Titanic and Bodies Exhibits Debut in SoCal

Premier Exhibitions, Inc. is debuting two new exhibits in Southern California: BODIES…The Exhibition and Titanic The Experience.

The highly-anticipated Exhibitions will open side by side on August 1st at the former Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park.

Bodies and Titanic Exhibit Buena Park

With the opening of these two educational and entertaining attractions, Buena Park’s spectacular attraction total is brought to six, the most attractions in one city in Orange County.

Tickets for the popular Exhibitions can be obtained here. In light of high demand and record-setting attendance generated by the Exhibition in other cities, organizers urge the public to purchase advance tickets to ensure admittance when the Exhibition opens August 1st.

The brands are relying heavily on social media for the launch of these two new exhibits. Follow them on the following channels:

BODIES…The Exhibition

Bodies...The ExhibitionAt BODIES…The Exhibition, guests come face to face with real, full-body specimens and organs that provide an incredibly detailed, three-dimensional vision of the human form rarely seen outside of an anatomy lab.

Multiple galleries provide an up-close look inside the skeletal, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, circulatory and other systems of the human body…including a smoker’s lung and a healthy lung. Many of the specimens are arranged in vivid athletic poses, allowing the visitors to relate to their own bodies in everyday activities.

“The educational impact of this exhibition is immeasurable,” said Dr. Roy Glover, professor emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Michigan and chief medical director for BODIES. “For centuries, the medical community has learned about the inner workings of the human body through the study of real human

 About Titanic The Experience

titanic exhibition

From the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Titanic The Experience revives the epic story of the “Ship of Dreams.” This exhibition has been designed to highlight the legendary RMS Titanic’s compelling human stories as best told through conserved artifacts and extensive staterooms, dining and recreational area re-creations. Visitors can become a passenger and time travel back to a prior century to witness the authentic artifacts recovered from the wreck site of Titanic.

Visitors interact with storytellers in period costumes portraying Titanic notables, such as Captain Smith and the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, allowing you to visit the unforgettable sights, sounds, and emotions of most famous Ship that ever set sail, Titanic. The Experience heightens the senses together with the chill of a real iceberg to touch and feel what it would have been like that fated day.

What are you most excited to check out?

**Congrats to Deb and Mike Moretti for winning the tickets in our giveaway that ended August 2!

Disclosure: I was offered tickets to the exhibits in exchange for this blogpost.

Ticket Giveaway: Cirque du Soleil’s OVO

Cirque du Soleil OVOI had the pleasure of seeing Cirque du Soleil’s OVO this past week in Santa Monica. My second Cirque show, I was, once again, mesmerized by the focus, coordination and unequivocal talents of the performers. The combination of sets, costumes and energy is magnetic and it’s really difficult to leave the show without a smile.

OVO, with its insect theme and colorful imagery, is suitable for kids and adults alike.

Cirque has generously offered a pair of tickets for me to give away to a February show of the winners’s choosing (date and showtime based on availability; seats assigned).

To enter to win, leave a comment answering the following question:
If were insect, which one would you be and why?

The contest will run for a full week, Monday, January 30th-Sunday, February 5th at midnight. The entries will be numbered and the winner will be chosen via random.org.

Please enjoy the below press information about the show, and I look forward to reading your submissions!

Cirque du Soleil Ovo

Proudly presented by iShares© Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to be back to the Santa Monica Pier with its critically-acclaimed and family-friendly big top touring show OVO, performing for a limited engagement under the trademark blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (big top).  Two additional weeks have just been put on sale, and the show is now playing until March 11, 2012.

Since its world-premiere in Montreal in 2009, OVO has charmed well-over 2 million spectators in over 15 different cities in North America. Santa Monica will be the only Southern California stop for a Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) production in 2012.

Tickets all performances are now available online at cirquedusoleil.com/ovo or at the Cirque du Soleil Box office located inside the main entrance tent of the Grand Chapiteau at the Santa Monica Pier. Regular box office hours will be 12:00 p.m. – end of show Tuesday through Saturday; 11:00 a.m. – end of show on Sunday and will be closed on all Monday’s and the following Tuesdays: February 7th, February 28th & March 20th.

Cirque du Soleil OVO

About the show

OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.

When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives. It is love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual.

The cast of OVO is comprised of 55 performing artists from 14 countries specializing in many acrobatic acts. One highlight of OVO is the stunning flying trapeze act, in which six flyers soar 40 feet in the air, making this the biggest act of its kind to ever be presented under a big top by Cirque du Soleil. It combines many circus disciplines, including banquine, Russian swing and swinging chair. The finale features 20 artists running, jumping and leaping up a 24-foot vertical wall.

