Thanks to everyone’s hard work in getting the word out 4sqday received lots of press attention this year, over twice as much as last year! Take a look at our press page to see the massive amount of coverage 4sqday 2011 achieved.
Here are just a few highlights:
If we missed anything please send it our way by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Our next guest post comes from Sarah Lee, of Kalamazoo, MI. She is a total rockstar!
Foursquare Kalamazoo hosted its first Foursquare Day celebration recently with a two-day event packed with activities, specials and plenty of swag. Since Foursquare Day was on a Saturday, we wanted to build some hype leading up to the day itself to get businesses and local users aware of it by beginning the festivities on the Friday before it.
However before all the festivities took place, several things took place to help bring attention to Foursquare and Foursquare Day itself. As many other cities in the U.S. have taken the lead in proclaiming April 16 Foursquare Day, Kalamazoo followed suit and asked social media aficionado City of Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell to declare April 16 Foursquare Day. We received our proclamation officially on March 30 and it was read on April 6 (Check out video proclamation here).
Next we talked to several businesses to claim their venue on Foursquare and offer a special on Friday during the festivities and also on Foursquare Day itself. Daniel Proczko from Apt2Labs and myself (Sarah Lee) actively pursued businesses downtown and surrounding areas, meeting with business owners and walking them through the venue claim process as well as setting up Foursquare campaigns. The official tally: More than 25 businesses claimed their venues and 14 businesses offered Foursquare Day specials.
As part of our groups (TweetUp Kalamazoo and Foursquare Kalamazoo) goal to have important community conversations through social engagement, we thought this would be a great opportunity to spread social good on Foursquare Day itself. We ran a breakfast food donation drive for Ministry with Community, a local community-based organization that provides food, daytime shelter and other basic services to central Kalamazoo’s homeless, poor, mentally ill and hard-to-serve adults. A hot heavy breakfast meal was uncommon for the members of the organization to experience and this was a great treat for many of them. Approximately $350 in breakfast food items were donated which comprised of a 30 pound box of bacon, 20 dozen eggs, packages of sausage links, dozens of jars of jam and honey, and a dozen cartons of orange juice to name a few.
On Friday we kicked off the festivities beginning at 5 p.m. with a tweetup featuring Stanford Smith from Pure Michigan as a guest presenter talking about tourism and social media. We had more than 30 people in attendance and we gained more people throughout the evening. Then followed by a progressive party to The Union Cabaret, Old Burdick’s, Harvey’s On The Mall, Central City Tap House and The Bureau. The final stop of the evening at The Bureau was a sneak preview of a new coworking space in downtown Kalamazoo that will be finished by late spring. To make the progressive party a little more engaging, we created a QR code scavenger hunt where participants had to find specific items that contained QR code clues at the different stops; some were hidden in pictures at the restaurants/pubs. Prizes were awarded to winners of the scavenger hunt, which included gift cards and certificates to Celebration! Cinema, Fontana Chamber Arts performance, Millennium Restaurant Group and Foursquare Day swag. For the crazy late night owls, a few of us went for breakfast at 2 a.m. at Crow’s Nest.
The following day on Saturday, a few of us volunteered to serve breakfast at 8 a.m. to the members of Ministry with Community – the donated breakfast items were served on this day. Staff at Ministry with Community cooked the breakfast food items and we helped with smaller tasks such as setting up the tables, scooping jam and peanut butter into individual servings, cutting fresh fruit, pouring juice into serving containers, serving plates of food to the members at the tables, but most of all connecting with the members. We served more than 120 members that morning ranging from families with small children to people with disabilities. Many members approached us and thanked us for providing breakfast that morning. We also learned a lot about Ministry with Community’s work with members and invited us back to help in the kitchen once again. Later towards noon, we met up at Studio Grill for a Foursquare Day lunch meetup and we got to meet folks that didn’t make it out to the festivities the night before.
