Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Conference > Coming to Minneapolis in 2018





There has never been a better time for the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Conference to come to town! With a theme of Women Speak: Curating the Future of Food, this is also the place… the home of so many food companies that are the history and the future of the industry headquartered here.

Learn and Grow with the Great Women of the Culinary World

Renowned chefs, television personalities, authors, restaurateurs and culinary experts join us each year to share their knowledge and experience during our National Conference.


Women Chef and Restaurateurs is an incredible resource for connecting women in all areas of the food and beverage business. By creating experiences that educate and inspire, WCR brings together women of the culinary arts building a strong network among industry peers. Many WCR members credit their career evolution to their WCR membership, including TV personality Elizabeth Falkner, and past WCR Secretary and Restaurateur Kathleen Blake, owner of The Rusty Spoon in Orlando, Florida. In establishing WCR, our founders gave women in the culinary industry a platform to join forces professionally, magnify their collective voice, and elevate the position and recognition of the women in this dynamic and diverse world of hospitality. Become a WCR member and enter a world of Chefs, Sommeliers, Restaurateurs, Manufacturers, Farmers and Industry Executives who unite to promote women in all areas of the culinary world.

Categories: Cuisine, Food Tags , , , , , , |

SXSW 2017 > Your Virtual Finger on the Pulse

Since you are not at South by… because if you were you wouldn’t be reading a blog post…

it’s time to rely on REAL NEWS sources to keep your finger on the pulse of the action in Austin.

So…. here is what people are capturing and sharing …. you decide if it is REAL NEWS or otherwise!

CNBC > What to watch for at SXSW 2017

Nice overview list of some popular “to dos”

SXSW Startup Village

Browse the prominent events that occur within Startup Village® below.

SXSW Accelerator > The ninth annual SXSW Accelerator Startup Pitch Competition will take place at SXSW Startup Village® on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges will discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology. The SXSW Accelerator Award Ceremony will be on Sunday, March 12 at 7pm.

SXSW Release It > SXSW Release It is a special pitch competition in Startup Village® on the opening day of the SXSW Conference, Friday, March 10. Ten cutting-edge companies launching a new product or service during this SXSW season will present to a panel of industry experts and a winner will be chosen based on which product or service is most likely to succeed in the marketplace.

International Programming > A variety of sessions that take an in-depth look at the possibilities and problems facing startup tech industries around the world. Some of the topics we see in this space include international investment opportunities, international business regulations and hurdles, immigration laws, developing markets (particularly in Latin America, Asia and Africa), country-specific ecosystems, and media engagement in the global marketplace.

Film Programming > Film Startup Village highlights the many connections between the film industry and entrepreneurial world. Covering and showcasing a variety of topics ranging from film startups and entrepreneurs in film to running your film like a startup, come hear from industry experts and innovators pushing the boundaries of the industry.

Music Programming > Music Startup Village brings together startups and entrepreneurs as well as investors and cutting-edge digital tastemakers in music. Come hear from industry experts about new and innovative developments and trends in music.

Startup Collegiate Sessions > Consisting of panel sessions and pitch events, Startup Village® Collegiate Sessions showcase collegiate institutions that have degree programs with a focus on startup and entrepreneurial­ related initiatives. By offering this type of programming, we hope to create exposure for these forward­ thinking educational tracts and facilitate growth within these organizations.

Tech Startup Spotlight > Discover emerging startups at the Tech Startup Spotlight on Friday, March 10 and Monday, March 13. An engaging reception with complimentary drinks, the Tech Startup Spotlight provides two unique opportunities to meet with and get demos from some of the brightest startups today.

Fast Company > The Fast Company Grill

This is one of my personal favs as you know Bob Safian knows how to curate tomorrow so the talent is hot and there are always surprises

Nerdist’s Backyard Bash

They are tagging #NerdistBash on Twiiter + and their Instagram is a good photo feed

Thrillest Guide to Crushing it at SXSW

Fear not: We’ve taken out the guesswork for you, dear reader…

NBC News > Plenty of Politics

SXSW 2017: Plenty of Innovation, But Also Plenty of Politics

Disney’s Rogue One Experience

A cheap Rogue One escape room reveals the potential of Star Wars Land


NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Mission Invades SXSW 2017

SXSW “Release it” > Storyo App Finalist

Storyo 2.0 app, the world’s first storytelling app that automatically curates and creates “Instant Lifestories” – short photo video memories that incorporate images, media, weather, and people into short narratives that help users share life events with detail, context, and flow.

