300-year-old industry implements innovative tech trends

A2Z and FABTech Canada Release Mobile App

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FABTECH CANADA 2014 will be taking place shortly, and a2z, Inc. plays an important role in helping the event to succeed through innovation and accessibility. FABTECH CANADA is the embodiment of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), the American Welding Society (AWS), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and Chemical Coaters Association International with SME, who have been “serving to the advancement and growth of fabricating, welding, metal forming and manufacturing” for the last 300 years. Together, they bring these elements into manifestation to produce an annual event that is exciting and unique to Canadians in this industry. Through growth and the evolution of tech trends, innovation is key to successful progress, especially for such a traditional trade in a “high-tech” world.

According to a recent press release (March 11, 2014), a2z, Inc. is teaming up with FABTECH to make this year even more successful than the last. a2z, Inc., a leader in event management and marketing software solutions, has designed a customized ChirpE Native Mobile App for the FABTECH CANADA 2014 event that will take place at the Toronto Congress Centre on March 18-22, 2014. The app is available cross-platform, including Android and iOS and is also available on all “internet-enabled smartphones.”

Because FABTECH CANADA is Canada’s “only exclusive fabricating, welding, metal forming and finishing event,” it dedicates itself to provide all the tools needed to “improve productivity, increase profits, and find new ways to grow in today’s competitive business environment.” In taking that concept to the digital world, it is imperative to reflect the company’s direction through mobile capabilities in bringing productivity to this event.

The a2z-powered ChirpE mobile solution allows for “on-the-go access” to event exhibitor listings, full with interactive floorplans and up-to-date conference scheduling. There are also features for event announcements and a personalized planner so that attendees can create their own customized schedules with notes and calendar capabilities. This particular app is superior to others in its field because it allows for live synchronization with the conference website and provides exhibitors and attendees with an enhanced event experience and to-the-minute announcements. Furthermore, they can use productivity tools to create lists of favorite exhibitors and map out their locations at the event.

This app allows for FABTECH CANADA 2014 to be marketed through app marketplaces and allow for sponsorship possibilities within itself. Mobile Marketing options, which also include Internet Marketing tactics, may also be made available to bring this event to the forefront of many skilled traders in the Canadian region of the World. It also allows for awareness through Word of Mouth and the app’s presence in the mobile marketplace to encourage International attendees in this and future years. With the collaboration of a2z and FABTECH, it is highly likely that we will see a trend amongst future generations of skilled tradesmen and women in incorporating new technologies with traditional practices.

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Elements of Internet Marketing: Incentives.

Elements of Internet Marketing: Incentives (2013).

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DISCLAIMER: Every once in awhile, we cover “Elements of Internet Marketing” and why they are important for everyone to be aware or reminded of. Some of these topics are not new, but they are very important to consumers and service providers to repeatedly encounter and understand. Today’s “Element” is related to the topic of “Incentives.” Enjoy!

Everyone likes “FREE.” As a matter of fact, it is pretty likely that nobody is going to turn down “free.” At the same time, most of our modern society hates doing anything for free… including giving up personal information. This reason comes from past abuse from naive and unethical businesses.

No one likes SPAM. While it may be free, it is not friendly. Think of it as a demon that needs “exorcised” immediately. No one wants a “buddy” that will haunt them and annoy them for the rest of their lives.

In business, when we give someone something free, it likely comes with a price. We usually expect some sort of “buzz” to be created, because one person will tell the next about this “cool” new “thing” that they got for free. The next person will seek out a free item as well. This is Word of Mouth Marketing. An incentive is given for word about our brand to be spread. It is as simple as that!

As with many successful marketing actions, many businesses are against giving things away for free or taking the risk. Yet, they will complain that they aren’t making the income that they would like for the overall business venture. This is where the problem remains for them. After all, you have to take risks and do something new in order to succeed.

There are many businesses, on the other hand, that thrive through incentives. Incentives often come in the form of products, services and trials. Yet, some businesses have been benefiting from creating an actual monetary reward for their consumer base. Companies like DealsPlus pay users per deal that they list on the site, creating content. They also pay for articles to be written on their blog, coupon posts and other actions that take place.

Other sites give incentive rewards to those that refer users to become users on the site, through content generation and followers, and through referring new hires to the team. In the past, I personally worked with a company that paid college students a dollar to sign up as users on their site. They had to literally sign up through our laptop and mobile devices and confirm their accounts before being paid. These users became the most active on our site, because they had something to gain from it.

