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Posts Tagged ‘LiveLink Events’

Tablet development is red-hot

Posted by Bill Sluben on March 15, 2011

Tablets are red hot these days…thanks largely to the uber popular iPad.  New entrants Dell (at only $200!) and HP are muscling in on Apple’s turf.  Not to be outdone, Apple has the iPad2 rolled out and the iPad 3 rumored to be ready for fall of this year!  This from Josh Ong of Apple Insider:

Reports have emerged of a fall launch of Apple’s third-generation iPad in order to match the touchscreen tablet’s release schedule with the company’s annual iPod releases and the holiday season.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball sparked the first rumors Wednesday when he mentioned that the HP TouchPad may “bump up against the release of the iPad 3” in a post. HP unveiled the webOS-based tablet Wednesday, though the device will not become available until “later in the summer.”

After speculation arose that Gruber’s comments were based on inside information, he clarified his thoughts as mere guesswork in a subsequent post.

“My gut feeling is that Apple will move the iPad to a September release schedule, alongside the iPods,” he wrote. “But they wouldn’t want to wait over a year and a half from the announcement of the original iPad to announce the second one.”

Gruber guesses that Apple will release the second-generation iPad “fairly soon,” possibly in March with a shipping date in early April. The updated device would be faster, with “more RAM, maybe more storage, thinner and lighter, a front-facing camera.” He also believes iOS 5 would be announced in March and ship in June.

“iPad 3, shipping in September, announced at the annual iPod event. Running iOS 5.1, same as the next-generation iPod Touch,” predicted Gruber, adding that the release may be more like an iPad 2.5, iPad 2 HD or iPad 2 Pro–“a new higher-end model that sits atop the iPad product family, not a replacement for the iPad 2 models.”

Gruber’s conjectures were followed by a report from TechCrunch’s MG Siegler that lent credence to the speculation, though for different reasons. Siegler cited a “very good” anonymous source that claims Apple is planning a “big fall surprise” related to the iPad 3.

“We don’t have any more concrete information beyond that,” said Siegler. “But, as of right now, the plan is apparently to release one iteration of the iPad in the next few weeks. And then blow the doors open with another new version in the fall.”

He went on to surmise that a third-generation iPad could have “a retina-like display” or perhaps “another, slightly smaller form factor,” though Apple CEO Steve Jobs has downplayed the possibility.

While Apple has yet to formally announce the second-generation iPad, reports of the device have picked up steam as of late. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has begun manufacturing the next-generation tablet. As reported by AppleInsider in January, the iPad 2 is expected to be thinner and lighter, with a faster processor, more memory, a FaceTime-ready camera and an upgraded graphics processor.

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Loyalty exists

Posted by Bill Sluben on September 7, 2010

One only needs to spend a few days at the recently completed Dragon*Con to truly appreciate the passion and loyalty that the fans and attendees alike have for this unique event.  Some 35,000 people shoehorned into five host hotels in downtown Atlanta for the annual four day event.  And what an event it was! 

Every genre, every generation and every imagination was represented.  Fans and folks who have been to all 24 Dragoncon’s and their fellow attendees who are years away from 24 birthdays came together to celebrate sci fi, anime, comics, etc…

In speaking with attendees we heard a echoed passion for the event.  Nearly 70% were from out of town and make it an annual pilgrimage to downtown Atlanta every Labor Day (what other event can deliver in downtown Atlanta in the heat of the summer during a severe recession?)

Called freaks by some, geeks by others Dragon*Con attendees know how to party, are comfortable in their own skin (or as Darth Vader/Superman/etc…) and deliver an economic wallop to the sponsors who support and the city that hosts.

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I SPY…Dragon*Con!

Posted by Bill Sluben on August 30, 2010

Dragon*Con returns this weekend in downtown Atlanta.  This year five host hotels are providing the venue and entertainment to an estimated 30,000 attendees and fans of the event.