ENVY Launches Visual Search Engine at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Envy – (findyourenvy.com) the world’s first ever visual search engine – officially launched at SXSW, making consumers rethink the way they find the things they love, swiping through images, as opposed to reviews, where they can call it, map it, or book it. Watch Envy in action here: https://goo.gl/1OC31W.

Just a few of the must sees for interactives in the know!

Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Connected Home, Digital Marketing, Internet of Things, iOT, Millenials, Omni-Channel, Social Events, Social Media, SXSW Tags , , , , , , |

SXSW 2017 is HERE!

This just may be the favorite time of year for “Interactives”… the 5 days in March that are South by Southwest. Granted, the “movies” and the “musics” love it too!


SXSW Trend > Political Themes

If you want to have your finger on the pulse of what next, what’s shiny and new, just join the throngs in Austin as everyone intensely experiences the sights and sounds of the bustling digitals tapping into this target rich environment of opportunity.

Each year the festival evolves, the first year we went was 2009 and “Becoming Social” was all the rage just a year after Twitter debuted. Over the years you can see what’s hot an what’s not through the technology being spotlighted, the sessions being shared and how the sponsors relevantly activate their brands to this savvy tastemaker audience.

This year’s version of “what’s next” includes the highly political tone of the day… there’s no getting around the change in America this year and its reflection across all media and mediums.

As always, we like to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening, so here is a handy hit list of the trends that are making SXSW 2017 another one to remember

SXSW Official Site

SXSW 2017 Programming Trends

Here are the highlights captured from the link above- worth the full read!

Why it matters: Artificial Intelligence has become ubiquitous as more and more applications are found for this still-emerging technology. Everyday uses—from gesture-based interfaces to specialist applications like psychiatric care bots with emotion recognition—stand alongside massive modeling projects that predict future events with increasing accuracy. Can the impact of these advances be mitigated with radical policy shifts, such as the movement for universal basic income?

Why it matters: Is the cart before the horse? Development of VR technology and hardware is moving rapidly, but where’s the killer app or change in the ecosystem that will trigger the much-anticipated mass adoption when a real VR setup is still out of reach of the average consumer?

Why it matters: “Young people only want cool technology” is a widely-held sentiment, but a deeper exploration of Gen Y and Z’s desires and needs reveals a search for ways to meaningfully impact the world in this era of global citizenship and real-time social media presence.

Why it matters: Modern policymakers face tough tech-related challenges, few more so than regulating who owns what in a world made of 1s and 0s. Consumer data protection concerns are approaching crisis, with detailed tracking going beyond the online realm and into the physical.

Why it matters: 2017 is a critical moment for unheard voices around the world, with issues of inclusion rising to prominence throughout the political spectrum. The effects of decisions in this sphere can be felt more broadly than ever before as businesses and communities discover the socio-economic impact they can have.

Why it matters: The complexity of the music licensing and streaming landscape intensifies. Amidst calls for more transparency, new ideas like blockchain distribution, global rights databases, and automatic licensing platforms hope to steady the ship for artists, rightsholders, labels, publishers, and services. Meanwhile, regime change in the U.S. brings even more uncertainty.

Why it matters: While many are talking about all of the new-school ways of creating and distributing content, such as streaming services, torrent distribution, VR and drones (to name a few) some are standing out from the pack by looking backwards—using old-school analog techniques like arthouse theatrical release strategies, education distribution, and shooting on film—to get their content noticed. Musicians, labels, and record stores are making real money from surging vinyl record sales, even tapping into cassette tape nostalgia.

Why it matters: A new form of politics has entered the spotlight since the controversial 2016 Presidential election, and along with it new challenges arise alongside the old. Fake news and alternative facts seek to veil serial scandals and a polarized society, and minorities become increasingly marginalized as policy swings towards isolationism. How will this affect social progress, technology, and creative industries, and what paths will remain open in this uncertain future?

