GREAT IDEAS IN ACTION, Where: Wawa IDEA: COFFEE AND CREAM AND SUGAR STATIONS

Wawa coffee is a proprietary, private-label blend available only at Wawa stores. Wawa’s coffee station includes at least eight different varieties. In 2010 they changed their coffee from glass pots to thermals, and in 2012, Wawa began offering a full-service specialty beverage area where cus­tomers can order hand-made variet­ies of lattes, hot chocolates and more via touch screens. Since the year 2000, Wawa has served more than one billion cups of coffee.

For Wawa, the goal is to get customers in the door and move them through its locations quickly. One way they do this is through the condensed, well-organized cream and sugar cart. Wawa brand cream and milk is placed in the refrigerated cart.

Wawa also has a Wawa Coffee & Care Cart. This innovative cart allows parents of children being treated at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia a chance to take a break without leaving their child’s inpatient room.

HAVE A GREAT IDEA YOU WANT TO SUBMIT? Send a high-resolution picture of your location’s great idea and the story behind it to Amy Toner at atoner@natso.com.



via Business Feeds

FLAGS AND FAMILY at Ports to Plains

If you drove up to Ports to Plains truckstop, located in Lamar, Col­orado, the first thing you’d prob­ably notice is their big American flag. “We have a 20-foot by 30-foot American flag out front and a dozen American flags around the facility,” said owner Jim Miller.

But when you enter the facility, what would really wow you is the warm family atmosphere.

Located on an off-highway near Highway 287 and Highway 50 in the southeast corner of Colorado in the Arkansas valley, Ports to Plains was originally built by five ranchers in 1984. In 2008 when the original owners were ready to retire from the truckstop business, Miller and his wife, Janis, bought it. “Janis knows all the employees by their first names. She gives everyone a hug. Our truckstop is truly a family atmosphere,” Miller said.

RANCHER’S RESTAURANT

The location is known for its 220- seat restaurant, Rancher’s Restau­rant. “We have the largest and nicest and best quality restaurant in town,” Miller said.

Miller gives the credit to General Manager Bruce Webster for earning the restaurant all those superlatives. “Bruce is very good at running our restaurant. He is very detailed orien­tated. For example, he checks in every food vendor,” Miller said. Webster also keeps a very close on labor costs, keeping them at or below 28 percent.

The restaurant stays true to its name in a very interesting way. “One unique thing we have in our restau­rant is a huge salad bar that is made out of a manure spreader,” Miller shared. Back in 1984, the origi­nal owners took one of the manure spreaders they used on their ranch. They cleaned and shined it and in­stalled it as the salad bar.

They cater to a lot of bus traffic, serving as destination stops to com­panies such as Greyhound and Bee Line. To serve the bus traffic, they offer sandwiches, hot dogs and other to-go items in the deli in their store.

INVESTMENTS IN PORTS TO PLAINS

Since buying the truckstop, the Mill­ers have put $2 million into upgrad­ing it. “We upgraded everything and improved everything,” Miller said. A lot of that investment was spent on infrastructure updates including the electrical and plumbing systems. They upgraded their dispensers to Gilbarco dispensers and are offering DEF in bulk.

They also made a big investment in LED lights. Located in a remote area, utilities are expensive and upgrading to LED lights offered them a big cost-savings. “We did about $110,000 of LED upgrades over three years start­ing in 2015,” said Miller. Today they spend about 44 percent less than the $16,000 they were paying for utilities before the upgrade.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

The location is very big on commu­nity, making sure to stay involved with any community functions. “Anything that the community is involved in, we are there to support it,” he shared. “Schools are big in small rural areas like ours. There is always something like a fundraiser for the school, which we are happy to support.”

They also belong to the local chamber of commerce and go out of their way to show appreciation to veterans.

WORKING REMOTELY

The Millers visit the location once a month. But they don’t worry about the location running smoothly. “I don’t micromanage. I do have 32 cameras that I can access from any­where in the world and I can see the financials at any time, but the real comfort comes from knowing that I have good managers,” Miller said.

