SpinGo, Sundance, and StartSLC
For as much as we deal with events at work, we still make it an effort to attend them whenever we can. This goes beyond SpinGo as a company, but extends to the individual employees as well. Whenever someone new is brought on, we ask them to introduce themselves by telling us what their favorite event was. The answers give you an immediate insight, a quick glimpse into what this person values or where their priorities might lie. It’s not hard to distinguish the music lovers from those minimally insane few that find joy in running. During the last month, it became apparent as to what we cherish most as a whole. SpinGo is a bit different than it’s employees, as it isn’t biased in what gets people up and off of their couches. Big or small, we find any event an opportunity to interact, engage, and to present the chance to have a good time. We had that opportunity twice in the month of January: One with a massive, annual event that funnels the world in to a sleepy ski town in Northern Utah. The other with the first of what will hopefully become a local tradition, a convention giving small startups the chance to have their voice heard.
Being not only the biggest event in our state but an event internationally renowned, we knew that Sundance needed to jump to the top of our priority list. As a company built on and around the event industry, we couldn’t pass on this juggernaut being held in our own backyard.
SpinGo was lucky enough to partner up with Cindy Matalucci, the extremely talented host of “The PulseSD.” Cindy brought her entire video and marketing team from San Diego, enabling her to capture the film festival in her signature interview style. Footage included interviews with Keanu Reeves, Peter Sarsgarrd, Ewan McGregor, Scott Weiland, and our personal favorite, Kevin Bacon. As if Cindy attaching our name to the best coverage of Sundance wasn’t enough, she brought our “Bacon Number” down to two.
With some great media material in our pocket, SpinGo still wanted to make a physical appearance in Park City. Working with a visiting partner, Station-App.com, we rolled our fully stocked event trailer on to Main Street, David Guerra (or one of his songs in the least…) announcing our arrival through the roof speakers. It was immediately obvious as to where we needed to set up shop. A line of frustrated party goes wrapped around a club at the top of the hill, thwarted by a “maximum occupancy.” Music blaring and fog machine cued, the crowd immediately began to turn, curious as to what this behemoth of a trailer had in store. All it took was an invitation from one of the Station App guys, casually leaning out and and asking, “Anyone want to party?” and the line was immediately dissolved.
Over the next five hours, wave after wave of Sundance attendees found their way over to the trailer. Some would run back into the club, pull their friends out, and then bring them back to the party we were throwing. Tweets and pictures began popping up, curious as to where this trailer had come from, showing up out of nowhere. The perks of parking right on Main Street were indisputable, as those walking by were immediately drawn in. We were in the heart of the festival, throwing a party at Utah’s biggest event.
Using What We Learned at StartSLC
Just five days later and the trailer is pulling into StartSLC, an event in downtown Salt Lake City that promotes new and small businesses created within the state of Utah. More established businesses are invited to present at the event, sharing their success stories and what experiences brought them to where they are today. SpinGo’s story and and the immense growth we’ve had over the past two years is a blog for another time, but Kreg, our founder and CEO, was asked to be on a panel for one of the presentations. With this invitation came the opportunity for SpinGo to have a display on the event grounds. We took our notes from our success at Sundance and applied the same idea with a little more planning. Our trailer would be parked at the hub of all the presentations, with traffic having to walk right past the loud music and flashing lights. Mixing a prime location with announcements on our social media, we were able to generate a constant flow of people coming in and out of the trailer. The event had promoted their hashtag, #StartSLC, extremely well and would fill the feed with updates on all of the presentations. Attendees were constantly checking the hashtag for updates on who would be speaking next and where. We simply supplied the feed with photos of sushi and Red Bull, two things that we were giving away inside the trailer, and then waited for each presentation to conclude. Sure enough, the doors would open and each crowd would take a detour towards the dance music and free food. Beyond networking with those looking to start a business like SpinGo, we were also able to interact with the other established companies that were presenting as well.
One of the greater takeaways from StartSLC was the content and interaction it provided in the week after. With the walls inside the trailer being similar to that of a whiteboard, Kreg had the idea of having an art contest using dry erase markers. We took this idea and pushed it one step further, turning it into a social media contest. Entrants would post their creations on their own account, tagging us and StartSLC in the process. Partnering with @UtahGram, we were also able to have the entries pushed out to an additional 19,000 Instagram users. We narrowed down the entrants to a few finalists and posted them throughout the week. One event provided enough pictures, quotes, and content to keep our social media satisfied for the weeks to come.
?A few weeks later and we are still seeing the benefits from both events. Sundance allowed us to not only associate ourselves with the biggest event around, but improve our relationship with an already existing client, giving us the chance to think outside the box and to work together. StartSLC showed us that the benefits of an event can be stretched beyond the bounds of it’s actual duration. Both brought greater insight as to how we can reach outside the services we provide, creating awesome events and enabling others to do the same.