Social media engagement has finally arrived at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The CES event, located at the Las Vegas Convention Center, actually broke over 150 people over a 2 hour period on FourSquare yesterday. Last year, right before the official opening of CES, at about the same time, check ins on FourSquare didn’t even make it over 50 people.
The greater amount of FourSquare check-ins at CES in 2011 show people are finally getting the idea. Social media has received a lot of coverage this past year with awards shows like the live Tweeted MTV Video Music Awards and nationally advertised North Pole badge awarded to Parker Liautaud, a 15 year old from California, along with a US Astronaut, Douglas H. Wheelock on STS-120, that earned a “NASA Explorer” badge. This year’s social media tracks at CES have also changed and for the better.
Last year, I spoke at CES about social media, with a focus on brand engagement. The setup last year was so that each person received about seven to ten minutes to talk about their specific topic, relating to social media. This year adds to that by bringing in several speakers that are moderated. These panels have proven to be a lot more engaging to the crowd. Moderators gauge the crowd, while driving the discussion to where everyone will get the most out of each session. Make no mistake; everyone on each social media panel will be talking about services like FourSquare that check into something.
FourSquare is not the only social media check in game out there. Gowalla has proven popular with a certain segment of location based services fans, but has far fewer users. Facebook now allows you to check into places like McDonald’s, who donated a $1 to a charity for each check in at their stores. There is a secondary market of check in services like Instagram that add a twist of fun. Via what’s known as an Application Programming Interface or API, Instagram is not strictly a LBS. You may not have heard of this service before because it is only available to iPhone and iPod users. They don’t even have a website where it shows work of their users. They are taking a different approach to how people check into places.
The first LBS service I used that allowed me to upload pictures of the locations visited was Gowalla. Now, because of Instagram, FourSquare asks that you to upload a picture along with what you want to say. That part of FourSquare isn’t that much fun, however. Users of Instagram are raving about it because it doesn’t just simply snap a photo of the location you’re checking into. It has cool filters that imitate old cameras or funky processing by certain chemical mixtures. There are no badges on this service, but that’s left for FourSquare to award. Each picture uploaded onto Instagram accompanies an option to check into where you’re located. There is some major movement in the San Francisco technology scene by hip executives that use Instagram and people like Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, whom I discovered Instagram from, uses it to post photos to his Twitter profile. Because pictures are worth a thousand words, it’s easier to post a photo in Instagram, check into a location on FourSquare and post it to Twitter, with just a few words, all at the same time. In the future when wireless broadband and cell phones can deal with video more efficiently, a video version of exactly what Instagram is doing will come about. Maybe they’ll even do the same for video as they’ve done for pictures. As Jeffrey Hayzlett, the former CMO of the Eastman Kodak Corporation and now a popular author once told me, a video is worth a thousand pictures.
For now, brands are excited to jump into FourSquare, now that they’ve seen millions more using the service. That’s great for them so they can use CES as a testing epicenter for the next evolution in business to consumer direct engagement. Buyers, press and industry affiliates will be using FourSquare this year to win prizes and social recognition by checking into the following locations.
· 2011 International CES
· 2011 CES Experience CEA, LVCC, Grand Lobby
· 2011 CES, LVCC, North Hall
· 2011 CES, LVCC, Central Hall
· 2011 CES, LVCC, South Hall
· 2011 CES, Las Vegas Hilton
· 2011 CES, High Performance Audio at The Venetian
· 2011 CES Press Day (Wednesday, January 5, 8:00 am - 5:45 p.m. at The Venetian)
· 2011 CES Research Day (Wednesday, January 5, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm LVCC North Hall)
· Official CES Tweetup, Space Quest Bar, Las Vegas Hilton (Friday, January 7, 4:00 - 7:00 pm)
That’s a lot of places to visit in any expo, but you’ll only need to check in at five of the 10 official CES venues between Tuesday, January 4 and Sunday, January 9 to earn the 2011 CES FourSquare badge. By dedicating some of your time at the show, you could win the following.
· Sonos is giving two lucky winners a House Full of Music — with each receiving 4 Sonos ZonePlayers and a Sonos Controller. Enter for your chance to win by showing your 2011 CES badge at the Experience CEA booth. Follow Sonos @Sonos and http://foursquare.com/sonos.
· Show your badge at the Sharp booth for the opportunity to enter their daily giveaway. Each day of CES, one lucky badge holder will win either a Sharp soundbar, Blu-ray player, iPod docking station or 32″ AQUOS LCD TV. One badge holder will win their grand prize, a 52″ AQUOS Quattron LCD TV. Follow them @Sharp_USA.· The first 200 people to show their 2011 CES Badge at the SanDisk booth will receive a SanDisk slotRadio Card. Follow them @Sandisk.
· Check into the Intel booth and complete a challenge for a chance to win a new Intel Core laptop. Follow Intel on http://foursquare.com/intel and @Intel. Snap a photo of your favorite part of the Intel booth and post to Twitter and Foursquare using the hashtags #CES and #VisualLife.
Some potential downsides to running around to spots or venues, checking in on FourSquare and using micro blogging sites like Twitter are present at this year’s CES, but are beginning to disappear. People come together once a year in Las Vegas to make deals and talk to live people. These are the same people that you may have been dealing with by phone or email for the past year. In this recovering economy, selling and dealing face to face could make or break your brand’s entire year with a supplier or distributor. There’s almost no way in communicating emotions in 140 characters or by checking into a venue. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos has said that the telephone is still the most important social media tool he uses.
Remember, what happens in Las Vegas gets a check in on FourSquare, Tweeted, posted and commented on in Facebook Places, posted to Instagram to see the action, reviewed on Yelp and all of it indexed on Google. The Huffington Post is on FourSquare, follow them at http://foursquare.com/huffingtonpost. Oh yeah, some of the folks at CES will blog about it, on the Huffington Post. This is a repost from my Huffington Post article.
2 Responses to “To Check in or Not to Check in at CES 2011”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.