Overall, we thought the celebrations went very well. In fact we got a fair amount of media coverage prior to the events that brought more awareness to our group and also to the Foursquare mobile application. People who came enjoyed themselves and also made a few new friends on Foursquare while earning some badges such as Player Please! and of course the Foursquare Day badge. We also gave away Foursquare badge buttons, made by Exquisite Corpse Gallery, and cool exclusive Foursquare Day Kalamazoo t-shirts designed by Andranika Tkachuk. We surely could not have pulled everything off without the help of so many volunteers and the support of great local businesses.
People to thank:
Dan Proczko – for the t-shirt hook up, designing posters/fliers, and getting businesses on board with Foursquare
Jeff Ray – for helping to set the overall vision for the festivities and developing the QR codes for the scavenger hunt
Becca Altman – for supporting all the pre-planning tasks of the festivities and driving up to Grand Rapids to pick up the t-shirts!
Constanza Aguirre – for buying last minute breakfast items with cash donations we received and helping with whatever we needed help with to make this happen
Andranika Tkachuk – for awesome t-shirt design
Mayor Bobby Hopewell –for working with us and helping us get the proclamation done
Exquisite Gallery Corpse – for making buttons in a short amount of time
Ministry with Community – for working with us the donation drive and also educating us on an important service in our community
The Vernon Group – for allowing us to show a sneak preview of The Bureau
The Wine Loft – for hosting our tweetup for the past one year
All the anonymous sponsors – thank you!!!
Today’s guest post comes from @MrShri of @4sqPune. Shri has been a great advocate for Foursquare Day since the very beginning and – dare I say it – a friend. I’m glad to feature his post and look froward to meeting him IRL sometime soon.
Having founded on the 1st Foursquare Day, we folks in Pune had quiet an image to live up too. Since 4/16/2010 @4sqPune has evangelised Foursquare to more than 1000 individuals in Pune, many businesses run their specials with the support of our Super Users and moreover we’ve unlocked not one, but two Swarm Badges! This is one fun city to be in and also the most active on foursquare.
This year we formed a new core team to manage the event which would boast of being the most different if not completely in India. The concept was to have a Social Media Unconference with Speakers from Pune’s Social Media startups, power users and even brands using 4sq specials. The team worked out a nice special with the venue and we even managed to get some sponsorships, the best support came from @SulaWines & @Faasos 🙂
The Speakers captured everyone’s attention in the relaxed format… having beers & talking social media. The only let down was that we could not unlock the Super Swarm badge due to many technical reasons and not having WiFi (bummer!). This year looks even better with a strong foursquare community and cities like Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore joining in. What more? We love Foursquare Day and promise to only make it better.
@4sqPune 4sqDay core team – @MrShri @RaghavTewary @DezineZync @Anushka1210
The gust posts continue with one by Karly Gaffney of @4sqdayYYZ
This was our second year throwing the 4sqDay Toronto party and we’re thrilled to announce 2011 was a huge success. Compared to the 20-30 attendees last year, we saw 150-200 people through the door this year at Firkin on King. Even in the cold and rainy weather, Foursquare lovers came out in droves to have a few drinks, share conversation and win some giveaways from local businesses.
The self-proclaimed Foursquare addicts who formed the 4SqDay Toronto committee worked their butts off to get some fantastic local sponsors and media coverage in order to create some buzz and ensure we would fill the room. The sponsors included The Location Based Marketing Association, Virgin Mobile Canada, Canadian Stage, Chapters Indigo, Firkin on King, TIFF, Buca Restaurant, iSkin, Evoke Spa, Rypple, Opening Night Flowers, My City Lives, Love Sewing, StickerYou, Putting Edge and Institute of Communication Agencies / Advertising Week Canada. To name a few of the awesome giveaways; free iSkin product for every person who walked in the door, two autographed Tim Burton books from TIFF, a Samsung Galaxy Vibrant phone from Virgin Mobile Canada and we can’t forget to mention the great folks from Mill Street Brewery who came out and did tastings throughout the night (free!)
