Event Industry News: Digital De-tox, dronemania, iPhone cleans up

June 17, 2013

There’s a lot to report on the event industry this week, from social media and technology changes to new concepts and emerging trends. Keep reading to get a quick snapshot of a weekend of digital detox, changes on Facebook, drones in QSR and more.


Digital De-tox: Have you ever wondered what life would look like if you didn’t have your smartphone, laptop and other digital everythings in your life? Enter Camp Grounded, a weekend-long event with zero technology. This past weekend 200 campers “roughed it” at a 1970s-era Boy Scout Camp just a few hours away from tech-savvy San Francisco.  Rules included putting the kibosh on work conversations, networking, relying on a schedule dictated by time and of course, the use of technology (including watches).

According to the camp website, campers will “create a community where money is worth little… and individuality, self expression, friendship, freedom and memories are valued most.”

Just how did the event (aka social experiment) fare? Without Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to document in real-time, it’s hard to say. Campers return home today (Monday) so I’m sure we will be hearing about it soon.

Drone mania: You have to wonder when it became the norm to drive up to a window and order a meal and have it served to you in five minutes or less, all within the comfort of a car. Drive-thrus and fast-food restaurants haven’t always been around although now (at least in America) they are as normal as gas stations and banks. The next advance in the QSR industry is peculiar–a novelty that some are predicting will grow to be as common as a McDonald’s drive-thru–drones.

Yes. Drones.

(Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall)

Flying machines, currently being used to regulate poachers, are now being utilized to deliver pizzas and sushi to customers. Mashable has done a lovely job of documenting QSR drone escapades as they happen. What do you think? Would you risk having your food in the hands of an unmanned droid?

Photo from idownloadblog.com

Technology: While my phone is still comfortably settled in iOS 6.1.3, plenty of iPhone users have had the choice to preview iOS 7. The newest update makes things look “cleaner,” taking a minimalist approach to the already minimalist design users are accustomed to.

While some argue that iOS 7 goes against the vision of the late Steve Jobs, others argue that innovation and change stays true to Apple’s core mission of revolution/defining the future and should be welcomed. Whatever the case may be, iOS 7 is coming whether users like it or not.

What do you think of the new look? 

Social Media: If you’ve been on Facebook at all this weekend you may have noticed an overflow of hashtags–functional hashtags. The social network has now joined the ranks of Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr with the installation of hashtags.

So what does that look like? Similar to the other social media platforms, hashtags congregate in a specific feed for a specific topic. For example, if you put #lacountyfair into your Facebook status, it will join with other users (fans, businesses and consumers alike) into a feed all about the L.A. County Fair. Hashtags could clutter up your newsfeed now more than ever or it could be beneficial for those of us who sync tweets and Instagram photos to our accounts.

Super Bowl Boulevard: Back in the not-so-distant past we wrote about plans for Super Bowl Boulevard in New York. What will be interesting is how the boulevard adapts to the weather. The 2013 host, NOLA, had no qualms about storms, snow or the freezing cold.

The New York Daily News got a sneak-peek at plans for the week-long celebration. A 180-foot long, 58-foot-high toboggan run and concert stage are just a few of the attractions brewing for next year. Click the link above to see the artwork of the toboggan run and other aspects of Super Bowl Boulevard.

“We’re #22!”: The Grilled Cheese Truck (coming to Fairplex on Saturday for Cheers–L.A.’s Wine, Spirits, Beer and Food Festival) ranked #22 in The Daily Meal’s Top 100 Food Trucks in America. Not too bad! In fact, Los Angeles garnered the most recognition out of any other city with 16 trucks mentioned in the list. You can read the full list of winners here.

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