Okay, so you have started the 4sqDay planning process, and you have an event location and time locked down. You found a few interested local businesses that would like to help with the celebration and some great foursquare users to help out too. Maybe, you even have your mayor penciled in for your city’s proclamation! This is great to hear, but now what? Certainly, we cannot just sit back and wait for the pieces to [hopefully] fall into place. Instead, we need to be sure that we make it the best 4sqDay celebration ever. How do we do that? How best should we promote and follow-up? Here are my tips:
- Use Social Media! Sure, this is an obvious one, but we cannot forget to really use social media to promote the event. You might have your MeetUp.com event all scheduled, but I would recommend adding those event pages on TwtVite and Facebook! In fact, you might not even have all of the details for your event completely in place, but, as long as you have the basic framework put together, you should look to set up event pages so your community foursquare and social media fanatics can both know about the event and help promote it through their channels too! Facebook event pages allow you to begin to invite your friends. Once your friends confirm, they will re-share the event information! Also, while I would not recommend over-sharing, I would even throw in a few shouts via foursquare. While the native shout-only feature is not around anymore, there’s nothing wrong with using a third-party app like HootSuite to shout the event information (and links) once or twice!
- Contact Local Media! It does not hurt to start connecting with your local media outlets. If you have a local newspaper, look them up online and reach out to them via their social media presences (if they have them… let’s hope for their sake that they do). Getting that added coverage before the event can really help promote it and get the best possible turnout. Plus, it would not hurt to get some added coverage during the event! A plug or two in the local paper or even on the television newscast is still pretty cool!
- Follow Up With Businesses! Business owners and managers are very busy, so you should not sit back and just wait for them to contact you. Of course, this does not mean that you should be calling them each and every day either. Find some balance between contacting too much and too little! Keeping them in the loop along the way can really make all the difference, especially if they are playing a big part in your event. Communication is key!
- Think About Non-Profits! Sure, you want to make sure that your local businesses are involved, and you might even want to have giveaways or something. Certainly, you want to inform your fellow foursquare enthusiasts about the event so that they can come and celebrate 4sqDay with you. But… we cannot forget about this opportunity to give back if possible. Last year, Elaine and I attended the 4sqDay celebration in Atlanta. Chad Elkins, founder of 4sqATL, did a great job of planning everything out, and he even brought in two great non-profit causes! He did his part to help use the event as a way to give back to the community. We (at 4sqKennesaw) will try to follow his 2011 actions by giving back to a local charity or two! Hey, if it is a great idea, why not borrow it, right?
- Delegate! With any event, it is always best to have a core group of people working together to make the event turn out as best as possible. Don’t be afraid to delegate to and get feedback from others. It is nearly impossible to do it all by yourself, and it normally is much easier to get everything done when you involve the help of others!
If you follow these five additional tips, your planning (and event) should run a lot smoother! You still have some time to get the event pieced together, but be sure to utilize all of your resources to make that process much easier. Reach out to your fellow foursquare users and local media to help promote the event and remind people as we get closer to the event!
The foursquare party at SXSW was INSANE. I was lucky enough (a.k.a. quick enough) to be on the RSVP list, so I got in easily and did not have to wait in a super long line. The Cedar Street Courtyard was an amazing venue for the party! Beers, wine and wells were free and DJ Bo Bliz was aaaaamazing! I ended up dancing all night with Anas and Simone from American Express and my new sxswbff April. They could part-ay. LocaModa was capturing our tweets and before you knew it, we were on the stage and the courtyard was jam-packed. It reminded me of a 4sqDay party. Here’s some pictures and video. Wish we could have all danced together!
#4sqDay is coming! And I’m really anxious about this day (almost since last year lol)!
We’re here setting the last things about the day, and trying to spread this event not only for foursquarers from the city I live in, but also to the cities near here.
Our meetup is growing, we’re 8th in the meetup ranking of cities!
We’re 2 people away from New York city and we’re very proud because of it. We’re enjoying a lot of this “competition game” between cities – this is making us laugh a lot.
We have a facebook group to discuss foursquare stuffs called “foursquarers” and everybody is invited to join, and welcome to contribute with ideas for 4sqDay! Also, a Twitter account @foursquarer,s and a blog to promote the day and foursquare things!
Here, we are having the party at night, 8 p.m., at Santa Úrsula Shopping Mall. There, we’re gonna teach what foursquare is (for the ones who doesn’t know yet), talk about foursquare news and make a big networking to make new friends!
We’re gonna have a unique Special for this day, but it’s still a secret! And we’re trying to get gifts for all the participants!
How are things at you place? Tell us! We’d like to know!
On Sunday of SXSWi, I met up with Eric Leist, emerging tech strategist and co-host of the About Foursquare podcast and Tech Interruption and Benedict Corpuz, flight attendant and true mayor of the San Francisco Airport, to record the weekly About Foursquare Podcast. Shaky cellphone pic:
As an enthusiast, I’m a fan of this weekly podcast, and highly encourage other users to listen. Eric and Ching Yu highlight important foursquare/LBS news of the week, discuss new badges and offer great insight and interviews. It’s really great to listen to while at work – if you don’t have a regular podcast habit, this could be your gateway drug.
This was my 4th time as a guest on the podcast, which you can listen to here. Comment on the post and get a chance to win a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Right before we started recording, I spit my gum out into a foursquare napkin that I picked up with coffee at the foursquare court, but didn’t use so I pocketed it. Eric and Benedict were very amused with my fangirlness.
