Scottsdale Culinary Festival

This weekend marked the 32nd annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival, the nation’s longest running food fest. The event, put on in collaboration with the Great Arizona Picnic (GAP), runs from April 13 through the 18th and attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year.

Saturday I attended– strictly for JMC 417 blogging material of course. Food from restaurants like Stingray Sushi, Geisha A GoGoSushi Roku, Kona Grill, Camarones Restaurant & Cantina, Blue Agave Mexican Cantina, Macayo’s, Gelato Spot, and plenty more were present. In addition, alcohol booths were set up in the Beer Garden with a variety of different beers, as well as Bacardi, Absolut and Patron tents.

When I arrived, the first thing I did was check in on Foursquare. Then I thought to myself, hmmm I wonder if there is an interactive Foursquare application set up with a map directing people where to go to experience all the festival has to offer from cooking demonstrations, to bands, to the Singh Farms vegetable patch, to food and drink booths. Offering coupons and discounts on Foursquare like many other organizations do would also be a good idea. GAP does not have this feature on Foursquare, but I wonder if they would ever consider it for next year.

What the festival does have, is a Twitter page and Facebook fan page set up specifically for the event. Tweets range in content from the various events offered, how many people are in attendance and restaurant Hall of Fame winners. What I also noticed; however, was how many tweets were cut off and a link was given to connect to Facebook to find the rest of the sentence. The Facebook status updates and Tweets are virtually the same exact thing on both pages.

What I want to know is, how do you feel about this? If content on both sites are exactly the same, what incentive is given to follow both social media sites rather than just following one?

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10 Responses to Scottsdale Culinary Festival

  1. a_hundza says:

    Great post. I missed the festival this year, but it has been so fun in years prior!

    Using FourSquare as a tool to “map” your way through such a large event like this would be very helpful. I think working to create an interactive social media event to work alongside a physical event is something businesses should develop in the near future, if not right now. It would help people see all that is offered and encourage business among vendors; everyone wins.

    As far as your question goes, if I had to pick one social media site to use at such an event I would pick FourSquare. At least with FourSquare other people may have already been thinking about checking in booths/vendors/etc versus the single event so you already have more information available to you. That kind of list may be hard to decipher on Facebook (definitely) and Twitter (maybe) because there is so much chatter.

  2. srugeris says:

    I was just going off on my technological advancement rant while typing my last post. I agree that it would be nice to have a “map” of the event because this would give you a virtual tour guide accessible at the touch of a button. The developers of geolocation based programs like foursquare are going to have to try out these different ideas to see if the users report gaining significant benefits from them. The social influence with websites like twitter and facebook have really been on an uphill trend for user base in the past few years and they continue to be used for different purposes by many users, but I agree that it is inconvenient to have to sign into one in order to access the other. The fact that there is no benefit to using one social media source in addition to the other shows that upkeep of these sites is resulting in repeated content. Many companies neglect actively communicating with their publics and although this might have worked in business 20 years ago, the company will quickly realize that they need representatives who are effective at carrying out these communication needs.

  3. kwashburn says:

    This brings up a valid point. I agree that it does seem pointless for the same information to be posted on two websites. The truth is, though, that a lot of people don’t follow both Twitter and Facebook religiously, it’s either one or the other. For me, personally, the majority of the time I am only checking Facebook regularly, either on my phone or computer. I rarely use Twitter as a source of information, especially for events like the Culinary Festival. I think it could actually be a positive thing for the same information to be posted so that there is no disconnect for the public (for instance some people get more, detailed information than others depending on which social media outlet they use). I think it should stay this way.

  4. dsmith says:

    That’s an interesting point Kasey, I wonder how many people follow both Twitter and Facebook pages for the same organization. I could see this happening if someone is extremely interested in the organization, cause or event and they want to get the most information possible about it. In this case, they wouldn’t be getting any additional information since both social media sites have exactly the same content. In my opinion, I think it shows a lack of dedication and time commitment on behalf of the organization to merely just copy and paste the content from one site to the other.

  5. hhoma says:

    I agree with kwashburn completely. I didn’t understand it when my online media professor said we needed to have a facebook and twitter account, to be used for informing people when we made a new blog post. It didn’t make sense for me to have a twitter account, when the only thing I ever “tweeted” was automatically taken from my facebook statuses. He explained to me exactly what kwashburn said: that people use different social media tools, some like facebook but some prefer twitter, and it’s simply the best way to reach the most people.

    This makes a lot of sense to me, but it does cause issues when people decide what social media sites they will follow a company on. There doesn’t seem to be an incentive if both updates are the same, so I can’t possibly think of why someone would follow, say a restaurant, on both facebook and twitter. Perhaps they are completely loyal and want to show their loyalty without even paying attention to the updates. But for everyone else, they’d probably choose only one. I suppose it really isn’t a problem for the company, just as long as people are following something (and as long as the company doesn’t take too much time worrying about the number of followers or fans it has!)

  6. crandell says:

    I think you brought up a critical point. At my internship, we copy and paste the same tweets into Facebook statuses. I guess we assume they are reaching separate target audiences. We never really take into account that online-savvy individuals might have an account on both platforms. My question back to you is… do you think that Facebook and Twitter attracts the same audience? Is the age demographic using Facebook and Twitter overlap or is one supposed to be more appealing to one age group over another? From personal experience, I only interact on Facebook. It has been really difficult for me to get into Twitter and actually use it to its full capacity. But then again, I know generations older than me who utilize Twitter more than I do professionally and personally.

    • cnaughton says:

      crandell has an awesome point here. I agree that both Facebook and Twitter have very different audiences. Very recently I convinced the organization that I work for to join both and we have our Facebook and Twttier synced. Everything that goes out on Facebook goes out on Twitter but there are also some things that only go out on one or the other. While this may be bad PR practice but it works for us right now because we have a much younger demographic on Facebook and a much more professional demographic on Twitter. We’re also trying to push the Facebook page simly because it works better for our organization than Twitter does. There is very little overlap in terms of Facebook fans also being Twitter followers so until those audiences merge, it’s a tactic that works for us.

  7. dsmith says:

    I would have to agree with you on that one group member. I do think Twitter has both a young and old demographic while Facebook has a primarily high school and college audience. But that is just my guess, I wonder if there’s been any research done on that.

  8. acarlin says:

    I really wanted to go to the culinary festival this year but I couldn’t! You bring up a great point about businesses using social media to promote an event. I have never ran into events putting up the same posts on facebook and twitter, but like a couple of the comments on here, I don’t use Twitter a lot. I agree that it doesn’t make sense to post the same exact post on both facebook and twitter because not everyone checks both regularly, and not everyone has the same people on their facebook and twitter.

    I do see why they did it though, because they want to increase traffic to both their social media sites. I personally never go on Twitter, but I do check my facebook daily.

  9. tmoore says:

    I think that the point of having the same advice on two different social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, is actually a wise PR move for the event because it is reaching two huge audiences at the same time with the same content. Just because they are both social media sites does not mean that the message and the information is reaching the exact same people. By networking on both sites I think that you are more likely to reach more people, and do so quickly. For instance, I am an advid Facebook user but I only seldomly use Twitter. So for me, I am more likely to see the information because they did indeed have it on Facebook. But someone who uses Twitter more often is more likely to see that information that way. And for those advocates of all social media sites, who may be avid users of both of these sites, they are way more likely to see the information one way or another; opposed to if it were only on one of the sites.

    I really like your idea about Foursquares because that seems to be an untapped area of social media/social networking that would boost Foursquares popularity and surely give them an upperhand with all the social media competition. It seems like it would be a useful application for events such as the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, as well as countless others!

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