 The Creative Team behind the world of OVO is:  Artistic Guides Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix; Writer, Director and Choreographer Deborah Colker (first female director at Cirque du Soleil); Director of Creation Chantal Tremblay; Set and props Designer Gringo Cardia; Costume Designer Liz Vandal; Composer and Musical Director Berna Ceppas; Lighting Designer Éric Champoux; Sound Designer Jonathan Deans; Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer hting Designer éclairagesa creative team for the first time at Cirque du Soleilerms of distance between stations.Fred Gérard;  Acrobatic Performance Designer Philippe Aubertin; and Makeup Designer Julie Bégin.

Cirque du Soleil gratefully acknowledges iShares as the presenting sponsor of the OVO 2012 North American tour as well as Infiniti, CGI, XEROX, Sun Life Financial and American Express as the official sponsors.

Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on five continents.

SEO Basics for Local Businesses

Search Engine Land, a fantastic search engine optimization (SEO) resource, recently released an article noting that search trumps social for local business information. While I’ve focused this blog almost entirely on social media, I wanted to take an opportunity to address the significance of SEO, as it is equally important, and there are also many overlapping factors between search and social.

Search Engine Land’s survey notes that of people who search online, most get information about restaurants, bars and clubs from search engines, while third party sites (such as Yelp) and social media linger behind. It makes complete sense, when you think about it: It’s become second nature to jump on the internet to access any information you’re seeking, and usually, the first thing you do when looking for something, is Google (or Bing) it.

Photo per Search Engine Land

With this in mind, while SEO has many layers (metatag composition, adwords, paid advertising and more), understanding some general starting points is extremely important.

Search engine optimization is basically the practice of optimizing your website for search engines; so that, when people Google a term related your offerings, your website comes up as predominantly as possible.

A good place to start is to check your website analytics to see what kind of search terms are being used to land people on your site. A search term is any term someone Googled that produced your link as a result. By checking your analytics, you can either maximize terms that are already working or assess ones that should be there, but aren’t.

A great tool to use is the Google keyword tool. Here, you can plug in a variety of keywords related to your brand, and the tool will spit back any and all related terms, and often they’re being for.

For the sake of example, let’s say you’re one of the only nightclubs in Charleston. There is no reason you shouldn’t be on the first page of Google’s results when someone’s looking for a club in Charleston, since there isn’t much competition. To really enforce your “relevance,” though, for lots of search terms, create a list of phrases that you would hope to rank for. Think of the variety of things one might put into Google.

So, stuff like: clubs in Charleston, clubs in Charleston SC, nightclubs in Charleston, Charleston clubs, Charleston SC clubs, Charleston nightlife, best nightlife in Charleston, etc.

Once you’ve identified your targeted keywords, there are two things you should do: insert them into your metatags, and sprinkle them naturally into your website’s content.

When Google surmises that you’re clearly a prime target for “clubs in Charleston,” it’ll deem you authoritative in that space and thus when people search for that term, you’ll rank higher.

clubs in charleston

This is obviously a very basic touching upon the surface, but even tying these in should help increase you site exposure, even if only a little bit to start.

How social ties in: search engines look at your social pages as well. So if you your club has a blog on your site where you’re constantly talking about topics related to Charleston nightlife, that then produces more opportunities for you to place content. More content = more keywords (often, without realizing it, too).

Win Tickets to Neon Trees Concert

Neon Trees AnimalSummertime is here and that means local county fairs are in full swing.

Being in Orange County, I’m fortunate enough to have many generous local vendors offer goodies to give away!

The OC Fair opens this weekend and features an awesome concert series at Pacific Amphitheatre.

This Saturday, July 16, Neon Trees will be taking the stage.

“Like their name, Neon Trees are a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock, both melodic and hard-hitting, their anthems of adolescent angst, longing, love lost and found, delivered with the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve passion that only comes from hard work and commitment. Their first single’ Animal’ was hugely popular and reached at #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Rock Chart.”

We have a pair of tickets to give away! To enter, just leave a comment below and a winner will be chosen via random.org on Thursday at noon.
*Please be sure you either submit your contact information when you sign in or in the comment itself so we can get in touch if you’re the winner, and please check back on Thursday afternoon the winner will be announced here as well.

Thanks and good luck!

Socialize with House of Blues

Social media outlets are a great resource for entertainment venues, both in terms of relaying information and personalizing the relationship between your brand and its fans.

House of Blues (HOB) at Downtown Disney considers social media one of their most valuable marketing outlets. It provides brand awareness as well as an open forum to communicate with fans directly.

Similarly, it provides a space for HOB fans to converse with others of similar interests, and they see the value of allowing fans to share personal thoughts and experiences with each others.

