FRIDAYS AT FOUR Volume Nine Issue One

January 13, 2012

Fridays at Four Newsletter

Volume Nine Issue One
January 13, 2012

This newsletter started out as an idea before there were blogs, smart phones, Facebook, Google and on and on it goes. Our goal was to share with our colleagues in the events, stadiums, arenas and convention centers interesting news we came across during the month.

So here we are nine years later, and sending you the latest news we have read about this past two weeks.

  • Pepper has announced it plans to slim down its sodas. Starting this month, the company will start testing Seven Up Ten,Sunkist Ten, A and W Ten and Canada Dry Ten. Sales volume in the soda industry declined again in 2011, and has each year since 2005. Pepsi plans to launch Pepsi Next, a mid calorie soda soon. –Wall Street Journal
  • Near field communications will be one of the buzz words this year. Look for Coca Cola to install along with Visa some uses for this in vending machines to support contactless payments. Patrons affix a sticker to the back of their mobile phones and hold them in front of the readers to pay for the purchase. –Vending Times
  • The news from the CES show this week says that the trends are all around flatter, sleeker and less expensive. Five things that shined—Cheaper tablets, the Nokia Lumia 900, the Lenovo K800,OLED Tvs and Ultrabooks. Another technology that was hot was the new phones that are depth sensing and allow you to control your computer by moving hands of body. –Associated Press
  • Hold the phone for mobile payments. News from CES is that so far customers and retailers have remained tepid toward the NFC technology. Some uses shown at the show were waving your phone at a turnstile in place of a ticket, pair their devices with appliances and mobile accessories, retrieve coupons or link instantly to web sites by waving them in front of a reader. –Retailers are not lining up to install the new equipment that will allow the tap and go payments. There is also the debate about who controls the consumer’s financial data. –Wall Street Journal.
  • Stay tuned for this coming soon. There will soon be what is called a Reputation Score. This will be just like a FICO credit score. There are companies such as Peer Index, Twittalyzer, Talent tag and PostRank that already apply online analytics to establish the heft of an individuals or business’s social capital.  Klout is one company that watches your behavior on a range of online services. The higher your score the more influential on a rank from 1 to 100.  –Wall Street Journal.
  • GF Strategies attended the Western Fairs meetings this past week in Anaheim. Most of the focus was on ways to increase your customer fan base, build their loyalty and get tickets sold before the event. Of course much of the chat was on social media, its expansion and what Fairs can do to grow this with its audiences. For sure, the word Face book dominated the conversation, and the idea of using the new Timeline feature was discussed. Fairs could perhaps look back into archives and try and use old photo files to seek the three generation stories, or trace the history of the carnival rides at the event. The expanded new uses for onsite contests were also mentioned via the smart phone. `

This story reports that Santa has traded his sleigh for a smart phone. Fro the year, total purchases made over smart phones in the US will hit $6 billion.  Forrester says this could reach $30 billion by 2015. Comscore says that two-thirds of the 100 million smart phone owners (up from 60 million in April 2011) use their phones to compare products and prices, search for coupons and take product photos and locate stores. –Barrons

  • Fast Company in its latest issue has an article called Generation Flux. The article talks about the idea of chaotic disruption. “The entire world of business is now in a constant state of agile development”.—Fast Company February 2012
  • Look for us to announce some new partners for our smart phone applications with stadiums and arenas. WE have just completed a project with Showare Arena in Kent, Washington, and are enhancing the project that we did with the Oregon Brewers Festival last July.
  • Our book recommendation this month is Find Your Next by Andrea Kates.

And now you can visit our web site and find archives of past issues at Or contact us about our services that work with your venue to increase your revenues from food, beverage and merchandise.

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