Why it matters: From self-monitoring devices to man-modified DNA, the human body is the new ground zero for disruption and innovation. Advances in prosthetics and implants stand alongside the promise of gene editing, while AI and telemedicine loom above the current care provision paradigm.

Why it matters: Around the world and in almost every sector, more and more industries are absorbing startups and startup-inspired approaches, driving more innovation in house via hackathons and corporate incubators. Small and innovative products grow fast while options and solutions are tested quickly with no fear of failure. Organization structures are becoming flatter with greater transparency in the workplace resulting in more adaptability as HR now relies on more qualitative over quantitative feedback for employee performance.

Why it matters: All roads from Silicon Valley lead to Madison Avenue as the marketing industry rushes to assimilate every advance in big data. Large firms are rebranding themselves as tech-first companies to take advantage of the deep insight that data collection can offer into the habits of fans and consumers.

Why it matters: New innovations continue to dismantle traditional approaches to moving people (and products) from one place to another. The impact is already visible with autonomous ground and air vehicles: what are the next steps, and what will the effect of the realisation of massive projects like hyperloop transport networks and the movement towards renewable energy be?

As we watch and learn from the best of the best, it is personally exciting to see the intersection of technology in the continually emerging digital health indusry and what’s next for transportation in America… now’s the time to press forward!

Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Connected Home, Customer Journey Mapping, Digital Health Care, Digital Marketing, Education, Integrated Marketing Strategy, Internet of Things, iOT, Medical Device, Millenials, Next Generation, Omni-Channel, Social Media, Transportation, Virtual Reality Tags , |

Digital Consumer Behavior in 2017 > The Emerging Connected Lifestyle

Connected Life Image Social Wendy Group 2017Food for thought

No matter what demographic or psychographic group you belong to, in 2017 you will continue to explore the myriad of options compelling you to further connect yourself with the people and things most important to your daily lifestyle. Big trends like the growth of the sharing economies, healthy lifestyles, personal safety, and accessibility are all factors in our interest level in connectivity. Additionally, your life stage, family, and professional responsibilities converge into a complex interwoven puzzle of “what to do and how to do it”.

Here are just a few of the topics to explore as you define your own Connected Lifestyle:

iOT > Internet of Things

iOT > Internet of Things

Sharing Economy > Forbes

Sharing Economy > Wikipedia

And, in case you haven’t seen Mckinsey & Company’s lastest on the Connected Home here is a handy reference link to get you started!

Categories: Social Media

What Apps Enhance Your Professional Effectiveness?

When was the last time you updated your smartphone or tablet apps to match your busy professional and personal life?  If you are like me it has been a while.  And, while I am intermittently adding apps into my professional productivity arsenal, I rarely think of them as a set of tools in the toolkit of how SWG facilitates it’s unique brand of client service.

Social Wendy Group - Your Tablet


Since I am frequently asked about the latest and greatest in digital, I thought I would share my little “aha” to create a handy little sharable piece of content. Shocking huh? So, here is a list of favorites, and you will see that I did not include any of the apps that address our core Social 9 model as whether or not they are cool or easy or similar, I/we have to use them either way. These are not ranked in anyway…

My Latest additions…  (all iOs)
Post-it Plus
Skyguide (for personal fun!)
My Standards
Business Model Toolbox
Creative Whack Pack
Facebook Pages Manager
Google Calendar
Google Hangouts
Hotspot Shield
Paypal Here
Show Me
X-Ref Pantone

What are your favorites?




Categories: Social Media

Expo 2023 Bid Development Website is LIVE!

With many thanks going out to RBA Consulting for their translation of our Expo 2023 Communications Strategy into a truly Vitruvian website! We can now spotlight all our Phase 1 Development efforts and we are prepared to launch into our Bid Development process following our Community Engagement Campaign including our Indiegogo Crowdtunding Campaign and our Minnesota State Fair “Innovation on a Stick” Experience. For information about Expo 2023 and to get involved, you can go to our new website of course! www.expo2023.info

Social Wendy Group is a Inaugural Sponsor of Expo 2023

Social Wendy Group is a Inaugural Sponsor of Expo 2023



Categories: Social Media

The Expo 2023 Indiegogo Campaign is LIVE!

