A More "Social" 2010 Motivation Show

Our booth in actionWhat a whirlwind of a week last week was.

Participating yet again in the Motivation Show at McCormick Place, we brought not one but two booths to the show this year. In addition to our recognizable conference area seen at the show the last couple of years, we also brought to the table a merchandise booth, showing off some of the hottest new trends in merchandise programs this year.

We also had the good fortune of being able to be positioned near Helping Hand Rewards, a socially responsible initiative founded by our current CEO Michael Arkes. Michael has done a lot of great work getting HHR off the ground the last couple of years, so it was a thrill to see him recognized by the IMA with a Circle of Excellence 'Social Responsibility' Award. Running HHR as a completely separate entity from Hinda, he's done a lot using his business know-how to help positively impact those less fortunate. Paul Hebert, managing director of I2I, even featured HHR on his monthly Influence Insiders monthly podcast. 

Social at the Show

We blogged a couple of weeks ago here about seeing social media at the show. In comparison to lastGiving the legs a breather year, there was definitely a great increase in participation through social channels and the Twitter hashtag #moti. Us along with Helping Hand Rewards initiated a geolocation effort, setting up Foursquare check-ins for our respective booths. Others also used Foursquare to check into the Motivation Show itself, resulting in a fierce competition for mayorship between @drewhawkins and @incentintel.

This year we tried to emphasize more sharing than marketing. We shared pictures of the show on Twitter and Helping Hand Rewards even uploaded some viral video of the show through YouTube, marking each video with the #moti hashtag. Others even shared learnings from keynotes and sessions on Twitter for those of us who may not have been able to attend. Though there were probably only around 20 people actively sharing, it showed a giant leap in our industry's adaptation of social media.

All in all we had a great time at the show this year. Of those of you that attended, what did you think of the show?

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How "Social" Will The Motivation Show 2010 Be?

The Motivation Show will see a lot of huge displays on hand from some of the heavy players in the incentives business (including ourselves of course). BUT - what will the display of social media look like during that week?

So many conferences are almost as easily followed via a Twitter hashtag as they are by physically attending them. People who either can't make it to certain seminars because of being in another one or not being able to attend the event period are able to catch some of the highlights through social sharing. The social media is losing its buzz but not because of a lack of importance - because it is becoming mainstream enough to lose "buzzworthiness." It's transitioning from a "new shiny tool" to a true communication medium for businesses and the people who run them.

How will we see social being used at the show?

Using Twitter, a hashtag has evolved for the show using #moti. For those not completely familiar with Twitter, a hashtag is an easy way to filter out conversations around an event. One would be able to save a Twitter search for #moti and see only tweets with this hashtag. Hear something noteworthy in a presentation? Quote it and tag it with #moti at the end. See something worth talking about at a certain booth? Tell everyone about it - adding #moti at the end.

You get the picture right?

The Motivation Show itself is active on social media this year. In addition to their website, they have set up a group on LinkedIn filled with discussions and updates about the show and its attendees. The Motivation Show is also active on Twitter (see @MotivationShow), helping retweet and promote attendees out in the Twittersphere talking about the show and also adopting the #moti show hashtag.

Others have even started a discussion on the show, even suggesting having a tweetup for the active social media participants (initially sparked by @kmillersmith I believe). Aside from promoting booths and presentaions, other people plan on taking other initiatives outside of Twitter. Some will write up blog posts about their experiences. Viral video will most likely be a result of the show as well, as interviews and recaps will begin to appear on YouTube following the show. Paul Hebert of i2i spoke on his blog of streaming live video from the show and possibly even broadcasting his monthly podcast "Influence Insiders" from the show floor.

Into geolocation? Be prepared to see some interesting useage of applications like Foursquare, Gowalla and/or SCVNGR while walking the floor.

What will we we doing?

Us along with Helping Hand Rewards will be active in the above mentioned activities. We'll be jumping in on discussions about the show through Twitter hashtags. If you take a look in the right column of this page, you'll see a constant stream of #moti tweets (under Motivation Show Convo). If anything else, keep coming back to this page and see what attendees are saying in the stream. 

Along with some post-show blog reflections (found here and on HHR's blog as well) you may see some other tricks up our sleeve (potentially viral video, geolocation fun etc). Keep your eye on this blog and Twitter (@hinda_incentive) to see what's happening!

Those are just some of the emerging technologies to keep an eye out for whether you're browsing the show floor or watching from afar online.

Who else will be jumping in the social media pool with us? What other technologies do you see being used during show week?

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Foursquare for Loyalty Programs

We've already discussed how mobile devices are going to be the next new loyalty card. Many companies have already utilized the "Specials Nearby" feature on Foursquare, which allows users to view sponsored messages by companies near where they've recently checked in. Foursquare already has a points-based system into their program where users earn points for their number of check-ins, first time visits etc. What if companies utilized those same systems?
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The New Loyalty Card

With mobile devices becoming virtually attached to most people, its role in loyalty programs will be on the rise as well. Already many companies are utilizing services like Yelp and Foursquare to attract new business. During a conversation I had last week, one person pulled out his smartphone and simply stated "This will be the new loyalty card."
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