The downfall to incentive programs is what may lead consumers from becoming willing to participate in them freely. You see, so many ethical businesses have failed to adopt incentive programs, while more unethical practices have encouraged them. This is where the evil SPAM comes into play, as well as unauthorized charges to credit cards, scams, false contest and giveaway programs in attempts of collecting important information from clientele and so on. As business owners, we have to find a way to combat this, while including an incentive program into our marketing plans.

In including incentive programs into our marketing plans, we have to ensure participants that their private information is secured and won’t be sold, that they can trust us, and that participation is worth “the hassle.” Ensuring that our Brand Presence is intact and our reputation precedes us, we have a better chance of creating Brand Trust with our new potential consumers and those who use our products out of necessity.

If we hold contests and giveaways, we must be sure that we prove that it was a real contest and announce the actual winner in a public place (Online). Those that entered will be more lead to believe that it will be “better luck next time” and will more than likely participate in the future.

What some people fail to realize is that incentives may be open to everyone. But, the opportunity was a “privilege,” because not everyone will know about it until it is too late. It was a “privilege,” because the consumer has a 1-on-1 experience with the brand, as well.

Privilege leads to a personal story where the consumer is part of the overall story and history of the brand. This makes for Loyalty and Tenure. And if you are a business owner, what better incentive is there? Remember, incentives are everything if you can prove it is worth anything for your consumer to take action. Give a good call to action and you’re halfway there!

Some ways that incentives will help brands:

  • Brand Loyalty
  • Brand Trust
  • Word of Mouth
  • Viral Marketing
  • Guaranteed Funneling – Call to Action
  • Sign Ups
  • “Privilege”
  • Sales
  • Press Opportunity
  • SEO Opportunity
  • Brand Action
  • Cross Promotions
  • Sponsorships
  • Conversation
  • Social Activity (Comments, Conversation, Conversion into Customer, Likes/Followers, etc.)

NOTE TO MY READERS: The “Elements” section of The Examiner was created for YOU. Clients and readers are constantly messaging me with questions about specific topics. While I don’t consult for free, I do address their questions in general terms through these columns.

I invite you to ask questions about Internet Marketing, Social Branding and Event Marketing, as well as submit information about your upcoming projects, as related to the World of Internet Marketing. I will try to include them in my future releases. And, speaking of incentives, if you would like more “Elements,” tips, tricks and Internet Marketing-related news, please subscribe to my articles today!

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Will “Beamz by Flo Rida” be music to our ears?

Will "Beamz by Flo Rida" be music to our ears?

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Beamz Interactive has just announced a “Milestone Endorsement” and Licensing Deal with Rapper, Flo Rida, and this could be music to our ears and a very cool new experience for event goers and music enthusiasts everywhere — not just in Hip Hop and Rap Music!

Beamz Interactive, Inc. is an emerging, yet state-of-the-art company with something unique to offer those who love new ways of creating and presenting music to audiences on a regular basis. Beamz, specialized laser-controlled music technology, works in the fashion of traditional MIDI… only more advanced!

This machine is used by triggering specific commands with actual laser beams. As a matter of fact, technology by Beamz may very well replace modern DJ equipment and even instruments used by bands, especially during performance periods. The cool thing is that music can simply be played for enjoyment purposes, although the device is configured to allow for Advanced and Interactive Music Creation techniques.

Separate from “old school” MIDI technology, Beamz is Interactive. More on the product capabilities will be demonstrated through product release and performance of the new consumer product line, “Beamz by Flo Rida.” Beamz is known for prosumer editions of previous technologies, similar but unlike this new product line.

In a recent press release by Beamz and D3M Licensing Group, a Global Licensing Agent for Flo Rida, Flo Rida made a statement on the new product line: “With Beamz, everyone will be able to create and play music, not just listen to it. It’s hard to describe the feeling of making music on-the-fly with Beamz for the first time. It’s easy enough for anyone to play within minutes, yet sophisticated enough for artists and DJs to use on stage. I’ve been a follower of the Beamz product ever since I first got my hands on it, and I’m looking forward to working with Beamz to develop the ‘Beamz by Flo Rida’ product line.”

It’s easy enough for anyone to play within minutes, yet sophisticated enough for artists and DJs to use on stage. I’ve been a follower of the Beamz product ever since I first got my hands on it, and I’m looking forward to working with Beamz to develop the ‘Beamz by Flo Rida’ product line.”

