For those unfamiliar, Foursquare is a geo-location application designed for smartphone users designed to let people “check in” to locations they are visiting. The social aspect of the application comes from the ability to invite friends to see where you are for group meetups or just to shout about your favorite spots. Special badges are also unlocked for completing certain tasks or checking into certain venues. Checking in to a location more times than anyone else also nets you a “Mayorship” of it, which competitive folks find a certain sense of pride in having (guilty as charged).
Foursquare recently celebrated their second birthday in the Windy City and with a quick fact-check recently telling me that Foursquare’s users now total roughly 7.5 million and there are 2 million checkins per day, there is cause for celebration. From a “Chicago outsider’s perspective”, I found the location of Digital Bootcamp on Hubbard a fine location for this event and host Todor Krecu from the Chicago Social Marketing Group as welcoming as ever (full disclosure: when I found out they developed Android apps here I geeked out a little). The event had sponsorship from every industry between cupcakes and a taxi service (full list here) and some great speakers including the man I consider to be the king of social pizza, Ramon De Leon from Domino’s. As Ramon speaks you can see his positive attitude catch fire to everyone in the room, and he seems to pull everyone’s focus in with his passion for social media and raw charisma. Other speakers included Jeffrey Epstein from Digital Bootcamp, Maria Scileppi from Chicago Portfolio School, and Geoff Alexander from Lettuce Entertain You, who’s seeing success all over Chicago with several restaurants including 3 Wow Bao locations downtown.
My overall impression of the party was that it was a great networking opportunity for folks from any industry and at any level of Foursquare understanding. It’s great to see developers, creatives, and social media pros mixing it up in the same space. I’m always happy to come to Chicago for events for the openness of its community. I would like to thank Todor for pulling things together for this event. For a complete list of the sponsors, presenters, and attendees, here’s the Eventbrite link from the event. Thanks Chicago!