He takes advantage of those re­mote financials, reviewing them dai­ly. “I am big on reviewing the finan­cials. You don’t want to shut the door when the cow is already out,” Miller said, adding that doesn’t believe in loss leaders. “Everything needs to stand on its own two feet.”

CREATING LOYALTY

Creating loyalty has contributed to Ports to Plains’ success. The family atmosphere helps attract and retain employees, and Miller said they re­inforce that atmosphere by giving spot bonuses.

When sharing his best customer service tip Miller pointed to loyalty programs, both on the diesel and gas side. On the four-wheel driver side, the location has a custom loy­alty card. “We do fun things with that like offering free dessert on their birthday or a reward for ten fill-ups,” he said.

For professional drivers, Ports to Plains participates in the AM­BUCKS program. “AMBUCKS is huge,” he said.

Miller himself is loyal to marketing group AMBEST, which he has been associating with for a long time, in­cluding serving 12 years on the board of directors. “AMBEST is very good at what they do. I am a huge fan of AMBEST for all the things they do on a personal level especially the day-to-day stuff,” he said.



via Business Feeds

Trends To Target Unhealthy Foods: What Does It Mean for Truckstops

TrendstoOutlawUnhealthyFood.jpg

From menu labeling requirements to taxes on sodas, there is a push at the federal and state levels to discourage the consumption of certain types of foods. The trend is increasing the number of regulations truckstop and travel plaza operators must adhere to and could alter sales.

“The government is clearly trying to go after what it views as less desir­able food products. They’re beginning to implement policies designed to dis­courage unhealthy eating and encour­age healthy eating,” said David Fialkov, vice president of government relations for NATSO. “These are trends that should trigger alarm bells in forward thinking NATSO members.”

Menu Labeling Requirements
Chain restaurants and “similar re­tail food establishments,” including many convenience stores operated by truckstops and travel plazas, must comply with new menu labeling re­quirements beginning Dec. 1.

The menu labeling rule applies to any retail establishment with 20 or more locations, including franchises, operating under the same name, of­fering for sale substantially the same menu items, that sell food that is in­tended for consumption soon after be­ing purchased. This includes food sold at a restaurant as well as hot and pre­pared food sold at convenience stores.

“They’re requiring locations to in­clude calorie information next to every food item on the menu. C-stores have a hard time meeting the rules because the rules are designed for chain restau­rants,” Fialkov said.

The rule applies to businesses that are part of a chain of 20 or more lo­cations regardless of who owns the locations. The owner of a single fran­chise business is subject to the rule if that franchise has 20 or more locations that are doing business under the same franchise name.

To help NATSO members prepare for the upcoming compliance date, NATSO has created a comprehen­sive guide that offers additional de­tails on how the rule applies to travel plazas. The full document is avail­able only to NATSO members at http://ift.tt/2bWSBhY.

Although locations must comply, Bill Vollenweider, owner of the Detroi­ter Travel Center, said overall, menu labeling does little to change custom­ers’ eating habits. “It is a pain and an expense and people ignore it,” he said. “They order what they want to order.”

(NATSO has prepared a Menu Labeling Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas for its membership, which is available here.)

Snap Benefit Changes
Many of the convenience stores within truckstop and travel plazas redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, but new regulations surrounding SNAP benefits may make it harder for NATSO members to continue supporting the program.

“The Department of Agriculture has proposed rules that would require you to stock a lot more healthy food items in your store,” Fialkov said.

USDA’s proposed regulations would narrow the definition of “staple food” so that multi-ingredient items, such as mac-and-cheese, no longer count to­ward the SNAP threshold. “Operators will need to stock more single-ingre­dient items that typically aren’t found in smaller-format retailers because the government perceives such items to be healthier,” Fialkov said.

