Northside Tradeshow 2014 Roundup

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

northside_stageOn June 12- 13, 2014 technologists, hackers, entrepreneurs and artists came together for the annual Northside Tradeshow, which was held as part of the Northside Festival in Brooklyn and featured tracks on innovation, music and film. A range of companies, from mobile apps to 3D printing companies, and vertical garden manufacturers, had set up a booth in the giant 50,000-square-foot tent in the McCarren Park. Expedition PR was also part of this year’s exhibitors, offering PR and marketing counsel to startups and free copies of its Startup Marketing eBook series.

Here are three cool companies that I spotted at the festival:

Ussemble, an app that lets you capture and share ideas for activities that you’re interested in doing with your friends and make plans around those ideas. The Ussemble team is still testing and perfecting their app, but you can already download it and give feedback.
Tiggly, a New York-based company that develops interactive toys and apps for the digital generation. Their debut product, Tiggly Shapes, combines physical objects with iPad technology and creates great learning games for children between 18 months and 4 years old. The app helps toddlers and preschoolers develop spatial reasoning, motor skills, language, and creativity.

Continue reading


NYC BigApps Competition Wants Your Big Ideas to Improve Life and Work in New York City

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR




Wanted are technology solutions that help improve resource management, education, health and public safety, among other challenges

On May 6, a diverse mix of of developers, engineers, designers, marketers and content experts, gathered at the AppNexus office in Manhattan for the NYC BigApps 2014 kick-off.  New York City’s 5th Annual BigApps is a four-month competition that awards technology products that best solve major challenges affecting New York City residents, visitors, and businesses. Participants can win cash prizes, products, special recognitions, and the chance that their product will get adopted by a civic group or city agency.


By giving access to government agency data, NYC BigApps has helped launch nearly 300 apps designed to improve the life and work of New Yorkers since its creation in 2009. Last year’s BigApps Grand Prize winner was HealthyOut, an app that helps users find and order a healthy restaurant meal for delivery, takeout or browse for healthy dish suggestions when dining out. Since then, the app has expanded its geographic footprint outside of New York. Today’s HealthyOut users can order nutritious meals in more than 500 cities, choosing from more than 20,000 restaurants.


This year’s BigApps contestants are encouraged to submit projects that fit into one of the four categories:  Live, Work, Learn, and Play.  At the kick-off event 44 BigApps partners, including city agencies, private companies, civic organizations and educational institutions, had set up a booth to discuss projects needs, ideas and available data with the attendees. Projects can run the gamut from mobile and web apps, connected devices, data tools, games, and other technology products.

Continue reading


New York is a Melting Pot for the Food and Tech Industries

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

2014 will be the breakthrough year for Food Tech companies.  This January at CES in Las Vegas, Yahoo announced with great fanfare the launch of two new digital magazines – Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech. Both online publications boast a high caliber editorial team, led by Katie Couric and David Pogue. The magazines were designed on Tumblr technology, a multimedia blogging platform that had been acquired by Yahoo.  According to the New York Times, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer said the digital food and tech magazines had already attracted more than 10 million unique visitors since their introduction in early January. That comes to no surprise considering that food and technology are among the most discussed topics online. Moreover, technology is increasingly transforming the food industry and spurred the creation of food tech companies. Rosenheim Advisor charted the 2014 Food, Tech & Media Ecosystem. It stretches from online and mobile ordering, reservations, ad networks and loyalty programs to payment systems.

The food and tech industries continue to merge in 2014 offering more ways to hospitality businesses to market themselves and operate more efficiently. One of the nation's food tech hubs is New York City.

The food and tech industries continue to merge in 2014 offering more ways to hospitality businesses to market themselves and operate more efficiently. One of the nation’s food tech hubs is New York City.

On a recent Food+Tech Meetup organized by the founders of Foodtechconnect.com, some of New York’s finest food tech startup showcased how they are transforming the way restaurants market and operate their business.

 Here is a snap shot of some of the companies that presented:

·         NoWait, is an iOS app that allows consumers to search restaurant wait times, add their names to waiting lists and get texts from restaurants when their tables are ready. CEO, Ware Sykes, shows how the company is serving a sizeable non reservation market space; restaurants and their customers that don’t take reservations and need better solutions than buzzers or manual text messages to manage an average wait line of 45 – 60 minutes. Serving over 1,000 restaurants nationwide, the company’s table management system seats up to 3 million diners per month.

·         Cover, founded by Mark Egerman or Andrew Cove, is a payment processing app that lets customers seamlessly pay for their meals and saves restaurants money on credit card fees.  Diners can use the downloaded Cover app to easily settle their bill on their mobile when leaving the restaurant and even preset tip percentage and bill splitting with other diners.

·         Culinary Agents and Easy Pairings  are both solutions to help restaurant owners with recruitment and staffing in the hospitality industry. While Culinary Agents offers match making for the back of the house and front of the house, Easy Pairings currently focuses on front of the house staffing, with plans to expand in the future. CEO and co-founder Darren Wan shared that based on his own experience managing a restaurant in New York, staff turnover is a major pain point for the food industry. Turnover rates are approximately 55%. Data analytics and online profile matchmaking can help restaurant owners to identify proper candidates quickly.

