Archive for 2017


#happy10thbirthday

1 month ago
Jake Malbasa by Jake Malbasa

For 10 years we’ve been missing out spaces, skipping on grammar and re-reading 65 character words trying to figure out the sentence hidden within. Once, a button used purely to find out the serial number of your 3210, the increase in the use of the hash key has been extraordinary. It’s been a marketing revelation, nightmare and source of great entertainment simultaneously. Here’s a look at all three from over the years:

Hash brownie points:

At its base value, the hashtag connects communities across the world; people who could never meet in any walk of life, yet share the same thoughts, can communicate with each other. It has been effectively used to show solidarity against disaster and evil, and #blacklivesmatter is currently and rightfully the most used hashtag of all time. And whilst the use of the hashtags has been monumental in raising awareness, the results seen by #IceBucketChallenge make this the standout campaign. We all know the story, and we all know the recent breakthroughs made in finding a cure – in its various forms, it was hashtagged (*adds hashtagged to dictionary*) over 4 million times, and undoubtedly these breakthroughs, and the $115 million raised, would not have been possible without the button in question.

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Making a hash of it:

This has been the focus of many articles this week, and as this is a work forum, I’ll have to let you find most the goofs yourself due to suitability issues (we’re looking at you SuBo and Research in Motion), however we’re going to highlight a major brand getting it wrong. McDonalds, the restaurant chain subject to documentaries and Panoramas, asked for the general public to share their #McDstories. It’s always a huge risk when asking for direct customer feedback in a public forum, and McDonalds were very short-sighted in that respect.

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#LMAO:

And of course, when a certain hashtag brings out the part-time keyboard satirists, it can turn into excellent PR. Southern Rail are a very recent and very successful example of this. The train services provider sat work-experience lad Eddie at the Twitter PC, and told the public the 15-year-old would be answering their questions, they just has to use #askEddie. Whether it was Eddie responding remains to be seen, but we enjoyed the questions and the responses in equal measures. This story was picked up by nearly every national newspaper, and some even choose to run feature pieces on Eddie. Our next intern has a lot to live up to.

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And finally, an honourable mention to my club Manchester United. Four years and counting since finishing top of the Premier League, but #MUFC is still the most used hashtag in all sport. That should equate to some sort of points bonus I feel…


A TASTE OF THE MAILBOX

1 month ago
Winnie by Winnie

Here at Rewired, we love all things food and drink and we were really excited about working on the Taste of the Mailbox. The week-long food and drink festival took place all around the Mailbox with free and ticketed activities and something for every kind of foodie.

The week began in the sunshine in the canal-side sampling hut where Mailbox restaurants created mini portions of their most popular dishes which proved to be perfect for enticing the lunchtime and evening crowds. People were treated to delicious treats ranging from mini afternoon tea, popcorn to juicy burgers – showcasing the range of food that the Mailbox has to offer.
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Kicking off the weekend in style on Friday evening was the Taste of the Mailbox Food Tour where 12 foodies took part in an evening of feasting around the Mailbox. Guests were treated to an aperitif, starter, main and dessert at four restaurants including Harvey Nichols, Gas Street Social, Tom’s Kitchen and Chez Mal. It was the perfect evening of wining and dining around the Mailbox!

The weekend activities included sampling in the Urban Room from a selection of Harvey Nichols food and drinks brands.  We loved meeting the creators of Crazy Gin, who were passionate about their brand, even quitting their jobs in the process to pursue their love of gin. It was great to learn about the inspiration behind the gin and how the gin infuses their British Indian culture through the ingredients used.
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The following day, wine fans could be found in the Harvey Nichols’ Wine Shop where wine expert, Jane Parkinson from Saturday Kitchen, joined a small group for a wine tasting session. Jane offered her expertise on wine and the group were able to try classic and contemporary wines alongside cheese boards from the Harvey Nichols restaurant. It was a brilliant session where everyone walked away with new wine knowledge as well as their own chosen bottle of wine from the Wine Shop.
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Well known for his enviable Instagram food pictures and cooking skills, Lap-fai Lee (aka The Foodist) took over the high-tech kitchens of Kitchen Gallery. The foodies were treated to a masterclass where they learnt how to prepare seafood and create an amazing Asian feast including salmon and cucumber maki rolls, steamed mackerel with pickled chillies, scallops and fragrant king prawn curry. The foodies had the opportunity to learn new skills, use the state-of-the-art Kitchen Gallery appliances (including a steam oven!) and finally tuck in to their creations in the luxury private dining room at Kitchen Gallery.
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A special visitor to the Mailbox also made an appearance ahead of their pop up in Harvey Nichols. On Severn Street, The Wilderness’s ice cream van found itself underneath the much photographed Mailbox lamp, serving up cocktails with a twist! Offering up ice cream flavoured cocktails, some of the creations even included ants which were placed delicately on to a lollipop stick. In case you were wondering, they tasted of lemongrass…
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Sunday’s activities started at the luxurious Everyman Cinema where guests enjoyed a special one-off screening of Chocolat. Of course, a mimosa and a pot of Belgian chocolates was the perfect accompaniment to the Johnny Depp classic.