XFINITY will be on-site on Friday, Saturday and Sunday offering fans/attendees of Dragon*Con the chance to win great prizes from the SyFy channel, HBO True Blood and XFINITY.  All for playing I SPY…

I Spy, the game that you played as a kid with a novel twist, will offer 23 chances for prizes (prizes awarded every hour, on the hour).  Here’s how it works:

– XFINITY I Spy will offer exciting prizes and premiums to DragonCon attendees for simply doing what they love to do best:  take photos of the most unique and creative costumer characters
– XFINITY event team will roam the DragonCon events and common areas looking for specific characters
– XFINITY event team will upload the images to the Comcast Get Local FB site and the laptop stations at the XFINITY display
– XFINITY event team will encourage attendees to come over to the display, checkin with us and see who the current character is to seek, find and capture with camera
– Once attendees find the costumed character, they will come back to the Comcast display and upload their photos to the FB site (add comments, tweet about it,etc…
– Attendees will need to “like” “follow” or “checkin” on  FB, Twitter and FourSquare to be eligible to receive prizes (base requirement)
– XFINITY event team will monitor the social media channels to verify photo uploads, status (whether they added Comcast)
– A tiered prize awarding process will be followed – if you upload photos of the unique costumed characters that we are seeking, AND you like, follow, checkin, etc… you will receive the most sought after prize (like SyFy prize packs valued at $200 and Comcast XFINITY prizes).  If you just bring us the photo on your i-phone and only checkin on 4square, you receive the lowest tier prize…and then there can be basic premiums for all.
So come down and witness the spectacle that is Dragon*Con and walk away with some really cool prizes.

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Hyundai (yes Hyundai) is the 5th most considered brand

Posted by Bill Sluben on August 10, 2010

Hyundai, which 15 years ago was still an experiment in the mind’s of consumers in what-not-to-take seriously in an automotive manufacturer has apparently made big strides…huge strides.  You see, Hyundai is now the 5th most considered brand out there, leadfrogging over Nissan.  And with the Genesis and other new releases this year, their cutting edge vehicle return program if you lost your job, and other iniatives…it is clear to see that their upward ascension is not done yet! Hyundai Ousts Nissan to Become One of Top Five Most-Considered Brands

Latest Market Intelligence Data Shows Ford as Most-Considered New Auto Brand; Toyota Continues to Struggle

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ — According to the latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence Brand Watch™ study, Korean automaker Hyundai has made its first foray into the top five most-considered auto brands among new-car shoppers, ousting Japanese brand Nissan into sixth place.  Domestic auto manufacturer Ford continues its reign in the top spot as the most-considered among the 37 new-vehicle brands tracked in the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence study, followed by Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda and Hyundai, respectively. Brand Watch Q2 2010 Study

Top Five Most-Considered Auto Brands Overall (Regardless of Segment)

Ford 29%
Toyota 22%
Chevrolet 21%
Honda 20%
Hyundai 13%

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Door-to-Door sales alive and thriving in Atlanta apparently

Posted by Bill Sluben on July 21, 2010

It happens at the most inopportune time…sitting down for dinner, putting the kids down or after just opening the front door to get a little light in the house.

Doorbell rings, salesman smiles and holds up (insert name of useless things that you buy at Wal-Mart…if indeed you ever buy).  As a matter of pre-caution the storm door is always locked.  The poor saps who come to our door hear the same message “We don’t buy anything from door-to-door salesmen”.

Door-to-Door was the brave new world of face-to-face marketing through the 1950’s.  Many items were sold in the spring by a flurry of salespeople…including brushes, vacuum cleaners, fabric, etc.  Homeowners typically welcomed the visit and planned in advance to purchase from their local salesperson.  The times they have achanged.

Now, with the omnipresence of the internet and a more savvy consumer, few, if any, purchases occur via the front door.  And with sales techniques becoming decidedly more pushy fewer and fewer are welcome in homes, let alone on the front stoop. The internet, and it’s endless stream of social networking sites, will inform and educate neighbors literally in minutes, thereby shutting down any opportunity for at least half of the homes on the street. The remaining face-to-face opportunity at that point is with the local police officer!

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College students = wired and social

Posted by Bill Sluben on July 15, 2010

So we already know that this generation of college students is the most wired and connected on-line.  The stats bear this out.  But trying to gauge where they will trend next in terms of social platforms is fraught with errors and guesswork. 

For instance, the emergence of Facebook back 6 years ago exploded in popularity at college campuses all around the U.S. achieving at one point in 2005 at 90% penetration rate among 18-24 y.o. who were on-line. 

Now facebook usage has declined and smaller, niche (and lesser known) social platforms have replaced facebook among this key target.  And 18-24 aren’t twittering either – only 24% of 18-24 y.o. are active in the past 30 days on twitter.

Almost half (49%) of mobile communication carried out on college campuses is conducted via smart phones.  Mobile phones are used by just about every student (99.8%) and text messaging has overtaken email and instant messaging. While 97% of students send and receive text messages, just 30% use email and 25% instant messaging.

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Automotive rebound in 2011?