HOB periodically asks their fans questions to gain feedback about how they can make guest experiences at their venue even better. The key is to actually listen to what they have to say, what they want and expect from you, and then actually do somethingHouse of Blue Anaheim Brew Master Dinner about it.

On the flipside, a potential downside is that people can use social media to share negative thoughts and experiences; it’s uncensored and leaves businesses open to criticism. But with the good, it’s important to take the bad and learn from your fans.

HOB takes a lot of pride in knowing that the fans they have on these portals have CHOSEN to “follow” on Twitter and/or “like” on Facebook; fans that are genuinely interested and WANT to know what HOB has to offer.  They also have an outlet for easily sharing news about music and events in the community, things that are relevant to their audience.

Additionally, HOB is able to use Twitter and Facebook for promotional purposes to distribute information about upcoming shows, pre-sales/on-sales and restaurant promotions. They post all upcoming events with a direct links to purchase tickets, or a number for more information, making the purchasing process direct and seamless.

They also provide more “exclusive” offers like ticket giveaways, which ends up benefiting them as well since they typically see an automatic ticket-sale increase for those shows with ticket giveaways.

Rena, their marketing manager, believes it’s important to have some type of call-to-action when posting an event, especially nowadays when most people have smartphones and can purchase tickets right from their phone.

“There are endless opportunities with social media,” Rena noted, “and it’s important to be creative and keep it interactive.”

Have any other entertainment venues caught your attention as being really proactive via social media?


Fairs, Food Trucks, Block Parties and Social Media

The OC Fair & Event Center is a multi-functional venue that “provides educational, entertainment and recreational opportunities for the general public and preserves the heritage of California agriculture.” It’s home to the Orange County Marketplace, Pacific Amphitheatre, Centennial Farm, the OC Fair and other ongoing events hosted throughout the year. This past year, they debuted their first self-initiated New Year’s Eve Block Party, which was very successful, along with Food Truck Fare Thursdays, which attracts a large crowd on a weekly basis.

The 2010 OC Fair was recently awarded several top placements in the Western Fairs Association (WFA) annual Achievement Awards, which recognizes excellence in the fair industry and provides a forum for fairs to share successful ideas and programs. They received first-place rankings in fair logo and best new idea (misting stations) as well as second-place rankings in several categories, including social media campaign.

Robin Wachner, the fair’s Director of Communications, has run their social media since its inception. She was using Facebook personally and saw how much information was being shared, and how people came together. A PR veteran, she noticed the subtle changes in the industry and that social media was becoming the new primary way to communicate with both the media and the public.

The social media fanbase was grown entirely organically. Robin began to notice how, the more interesting content she posted, the more people came, and the more they interacted. It was a natural transition for people to begin using social media personally to locate information on places they like, so it became natural for the fairgrounds to take advantage of that opportunity to be present. It’s also a very cost-effective way to promote.

Food Truck Fare Thursdays, for example, draws 300 people to the fairgrounds each Thursday. Featuring a rotating variety of food trucks, this weekly event helps garner buzz about the fairgrounds as well as local food trucks, offering consumers a chance to sample different trucks. It is and always has been relayed entirely through social media.

They’ve kept their Twitter and Facebook pages enticing by doing a lot of different contests including trivia questions and word scrambles. When they have tickets they want to give away, they’re able to build up a lot of buzz and excitement online. At times when the fair is quieter, they offered exclusive online coupons for guests to print out.

Robin discussed the differences in the Twitter and Facebook crowds:  Twitter is most effective for those interested in more immediate gratification (so, ticket giveaways for approaching shows are best received on Twitter), whereas more thought-out initiatives are more suitable for Facebook.

They’ve also used social media as a way to solicit feedback on many things. They asked their consumers directly what kinds of concerts they’d like to see in the future. Another fascinating find was that they brought in focus groups to get opinions on the NYE Block Party in addition to asking their Facebook fans the same questions. The results of both groups was virtually the same, posing a question about whether or not focus groups (which cost money) will eventually become obsolete when the same kinds of consumer response is available for free through Twitter and Facebook.

Last year was also the first year they used Yelp and found it an effective tool in addressing customers and their concerns. This year, they hope to beef up their Yelp and Foursquare promotions, including incentives for mayors as well as possibly, an OC Fair badge.

The theme for this summer’s 2011 OC Fair is “Let’s Eat” as a result of surveys indicated people are most crazy about food, followed by music. There’s going to be several new, authentic features at the fair this year including the presence of food trucks and possibly, a food-truck throwdown, pinning all the regular fried, fair-food favorites up against food truck cuisine.

Robin’s advice for any similar venues looking to get started with social media include initially building up your fanbase by following other fairs, amusement parks and any other similar venues and those that are talking about them, along with relevant pages pertaining to your city.