Good News for Instagram, Facebook and Uber Users!

Facebook, Instagram and Uber users get ready for some pretty cool changes in these three mega companies!

Instagram: If you love Instagram as much as we do at Fairplex, then you will be happy to know that Instagram will now allow you to merge multiple images into a single image! Hurray for Layout, the free app that will make this possible.

Instagram Good News for Instagram, Facebook and Uber Users!
Instagram homepage

According to Instagram, when you open Layout, you will automatically see previews of custom layouts as you choose photos from your camera roll.

After this, you can drag and drop photos to rearrange them in any way your heart desires. You can pinch to zoom or pull the sides of each photo to adjust its size and get your layout just right. Then flip and rotate your photos to create cool arrangements and mirror effects. Pretty cool, huh? With Layout, you won’t have to download any third-party collage apps anymore! Read more about Layout, here.

Facebook: Facebook has launched a new tool, and I am pretty sure people will love it! On This Day will allow you to look back at things you have shared and posts you’ve been tagged in on previous years.

FB On This Day Good News for Instagram, Facebook and Uber Users!
Image: Facebook

In other words, On This Day shows content from this date in the past. For example, you might see past status updates, photos, posts from friends and other things from one year ago, two years ago, and so on. Only you will see this content unless you decide to share it with your friends. Talk about re-living our past experiences! Read more about On This Day, here.

Uber: Let’s be honest, despite all of the negative comments about Uber, we still use the on-demand car service to get us from point A to point B. It’s just that convenient and we absolutely love it!

Uber Good News for Instagram, Facebook and Uber Users!
Image: Eric Risberg/ Associated Press

As if things were not convenient enough already, Uber has introduced a feature that will allow developers to embed Uber within other apps. What does this mean? It means that you won’t have to leave the app you are on in order to request an Uber; you’ll be able to do that on the spot. This is what I call user-friendly, so sign me up! Read the full Mashable article here.

Event Industry News: Sharing hotel rooms with strangers

ID 100166851 Event Industry News: Sharing hotel rooms with strangers Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sharing hotel rooms with strangers: Easynest, a new website, allows travelers to book hotel rooms and split the cost… with a total stranger. Creepy in theory, efficient in reality. Someone looking for a comfortable stay in a hotel room can partner with someone else and split the cost of one night in half (since most hotels charge for 2 people per room anyway.) The hotels do not take part in the website or partner agreement process. You and your room partner take care of costs just like a normal hotel stay. One of several questionable aspects of the new site is the lack of accountability–i.e. if your partner decides to bail, you will have to cover the full cost.

Social Media: Plenty of changes are underway for social media platforms across the Web. Aside from Yahoo!’s adoption of Tumblr, Twitter is partnering up with two large ad firms and Facebook plans to cut the number of ad units in half (hallelujah.) All ads will know have a social component (likes, shares, a story).

Technology: Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the latest product updates from Apple, a first since the release of the iPad mini in October 2012. Announcements included the latest and greatest for the iOS7 upgrade including the weather app, zooming into an app (vs. switching screens) and animated wallpaper and lock screens (the last time I had one of those was back in the flip phone days.) Multitasking is also a new feature, designed to preserve battery life. Other announcements included iTunes Radio, new versions of Macbook Air and Mac Pro and upgrades to the Maps and Safari apps.

Just for fun… Check out Google’s homepage for the Doodle of the Day. Happy Birthday to the late Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. We are proud to host your literature at the L.A. County Fair this year!

2013 Event Trends Part 1

You never know what is going to be the next big thing. Who would have thought Gangnam Style would go viral so quickly? Had anyone predicted the necessity of a smartphone in 2008? (Although I’m sure someone did.) My point being, it’s hard to predict what trends will be a hit. But we can certainly try! In this two-part series we will cover the different parts of event planning and how trends from other industries will affect us, starting with food.

quinoa kale butternut squash 2013 Event Trends Part 1

Photo taken from bizbash.com

Food Industry Trends

We touched on this briefly last month but some new findings have surfaced…

  • The LA Times recently wrote an article reflecting on the increasingly popular food we call bacon. “Bacon is the new black,” writer Greg Braxton wrote and seeing as the Discovery Channel has a show revolving around that food group, I would say that sounds spot on.
  • Smokin’: Smoked meats, pastries, vegetables and even beverages are fast becoming a trend in the United States on both coasts.
  • Pig tails, pig cheeks: The NY Times describes pig tails as “rich, bony and gelatinous.” We’ll take their word for it. Pig cheeks, or guanciale are a unique alternative to traditional bacon.  It will be interesting to see what food & beverage pairings will emerge from these.
  • Infusing the healthy with the not-so healthy: Whether it’s adding more fruit to a decadent tart or mixing in quinoa and kale with entrees, chefs are creating dishes that please the senses and nourish rest of the body.