We tried our hardest to get an official proclamation from the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. He wasn’t able to provide us with a ‘proclamation’ because of timing but gave us an official congratulatory letter, we still think it’s a win. Next year, that proclamation is ours!
We made our attendees work (a little) in order to win the giveaways from our sponsors. This included tweeting Tim Burton trivia, tracking down hidden Foursquare badge pins to win a limited number of Rypple sweaters and of course the person with the most Foursquare points won a beautiful hand made map of Toronto from My City Lives.
We also had the very lovely Julie B from Julie Heather Photography donate her time and talent to shoot the silliness of our party-goers. We even provided crowns for people to wear in the photos to pay homage to the much coveted mayorship crown that we all strive for at our favourite venues.
I’m very proud of my fellow Foursquare nerds for promoting the heck out of our event on their own digital channels before and during the event. We even had our venue ‘Firkin on King’ trending on Twitter at one point during the night. I know Toronto Foursquare lovers will be just as supportive as we plan our even BIGGER 2012 party. (I’m thinking live music…Foursquare Day Fest?)
Oh là là! Today I arrived at work to find in my inbox a guest post by Elena Garshina of 4sqdayParis! Sounds like everyone had a great time and we hope that 4sqday has helped other 4sq communities grow and strengthened like this one in France. If you want to share your stories 4sqday stories, send them to email@example.com.
First of all, I’d like to say that over the past two years Foursquare has become very present in our everyday lives. With 4sq, we are traveling and exploring new cities, gaining new badges and ousting each other for mayorships. In a few words, we really love this tool! So, obviously we try to keep track of the latest Foursquare news and updates. This is why, when it came to organize a 4sq Day event in France, we naturally decided to make our humble contribution.
Last year, a few Foursquare fans gathered on 4/16 to meet Naveen who was in Paris then (this guy rocks! He’s left his tips in almost all of the biggest French airports). But it was a private party, rather than a real swarm. Surprisingly, despite a significant number of French users there has been no real 4sq community in France so far. So, at first there was a very modest number of subscribers to the 4sq Day meetup in Paris. But thanks to the great efforts of 4sq and 4sqday teams, fans in Paris finally got together, being eager to unlock one of the swarm badges. And what is more, Paris became one of the first cities in the world to gather 50 participants to the local 4sq Day event.
It was really a special day! Actually, everything was perfect: nice weather, great venue (one of the most charming squares in Paris), and of course Parisian 4sq community members who were in high spirits. We were checking in, talking, having fun, and even playing foursquare (there were some real professionals among us!). We also held a drawing to give away the nice 4sq Day t-shirts. As far as I know, every winner got the right size.
And even though we could not unlock the ‘epic swarm’ badge this time, it will be ours sooner or later. Promised!
P.S. We can’t wait to know how other cities worldwide celebrated this 4sqday. It might be very helpful to us for next year’s swarm!
What amazing day we had on Saturday! We here at 4sqday HQ have read and seen so many fantastic stories that took place all over the world. Over the next few weeks we are going to highlight some of them. The first, submitted by David Krumlauf, is touching. Lots of people have 4sqday birthdays, but this one was a little special...
I love foursquare and have used it for almost 2 years now. Foursquare is an essential tool at conferences and my wife loves seeing where I go when I’m out of town. So I’m all excited about Foursquare Day. I have the official 4Sq Day t-shirt and arranged to meet some friends at 4:16pm to celebrate the day.
I woke up early Saturday morning as per usual and saw a text message from my son Zeb saying that his wife Melinda was in labor and they were heading to the hospital. As you can imagine, I was so excited I had to post this news on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It took a while for me to realize that I was going to get my second grandchild on 4sq Day. I was really excited then!
More posts to spread the excitement and lots of replies of congratulations followed. My wife Joan and I are about to head into the hospital when my son texts that it’s a girl. We’re all so happy for them and pleased that our gorgeous granddaughter Jade will have a baby sister. We arrive at the hospital to a joyous scene with lots of family present to welcome our new granddaughter Sienna Lee.