Later that evening, cult fine dining restaurant, The Wilderness set up shop in the beautiful Harvey Nichols restaurant where they served up food for a tongue–in-cheek celebration of the traditional English holiday. The sold-out six course dinner was inspired by chef, Alex Claridge’s childhood experiences and included one of their delicious signature dishes, ‘Ants got the tart first’. Those lucky ants!


Taking events to a new dimension

5 months ago
Kim Loynes by Kim Loynes

It’s an exciting time to be working in the events industry with new and immersive technologies becoming genuine options to provide customers with unique and memorable experiences. I recently attended the EWL (Event Professionals Who Lunch) networking lunch to discuss technology, and specifically how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can be used in events.

So firstly, what is AR and VR?  VR is currently largely accessed by a headset and creates a virtual word for you to exist and interact within and disregards reality. The extent to which you can do this depends on the software and the device. Popular hardware brands are currently Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive but more is being developed as we are at the cusp of the VR revolution.

AR views the real world through a device, whether it be through the camera on a phone or special glasses, it integrates the real world with technology. For example, holding a phone with the camera on over a still image on paper which has a code recognised by the phone for then you to see the image brought to life on the phone but still remain still on the paper.

If you plan to use experiential technology in your event or activity it’s important to understand why you’re using it.  Are you wanting to run a VR game that isn’t related to your product or message to simply pull people into the vicinity of your activity in the hope that their interest will turn to what you want them to focus on?  This is probably akin to displaying a bowl of Celebrations on your table at an exhibition.  The people will come and enjoy this but then how many will be interested in your product?  Can something more effective be done?

Try not to use tech as a gimmick, particularly as it will become less of a novelty in the coming years.  How can you use it to enhance the experience of your product?  Maybe try a virtual tour of your factory or behind the scenes of a space most people don’t get to see?  There was a great example of Meantime Brewery, in Greenwich, selling virtual tours and tastings where the customer simply downloaded the app and were sent real samples of beer so they could take the tour from their living room on their smart device and taste the beers at the appropriate times.  A multisensory experience is highly engaging. If you can combine VR with an additional taste, sound, temperature, smell or other experience it will certainly make the activity more memorable.

The technology should be able to make current activities easier or provide an opportunity that cannot be done without it.  If you’re selling clothes, why not let your attendees or customers try on clothes virtually and add a bespoke option at the click of a button. Find out about the people you want to reach and what could be done to make their experiences easier or more enjoyable and how can technology bridge this gap?

Generally, VR lets your attendees or customers go to places and have experiences which they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and AR provides extra information or an additional experience to what they would typically have. Whatever the key objectives you want to achieve from your event or activity, give your customers more than they typically would have without it and an experience they will share with others and won’t forget.


GETTING CRAFTY

7 months ago
Winnie by Winnie

gettingcrafty_1We’re really excited to be working on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair which is coming to Warwickshire for the first time this May. Last week, we officially launched the fair with an exclusive media launch event for regional press and bloggers. It was my first event with the team and I was super excited to be helping out. Held at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the guests took part in crafty workshops and got a taste of what The Handmade Fair will offer.

We arrived with plenty of bunting, boxes of cupcakes, and armfuls of goodie bags and set to work decorating the venue for the guests. We got the first glimpse of the beautiful block prints and colourful wires that would be used for the workshops later on.

The workshops on the night included Tess from The Arty Crafty Place who showcased her colourful block printing, and Lucy Elisabeth who introduced guests to the art of wirework – both of who will be exhibiting at The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall.

THF (40 of 51)Inspired by their travels to India, The Arty Crafty Place is a passionate team who specialise in block printing.  Their range of fairtrade, hand carved Indian wooden printing blocks are designed in-house and then carved by skilled artisans in Jaipur, India. With cushions and tea towels on display, everyone was excited to use their favourite block prints and colourful fabric paints to create their own tea towel designs. We certainly couldn’t wait to give it a go ourselves with teapots and chickens as our block prints of choice! As well as their own colourful tea towel, each guest took home a mini Arty Crafty Place kit, allowing them to continue their new found skills at home.

Next up was Lucy Elisabeth, who specialises in intricate wirework ranging from detailed portraits of flowers, the human form, to specially commissioned pieces. At the event, Lucy showed that wirework doesn’t have to be complicated and taught guests how to create beautiful floral wire brooches using just a few coloured wires and a pair of pliers. It was great to see everyone twisting the wires into shape and proudly wearing their new floral wire brooches.

gettingcrafty_3The event was buzzing with guests keen to get involved and create something of their own. We spotted many faces deep in concentration (including ours!) as everyone took part in workshops. It was a fantastic evening filled with creativity which was really inspiring! I was really excited to be involved in the event right from the set-up, learning from the expert makers, and then waving goodbye to the happy guests, each leaving with their new colourful tea towels and wire brooches.

We can’t wait to see what the other expert makers have to offer at the official fair on Friday 12th – Sunday 14th May. Keep checking our website for more news on The Handmade Fair!