me organize and support this event.  Los Angeles is such a big city with a population so wide-spread, it wasn’t easy trying to get everyone to gather in one place without having multiple locations planned, and having only had two weeks to plan this event, I knew I had a tough task ahead of me. We chose to have our “swarm” party at Saddleranch Chop House (http://www.srrestaurants.com/) on Sunset because the restaurant is located on the famous Sunset Strip and easily accessible to Los Angeles party-goers.  I made some contacts through twitter and facebook and found Miki Reynolds (@HowAboutWeLA), the LA Community Manager of Howaboutwe.com (http://www.howaboutwe.com/), a new and exciting online dating website based in New York, who was looking to co-sponsor an event to help get the word out on their new LA launch.

I was also fortunate to have connected with the Bill Karz, Online Marketing Director of LA, Inc. (http://discoverlosangeles.com/) who put together a map of various local businesses offering Foursquare Day specials.  Using their extensive database of Los Angeles businesses, we received a listing of over 30 specials! The one day and ongoing specials ranged anywhere from discounts on food and drinks to entertainment deals to include city tours and museum admissions.  For two weeks, we worked hard and had our faces buried in our computers, using various social media to help spread the word.  Los Angeles being the 2nd biggest city in the U.S., it was essential for our city to take part in this celebration, and probably easily recognized by other cities throughout the world. So it was no surprised that I was asked to do webcast interview by Kevin Aguilar (http://www.kevinaguilar.com/), who hosts his own live webcast based in Portland, OR.  Together with the organizers of the Portland and San Francisco Foursquare Day events, we helped educate and promote Foursquare and this national celebratory day.

The day of the event was very exciting.  Saddleranch provided free shots and bull rides for our Foursquare swarmers along with the official Foursquare swag, kindly provided by Foursquare, and the generous sponsorship of Howaboutwe.com for providing the free giveaways and gift card raffle, we had many happy Foursquare users.  We had a good turnout, some who showed up all decked out in Foursquare gear! One of our local L.A. social media bloggers, Vanessa B. (@aLAnessa), even came by with her awesome homemade Foursquare badge cupcakes (which can be seen on the official Foursquare blog)!

Photos from our event could be seen on my Flickr account as well as from Howaboutwe’s facebook page.

I know Los Angeles will be representing bigger and better next year because planning is already in progress! We want to thank all the sponsors, including Saddleranch, Howaboutwe, LA, Inc. and Single Tease, and all the Foursquare users who supported us and came out to party with us! We had a terrific time and look forward to seeing all of you again next year!


This is a blast from the past from Carrie Reynolds, about her 4sqday 2010 experience from Bellefontaine, OH. I never got around to posting it last year, so I’m thrilled to be posting it now! You can connect with Carrie via Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn.

Now that I’ve had time to process the recent “Foursquare Day” (4/16/10- 4 “squared” = 16. get it now?) event held in my community of Bellefontaine, Ohio, I am in total awe of the power of social media. I always knew it was a fantastic tool for communication, but never have I experienced its complete viral effect. Wow.

With the help of local businesses such as Chattan Loch Bistro & Public House, FastTrack Signs and Alan Galvez Insurance (shameless plug for my business here), we pulled together a totally fun party and experience like no other. This was truly an experiment as the Foursquare application is still relatively new and Bellefontaine is a small town (we hover around 14,000 population and 40,000 countywide). Suffice it to say, there aren’t many users of Foursquare, nor many businesses that have jumped on board to offer promotional tie-ins.

Before I get too involved, there are probably several of you asking. “So what the heck is Foursquare?” Here is a very basic explanation: by using your phone’s GPS (or even via text message) you can select places you visit (or add if not already listed) and “check-in” to those places. You earn points and badges for various achievements and can even become mayor if you check-in often enough. For a more detailed explanation you can go to Foursquare’s help page.

Chattan Loch saw the first mentions of Foursquare Day by following the trend on Twitter (#4sqday was the trend to identify Foursquare Day parties). They discovered that Cincinnati was the only Ohio city holding a celebration. They saw the tremendous potential in holding a unique event (especially for Bellefontaine) and offering additional value to those that attended (food & drink specials, live music and a T-shirt to the first 50 “check-ins”). So, they ran with it.

I follow Chattan Loch on Twitter and responded with great enthusiasm when they asked if any of their followers were interested in having the party and also helping with its planning and promotion. I figured that it would only help their business by bringing more people to the establishment and really, who can resist a party? Kudos to the owners Tracy and Leah McPherson for taking a chance on such a new concept and for fully embracing all aspects.