Thanks to a collection of collaborative partners including Fallon’s Kickstarter program who provided creative direction and a collection of amazing assets for the campaign. And RBA who is building our Expo 2023 corporate website…. With blue chip supporters like these it is no wonder the project is gaining significant momentum!

You can check it out for yourself at http://bit.ly/Expo2023Indiegogo

Indiegogo LIVE JUST 8-4-14 7 pm


Expo Community Page

Categories: Digital Marketing, Global Digital Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing Tags , , , , , |

Watch for Expo 2023’s Crowdfunding Campaign coming in August!

Yes, we are Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding for Expo 2023 | The Minnesota World’s Fair!


Our unique campaign will be launched on Indiegogo in August 2014. Our goal is to raise $200,000 to support our Expo 2023 Bid Development process.

With an impressive cause focus and 9 million unique global web visitors monthly, Indiegogo is a natural platform to connect with the greater World Fair Community.  We will take full advantage of this global community to help define the future vision of Expo 2023 through crowdsourced ideas.  Additionally, we will enlist their corporate matching program to allow partners to augment our development efforts.  More details to come on this exciting campaign.

Want to Get Involved?

A key component of our Expo 2023 Community is our Volunteer Program. You can attend our Volunteer Engagement Event on July 8th at Town & Country Club to learn more about opportunities yet this summer and into fall.

We will be at the Minnesota State Fair in the Lower Grandstand with Minnesota’s Innovation Landscape featuring immersive experiences from Minnesota’s most innovative organizations. From virtual reality glimpses of the US Pavilion at Expo Milano next year to one visionary concept that Expo 2023 could become.  Our state fair booth will provide an energizing and insightful experience for fairgoers who have already backed or will back our crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo.

You can contact our Volunteer Director Linda Presthus at lpresthus@gmail.com to explore our volunteer and in kind donation opportunities.

Categories: Social Media

SXSW 2014 | The Bar is Raised

SXSW Mashable House 2014

Whether you are a newbie to the Southby adventure or a seasoned vet, the few days that Austin transforms into SXSW-land is a heady energy infused mecca of creativity and innovation bubbling out of every nook and cranny.  Even the parties have unique and new ideas to experience… It’s like a grown-up Disneyland for Creative-types.

For marketing and communication pros looking to tap into the pulse of the moment, here’s a couple handy links to get you tapped into some of the key trend stories:

Typically Mashable has the best pop-culture events/story coverage, Pete Cashmore’s (Mashable’s Founder + CEO) stream is photo rich with quirky images with his personal take | Here are the deets on their Mashable House (including ridable Wrecking Ball) http://swpr.co/MashableatSouthby

SXSW Fast Company Grill


Fast Company is also a great source of the bigger business and market trends… an this year they are at the event with their Fast Company Grill, like last year- a not to miss item by the way (list is closed now so I am not inserting link- but swing by and see if you can get in) | Here’s a fun book they have promoted on their site that helps Southby newbies sound like experienced interactives (from FC and Vook) http://swpr.co/SouthbyVookFC

Whether you are in the live or virtual Southby conversation, it is vibrant and alive over the next week, so make sure you tag you participation on whatever your primary conversation and content channels are… #SXSW gives you the greatest reach but if you are an experienced interactive, old-schoolers watch the #sxswi tag (and use it as well) to cut out the neophyte clutter that is also part of this massive online cacophony.

Escape + Immerse + Enjoy!

Categories: Social Media

Super Bowl Ads Don’t Disappoint / Video Link Highlights

For the ad world it isn’t all about the game, it is about what happens in between the plays… and now in a more digital and social world, it extends long before the kick-off begins for those who are bold enough to debut their creative in advance.

Here are some of the highlights… some others we will have to just wait for the game!

BUDWEISER #UpForAnything

Love the concept, execution and whackiness of the creative on this one

BUDWEISER  #Salute a Hero

Right up the middle patriotism video for well deserving Veterans


For the dog lover…

Beats Music featuring Ellen Degeneres

General Mills / Cheerios

Chevy Silverado Romance


Coke/ Going All the Way

Heinz Ketchup / Triggering Moments

Hyundai / Elantra

Categories: Social Media