Foursquare Day as a concept has quickly gone from a quirky idea to a global party. During that time, there has been a lot of confusion about what Foursquare Day is and why any one individual, business, or community should get involved. As I wrote in this post, Foursquare Day is more than just checking in, it is a day to celebrate what social media means for all of us.
This community guide is by no means complete. Nor should it be consider a list of rules. Please be as creative as you want to be when gathering on April 16. However, here at Foursquare Day HQ we have been getting a lot of questions from people in cities all over the world asking what they should do to establish Foursquare Day where they live. So this is meant to be series of helpful ideas to help get you started.
Exclude no one. Not everyone is Foursquare user, either because they don’t like Geo-location, or because they prefer Gowalla, SCVNGR, Yelp or others. But these people can still participate by using Facebook or Twitter to talk about social media. You can also invite those who are unsure about social media to your swarm parties and talk to them in casual way about what social media is and how it can be used.
Reach out to both users and venues. One of the beautiful things about Foursquare is that there are benefits for both community members and local businesses. Users play the game by competing for mayorships and earning badges. Businesses get free advertising and are able to develop a stronger relationship with their clients and customers. To make your community’s Foursquare Day successful, you want to make sure you have a plan to reach out to these groups independently. Communicate with existing Meetups and other social organizations. Also make sure you involve the Chamber of Commerce and other business networking groups. Remember to include virtual businesses that may choose to offer a discount or special service on April 16.
Go Broad and Deep. While setting up the Foursquare Day in Tampa Bay, we wanted to strike a balance between a diverse, neighborhood venues and one giant centralized swarm party. We decided that the best approach is to have the day broken up into two phases. The first part of the day is dedicated to all of the funky neighborhood places that people frequent. Users are encouraged to go explore their community with friends and check in at local shops, parks, museums, and anywhere else that they like. The second part of the day is the Swarm Party, where you try to get as many people as you can tin one spot to hang out, have fun, and earn a swarm badge. In Tampa we are swarming at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, but you really could throw your swarm party anywhere.
Establish a central information hub. We will do our best to provide an updated world-wide Foursquare event list on http://4sqday.com. But you should consider establishing a Facebook page or website for your community, as many cities such as North Andover have already done. Invite both individuals and businesses to join and talk about their plans on the big day.
Involve Causes and Charities. Foursquare Day is a great time to get the word out for your favorite cause. For example, we are going to use Foursquare Day to draw attention to the Don’t Twive campaign to decrease driving while texting. As people are going from place to place to check in, this seems like a good time to remind them to be safe behind the wheel. You so almost anything to support charitable organizations, such as flash mob a community center that you’d like to draw attention to or have a food drive at your swarm party. Just think about some way your group could give back to the community.
Obviously, this list only briefly scratches the surface of what is possible during Foursquare Day. That fact that we are celebrating at all is proof enough that a small group of people can organize any type of activity they set their mind to, even in a short period of time.
So what are you doing on April 16? We’d love to find out about the events and parties going on. Use the #4sqday hashtag to keep us and everyone informed!
For more resources, check out this page: http://blog.4sqday.com/resources/