The new legislation also requires SNAP retailers to implement point-of-sale technology systems that will not redeem SNAP benefits for the purchase of ineligible items and preclude cashiers from manually overriding the prohibi­tion. Most truckstop owners and opera­tors already have such systems in place, for those that do not will eventually need to upgrade their systems to par­ticipate in the SNAP Program.

Fialkov said the regulations could decrease the number of c-stores that accept SNAP benefits, pushing SNAP recipients to visit grocery stores instead. “There is no data to show that SNAP recipients buy any different type of a food at a grocery store than a c-store. All you’re doing is making them travel further,” Fialkov said.

To help operators comply with the changes, NATSO has prepared a com­pliance guide that contains additional information on current requirements for SNAP retailers to participate in the program, as well as an overview of the anticipated additional requirements. NATSO's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas is available here

An Attack on Soda
A number of cities are exploring a tax on sodas, and Philadelphia has be­come the first large city in the United States to implement a tax on sugary and diet drinks. The one-and-a-half cent per ounce tax will add 30 cents in additional taxes on to a 20-ounce bottle. The revenue was intended to fund children’s education and park programs in the city and is expected to generate more than $400 mil­lion over five years. Philadelphia’s mayor has said the tax on soda was chosen because a limited number of distributors make it easier to audit tax collections. However, Kane said citizens are now learning that not all of the revenue generated will go to the programs.

Kane said the public overwhelm­ingly opposes beverage taxes. In Philadelphia nearly 60 percent of residents opposed the taxes and there was a coalition of more than 30,000 individuals and 1,600 small businesses that formed to fight the taxes. Ultimately, the tax only had to pass city council, which con­sists of just 17 people,” Kane said, adding that soda taxes have failed 42 times nationwide since 2008. “We’re continuing to see people oppose these taxes, but the politi­cians see dollar signs and are going against the wishes of the people that elected them.”

Kane said ABA plans to challenge the tax in court.

“The soda tax is a small part of a larger trend. Traditionally the sin tax of choice has been an increase in the tobacco tax,” Fialkov said.

As smoking has diminished, increas­es in the tobacco tax no longer gener­ate the revenue that they did before. “They’ve looked at processed food and certain beverages as the modern equiv­alent of smoking. In a lot of ways a tax on sugar, soda or saturated fats is playing the new role tobacco taxes used to,” Fialkov said.

Other cities may follow Philadelphia’s lead. Voters in Oakland, California, will vote on adding a one-cent-per-ounce fee to sugary beverages. Billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed about $1.6 million to the measure in Philadelphia, and plans to support the soda tax efforts in Oakland as well as in San Francisco. Bloomberg may also support soda tax efforts in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Damon Borden, a manager at Broadway Flying J, said differing taxes can incentivize customers to make purchases elsewhere. Borden told Stop Watch sin taxes in Washington have always been high. “We have been disadvantaged because border states have fewer taxes. Our customers are pretty savvy shoppers and they know to purchase highly taxed items before they come into the state,” he said. “We have always priced knowing that we are not the destination location to purchase, but we instead get the last minute shoppers.”

The American Beverage As­sociation said discriminatory taxes that target one ingredient or product aren’t the solution to improve public health. ABA also said discriminatory taxes send the wrong message to consumers. “The government shouldn’t be focused on demonizing certain products. We should be working together to ensure we are provid­ing consumers the information and choices they need to make the decisions that best fit their diet,” ABA said on its website.

Customers Gravitate Toward Healthier Offerings
Today’s consumers are trying to eat healthier, and sales of healthy foods are on the rise.

“People really are putting their money where their mouth is now,” said Ed Leddy, a retail, food service and truckstop expert. “Those things we tried 15 years ago that wouldn’t sell, they are selling now.”

J.T. McMahan, director of sales for Coca-Cola Refreshments, told attendees at The NATSO Show 2016 that there is an overarching need for and desire from consumers for wellness and better-for-you foods. “Everybody wants to be healthy,” he said. “One of the key things for you as retailers is it is very important to the consumer to feel like you care.” (See Four Ways to Connect with Truckstop Customers Shared at The NATSO Show for more on his session.)

