Foursquare Launches in Vancouver

Last Wednesday, Foursquare was launched in Vancouver at an event hosted by 6S Marketing. Foursquare is a new social media game that enables people to connect and interact with others using their mobile phones, while also identifying and tracking various places and locations visited – such as restaurants, stores, and tourist attractions.

People score points in the game by completing various tasks, such as identifying their current location using the Foursquare application (using a “Checking In” function in the app). As points are accumulated during game play, participants are awarded badges to indicate their level of achievement.

In hosting the launch event, 6S Marketing initiated a crowd-sourcing experiment to record Vancouver venues for Foursquare game play. Vancouver has a very strong and vibrant social media scene, and many notable people attended the launch event. People were encouraged to use start using Foursquare when visiting different venues. Over the weekend, I entered a few venues into the application, and even received some extra bonus points for being the first person to record them.

It will be interesting to see how Foursquare evolves, and whether it’s use takes off truly takes off. It already has gained a foothold in several US cities, and several Hollywood celebrities are using it – including Ashton Kutcher, the most followed person on Twitter.

The application does have some potential marketing applications, particularly with regards to experiential marketing for small businesses. For example, a restaurant could offer a discounted drink to someone who “Checks In” using Foursquare.  In turn, people connected to that person would learn about the drink discount, and potentially be enticed to visit the venue. Incentive programs would, theoretically, increase usage of Foursquare amongst mobile users – in turn increasing the promotion that businesses listed on Foursquare receive.

That might just be the tip of the iceberg. I am going to continue to use Foursquare, and will write additional posts to update you on my experience with the application.

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

Swing dancing at an event I was at in NYC.

Swing dancing at an event I was at in NYC.

Starting this weekend my Saturday nights will regain some normalcy, with the return of the Stomp it Off! swing dance at the Legion Auditorium on Commercial Drive, hosted by Jungle Swing Productions. Vancouver has a thriving swing dance community, which in a sense, just might be one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets. Swing dancing represents an absolutely fantastic opportunity to socialize in an open, fun and inclusive atmosphere, while also getting some exercise and letting loose on the dance floor.

For those of you who haven’t danced before, you might be surprised to know that most dancers in the community are in their twenties and thirties. Personally, I have made some great friends through dancing, friends who are very forgiving of me and my two left feet!

So, why should you consider dancing? Well, here are some benefits that come to mind.

Expand Your Social Circle

Swing dancing really is a great way to meet people. You don’t need to have any dance experience whatsoever, or have a partner to dance  with. There is a free drop-in lesson at the start of each dance, and you rotate around, giving you a chance to dance with everyone at the lesson. Coming on your own? No worries!  The atmosphere is very social, you will be asked to dance.

Learn Something New

Are you looking to pick up an new activity or hobby? Just a warning, swing dancing is very addictive!  The dance at the Legion is very beginner-friendly. Contrary to popular belief, you do no need to have experience before swing dancing. It is not a competition, it is an opportunity to have fun.  If you try it, and you like it, there are several great local companies that offer swing dancing lesson series. Consider checking out Rhythm City Productions.

An Inexpensive Night Out

Cover for the Stomp it Off! dance is only $10, or $8 for Jungle Swing members, and it includes a free drop-in lesson. I don’t know if you’ll find better value anywhere in the city.  Interested in going for a drink (or two) as well?  There is a bar downstairs, and a group of us often make the trek down at some point in the evening. There are also plenty of dining options on Commercial Drive, should you wish to grab a bite beforehand.

Listen to Great Music

Stomp it Off! brings in the best DJs in Vancouver, and there playlist is sure to keep you on the dance floor.  What’s more, very few weeks Stomp it Off! hosts a live band.

Keep Fit

Needless to say, swing dancing is also a great way to get some exercise. No, it’s not cross-fit or a Jane Fonda workout routine, but dancing is an excellent complement to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Saturday night’s dance runs from 9:00pm to 1:00pm at the Legion Auditorium at 2205 Commercial Drive, with a free drop-in lesson at 8:00pm. I hope to see you there!