In the meantime, Beamz is preparing for a massive takeover through this deal and ready to take force, especially through Digital Marketing means! To reach and encourage a “new generation of music enthusiasts and Flo Rida fans,” everything must be customized to fit their needs.

Beamz will work closely with Flo Rida to develop the new product line. From there, a series of commercials will be filmed and distributed via television and Social Media outlets. It is expected that viral distribution of these commercials would attract the attention of much of his fanbase and those interested in the product’s capabilities.

In the matters of Mobile Distribution, Flo Rida is set to be featured in the software application of Beamz technology for iPhone, iPad and Windows 8 devices. This software will include a library of Flo Rida’s very own music catalog and be converted into an Interactive format. Through Word of Mouth means and sharing capabilities, THIS is expected to attract users based on the usage of specific mobile devices and viral measures. Flo Rida fans may be further attracted to the signatured “Special Limited Edition Chrome” version of this product.

Due for furthered announcement in the second half of the 2013-year, in-depth details on the product will be released prior to final launch dates for the Beamz by Flo Rida devices and software.

Teasers are expected to hint to users via Social Media on the upcoming product in planting suspense and anticipation for the product’s commencement into markets all over! Currently, commercials are being slated to begin airing as of the third quarter in 2013 on select Television and Internet Distribution Channels.

On a personal note: I am excited about this new product and release. I can only imagine how live shows and performances will begin to evolve with the addition of this product into markets on a Global level. Aside from the Emulator, a see-through touchscreen “DJ Glass,” I would think this would bring a difference to the World of Electronic Music and anyone that uses a DJ that no longer has a traditional turntable setup.

It will bring art and performance back into the craft of DJing. I recently attended an event that a well-known-rapper-turned-DJ performed at and was very disappointed by witnessing two guys simply sitting on stage, at a desk, playing music for us. The crowd of many became a crowd of almost no one, quickly!

If Beamz were to have Flo Rida implement usage of their new product into his shows and live events prior to any media presentation, wonders could be worked for the brand. The element of curiosity will take over, and the “ohhhhhhh” factor will become even more sufficient upon media release.

Additionally, the feeling of personalization and privilege will lead to Brand Loyalty and Word of Mouth Marketing successes through allowing potential consumers to tell the Brand Story to their immediate friends and family via cell phone photo and video contributions to Social Media and Networks.

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Event marketing? Two words: Brand socially

Shorty Produkshins is #InternetMarketingOrlando. Social Branding, Digital Marketing and Public Relations.

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“Brand social,” this is the tagline of an Orlando-based Internet marketing company, known as Shorty Produkshins. Branding socially should be a common marketing objective found amongst industries around the globe. Through Web 3.0 and the “always on” culture that we encounter each day, social branding attributes to the evolution of how we successfully market our brands and do business in this new age.

According to HQSocialMedia.com, “80% of the top 100 fortune companies are using at least one social media profile to engage with their customers.”

Many of these companies are even including their own social communities within their pre-existing sites or link to an independent social network of brand enthusiasts. There are many benefits for this, especially if you own a company that is known for hosting events.

Taking social branding to a specific niche, event branding has become a necessity for venues, promoters and organizations as time decides our marketing destinies. The difference between a static website and an actual social network is far and many.

There are a few reasons that event branding is important:

  • To market the event, of course.
  • Calendar of Events and Schedules
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Link Wheels
  • Link Pyramids
  • Backlinks
  • Changes in time/location
  • Personalization & Interactivity
  • Information & Content Collection and Distribution
  • Investors & Sponsors
  • Updates
  • Connecting Event Goers
  • Converting Event Goers
  • Reminders
  • E-mail/SMS Lists
  • Blogs
  • Participation
  • Professionalism
  • Innovative
  • Invites through performers and event goers
  • Projections
  • Builds suspense and enthusiasm.
  • Testimonials
  • Brand Monitoring

In marketing the event, there are of course many items of importance. There are items that must take place regardless of a social presence or not. These items include but are not limited to press releases, event listings, article placements and supporters. In today’s world, a website is a must. If you don’t have this, people will forget about the site or remain confused as to what the event is or if they would like to participate.

Professionalism through a site is important. You must give the consumer an impressive first impression of the brand and event. The better the site looks, the better. The more innovative the site, the more likely your brand awareness will lead to brand interest and possibly brand loyalty.