With New York, and especially the borough of Brooklyn, being a major hub for digital media, tech and food businesses, it will be exciting to see how the three industries will feed each other with new ideas and innovative business models.


Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi – A Good Candidate to Break the New Social Media World Record

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

sochi_app_storeWith today’s start of the broadcast of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, millions of people will be tied to their TV and computers screen to watch their favorite winter sports and cheer on their home country’s teams. Big sport events such as the FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl or the Olympic Games are always a crunch time for marketing and PR professionals since, according to KT Tape, 83% of viewers use social media on second-screen during the games. Procter and Gamble launched their very successful “Thank You, Mum – Pick Them Back Up” commercial for the Olympics which went viral and hit over 13 million clicks after only two days on YouTube. But the Olympic Games are also used by countries to promote themselves and their culture to the rest of the world. One example of this is Canada who launched their big #WeAreWinter campaign featuring their star athletes in several videos that followed them through the preparation to the Winter Olympics.

The rise of social media and mobile technology has enabled people from around the world to follow scores, athletes and help to handle scheduling the 98 events which take place in 15 disciplines over the next couple of weeks.

Here are five apps specifically developed for the Winter Olympics in Sochi that will greatly improve your second-screen viewing experience:

  1. AT&T, also official network service provider, launched the #ItsOurTime App with a record function, giving fans of the US team the opportunity to support the athletes with a loud “U-S-A” chant.
  2. The free Olympic Athletes Hub App makes it easy for fans to follow their favorite athletes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all combined in one App. A great solution to monitor all social engagement and happenings.
  3. Also worth checking out is the free 2014 Team USA Road to Sochi App. Designed for the supporters of the US team, the App puts a focus on the US athlete’s Facebook and Twitter handles and provides its users with biographical background information, photo galleries and video clips.
  4. A good way to stay up to date on the medal count is with the Sochi 2014 Medal Alert App. You can select your favorite sports category and the teams you’re cheering for in the preferences. The app will notify you each time a medal is awarded during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
  5. For Android users the official Olympic sponsor Samsung launched the WOW Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games App. It allows its users to keep track of scores, medals and event schedules. Also included in this app, and possibly one of the most valuable features for those unfamiliar with the sports they are watching, is a small tutorial for each sport detailing how it is played and scored.

Alex Huot, head of social media for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), predicted that the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver would be “the first social media Olympics”. However, the games in Vancouver were outranked by London. With 150 million tweets across 16 days and 80,000 a minute when Usain Bolt won his 200 meters title, plus 1 billion official page impressions on Facebook, the London 2012 Olympics were crowned as the “first social media Games.” We know that Sochi can’t be crowned the first social media game anymore, but world records are there to be broken as social media use has even increased since 2012.


Market Trends from Textile Trade Show – Texworld

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR




From January 21-23, 2014 the Texworld USA took place in Javits Convention Center, New York.The dynamic industry event brings together apparel textile suppliers and buyers from all over the world. Held bi-annually, Texworld USA provides the opportunity to meet directly with a wide range of manufacturers from Asia, the Middle East, North America and from many other regions from around the globe.

While at Texworld I was able to attended Edward Hertzman’s (founder and publisher of Sourcing Online Journal) lecture on global sourcing of garments where I was previewed to an overview of current trends in the garment industry. Although Mr. Hertzman touched on a variety of different topics during his talk, one overarching message came across loud and clear: reform is needed.

Excessive hours, forced overtime, lack of job security, poverty wages, denial of trade union rights, poor health, exhaustion, sexual harassment and mental stress are all common  working conditions for textile manufactures and “sweatshop” employees. Developed countries shift their apparel production through outsourcing to developing cheap labor countries. But where outsourcing ends re-sourcing starts, a term that describes the move of production within and between developing countries in search of cheapest and fastest manufacturing.

The textile industry with all its facets is complexities is not easily grasped by outsiders.

Never the less, at Texworld USA I was able to identify two main challenges that need to be overcome in order to improve working conditions of textile manufacturer employees all over the world.

Continue reading


4 Best Practices for Launching and Positioning Your App

Case Study: The Launch of Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter iPad App for Preschoolers

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Source: Pitch Painter http://bit.ly/1ev2PPc

Source: Pitch Painter http://bit.ly/1ev2PPc

Are you launching a new app in 2014? When developing your marketing strategy, take a look at what has worked, or has not worked that well for other app development companies. Expedition PR has worked on a variety of app launch and positioning programs. Based on our experience, we developed an integrated marketing play book for apps.

One of the apps we recently worked on is Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter, an educational app that teaches music composing to preschoolers. Using finger painting as a metaphor, children can compose, erase, edit, save or load their creations with Pitch Painter.

