How Tupac Shakur Continues to Inspire in 2017

 

Tupac might be gone, but his memory is strong in Tupac’s Powamekka Café. Inspired by the late Tupac Shakur, the New York soul food restaurant, Sweet Chick, transformed itself into a full-blown display dedicated to music, specials and the rap artist’s earliest visions.

Inspired by Music

Tupac Shakur’s history is packed with power and talent. One of his visions, alongside being a sensation, was to be a restaurant owner. His vision for a Southern comfort restaurant, today, has come to life in New York.

Lower East Side soul food restaurant founder, John Seymour, partnered with the Estate of Tupac Shakur to present Tupac-inspired art, personal childhood photos, poetry, music memorabilia and other defining mementos. While being a rapper, actor, record producer and activist, Tupac Shakur was—himself—a brand image. The Lower East Side restaurant, Sweet Chick, featured the artist’s creative vision in grand detail. Tupac constantly worked on pans and ideas, reaching far beyond film and music.

From Menu Concept to Management

Tupac’s original plans for opening a restaurant went far into the drafting stages. A menu concept was drafted, and the same menu was used by the Café’s creators to keep Tupac’s image true. Tupac’s Powamekka Café, at its core, is an ode to music, fashion, art and culture.

The event gave attendees first-hand looks at Bravado’s new, limited-edition Tupac by Vlone clothing and merchandise line. Powamekka Café offered the line to reconnect to the artist via his passion for food. C.E.O. of Bravado, Mat Vlastic, carried out the artist’s creative vision by giving fans new ways to engage with music, Tupac’s life and the artist’s surrounding lifestyle.

All About Southern Comfort

The Powamekka Café featured a slew of Southern Comfort entres, including gumbo, chicken and waffles and fried chicken wings. The chicken wings, in particular, were inspired by Tupac’s own family. His cousin Jamala offered the recipe, adding a touch of life to the menu. Fans were invited, but they needed to book reservations via Reserve’s exclusive restaurant technology.  

Even the location’s bathrooms had Tupac’s special touch, wherein men were referred to as ‘Playaz.’ The women, meanwhile, were ‘Divaz.” In the words of John Seymour, owner of Sweet Chick, Tupac practically gave them the manuscript for creation. They simply had to “fill in a few pieces of the puzzle.” The rap artist’s name lives on, and his vision is accessible via the Powamekka Café pop-up Facebook page. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.

How Nike Likes to Celebrate Anniversaries

Are anniversaries promotional? We’d like to think so. Nike’s shoe-inspired pop-ups have come a long way. Now, they’re extending into dynamic promotional territory with the brand’s “Sneakeasy” in promotion of its Nike Air Max. Air Max Day is a thing, and it’s been celebrated every year for the past four years. Highlighting the company’s past and present designs, Air Max Day is a much-celebrated event guaranteed to turn heads.

From East Coast to West Coast

In promotion of the Air Max’s 30 years of success, Nike’s Sneakeasy pop-up stand took an always-accessible approach. It traveled from New York City to Chicago, stopping in Toronto and Los Angeles on the way. Select locations featured the VaporMax model—which is one of the company’s newest, coveted, model.

Yeah, the event was based on R.S.V.P. interactions. That said, Nike’s interactive experiences don’t come cheap. Marketing real estate in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago is top-tier, and the brand excelled in highlighting its strategy while throwing a rad party.

All About the Art

The Sneakeasy, while inherently a promotional stand, offered interactive art experiences. Hosting live music performances, curated exhibits and local influencers, the Sneakeasy was a one-stop culture shop for locals and travelers alike. The interactive Air Max display was, of course, the centerpiece. Alongside the Nike Air Max 1 Flyknit, the Nike Air VaporMax made quite an impact.

Nike pulled it off by showcasing its many innovations, remixes and re-releases. According to Matthew Kneller, Nike North America’s communications director, it was the brand’s first-ever stab at a speakeasy-inspired pop-up. Understandably, speakeasies and sports don’t always mix. By commodifying quality products, however, Nike succeeded in giving consumers full product access while retaining the classiness and intimacy of a true-blue speakeasy display.