Through a social network, especially one that users are able to connect through social logins (a simple connect to their Facebook and/or Twitter accounts), users are able to “become part of the event.”

Social networks give users a sense of personalization and interactivity. They are able to add and consume content, while simultaneously giving the brand feedback almost immediately about this content. It is also a way to monitor the brand’s reputation and to address any issues one may have about the brand.

The brand automatically has a street team intact on the online platform, because people tend to invite friends and family. Additionally, when they add this content, it will more than likely stay on the site, even if the user isn’t active. If this content is related to the event or brand, this strengthens the brand’s presence for this and future events. They can share this content within the site or offline through Twitter and Facebook. Videos and audio of performers and venue locations will attract brand interest.

Those commenting on content with statements like, “Oh, my goodness! That event was sooooo fun!” or “I love this artist!” could bring brand trust to new and existing consumers, because this institutes as a testimonial. Testimonials are very important to a brand and brand products. It shows demand and love for a brand. This helps build trust and a need to experience it on an individual basis.

Through constant updates, clicks, constant content additions, linking in, within and outside of the site, the infamous “Google Spyder” knows to check this site more frequently than it would a static site. This is the same reason that having a blog on a business site is often advised to business owners. These updates keep the site fresh, interactive and important to keeping users returning for more content.

This ensures their presence at your event, because they are reminded of the event, have gained high anticipation and curiosity, have been peer pressured into attending and have met others that will be — just in case they would have attended by themselves.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important, especially when “competing” with other events and brands that throw events on a regular basis. Through SEO, we raise our website in the rankings and hold higher visibility to the rest of the world. The higher we rise, the more our site is viewed with quality and trust.

Any links attached to this site will also gain trust by search engines and will be crawled, as well. Link Wheels and Link Pyramids are now formed through one-way, two-way and hierarchy backlinks. These are very important in dealing with quality scores and things of this nature. The more Link Wheels and Pyramids that can be built will lead to higher placement and, obviously, more traffic!

Another important item in successful SEO is “time spent on site” and “return vs. new visitors.” If a user returns to the site, that means they can trust the site. In turn, the engine can trust it a bit more. In returning, these users show loyalty. The more they become active on the site and the more time they spend on each page, the better the impact on SEO efforts!

A social network will rank higher due to the time spent consuming content on each page! That means your site will rise organically and that less money will have to be spent with Pay-Per-Click advertising through search engine marketing.

Often is the case that people want to attend events but have no one to attend with. This also solves that problem. It even convinces people to come that really didn’t think that wanted to or were able to attend. Carpooling is another benefit in saving gas, helping transport those who do not drive and economical reasons. At this point, people feel privileged in attending, because it has become a 24/7 community that projects itself into real life.

People want to meet the other people at the event that they have been speaking with Online! Through their planning and conversation, projections are able to be made based on pre-sale tickets and planning within the site itself!

Other reasons to use event branding via social networking as a source of marketing is that it is very efficient in communicating with your users. They feel that their opinion matters. They thank you for considering their opinions. They become curious if their opinions will be implemented into your brand. Furthermore, your site can be updated regularly and additions can be made immediately to audiences.

Changes in date, time and/or location can immediately be addressed. SMS (text messages) and E-mails can be sent to all users directly from the platform to inform them of changes, simultaneously. Reminders can also be sent. The “journey” can be recorded through blogs in creating a Brand Story for future accords. Calendars can also inform users of upcoming events or deadlines.

Finally, and one of the most important reasons for branding your event socially — investors, sponsors and investors! We all want an additional revenue stream, don’t we? Well, sponsors want to know where they’re going to be presented to the public’s eye. They want to know that their money will buy them placement for awareness of their own and that people will actually see this placement.

Vendors may take advantage of selling or advertising within your site, a site where you can make money allowing them to do so. And last but not least — investors, they want to know that their money will produce a return. This means more than just providing these “angels” with a business plan. Higher funding can and will be obtained through this online portfolio and Brand Loyalists to prove there will be a positive return on investment that will benefit all parties involved.

After gaining such a deep insight on event branding, it would be foolish not to try to implement it into your business structure and marketing plan. From Search Engine Optimization to investment opportunities, creation of such a platform will ensure success for your brand’s events for years to come. Whether your brand throws parties or holds weekly or annual events, this is something that is almost becoming a standard to early adopters. Act now and “brand socially” today!

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