The agency executed an introduction and review program and later was brought in again for the release of the updated application, which featured an improved user interface design and button layout that is more intuitive for kids to create music. As a result, Pitch Painter received the ON for Learning Award from Common Sense Media. Pitch Painter was just one of 50 apps, games and websites that received the distinction from the national nonprofit dedicated to helping parents and teachers manage the media and technology in kids’ lives. Media coverage in the parenting, consumer and tech media included “Top 5 Apps for Kids” by Mashable and “New and Noteworthy Kids App” by Best Apps for Kids. Just Mommies included Pitch Painter among the “Top 10 Educational Apps for Kids”. Reviews appeared in CNET, Mobile Apps Review Online, Apps4iDevices, App Annie, App Shopper, Apps for Children with Special Needs, iPad Apps for Autism, Montessori at Home, Motherhood Moments, ByronMom, Peanut Butter and Whine, Digital Playground/School in Toronto, among others.

Continue reading


Holiday Shopping 2013: Watch out for Santa’s new digital elves and reindeers

By Dennis Anderson, St. Francis College, and Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR
This blog post was originally published by ACM – Computers in Entertainment.


Forget chimney sweeping, Santa is sending gifts by same-day courier and his elves are roaming virtual shopping malls to stuff your stockings.

adidasinteractive_2This year’s holiday shopping is on track to set a new record for m-commerce: Total e-commerce grew 24% to $4.6 billion on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving, according to research conducted by BI Intelligence. The study concluded that m-commerce grew 63 percent and accounted for nearly $940 million in sales on those three days. One in four e-commerce dollars spent on Black Friday and Thanksgiving was on purchases made through mobile devices. Comscore is predicting a combined 14-17 percent growth in holiday desktop e-commerce and m-commerce compared to last year, keeping in mind that this year’s shopping season is merely 27 days, thus six days shorter than 2012.

Santa and his virtual elves also have a couple of new tricks up their sleeves. One of them is comparison shopping.  Continue reading


Will phone companies stop using phone numbers in 2014?

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR



There was a time when you use to remember your close friend’s phone numbers, carry around an address book for your not-so-daily contacts, and have an even bigger Rolodex in your office for your business contacts. This was also before people had cell phones that stored the numbers of all your contacts, making memorizing a number obsolete. This is all obvious, but worth thinking about.


At what point will phone companies allow customers to substitute phone numbers for usernames? Think for a moment how many IP addresses you have memorized. Now think how many domain names you know. What if every time you wanted to Google something, you first had to enter the IP address instead of just typing in www.google.com? Just like google.com is the user-friendly version of the IP address you are trying to find, I think phone companies should allow their customers to choose more intuitive usernames that link back to their phone numbers.


In order to help start this process, I’m working on a service, Lukly, that will allow users to access their contacts from any phone via text message login. After saving their contacts to Lukly servers, a user will only need to remember the 5 digits Lukly number, their login information, and the name of the person they wish to contact. Private beta is coming soon, please sign up at www.lukly.co.

This post originally appeared on the blog Audidigital. It was reposted with permission.


German Social Media Networks: Xing The Rising Star and Yelp Entering The Market

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Xing is one of Germany's leading social networks

Xing is one of Germany’s leading social networks

According to a ComScore report,  46.4 million people are accessing social media services via their PC in Germany. With a population of over 81 million people, half of the country is regularly online. 17.3 million Germans are checking in on social networks daily for news . Half of those (8.4 million) are using their Smartphone to go online to read blogs or communicate via Twitter, Facebook and other social media services.

This month, eMarketer published a report stating that Germany is the top social networking spot in Western Europe, edging out the U.K. The social media usage numbers in Germany are expected to increase further over the next years.

In the U.S. the most popular social networks are Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+. In Germany Facebook and Google+ are also among the top social networks, with Facebook dominating the market.  However, there are also few other networks that are worth mentioning. One of them is Xing, a social network for business professionals that is comparable to LinkedIn. Continue reading


The Summer of 2013: S’mores and Apps

By Katja Schroeder and Dennis Anderson. Published by ACM Computer in Entertainment on July 31, 2013

The dog days of summer have begun. Schools are closed. The annual summer reading list is taped on the fridge. For many kids, the summer is not just about spending time at the beach and enjoying s’mores at campfires; an increasing number of parents send their children to camps that offer some type of educational value, such as learning a new language or exploring science.  Bookstores are stocked with summer learning books that promise to prepare their children for the next grade.  A new generation of tech-savvy parents has discovered mobile apps and online software as a learning tool for their children.

In 2011, already more than a quarter of all parents had downloaded apps for their children to use, according to aCommon Sense Media study. The higher use of mobile devices has accelerated the adoption of educational apps at home since then.  The Pew Research Center estimates that tablet ownership among adults in the United States rose from 10 percent in December 2012 to 34 percent in June 2013—and 50 percent among parents with young children. About 60 percnet of children ages 8 to 11 use phone apps based on a study conducted by the research firm KidSay.

The appeal of downloading educational apps for kids is simple.  The gamified approach of apps engages kids to solve math problems and other tasks that they may not want to do.  They can collect virtual coins and rewards for solving a variety of challenges. Like adding vegetables to favorite dishes to make meals more nutritious, practicing math via apps becomes fun, and makes the use of mobile devices for kids more beneficial.

Here are the five most popular math apps for children available on iTunes, which can make the summer more enjoyable.

To read the full article, click here