An Unorthodox Event Space

The Sneakeasy’s event spaces are worth mentioning. At every destination, Nike planted its feet in urban locations to engage consumers. The Toronto Sneakeasy, for example, was established in an unoccupied Chinatown warehouse. While unorthodox, the location still garnered attention. Guests who procured golden tickets from Nike’s much-advertised Air Max Bus were given VIP access. At every location, interiors were inspired by the much-loved Air Mx 90 style. There were upside-down shoe portraits. There were benches. Yes, there were Nike-themed history displays. Nike relied on intelligent modern artists to pull off the look—and it worked.

The first Air Max shoe rolled out in 1987. This brand cornerstone was highlighted by Bryan Espiritu—an artist who created a “Tear down this wall” display in homage to President Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech. Nike is a brand of culture. Like all cultural displays, its anniversary paired class with a modern edge. It was memorable, serving as modern proof that anniversaries still have great marketing potential. 

Richard Branson Adds New Venture to Virgin Group Family

Richard Branson never rests. Instead, he's always starting new ventures while continuing to run his successful Virgin Group businesses. The latest venture combines old standards like musical performances with massive participatory activities. These activities include standbys like running and cycling while adding newer ones such as mass yoga, boot camps, live art exhibits, and other modern favorites. The new company overseeing these ventures is known as Virgin Sport.

Fitness is trendy, but few have been able to actually make it fun. This is what Virgin Sport hopes to change with its massed events. It combines mass participation with easily-reachable goals to get people to come out and be part of the spectacle. Short runs, such as its upcoming 5.5 kilometer race at Hackney in East London, ensure that plenty of people can partake without feeling overwhelmed. Similarly-reachable goals are common at many of its other events, including some scheduled to take place in the United States, though there are some advanced activities as well.

One of the things that make the new company's events different from the typical mass sporting situations is the entire "festival" aspect. The fitness aspect is just one part of this. Musical performances, other entertainment, mass dance classes and parties, mass yoga classes, a free fitness boot camp, free photos of the race, a bagful of swag, and more all happen on a festival day. This makes it so even couch and desk potatoes can attend and have plenty of excitement and fun.

Unlike many festival presenters, the point of all of this isn't simply marketing. Virgin Sport intends to make money from the festivals themselves. This gives the company extra incentive to ensure that there are plenty of attractions to keep people entertained all day long.

To keep the festivals from getting repetitive, Virgin Group moves them to different cities instead of having them as ongoing events in just one place. This provides new audiences for the company and keeps things fresh for attendees. On top of that, it brings a compelling aspect to each festival: the "now or never" feeling that gets people to go ahead and attend.

While not every company is ready to take over part of a city for a day in order to hold an extravaganza, it is possible to put on an unforgettable show by renting a large indoor venue. Our facility here at Soho Studios can provide up to 70,000 square feet of customizable space – enough to set up a large massed event on an indoor track, rock climbing face, or other sports-oriented set. Just contact us to learn more about how we can help you put on an unforgettable festival of your own.

How to Immerse Your Guests With the Ultimate Interactive Experience

Who doesn’t like being immersed? Successful event marketers understand the importance of attendee engagement. That said, too few impact consumers the way they want to be impacted. If you can immerse your audience, you can captivate them. In 2017, interactive technology is king.

The Future of Interactive Visuals

Technology has come a long way. Now, intuitive interfaces are being used alongside touch screen technology. Developers like MultiTaction have strategized the process, making touch display a king-of-the-hill tech avenue. Modern surfaces are using infrared cameras, “seeing” what device users are touching. When sensors can capture dynamic touch range, anything is possible.

So, where does this leave you? It’s a good idea to invest in tech which recognizes a limitless marker input range. Get big with coded event items—like Glenfiddich’s coded glasses. Interactive bars, tables and games, too, can spice up your event. Much can be said for information composition. By creating interactive displays, you can create enthralling technology.

The Modern Brand Experience Studio

If you’re gunning for a highly immersive experience, why settle for a single display? Companies like Ford are creating entire experience studios. Its FordHub, launched back in January, outfitted the Westfield World Trade Center with countless digital experiences. Ford’s innovations addressed today’s city-wide mobility challenges, creating memorable pop-ups worthy of continuous exposure.

Interactive LED displays, illuminated water patterns and innovation challenges are fantastic inclusions. By building alongside other tech providers, you can create an environment which encourages exploration. Provoke curiosity, and help your guests linger.