With foursquare Day rapidly approaching, it is not too late to start planning out an event in your community. Heck, the original 4sqDay (2010) was put together in merely a few weeks, so it is never too late to plan your community’s event.
- Connect with other foursquare users: I would recommend that you start talking and brainstorming with your fellow foursquare users. First, talk with those folks in your community who use social media. Second, talk with your other foursquare friends from other communities to see what they are doing to celebrate 4sqDay 2012. Sharing ideas is a great way to get started. As always, I recommend participating in the weekly #4sqCHAT that is held on Twitter each and every Monday evening at 9pm EST (GMT -5:00); as a matter of fact, this week’s topic is all about 4sqDay!
- Contact your city’s mayor: One of the coolest things that has happened in many cities is for its mayor to proclaim April 16th as 4sqDay! This is something that is happening more and more and is becoming a big part of foursquare Day celebrations. But, of course, mayors are busy, so now is the time to reach out and connect with them. I’d recommend looking them up on Facebook and Twitter (and even foursquare) and communicate through those channels. You might want to shoot him or her one link or two about foursquare and 4sqDay! You will find that most mayors are happy to share in your enthusiasm! If you get your mayor to make the proclamation, be sure to let us know about all about it!
- Claim your event on Meetup.com: Once you begin putting your event together, it is time to promote it. First things first… you should claim your event on MeetUp.com. Why? Well, that is the site that foursquare headquarters uses to track events and count participation. If you claim your event there and send in your information, you can possibly even get some swag sent to you from foursquare to better boost your event!
- Connect with local businesses: Now is the time to reach out to local businesses. Spread the word about foursquare and how it can help their business. Remind them that it is free to claim their event. Then, tell them about your super cool party and encourage them to be part of it! Since it is going to be 4sqDay, I would recommend encouraging your local businesses to offer something extra special that day; many in my area have offered unique 4sqDay specials when you check-in to their venues on Foursquare Day!
- Promote your event: Now, it is time to promote your event. Let your foursquare (and social media) friends know all about it. Remind the business community. Tell your local papers about your event. Tweet and tweet some more! Also, remember that some people do not use or know about MeetUp.com, so be sure to create event pages where your community engages; some great options to consider would be twtvite and on Facebook (using your events page). Those tools will help you spread the word about your community’s event, and it also helps you keep track of the number of people who are planning to attend your event!
So, there you have it – a quick and easy way to get started as you plan a 4sqDay celebration. Let us know how your planning is doing, and check back for more planning tips along the way!
A week has passed since I drove to Austin and experienced the melee of SXSW and I’m still processing everything. SXSWi was overwhelming in scope: the influx of technology, ideas and extreme time organization was mentally and physically draining. Figuring out where to go, what to do, which startup to learn more about all at the same time avoiding the downpour with a backpack increasingly becoming heaver with free t-shirts, stickers, and koozies was downright exhausting. That being said, it was heavenly and I would return in a heartbeat. I could geek out about unlocking a new badge and not embarrass the people around me. In fact, I unlocked 20 badges while in Austin. Here’s a video of 19 of them. I unlocked the Super Swarm badge retroactively at the foursquare party and didn’t realize it until later.
Some of my favorites: SXSW Virgin (my favorite design of all time), Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and Too Cool for School. I also liked that foursquare organized it into a separate category in the badge trophy case. Alas, I didn’t unlock all the SXSW badges, but I think I put in a good effort.
Foursquare was one of my favorite tools to use at SXSW. I changed my friends list to “nearby” could see where my friends were checked in and reach out to them to meet up a later time – I found friends I didn’t even know were going to be in Austin. There were several opportunities of squarendipity. I used foursquare lists and foursquare tips to find places to eat and the best dishes. I dare-say it was the most helpful tool at for me at SXSW.
I did try out some of the other hyped location-based services debuting at SXSWi, but found the constant notifications annoying and a drain on my phone battery and disabled them after the first day. Perhaps it’s just me, but I may be too introverted to use shared social graph features to introduce myself to strangers. I felt uneasy about it – and if a progressive LBS user is a tad resistant about that level of connectivity, perhaps these apps miss the mark somehow. I did get to respond to Localmind inquiries for the first time and felt useful in that sense. So, not a complete wash! On a sadder note, I saw my first “Highlight Us!” Gowalla cling on the day they closed down.
I’m already wanting to prepare myself for SXSWi 2013; nerd spring break is going to become an annual tradition.
We are happy to announce that foursquare has released the 2012 #4sqDay badge, art design and t-shirt. We’re super proud to unveil the new #4sqDay 2012 logo and confirm that users will be able to unlock a 4sqDay badge by checking in on April 16th, 2012! We have exactly one month until #4sqDay, and so many communities have a lot of awesome events planned.
This year, we are also bringing back the friendly competition on Meetup. If you are a community leader, be sure to sign up your city on Meetup and start getting those RSVPs. You can check the leader board here. At the time of this post, Seoul is leading the world with the most people committed to #4sqDay. Last year, of the top 10 cities with the most RSVPs, 7 were International.
Of course, these types of things don’t just happen overnight! Our hats are off to foursquare for their amazing efforts and for showing such tremendous support to the foursquare community. It’s amazing what we can all accomplish together and we’re proud to be part of this community!
- Find your community on Meetup and RSVP
- Check the Worldwide Meetup Leader Board and see if you are winning
- If you are not winning, promote your city and event (if you are winning, keep it up)
- Get your Mayor to Proclaim April 16th as #4sqDay (not sure how?)
- Tweet us @4sqDay that you are going to a #4sqDay event
- Buy the #4sqDay 2012 t-shirt (not yet available)