A survey by the National Restaurant Association reported that more than seven in 10 adults are trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did two years ago.

The restaurant association said eight in 10 restaurant owners said their guests pay more attention to the nutrition content of food now than they did two years ago.

Leddy said a move to healthier offerings often necessitates changes in preparation areas.

“You can’t just add space on the floor. If you’re going to put healthier things on the floor, it means more investment in the back of the store. It may be more ovens, more refrigeration or better prep tables,” he said. 

Photo Credit: Steven Purcell/NATSO



via Business Feeds

Get Your Seattle Exploration on at MozCon 2016!

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

MozCon is fast approaching us! On September 12-14—just two weeks away—1,400 online marketers will descend on Seattle, ready to learn about SEO, content, Google Tag Manager, conversion rate optimization, and so much more. We've got fewer than 60 tickets left, so grab yours now.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

If you haven't done so, check out all the learning! This post is geared toward the things you can do when MozCon sessions aren't happening.

Cindy Krum on the MozCon 2015 stage


Places you'll want to go as recommended by Mozzers

While you're in Seattle, we want to make sure you have a fabulous time. Seattle in September is beautiful. It's still sunny outside, and it's the time of year people come to Seattle and then want to move here. So we've complied a list of great activities and restaurants:

Sights


Brian Childs

Gasworks Park

"Incredible views of the city, float planes landing overhead, Space Needle in the background, Ivar's Clam Chowder down the street, bikes all over the place."

Brian Childs


Megan SingleyVolunteer Park

"This is my favorite place in all of Seattle! Stroll around the park and stop in the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the conservatory, then climb to the top of the water tower for an incredible view. You can also walk through the graveyard and see Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee's grave. After all that walking, hop over to the adorable and delicious Volunteer Park Cafe."

Megan Singley


James DaughertyElliott Bay Trail

"Amazing views, has a mini gravel beach, and lots of park space. Great for running and cycling. I ride my bike along EBT nearly everyday to Moz, and I fall in love with city over and over again."

James Daugherty


Maura HubbellAlki Beach

"Alki is a beautiful walk with a spectacular view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. It's got some good restaurants, and even a little history as the site of the original settlement."

Maura Hubbell


Rachel MooreDiscovery Park

"If you've never been to the Pacific Northwest (or even if you have!), Discovery Park on a clear day is a great place to see the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and to get some quality forest walking done all in one fell swoop. Plus, it's 20 minutes from downtown! (Pro tip: For the easiest view access, park in the lot on W Emerson just before 43rd Ave W.)"

Rachel Moore


Felicia CrawfordGreen Lake

"People of every ilk converge to exercise, feed ducks, play with dogs, and covet the dogs of others."



Felicia Crawford


Activities, tours, and museums


Emily Smollen

The Underground Tour

"What a great way to hear about and experience early-Seattle's history!"

Emily Smollen




Alyson MurphyFerry to Bainbridge Island

"Seattle is surrounded by water and mountains. The ferry is the easiest way to experience that scenery. The view of the city is amazing too!"

Alyson Murphy




Jo CameronThe Pinball Museum

"It is special to me because I've only been to Seattle once, as I work remotely in the UK. It was a joy the see how strong the love for pinball is in Seattle. The Pinball Museum houses the world's biggest pinball machine, and it is really something to behold; it's like hugging a dining room table."

Jo Cameron


Restaurants and bars


Nicelle Herron

Linda's

"Laid back, good music, cheap food, and nice people."

Nicelle Herron




Chiaryn MirandaCyclops

"If you are a vegetarian (or love vegetarian food), the Happy Hippy Burger is a must. It is not only the best veggie burger in Seattle, but it's the best I have ever had. Cyclops also has great drinks and food for the omnivores, too."