Along with Carly & Dennis Schaub (FastTrack Signs), I met with Tracy, one week before the actual date to discuss basic information as to how we wanted the event to proceed and what promotional items and restaurant specials to offer. We even suggested that the “Mayor” should receive a special incentive as well. That was our only face to face meeting. In that one week period leading up to the event, between the four of us, we spread the word on Facebook (an event was created) and Twitter. Chattan Loch also contacted Foursquare directly to get the mayor special created and 4sqday.com to list the event on their site (a separate group of folks who came up with the idea to create Foursquare Day). Take note- there was absolutely NO traditional advertising done. Only Facebook, Twitter, and the Foursquare and 4sqday websites.

Another fun twist to the event was that the 4sqday team rolled out the idea of “swarm” challenges (when at least 50 people check into a location in the same night in a certain time frame, you get the coveted Swarm badge). Pune, India (seriously only in social media), challenged Bellefontaine to see who could achieve the most check-ins. Chattan Loch accepted the challenge and thus a fun element of competition was added to the event.

So, after a week of spreading the word, the big night arrived. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I was so nervous. Would we have no one? Would we get the Swarm badge? The clock chimed 7 o’clock (the time frame was 7-10 for check-ins) and amazingly enough, people arrived. And kept arriving. We passed out T-shirts, and stamped hands so they could get their specials. An additional thank you to All About Stitches & More for coordinating the T-shirt printing.

We even got some people who had never used Foursquare, but decided that evening was the right time to learn and to support a local event. Luckily, my husband (huge shout-out to Robert- thank you, thank you), brought his laptop and took over the tech support of getting people signed up for a Foursquare account, getting them checked-in and keeping a tally of how close to 50 we were. Did I mention he’s not even a user? He believes in supporting local business, and even signed up for that one night so we could achieve the Swarm badge.

One of the neatest parts of the evening was when two girls from Toledo showed up. Yes, they drove the almost 2 hours to attend our event. They followed the trend on Twitter and had originally decided to go to Cincinnati. They found our party and said “Hey, this is closer.” I knew they were coming as I had seen their RSVP on the Facebook event. So we welcomed them and were very excited they chose to come see us. So thank you Jessica and Erin for coming to Bellefontaine. Erin even stated “When we hit the city limits, we screamed “Yay” we made it to Bellefontaine.” Seriously, how cool is that?

Just to throw some figures out, Bellefontaine ended up being one of approximately 250 cities worldwide to participate. So, you’re also asking “Did you get the Swarm badge?” Yes, we were one of 45 venues to achieve it. Did we beat Pune, India? No. But really, deep down, is that what the whole event was about? I don’t think so. I honestly think it shows what social media can accomplish and what people can accomplish when they work together for a joint cause. If you want to get somewhat highbrow, I truly think it showcases the power of belief in each other and how positive action really can lift people up.

So, tell me, did you attend a Foursquare Day party? (whether it was ours or elsewhere). What did you think? How was your experience? I would be interested to know (and if you attended ours, I’m sure the host and other sponsors really want to hear your thoughts). I had a blast and really enjoyed the evening of fun & fellowship. I hope you can say the same.


Today’s guest post comes from Michele Sarzana of Milan, Italy!

In the wonderful atmosphere of Fuorisalone 2011, it has been held the Milan Foursquare Day event. With the effort of few passionate people and the constant support of VML Milan, Ambito 5 and Hagakure, we were able to organize a cool event that succeeded in the goal of uniting a lot of our favorite social network addicts (there will be 260 unique check-ins in the evening, a record for the italian scene) and also many brands interested in understanding and joining the great world of geolocalization.

There were many companies present at the event; Ceres, Olivia & Marino, LetsBonus, Sony Ericsson, Mi chiamo NERD, FASTWEB, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Italia, Videonbox, ADCI, Direct Line and Y&R, each one of them offered gadgets to anyone who checked in at the venue and redeemed the specials purposely created for the event.

At sunset in Via Tortona 37 the first curious and interested guests started wondering through the pavilions set up around the Tweet Bar: with a beer, a game of cards, a few pins and a few talks, it was easy to get almost 180 simultaneous check-ins. More and more people kept stopping by, asking questions, and many guests downloaded the application and registered on the spot, to be able to unlock at the first check-in the famous Swarm Badge.

The lights of the evening shone, literally, in the center of the scene where it rose the magnificent foosball table that has been Foursquare branded. The pitch has been the main event of the evening with a wonderful tournament that lasted until late in the evening and that had seen the participation of 32 teams of crazy couples that aimed at the final prize: 2 brand-new Sony Ericsson Xpleria Arc.

In the same contest of the event we launched our project deeply linked to Foursquare that is taking a more definite and complete shape day by day: FoursquareLand!

In conclusion, it has been a cool and interesting night that showed us how Italian social community is growing and getting stronger. On our behalf, lots of fun and one promise: we will be there again next year!



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