Of course, the first thing I do is Check In then post a picture of me wearing my 4sq. Day t-shirt holding my granddaughter who is only 2 hours old. She might as well know now what kind of grandfather she has.
What an amazing day! We all couldn’t be happier to have a healthy new baby in the family and being born on 4sq Day makes even more memorable. Thanks to all the 4square folks for being so supportive and making foursquare the amazing tool it is.
If you have a 4sqday story that you want to share, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Happy Foursquare Day!!!! For the past 24 hours, I’ve been watching the Twitter stream of all the people getting their 4sqday 2011 badges. People are really excited. Amazing. Awesome. Stunning. 4sqday really is a holiday. Tons of media coverage and Googling “Foursquare Day” brings in over half a million hits for the first time ever!
I didn’t expect it to be like this. I was really burned out after 4sqday 2010. It was hard work. At the time, foursquare didn’t know what to make of us. The Tampa 4sqday team (especially Jessica Barnett), worked nonstop for 3 weeks to get the word out and scale 4sqday from a goofy optometry blog post to a global party. And we did.
But by 4/17, I was sick of it. I was VERY reluctant to have another 4sqday. I was perfectly willing to let it fade away, being remembered as one awesome, quirky day rather than attempt manufacture some sort of nostalgic, obligatory toast a year later.
But then an amazing thing happened.
People started reaching out to us, asking what 4sqday2011 was going to be like. They were asking how they could be involved. Foursquare communities didn’t exist prior to 4sqday2010 but were now strong and vibrant and ready for April 16th, 2011. We now have a foursquare media, thanks to blogs like About Foursquare, the About Foursquare Podcast, 4sqINDY’s 4sqchat, and others who try to get foursquare information out to users. Significantly, Walter Elly, Portsmouth Foursquare uber-organizer, became much more involved in global 4sqday planning and an implementation. He ensured that 4sqday had a presence at SXSWi. His vision, skill, and relentlessly positive attitude have been instrumental in making 4sqday11 a success.
Due to all of the creative, fun foursquare fans around the world, planning and implementing 4sqday has been fun. I LOVE the fantastic community logos that have sprung up (Atlanta and Groningen are two examples.) The video responses from fans all over the word to 4sqINDY’s request are very fun to watch. If you haven’t seen them all, watch here.
The number and diversity of city proclamations has been outstanding. It shows the influence that social media users and local independent business can have in their community and it put mayors in communication with social media leaders. Perhaps most importantly it is HUGE signal to other mayors and community leaders that they need to get with the program!
And let’s not forget the charitable causes. 4sqday events collected food, donated money to Japan disaster victims, supported the Red Cross, Humane Society and much more. We love the fact that 4sqday helped contribute to these causes in a spontaneous, grassroots way.
And truly, none of this would be possible without foursquare. And they have been FANTASTIC. They have worked hard to find that balance between being respectful of the grassroots nature of 4sqday and supporting the day. This is NOT easy to do, but they have worked nonstop since SXSWi to help make 4sqday awesome. The 4sqday badge and shirts were great! Sending out 125 boxes of swag all over the world for free on short notice was amazing. Party horns – nice touch!
Everyone at foursquare has been super, but special shout outs go to Anna and Nina. You can find them in foursquare’s very sweet and funny 4sqday video. If you haven’t seen it, do so now.
So what is next for 4sqday? Well, we don’t know exactly. The 4sqday team has to catch up on some sleep, go through a lot of email, and spend some time with our families. Then we’ll start laying the groundwork for April 16, 2012.
In the meantime, here are a few things you can do:
- Keep growing your foursquare community!
- Let us know if you’d like to receive email about future 4sqday events.
- Connect with the dynamic people who attended 4sqday meetups.
- Send any links to any 4sqday news coverage to email@example.com
- Submit any 4sqday artwork, photos, videos for us to share with others here.
- Help us update the Wikipedia page. 2011 needs to be represented!
- And of course, keep checking in!
Thanks, everyone 4sqday 2011 has been a blast! THANK YOU!