Chiaryn Miranda


Jess StipePie Bar

"This hole in the wall has it all! Pie Bar serves up warm, freshly baked slices of heaven with a pint of bliss. Savory pies, sweet pies, pietinis, craft spirits, and beer...all nestled in an elegant, cozy venue where you won't have to shout over a crowd 3-hipsters-deep to order. And if you're done with your pie and ready for some pinball and arcade games, John John's Game Room is directly next door!"

Jess Stipe


Tawny CaseOddfellows Cafe

"This hip little eatery has some awesomely tasty foods, a sweet little private back patio, a laidback atmosphere, and awesome drinks. Plus, it's right in the heart of Capitol Hill, one of my favorite 'hoods in the city."

Tawny Case


Bonus! Lightning suggestions:


Brian Childs' recommendation corner

"I put this Google map together for friends visiting the city. Includes lots of breweries, bars, restaurants, and things to do: Get the info!"


Official MozCon evening events

For all our evening events, make sure to bring your conference badge AND your US ID or your passport.


Monday Night MozCrawl

From 7:00pm - 10:00pm, you can head to all the stops at your own pace and in any order. Visit all the stops, fill out your punch card, and return it to the swag store on Tuesday morning to enter to win a golden Roger!

Making new friends at MozCon 2015


Tuesday MozCon Ignite

If you're looking for networking, this is event for you! Join us at from 7:00-10:00pm at McCaw Hall for a night of networking and five-minute, Ignite-style passion talks from your fellow attendees. This year, our talks will range from information and unique to heartwarming and life changing. You don't want to miss this MozCon night.

  • 7:00-8:00pm Networking
  • 8:00-8:05pm Introduction with Geraldine DeRuiter
  • 8:05-8:10pm Help! I Can't Stop Sweating - Hyperhidrosis with Adam Melson at Seer Interactive
  • 8:10-8:15pm A Plane Hacker's Guide to Cheap *Luxury* Travel with Ed Fry at Hull.io
  • 8:15-8:20pm Life Lessons Learned as a Special Needs Parent with Adrian Vender at Internet Marketing Inc
  • 8:20-8:25pm How to Start an Underground Restaurant in Your Home with Nadya Khoja at Venngage Inc.
  • 8:25-8:30pm Embracing Fear, Potential Failure, and Plain Ol' Discomfort with Daisy Quaker at AMSOIL INC.
  • 8:30-8:35pm How Pieces of Paper Can Change Lives with Anneke Kurt Godlewski at Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
  • 8:35-8:40pm Is Your Family Time for Sale? with Michael Cottam at Visual Itineraries
  • 8:40-9:20pm Networking with desserts and refreshments
  • 9:20-9:25pm Prison and a Girl that Loves Puppies with Caitlin Boroden at DragonSearch
  • 9:25-9:30pm Embracing Awkward: The Tale of a 5' 10" 6th Grader with Hannah Cooley at Seer Interactive
  • 9:35-9:40pm Finding Myself in Fiction: LGBTQUIA Stories with Lisa Hunt at Moz
  • 9:40-9:45pm Wooly Bits: Exploring the Binary of Yarn with Lindsay Dayton LaShell at Diamond + Branch Marketing Group
  • 9:45-9:50pm How a Cartoon Saved My Life with Steve Hammer at RankHammer
  • 9:50-9:55pm Flood Survival: Lessons from the Streets of ATL with Sarah Lively at Nebo Agency
  • 9:55-10:00pm Hornets, Soba, & Friends: A Race in Japan with Kevin Smythe at Moz

MozCon Ignite


Wednesday Night Bash!

From 7:00-12:00 midnight: Bowling, pool, Jenga, a slow-motion booth, a photo booth, karaoke, cupcakes, food, drinks, and more! You don't want to miss our annual bash.

Rent some bowling shoes and go for a turkey. Sing your heart out just like you recently joined Journey. Snap photos with your friends while wearing silly hats. Show off how much of a ringer you are at pool. Get into a chicken strip-eating contest. Hang out with your new MozCon friends one last time, and celebrate all the learning!

