How to Guarantee Success With Your Launch-Party Swag

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When Xiaomi launched its Mi Max phone in India over the summer, it warmed up the crowd with a little gift. Event organizers handed out free T-shirts, and the swag was a hit — until the supply ran out. Those who hadn’t received shirts were irate and refused to calm down until the New Delhi police intervened.

Virgin telecom suffered similar backlash when it ran out of the free cocktail glasses it was distributing at an event. People who missed out on the freebies stole glasses from those who had them and began shattering them on the ground.

Xiaomi and Virgin had the right idea, even if their executions went south: The way to people’s hearts is through gifts. Even small items can dramatically impact the way attendees perceive a conference or launch. I’ve seen this happen many times, as head of a gift-giving consultancy. A thoughtful, surprising gift creates brand advocates out of attendees, clients and their family members.

But gifts achieve the desired effect only when used appropriately. Poor planning results in cheesy trinkets and shortages that make brands look disorganized and cheap.

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Will VR Technology Change Marketing Forever?

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Virtual reality (VR) technology has been discussed and hinted at for years, but we’ve finally seen some significant progress made this year. And while there’s still a lot of ground to be made before it can be considered a mainstream technology, now’s the perfect time to take a look at the role of VR in business and how it will impact marketing, specifically.

What is VR?

“Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person,” explains Virtual Reality Society. “That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.”

Thanks to consumer interest and new developments, the technology behind VR is becoming cheaper and more cost-effective. This is leading to enormous buzz and demand in the marketplace, as well as interest among businesses that want in on the action.

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Entrepreneurship vs. Freelancing: What’s the Difference?

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A few years ago, I was watching an interview with Seth Godin, who is one of my heroes of the business world. He was explaining the core differences between entrepreneurship and freelancing. I was getting heated just listening to him.

Here’s how Seth explains it:

Freelancers get paid for their work. If you’re a freelance copywriter, you get paid when you work. Entrepreneurs use other people’s money to build a business bigger than themselves so that they can get paid when they sleep.

When I saw this interview I was busting my ass (and making very good money) as a freelancer — but I always considered myself an entrepreneur because I had an “entrepreneurial mindset.”

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about! I am TOO an entrepreneur!” I grumbled.

I thought of an entrepreneur (and myself) as a free thinker. Someone who created his or her own destiny and didn’t just take what the world handed to him. To think of myself as anything but an entrepreneur, while I was working so freakin’ hard to make money on my own, totally messed with my self-identity.

Continue reading “Entrepreneurship vs. Freelancing: What’s the Difference?”