Downloadable Demos

Where out-of-event immersion is considered, downloadable demos go a long way. Ford’s digital record presentations are a great example, as they’ve let users download configured models in online spaces. Provoke the imagination, and create dialogue between your brand and the consumer. Anyone can install an Oculus Rift booth, and anyone can utilize the iPhone 7’s VR capabilities. In 2017, quality VR needs to be more than immersive. It needs to be memorable.

Pinpointing the Quality Consumer Experience

The goal of any event activation is to garner attention. If you can make your consumer’s feel, you can make them think. If you can make them think, you’ll make them talk. Build lasting impressions, and engage attendees at the ground level. A little immersion goes a long way, and you needn’t resort to straight-up VR displays to invoke excitement. Loyal audiences stick around, but they’re paying attention to brands maintaining a competitive edge.

Miami New Times Out to Brunch 2017

Soho Studios is hosting New Times’ Out to Brunch on Saturday, May 20, transforming mundane brunch specials into a big-time Miami feast. The squad is here, and we’re ready to host one of this year’s most memorable Miami events.

If you're a brunch lover, get your squad together for New Times' Out to Brunch. Saturday, May 20, Soho Studios will transform into the biggest brunch party Miami has ever seen. There’ll be food. There’ll be drinks. There’ll be a carefree environment packed with the area’s tastiest providers.

South Florida’s Finest

Taking place between noon and 3 p.m., Out to Brunch will feature some of South Florida’s finest dishes—each delivered from local hotspots and small shops. Gables Delight, Amour de Miami, Agave Taco Bar, the Brick, White Star Café, Dunkin’ Donuts, South Beach Lean and Sushi Sake will be present, powering a scrumptious lineup.

All ticket proceeds go towards Special Olympics Florida, giving customers full hearts alongside full bellies. All tickets for patrons over age 21 cost $40 through April 2. April 3 through May 19 tickets, meanwhile, are $60. Admission prices include unlimited booze samplings, brunch and event activities. Here at Soho Studios, we understand the importance of refreshments. Patrons can enjoy mimosas, a bloody mary bar and crowd-favorite cocktails.

Unlimited Brunch Bites and Sips

Out to Brunch wouldn’t be much if servings were limited. Eventgoers can expect unlimited sips and brunch bites, straight from Florida’s leading hot spots. Soho Studios wants to give back to its community, and South Florida restaurants deserve some love. It’s more than a boozy Miami brunch. It’s a way of life, and we’re here to celebrate it. By providing limitless samples, Soho Studio guarantees equal representation for all participating locations.

Participating brunch cocktails, meanwhile, are still under wraps. They’re coming soon, though, and they’ll arrive to delight Out to Brunch patrons every step of the way.

Hit it Up Online

New Times Out to Brunch is accessible online. Around the web, the event’s featured restaurants will have media coverage. If you’re into the idea, check out the event’s newsletter. Or, connect via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This isn’t our first rodeo, and we’re excited to amp up the event’s attention with high-end coverage. Use the hashtag #OTBMIA to link your experiences, and hit up out location for more information. New Times Out to Brunch presale tickets are available now, and proceeds—again—go straight to Special Olympics Florida alongside Camillus House & Health.

Contact us or visit https://www.newtimesouttobrunch.com for more information. 

How to Draw a Crowd to Your Live Stream

 

Live streams are invaluable marketing tools, but they’re constantly evolving. If you’re struggling to gain viewers, broadcast effectively and garner audiences, check out our tips below. Today, an impactful livestream utilizes relevancy, excitement and adaptability to succeed. If you want to boost your viewership, take charge with your creativity.

Tip One: Make a Scene, and Stick to It

While adaptability is important, you should still stick to a general voice. Consistency is key in growing a fan base, and it’s vital to your stream’s success. Be on time, and make sure you have at least 15 minutes set aside for early and late viewers. Your live steam’s predictability, overall, will determine its success.

Tip Two: Get High-Quality Equipment

Poor quality video deters viewers. You won’t sustain a long-term fan base unless you’ve directed your dollars into high-quality equipment. High-quality equipment circumnavigates server congestion, prevents viewing issues and assures good content delivery.

Tip Three: Make the Steam Easy to Find

Don’t try to control your audience’s viewing habits. Make your platform accessible—and make it adaptable. Hook it into Facebook and Twitch, and make sure viewers at all locations can sit down at a moment’s notice. As for location: Make sure it’s flexible. Few things kill a live stream like a rigid, inoperable filming location.