Ryan and Char at MozCon Bash 2015


Birds of a Feather lunch tables

If you want to spend your lunchtime getting great advice from your fellow attendees about online marketing or meet people in your specialty, check out our birds of a feather lunch tables:

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, September 13

  • Local Search hosted by George Freitag at Moz
  • Growth Hacking hosted by Brittanie MacLean at Realty Austin
  • Continuing Marketing Education hosted by Rachel Goodman Moore at Moz
  • Marketing Automation hosted by Ed Fry at Hull.io
  • How to Smartly Mix Search and Content to Aid Overall Business Strategy by Ronell Smith at Ronell Smith Consulting
  • E-Commerce SEO hosted by Everett Sizemore at Inflow
  • SERP Features hosted by Jon White at Moz
  • Technical SEO hosted by Bill Sebald at Greenlane Search Marketing

Wednesday, September 14

  • Google Penalties hosted by Michael Cottam at Visual Itineraries
  • Advanced SEO hosted by Britney Muller at Moz
  • Marketing for USA Manufacturing Companies hosted by Crystal Hunt at Grassroots Fabric Pots
  • Work-Life Balance hosted by Keri Morgret at Inbound.org
  • Local Search hosted by George Freitag at Moz
  • Marketing Automation hosted by Ed Fry at Hull.io
  • Content Marketing hosted by Trevor Klein at Moz

Birds of a feather MozCon table from 2015


Join the Fitbit Group

Track your steps while networking and cheer on your fellow attendees!


Play Roger Patrol!

Ready for some friendly competition between your fellow attendees? We’ve built a special MozCon game just for you. You'll play as starship, part of Roger Patrol! Try and beat the top score on Roger Patrol video game by zapping asteroids, destroying evil spaceships, and protecting Roger Mozbot's universe. We’ll provide a download link for attendees, and you’ll also find three arcade-style boxes of the game throughout the MozCon venue.


Visit our Partner Hub, get your photo taken with Roger, and more arcade-style fun

As you head up to registration, entering MozCon, you won't want to miss all the activities around you and happening when the conference isn't in active session.


Say hello to our Partners

Every sulk through an exhibitor hall with your head down like you're in middle school again? Us too. Which is why at MozCon, we wanted to do something different. Our invite-only partners are not only respectful, but we've vetted their activities and their products to make sure they are useful to you. So say hello, and we promise you might instead get a postcard to send home, a t-shirt, or a special MozCon coin.

STAT's partner hub from MozCon 2015

Our great partners:


Stop each day at the Swag Store!

After the first day, Registration will be transformed into a swag store. You don't want to miss out on these goodies. On Tuesday, you'll be able to pick up your official MozCon 2016 t-shirt. On Wednesday, you'll get your own Lego Roger.

Lego Roger Mozbot


Meet Mozzers to give feedback or Ask an SEO

Make sure to stop by the Moz Hub. We'll be there to answer your questions about Moz Pro and Moz Local. Learn about our latest offerings and updates. Get insights into how best to use the tools.

And by popular demand, we've added Ask an SEO. Mozzers and Associates with expertise in SEO will be there to answer your burning search questions and kickstart you with new ideas for your search campaigns.


Play the Roger claw machine

We're bringing back the plushie claw machine! If you missed out getting one of our plushie Roger Mozbots, or you just need another as a small child or pet decided Roger was their best friend, now's your chance. In order to play, you must visit one of our Partners or the Moz Hub for a special shiny coin. Then take that coin to the claw machine!

Don't worry, we've put a TAGFEE spell on this machine, so you may find it a little easier than the ones in the malls of your childhood. ;)


Take a photo with Roger Mozbot

A MozCon tradition you won't want to miss. Get your annual photo (or maybe it's your first!) taken with the cuddliest robot in the galaxy, Roger Mozbot.

Erica and Jacob over the years with Roger Mozbot


Donate to charity, on us!

Open up your Monday swag kit and inside you'll find $5 Roger bucks. You get to donate this to one of three charities (charities selected by Mozzers):

Roger Mozbot will then count the bucks and write a check to each charity.


