Tweeting, Checking In, and Texting to Win

Picture courtesy of ViralBlog

While I’m not a huge proponent of foursquare on the level of personal use (I can’t honestly say I think people care about me filling up my gas, or going to the grocery store, or flying to Topeka, Kansas), I am intrigued by the idea that you can check in at an event via your phone. Foursqare’s application in this sense allows users to check-in upon arrival and sometimes digitally receive cool stuff- like free drinks at a bar or a free appetizer.I’m not sold quite yet on this fad catching on fully- with the older generations lacking a consistent knowledge of how to use newfangled technology (like smart phones) and not having to walk uphill to school…both ways (cars were produced for the masses by the late 1800’s after all).The ramifications, or rather, potentially positive results of this social media evolution are limitless. An interesting application for this technology would have event planners tracking guests who check in to events and entering them into a contest. Infinitely less messy than time consuming and traditional avenues of name and information collecting.

Target’s recent after-hours event here in Columbus, Ohio allowed for people to text a code “shopping59” to the company itself. Immediately, texters received replies back automatically if they’d been chosen to win a prize. For 3 seconds of texting you could win gift certificates or a flat screen tv! Let’s just say you could count me in!

Twitter has also made the quick migration onto the event scene. Hashtags offering event organizers to see who is talking about their event- and what is being said before, during, and after the event. Throughout the duration of the event, the social media platform has allowed event planners to respond in a timely manner to problems their guests notice- is the room too cold? is the music too low? food not being served fast enough?

As an event planner, I can see the inherent benefits of using each one of these platforms to enhance the physical aspects of an event. However, it’s hard for me to get out of the mindset of an event planner and step into the role of the guest — so please tell me what you think!

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