Tip Four: Shareability is King

Invest in engagement tools. If you’re like Toy Group—who’s shareable on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else—you’ll make a difference. Instead of having thousands of shareable photos, you should align them with your video strategy. Shareable content is well-curated, beautiful and easily digested. Even if your content is text-based, it should be enticing for readers. In the social networking world, power is derived from enticement.

Tip Five: Prioritize Mobile Accessibility

In 2017, mobile access governs digital marketing strategies—and for good reason. If a media campaign is mobile-accessible, it’ll succeed. Don’t segment your audience by restricting mobile access. Instead, make sure mobile access is more than an option. Make it a primary avenue. Today, a large percentage of Internet surfers conduct research, use Facebook and share media via their smartphones. If you can secure a quality viewing space in the mobile world, you’ll succeed.

To draw live stream viewers, make sure your content is worthwhile. Nearly everyone is on a livestream, and modern livestream quality isn’t very high. There’s a lot of white noise out there, and you’ll need to surpass it to survive, thrive and become a sensation. Take your time, plan out your content and prioritize social media and mobile access.

How Virgin Atlantic Took to the Streets

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January might be gone, but Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendant surprise event is pleasantly engrained in our memories. In promotion of its all-new Seattle-Tacoma International Airport departures to London Heathrow Airport, Virgin Atlantic hosted a recognition party in Emerald City. Emphasizing the airway between Seattle and London, the airline successfully highlighted its newest business routes.

The Reignmakers

The Virgin Atlantic campaign introduced “Reignmakers” which was a community reflecting London and Seattle’s “reign” and “rain.” We know, it seems a little forward. The display was, however, surprisingly poignant. All about cultural recognition, the Reignmakers hosted a massive, two-day party. Flight attendants zipped around Seattle in Virgin Atlantic labeled Mini Coopers, flying the airline’s flag.

Meanwhile, the event’s later hours hosted parties for the airline’s dedicated fans and passerby alike. Handing out swag to social leaders, radio stations, influential shop owners and small business owners, Virgin Atlantic connected consumers to industry trendsetters. High-traffic locations, naturally, were prioritized. In Seattle, refreshments were dished out on plane drink carts. Branded umbrellas and luggage tags were among the Virgin Atlantic swag collection.

Planes, Plans and People

Virgin Atlantic successfully aligned its newest business route with customers, prioritizing people above all. The approach might ambitious at first, but Virgin Atlantic has historically provided fantastic service. This time, indeed, was no different. The airline’s relationship with its customers has always focused on the incomparable Virgin Atlantic experience, and the Reignmakers honored such a tradition.  

Virgin Atlantic paired its consumer base with media influencers, hosting private breakfasts with big-time travel and lifestyle impactors. Hosted at Seattle’s The London Plane, the dinner dished out more branded gifts, exclusive messages from the airline’s founder Sir Richard Branson and even free onboard flight opportunities. Here, the airline’s goal was twofold: Eventgoers could experience the Virgin Atlantic hospitality while prepping for a high-end blogging experience.

Taking to Social Media

Reflecting the Virgin Atlantic attention to blogging detail, it pushed for additional promotion via social media. Seattle played host to the airline’s Reignmakers contest, and visitors could nominate their favorite brand supporters. There was heavy consideration of Virgin Atlantic visionaries, and rewards were given to those who subverted typical Virgin Atlantic ideologies, presentations and displays.

The contest took place until February 28, giving the Reignmakers ample time to get prepared, get social, get visible and—of course—party. A Seattle-based Twitter campaign gave eventgoers a place to post photos, link to Instagram and type their favorite tags. All around, the Virgin Atlantic experiential marketing approach was highly visible. It’s rare to witness such a social-heavy airlines marketing campaign. It’s also comforting. Virgin Atlantic displayed an uncanny knack for social relevancy, and it highlighted its most profitable marketing segment while remaining relevant to others—which is always a difficult hurdle.