Push pin world map

Ever play pin the tail on the donkey? Well, this is like that, but pin the spot where you are from, minus the blindfold.


In Seattle on Thursday post-MozCon? We have MozPlex tours.

Every wonder where Roger Mozbot lives? Or heard of the stories of cereal bars and rooms named after starships and robots? Is is true that Mozzers have sit/stand desks? Don't miss out on our Office Tours on Thursday 9/15. Sign up for your time slot.

Glenn at the MozPlex


Even more fun in Seattle

Don't miss our posts from years past, which are full of restaurant, activity, and more recommendations: 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.


Activities happening around Seattle from Saturday, September 10 - Sunday, September 18


If you're looking to connect with fellow attendees, please join our MozCon Facebook Group.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!


Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!



via Business Feeds

Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’

Steve Wozniak - NextCon speaker

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, will keynote at NextCon16 in November

If you attend just one business conference before the end of 2016, put NextCon at the top of your shortlist.

You’ll get to see high-octane speakers like Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and tech superstar Guy Kawasaki — not to mention executives from LinkedIn and Google.

NextCon16 is a conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners, tech professionals and more.  It’s all about building a business, managing it well, marketing it and, of course, profiting from it.

NextCon, which takes place November 14-16, 2016, is being hosted by Nextiva, a cloud-based unified communications service.

Nextiva itself has grown rapidly over the past few years. So the company executives understand well the challenges of growth.  That experience is part of what motivated this conference.

According to Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva vice-president of marketing, who spoke with Small Business Trends in a telephone interview, the company didn’t want it to be the typical brand conference focused on products and services.

Instead, Nextiva executives wanted the attention to be on helping all businesses grow and prosper — regardless of whether they are Nextiva customers.

By holding the conference in Arizona, Nextiva also wants to spotlight the thriving tech and business scene there. As Masjedi says, Arizona’s business environment has been instrumental in Nextiva’s own growth.

NextCon keynote speaker lineup

‘Ah-ha’ Moments

Nextiva promises that attendees will experience some genuine “ah-ha” moments. In other words, go with the idea of getting breakthrough ideas.  Look for Ah-ha opportunities like these:

1. Professional Growth Insights

One ah-ha moment opportunity will likely occur on day one. It consists of a “fireside chat” with Darin Brown, CTO of Angie’s List; Neill Feather, president of Sitelock; and Carol Roth, TV host and CNBC contributor.

These entrepreneurs and business leaders will share how they overcame challenges and drove growth.

2. Real-world Marketing That Works

Speakers get down to brass tacks on day two. You’ll hear real-world advice about paid search, brand building, SEO, social media, customer service and more. Other topics include raising capital, women in business, sales and data analytics.

3. Real Life Business Success Stories

Day three is where local business owners talk candidly about how they started and grew their businesses.

Another “bonus” ah-ha moment will likely occur when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak takes the stage for his keynote.

According to Masjedi, Wozniak will share what it took to create Apple’s culture of innovation, and what other businesses can do to emulate it.

NextCon16 — an ‘Everyone’ Conference

NextCon16 is an “everyone” conference. It’s designed for anyone to get value regardless of role, industry or company size. Students are welcome, too, said Masjedi.

At $499, the price is right for small business, particularly considering NextCon16 spans three full days. Plus, it’s being held in Scottsdale, Arizona, which, in November should be pleasant  just as the weather starts to turn bad elsewhere.

Most sessions will be non-product specific.

“There are tracks for Nextiva partners and customers but that’s not the goal,” Masjedi said. “The bulk of the sessions will apply to any business professional.”

Sessions are divided into four tracks:  building, managing, promoting and profiting in business.

Co-hosted along with the event will be the Rule Breaker Awards ceremony.

NextCon16 takes place at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 14-16, 2016. Learn more at: nextcon.nextiva.com.

