Browsing articles in "Blog"

App Review: Instapaper

Mar 8, 2012   //   by johncabarga   //   App Reviews, Blog, Social Media  //  No Comments

Know what I love? The Internet. The amount of information I come across in one day is unbelievable. From white papers to music blogs to cat videos to juice recipes to top 10 lists. There’s an unlimited amount of information out there and it’s coming at me from all angles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. etc. etc.). The problem is I don’t always have time to read everything I come across right at that very moment. Here’s where Instapaper comes into play. It’s a service that allows you to set aside interesting webpages for reading later. How does it work? You sign up for a free account on their website, then install the app on your Browser, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, etc. Anytime you come across a webpage you’re interested in, but don’t have the time, click Read Later. When you’re ready, go to your account and all the pages you saved are listed for you. It’s that simple. They also give you the ability to like, share, and archive the pages you save. The downside is it costs $4.99 on the iTunes App store, but I think it’s a small price to pay for the amount of use you get out of it. Check it out.

Experiential Marketing Budgets Expected to Double in 2012

Jan 22, 2012   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Experiential, Marketing, News & Noteworthy  //  No Comments

Good news for brand managers and agencies coming out of the Event Marketing Institute (EMI). According to a recent study by EMI and experiential marketing agency, Mosaic, experiential marketing budgets are expected to grow by nearly 8% in 2012. That’s more than double of  last year’s 3.6% growth rate. Not bad! EventTrack 2012, the name of the study, also provides brand managers and agencies a lot more insight and useful information. For example, brands reported that their primary goal for event marketing has a shifted from brand awareness to sales generation. Also, as a whole, Experiential marketing spending is growing faster than the overall economy, although that’s not really all that shocking. The complete study is available to members of the Event Marketing Institute, but non-members may request a copy of the executive summary by going here.


It’s Been A While…

Jan 13, 2012   //   by johncabarga   //   About the Blog, Blog  //  No Comments

It’s Friday, January 13, 2012 and I’ve been in Chicago now for 6 months (yep). What have I been up to? Work. A lot of it. That would explain the amount of posts (or lack thereof) on here since “The Big Move.” The direction of this blog is going to change a little. When I originally started this blog, my intentions where to focus on posts that related to Miami or Chicago (with a few exceptions here and there). This was the reason I purchased the Miami2Chicago domain. Since then, I purchased (good thing my  last name isn’t Garcia) and decided to have the blog serve as an extension of the site as a whole. How will that change the content I post? Well, the plan is to focus on experiential marketing-related content while mixing in a little more personal information about me as well as content I come across on the interwebs I feel are worth sharing. That may range from general business articles, to cool iPhone apps, to a cat playing the keyboard on YouTube. The idea is to maintain a blog that has a good sense of focus and represents me on more than just one level. Cool? Cool. Here’s to 2012!

The Glenlivet Nights of Passage

Nov 26, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Event Management, Experiential  //  No Comments

The Glenlivet Nights of Passage program provides members of The Glenlivet Guardianship a chance to experience the single-malt scotch that started it all with a series of exclusive events throughout the country. The tour, which spans six cities- San Francisco, New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, and LA, -consists of 58 events and reaches over 4,350 consumers.

For this program, I served as the Tour Manager for San Francisco, New York, and Boston. As tour manager, I oversaw all production elements for events, including sound, video, and lighting and managed the load in and load out process for all three markets. I also assisted with negotiating contracts as well as sourcing vendors and assets for all markets.


Chivas 1801 Club

Nov 26, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Event Management, Experiential  //  No Comments

The Chivas 1801 Club provides members of the Chivas Brotherhood access to exclusive RSVP-only events to private venues in Chicago, Miami, Houston, LA, New York, and Dallas. The activation consists of roughly 24 events in each market and reaches over 11k consumers.

For this program, I managed all Chicago events and lead a 30-member on-site staff, including field ambassadors, security personnel, valet, catering staff, bartenders, photographer, videographer, DJ, and agency staff. I also assisted with sourcing vendors, talent, and assets for all markets and oversaw load in and load out of all production elements in Chicago, Dallas, and LA.



Jul 5, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, The Move  //  1 Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog with a new post. Life’s been a little hectic these past few weeks: searching for a new job, renting out my condo, moving to another state (you know, the usual). A lot has happened since my last post though. For starters, I made “THE BIG MOVE” to Chi Town.

A few weeks ago, I packed up a 16′ truck and made the 1,500 mile road trip with my girlfriend and my cat. Did the drive suck? Yes. But believe it or not, the experience was pretty cool. I got to drive through some really nice parts of the country and spend quality time with the GF. As for the  job search, it’s in full force. I’ve had a good amount of opportunities open up, but none of them that have really impressed me, to be honest. Except, of course, one. I won’t mention too much, other than I’m very excited about it. It’s a prefect match for both parties based on the job role and what I can bring to the table. My 2nd interview is coming up so we’ll see how it goes. Chicago has been pretty good to me so far. I managed to take a decent amount of pictures, so here they are.
















How to Promote Pictionary through Experiential Marketing

Jun 7, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Experiential, Marketing, Videos  //  1 Comment

Saw this video recently and was really impressed. Agency Ogilvy in Colombia came up with a very creative way to promote one of my favorite board games, Pictionary, through an experiential campaign that was fun, engaging, and an overall great user experience.

