Dreamforce, the largest annual consumer-facing event from tech giant Salesforce, returned to San Francisco this year and celebrated 20 years of the event. With a reported in-person attendance of 40,000 (attendees are playfully known as "Trailblazers"), it was the largest trade event in the city since the onset of the pandemic. Dreamforce 2022—held Sept. 20-22 at the Moscone Center and produced by experiential marketing and design company George P. Johnson—spanned more than 1,000 sessions and 60 keynotes, including high-profile speakers like Bono, Jane Goodall, Matthew McConaughey, and Jennifer Hudson.
In 2020, Praytell suddenly did not feel like the best place to work (even though the New York public relations firm had just won a seventh Best Place to Work prize). When the pandemic hit, burnout was high, and employees began to leave. To deal with burnout, something had to give. While the four-day workweek had been on founder Andy Pray's radar for some time, it never seemed viable for a firm in the service industry. Now, it looked like low-hanging fruit. Seven months in, 98% of Praytell employees reported wanting to see the four-day week become permanent. And 90% strongly agreed that teams operate as “efficiently and respectfully” as before while still meeting deadlines.
The first wave of social media platforms—MySpace, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat—created the landscape we all now live, work, communicate and play in. But more and more platforms have been popping up in recent years, outpacing their more established competitors in relevance and challenging the nature of how we experience social media. Another platform quickly gaining speed is Whatnot, the community marketplace app geared toward fans and collectors. “I think the rise of Whatnot is a great example of how culture is reciprocal—Whatnot is basically eBay livestreamed,” said John Higgins, CEO and chief creative officer at OS Studios. He explains that apps like Whatnot were created for mainstream culture to gain access into niche culture—rather than platforms that simply allow niche culture to connect, like YouTube and Twitch. “To that end, I think we are going to see how social media starts to trend into other realms, like the metaverse,” Higgins said. “In a few years, it will be normal to metaphysically explore someone’s timeline via headset or smart device.”
Smashburger is urging people to “Smash It” in everything they do. In a campaign from Partners + Napier, a woman in front of a really big screen calls out relatable moments in life when the path to least resistance may not be the best, such as wearing pajama pants to the grocery store. She also states that sharks deserve more than a week and bacon is a national treasure, while demanding people eat a better smashed burger, like the one from Smashburger.
Focus on the experience first and foremost. Scott Kellner, senior vice president of sales and marketing for global experience marketing agency GPJ, thinks many people are actually approaching hybrid events backwards. “They begin with the technology and craft their plans based on what that technology allows them to do,” he points out. “Instead, clients need to have a firm grasp of what success looks like—in terms of metrics, brand affinity, brand awareness, etc.—and then design the experience, including the technology, to achieve the goals. In other words, the platform is not the experience. The platform is one tool for delivering the desired experience.”
Gaming and Esports Agency OS Studios, a member of the Project Worldwide network, is delighted to announce the return of the Navy MWR Esports tournament series. The series kicked off earlier this year, as Navy MWR personnel (morale, welfare and recreation) were looking for ways to connect Sailors while avoiding physical contact during the height of the pandemic.
Partners + Napier is ending the year with another hiring spree. Costa Boudouvas joins as group creative director, creative technology. Boudouvas was most recently vp and associate creative director at MullenLowe. Jason Ziehm joins Partners + Napier as an associate creative director, copywriter, after six years at Digitas, while George Mazzoli has been hired as director of paid search after previously serving as associate director of paid search at MediaCom.