Technology/Social Media trends
Smartphone Mania
: There is an increasing need to go mobile. The trends depend on the popularity of the concept, but any “next big thing” will likely come in the form of a mobile app and streamlined, multipurpose options, including using iPads and iPhones for event check-in and event updates. Going green is practically effortless.

Audience Engagement: On the social media front, engaging audience will continue to remain a top priority. The more tweets, comments, likes and shares an event gets from the crowd (whether virtual or in-person) will provide insight into audience impressions.

Stay tuned for part 2…

Event Industry News: 2013 Trends, 2012 Events in Review, Giant Pickles and Watermelons etc.


2013 Trends:
Event Manager Blog released their analysis of 2013 trends in the event industry. Big ideas include cohesive dashboards for event planners, photo booths and curating user-generated content at events. The full list is available here.

Most Influential Events of 2012: Event industry pros weighed in on what they thought was the most influential event of 2012. Although the presidential election, the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee and the Red Bull publicity stunt with Felix Baumgartner were mentioned, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London took the crown for the most visible and memorable event of the year.

Well, that’s weird. There’s a lot to be said about novelty… and tradition. These 12 cities in the U.S. dropped everything from pickles to a big bag of chips to ring in the New Year.

Social Media: Social media and marketing techniques will likely continue on a mobile path with campaigns and transaction methods tailored to smart phone mobile apps. A great analysis of this fast-growing trend is available here.

Let it snow, let it snow… in Los Angeles: Now this is just awesome.

Event Industry News: Technology changes events, the return of MySpace, the debut of a new hotel in L.A.

myspace1 300x225 Event Industry News: Technology changes events, the return of MySpace, the debut of a new hotel in L.A.

Photo from ourlegaci.com

This week we take a quick glance at how technology is being utilized in the event industry, take a moment to realize Myspace might actually be back in action and wrap up with some holiday fun at the White House.

Technology: Event Manager Blog released an infographic of how technology is changing the way we run events. After extensive research, Julius Solaris created an easy-to-read, very insightful “Before & After” look at the way event planners reach potential attendees, interact with them during an event and measure success after.

Social Media: Myspace has launched the first phase of their comeback. No, really. This time they are all about discovery and the sharing of your own discoveries. The new site is sleek and relatively easy to use. As someone who received a preview invite, I am looking forward to exploring. I’ll miss the old school HTML/design-and-then-obsess over your profile format though. Not.

Keeping it local: Word from Eater LA is that Los Angeles is getting a new hotel inspired by Korean and Korean-American culture, food and design. The name? “The Line.” Location: Where else but Koreantown (a.k.a. K-town). You can check out what that looks like at 3515 Wilshire Blvd. Or if you’re like us and don’t have the energy to battle L.A. traffic for that jaunt, wait until it opens in Summer 2013.

A little holiday cheer: The White House decorations are investigated by none other than first dog Bo Obama.

Facebook Marketing: Dead or Alive?

FacebookDead Facebook Marketing: Dead or Alive?

Is it game over for Facebook's marketing useage? (Photo taken from FreshAesthetics.com)

It’s not like Facebook is deemed stabbed to death in the event industry but is it the best option for sharing content?

Communicating to your audience/public via social media is key to getting your message out there.

The question lies in which platform is the most effective. Eventbrite released an infographic showing the effectiveness of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for their events.

Turns out that while Twitter generates the most visits per shares, it is Facebook that brings home the bacon, as far as revenues per share goes.

That being said, is Facebook marketing still effective? Are people still reading content, visiting the company web page and most importantly, processing and remembering what they have seen? BusyEvent‘s director of social marketing, Nicci Anderson gave her opinion on the subject as well as some helpful tips on what NOT to do when using Facebook as a marketing tool. (Tips include knowing when your “sharing” of content turns into an overload resembling spam.)

Check out the article on Liz King Events.

Top Social Media and Content Marketing Blogs To Follow

Social media. It’s no longer a buzz word but a daily part of our lives, no longer a novelty but a standard means of communication.

The event industry, like many other businesses, has changed with the rise of social media. Not only social media, but iPhones and other smart phones have opened up new opportunities and challenges alike for the industry. Every phone has a camera, Internet access, and social media apps and incidents can be shared online within seconds. An event can be branded and promoted in dozens of ways. Keeping up with the latest in social media and content marketing can truly “up” your game in hosting events.

PlannerWire recently posted a blog listing the top 24 content and social media marketing blogs event planners should follow. From Facebook marketing to strategies on generating a strong audience following, these blogs are worth a read.

See their suggestions here.