The reason I like this so much is because the experience they provided perfectly complimented the brand and went beyond the obvious. To provide a great experience for a product or service, you don’t need to have people actually use that product or service. I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog post if they held a Pictionary competition in the mall. Instead, they went beyond the obvious and did something different. Check out the video to see for yourself.

As great as this event was, I would’ve done two things differently. First, I would have gone a step further and provided the user with an opportunity to buy Pictionary right then and there. At least set the booth up as close to the local toy store as possible and have a giant Pictionary display at the store to promote the hell out of it. Maybe give them an incentive and have the back of the picture be a coupon code for 10% off, good for that day only, redeemable by showing their picture at the check-out register. After all, what good is this event if it doesn’t generate a return? Secondly, I would have made it a lot easier for people to want to post their photos to Facebook immediately after getting the picture. From the video, it seems that having people post their photos to Facebook wasn’t their plan, it just ended up happening.

What do you think? And can you guess what the post is?

My Miami Heat White Hot Road Rally Recap

May 27, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Miami Events, Videos  //  No Comments

Considering this site’s name is Miami2Chicago, I had to mention the Heat vs Bulls at some point, right? Well, last night, the Miami Heat and T-Mobile put together the White Hot Road Rally, a watch party for game 5 of the Heat vs Bulls series just outside of the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami. It was a huge event that included a live pre-game concert by Ludacris, performances by DJ Irie, the Heat Dancers, and Heat Mascot Bernie. Add to that about two dozen food trucks serving up some amazing meals before and during the game. The game was broadcasted on the Miami Media Mesh, a 3,400 square-foot LED screen attached to the outside wall of the arena. It was a pretty awesome experience. Was it ridiculously packed, extremely loud, and unorganized at times? Yes. But, it wouldn’t be Miami if it wasn’t, right?

Obviously, the game surprised us all at the end. With 3 minutes left and Miami down 12 points, we were ready to move on to Game 6. Lebron and Wade had other plans though, and well, the rest is history. I even got a little airtime on national TV, when TNT cut to Miami’s reaction after Lebron tied the game. How cool is that? Out of all the people there (just over 10,000 actually), for some reason TNT wanted to focus on me for Miami’s reaction (well, maybe not just me, but you know). Check out how it all went down from my point of view below. I’m definitely looking forward to relocating to Chicago. I just hope everyone has cooled off by the time I get there.

Promotional Models Vs Brand Ambassadors

May 24, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Brand Management, Experiential, Marketing  //  3 Comments

What differentiates one brand of whiskey from another? Age, ingredients, geographic location, tradition? How about cute girls in skimpy outfits? DJ’ing at nightclubs, I see it all the time. Brands hire “ambassadors” that don’t have a clue (or genuine interest) about their product and expect them to go out and promote it at the most critical moment: the point of purchase. Guess what Brand X? Your competitor is doing the same thing at the venue next door (and probably used the same agency you hired your girls from). Brands can’t realistically expect a promotional model to do the job of a brand ambassador. Why? Because:

sex sells, but passion sells more.

There’s a huge difference between a promotional model and a brand ambassador, although it’s easy to confuse the two at first because there is some overlap. But it’s like comparing apples to oranges (picture tie-in accomplished). Both are there to interact with users and create a positive association for the brand they’re representing. However, the difference is that a brand ambassador promotes the brand with passion and knowledge. A promotional model, with a sexy outfit. Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the reality and value of positive product association. I also understand it’s not feasible to hire and train brand ambassadors for every event. What I don’t understand is why these brands continue to throw their money away hiring untrained promotional models when they could be investing that money into much more effective strategies. After all, if everyone is doing it, how are you any different?

This past Friday, I DJ’ed at my weekly residency at Segafredos in South Miami and a special event on Saturday at Transit Lounge in Brickell. Both events had two sets of promotional models who were promoting two different brands of liquor. I observed what they were doing closely. Here’s how both events went down:

  • 11:00PM: Promotional models enter the venue and start setting up their samples
  • 11:15PM: Promotional models finish setting up and start engaging with users (walk around, distribute samples, take pictures)
  • 11:45PM: Promotional models start wrapping up
  • 12:00AM: Promotional models leave (walk out wearing regular clothes)

Approximately $500 later (on the brand’s tab) and no lasting impression. How does a user different Friday’s brand from Saturdays? What would make a user remember anything about that experience? What about the pictures they took? Actually, the pictures are for them. They are not for the users. The promotional models show the pictures to the agency to prove they were there and interacted with users. The agency then shows the pictures to the client and tells them what a success the event was. The client is happy and marks this down as a win. But how much more of that brand was sold at the bar that night? In both cases, not enough to break even.

Results from the 2011 Ex Awards

May 17, 2011   //   by johncabarga   //   Blog, Chicago Events, Experiential  //  No Comments


The Ex Awards, presented by Event Marketer, is the only awards competition that recognizes the best of the best in event and experiential marketing. The awards ceremony was held last night in Chicago after the first day of the Event Marketing Summit. Categories included Best Mobile Marketing Program, Best Nightlife Marketing Campaign, and Best Multicultural Event Campaign, just to name a few. This year’s big winners were Pepsi and Denver-based marketing agency, Motive, who took home the Grand Ex Award for their online-to-offline hybrid campaign, Dewmocracy 2. Check out the recap on Event Marketer’s Website for a full list of the results.





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This site's purpose is to provide you with a little insight into who I am, what I've done, and what I can do. Take a look around the site and if you don't leave within 30 seconds, you should contact me.