How to Transform a Blank Canvas

Even if a business has money, they’ve still got it rough when it comes to event planning. Sometimes, the space isn’t there. At other times, unconventional avenues make it hard to let loose, get the point across and attract new customers. When thinking outside the ballroom, it’s important to consider your audience. Transforming a blank canvas into a full-fledged event isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Here’s how:

Turn Small Shops into Networking Gatherings

If you’re stuck with a coffee shop, fear not. You can still use the free Wi-Fi, attract customers and dish out branded swag. Coffee shops are today’s pop-up shops, and they’re surprisingly good venues for small businesses lacking funds. You can still cross-promote your other options, staying true to a frugal budget while meeting the locals.

Use Park Space for Active Market Promotion

These days, most brands utilize the sporty, get-up-and-go lifestyle to promote. We live in a world where even videogames are getting more active. If you’re stuck with a field, make use of it. Parks might seem unconventional at first, but they’re incredibly capable event properties. Set up a gazebo, have a cookout and promote your product to passerby.

Turn a Tram Ride into a Town Tour

Sometimes, all the venues are booked. Have you considered your mobile options? Today’s town visitors—and even the residents—are using cross-city tram services, brewery carts and even carriages to see new sights. Give your customers a look through your business’s eyes, and give them something to remember. Travel is memorable, and you needn’t spend tons of money on a good trip.

Book it In an Airport

If you’ve got extra money, try out a pop-up experience in an airport. A surprising number of brands, like NGO Miseror, have created entire digital campaigns centered in airports. Aside from the obvious high-traffic benefit, airports are unique places which guarantee visibility. If you’re expressing yourself in an airport, you’ll definitely be seen.

Check Out the Local Lodge

Similar to the cross-town experience, a one-night stay in a lodge isn’t a bad idea. A lot of marketers, in fact, are bringing their customers closer by instilling a sense of sincerity. If you can get your customers talking to one another, you have an experience.

Not every event relies on flashy event spaces, huge banners and unique technology. Sometimes, simpler is better. It’s called experiential marketing for a reason. Even if the event is small, you can instill a sense of wonder by planning your event correctly. Check out your local area’s offerings, and get to work on your brand’s experiential canvas.

Event Trend: Photo Booth Ideas for 2017

Few things bring guests together like a photo booth. Whether you’re presenting a new product line, getting creative with an expo or simply want to land a new brand perspective, installing a photo booth is a good idea. We’ve already seen a few photo booth trends in 2017 worth mentioning, and we’re sending them your way. Check out these awesome, tech-centric photo booths, and take charge with this year’s latest gadgets.

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One: The LEGO Photo Booth

LEGO’s UK flagship store installed the world’s first “Mosaic Maker,” which is a photo booth capable of transforming self-portraits into LEGOs. A lot of brand providers have taken advantage of the trend, coming up with inspiring, unique ways to change the visitor’s face. LEGO’s mosaic kit, available after the photo is snapped, lets customers shape their own pictures.

Two: Movie Photo Booths

Apple, among other big tech providers, has expounded upon the recent Face Place photo booth series. It’s honored as the nation’s “Manufacturer of the Year,” and it isn’t toning down its creative approach to everything customer-centric. The Movie Photo Booth utilizes marquee-style lighting, Apple’s own green screen technology and digital photo sets which harness fantasy film backgrounds. Spice up the typical photo booth experience, and give your guests something to remember, scene-wise.

Three: The TapSnap Photo Booth

Whether you’re putting together a small event, a corporate soiree or a lavish expo, a TapSnap photo booth can enhance your visitor experience. It focuses on the customer’s perspective, using today’s leading technology to offer customized digital photo options. It’s rentable, too. Powered by a well-trained staff, TapSnap is quickly becoming a leading photo booth rental option.

Four: Social Media Booths

Social media has become a popular photo booth tool, and brand are using Facebook and Twitter log-in prompts to capture online moments and build brand awareness. These photo booths still have in-depth photo options, and they still showcase a variety of digital snap options, but having social media accessibility has changed the game.

Five: Gif Booths

Gifs have been around for a while, but they’ve only just taken off in the photo booth world. Alongside slow-mo booths and g-force “wind booths,” gif booths are becoming a staple of mall-based marketing events. Once again, social media plays a part. Facebook’s introduction to short-looping video has only fueled the trend.

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into photo booth technology, customers will start expecting lavish displays. Online metrics, social media and even virtual reality have come a long way. Today, even small marketing campaigns benefit from unique photo booth ideas. Where do you stand?