Posted by Bill Sluben on June 30, 2010

Hard to guage right now.  Economic news on the one hand does show slight positive job growth and the housing market is showing signs of stabalization/slight rebound…but the employment picture remains problematic.

And with manufacturers reluctance to dicount/incent consumers, we might be at a industry standstill of 10mm to 11mm annualized vehicle sale rate for the next 12 months and betond.

Moody’s revised upward its U.S. light vehicle sales forecast for 2011 to 13.5 mm units, an increase of 500,000, the report said. But the 2010 forecast was unchanged at 11.5 mm, Moody’s said, which would be a 10 percent increase from 2009.

Could go either way at this point.

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Toyota: When a lack of a response is a response

Posted by Bill Sluben on February 6, 2010

Toyota’s struggles the past two weeks with real and (now perceived) quality problems have shook up the once impeccable quality record of the Japanese giant. Consider that it had been Toyota that has been the benchmark for quality in the industry the past 20-25 years. Consider that it is Toyota that has had a leadership position on the field of public perception, whether rightfully deserved or not. And consider that it is Toyota that has no clue or experience in managing a public relations bomb.

Toyota, and the Japanese, are notorious for just-in-time manufacturing and consensus management. It is the latter that is their Achilles heel with the current crisis. For it is highly unusual for a Toyota rank and file to speak up. That approach ahs established uniformity and efficiency with their manufacturing.

When the crisis first began to percolate two weeks ago, Toyota’s response was to ignore it. In hopes of it going away? In hopes that the claims were false? In hopes that a small margin of complaints was not enough to warrant a response? Who knows? When the crisis escalated, the leadership of Toyota was AWOL for nearly two weeks. The response was tepid (at best) from Toyota – “if there is a sudden acceleration, just apply firm pressure to the brake and shift the car into

neutral” OMG. Are you kidding me?

Now, Toyota is in a full blown crisis. This isn’ only about the electronic sensor to the accelerator. Now it has spread into quality defects/issues with the Prius brakes. And to their credit, Toyota has issued a moratorium on future sales and has rushed out parts to remedy the accelerator situation. The message that is rolling out of corporate is to hang in there, we’ll get you fixed up, we’re still Toyota – the best in quality. But where’s the response to how they will ensure that this will never happen again? Where is the response that restores the immense equity in the perceived quality of Toyota? That’s TBD…

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8 years ago we went for a little roadtrip across America

Posted by Bill Sluben on December 4, 2009

46 states, 16,000 miles and 2 car crashes later we delivered the Olympic flame from Atlanta to Salt Lake City.

Remarkable at the time was the focus that Chevrolet had on trucks.  The”halo” vehicles were the new Avalanche, the Tahoe Z-71, the TrailBlazer, the Suburban and the Silverado.  The vehicles were selected for obvious utility reasons but it goes deeper than that. 

We were mid stream in the consumer obsession with SUV’s and trucks.  It seemed the only attractive car that Chevy made at the time was the Z-06 Corvette (which this writer managed to propel over 120 mph on a somewhat snowy highway outside of Rochester NY!).  The other cars were the Impala and Monte Carlo.  Yes the Impala was redesigned but noone really stood back and took notice of the cars…it was all about the trucks.

What a remarkable ride.  Post 9-11 America, patriotism bursting out all over, the Olympic brand strong and no real disruptive protesting.  Truly a great fit for the Chevy brand – hit the magical combination of the Olympic Games here in the U.S. coupled with an intense (but alas…brief) period of unification and patriotism in the U.S.

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100 Muscle Cars Rolling…

Posted by Bill Sluben on December 1, 2009

If you happened to be in Atlanta (and on I-85 specifically) on Saturday you probably saw a vehicle caravan unlike no other:  100 Camaros heading down to Centennial Park.  This was the mother of all vehicle convoys…rivalling what the Prez would command coming to town.  And the kicker was that 50 were red for the Georgia Bulldogs…and 50 yellow for the hometown Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.  Needless to say, the vehicles made quite an appearance at Centennial Park when the nearly 2 mile long caravan snaked off of the highway and onto the city surface streets.  At 304 horsepower each, you’re talking nearly 31,000 HP…now that’s some serious muscle!

Nearly 200 Chevrolet dealers from all over the state of Georgia traveled some 75 miles.  Their reward for the haul?  A trip in a luxury coach to the Georgia/Georgia Tech football game…this trek only a mile.

LiveLink Events had the unique opportunity to serve as the lead event management agency with this assignment.  Truly unforgettable experience!

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