 

Steve Wozniak image credit: Nichollas Harrison [GFDL CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

This article, "Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’

Steve Wozniak - NextCon speaker

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, will keynote at NextCon16 in November

If you attend just one business conference before the end of 2016, put NextCon at the top of your shortlist.

You’ll get to see high-octane speakers like Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and tech superstar Guy Kawasaki — not to mention executives from LinkedIn and Google.

NextCon16 is a conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners, tech professionals and more.  It’s all about building a business, managing it well, marketing it and, of course, profiting from it.

NextCon, which takes place November 14-16, 2016, is being hosted by Nextiva, a cloud-based unified communications service.

Nextiva itself has grown rapidly over the past few years. So the company executives understand well the challenges of growth.  That experience is part of what motivated this conference.

According to Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva vice-president of marketing, who spoke with Small Business Trends in a telephone interview, the company didn’t want it to be the typical brand conference focused on products and services.

Instead, Nextiva executives wanted the attention to be on helping all businesses grow and prosper — regardless of whether they are Nextiva customers.

By holding the conference in Arizona, Nextiva also wants to spotlight the thriving tech and business scene there. As Masjedi says, Arizona’s business environment has been instrumental in Nextiva’s own growth.

NextCon keynote speaker lineup

‘Ah-ha’ Moments

Nextiva promises that attendees will experience some genuine “ah-ha” moments. In other words, go with the idea of getting breakthrough ideas.  Look for Ah-ha opportunities like these:

1. Professional Growth Insights

One ah-ha moment opportunity will likely occur on day one. It consists of a “fireside chat” with Darin Brown, CTO of Angie’s List; Neill Feather, president of Sitelock; and Carol Roth, TV host and CNBC contributor.

These entrepreneurs and business leaders will share how they overcame challenges and drove growth.

2. Real-world Marketing That Works

Speakers get down to brass tacks on day two. You’ll hear real-world advice about paid search, brand building, SEO, social media, customer service and more. Other topics include raising capital, women in business, sales and data analytics.

3. Real Life Business Success Stories

Day three is where local business owners talk candidly about how they started and grew their businesses.

Another “bonus” ah-ha moment will likely occur when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak takes the stage for his keynote.

According to Masjedi, Wozniak will share what it took to create Apple’s culture of innovation, and what other businesses can do to emulate it.

NextCon16 — an ‘Everyone’ Conference

NextCon16 is an “everyone” conference. It’s designed for anyone to get value regardless of role, industry or company size. Students are welcome, too, said Masjedi.

At $499, the price is right for small business, particularly considering NextCon16 spans three full days. Plus, it’s being held in Scottsdale, Arizona, which, in November should be pleasant  just as the weather starts to turn bad elsewhere.

Most sessions will be non-product specific.

“There are tracks for Nextiva partners and customers but that’s not the goal,” Masjedi said. “The bulk of the sessions will apply to any business professional.”

Sessions are divided into four tracks:  building, managing, promoting and profiting in business.

Co-hosted along with the event will be the Rule Breaker Awards ceremony.

NextCon16 takes place at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 14-16, 2016. Learn more at: nextcon.nextiva.com.

 

Steve Wozniak image credit: Nichollas Harrison [GFDL CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

This article, "Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)

Twitter is going to start splitting ad revenue with content creators who post videos on its platform. The company hopes that this move will make it more competitive with other social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. And actually, Twitter is giving about 70 percent of ad revenue to content creators, making it an even better deal than YouTube.

However, YouTube is already a more established platform for those looking to raise some money through their content. So influencers and content creators already know they can make money there, whereas Twitter could be seen as more of a risk at this point.

Even so, there’s no rule stating that everyone has to choose only one platform for their online videos. And a lot of influencers and online content creators already use more than one social platform to reach their audience.

So Twitter doesn’t have to convince people to leave YouTube or any other platform. It just has to convince them to use Twitter in addition to those platforms.

The Takeaway on Financial Incentives

Small content creators who are already producing video for YouTube may see this an additional opportunity for revenue. All they need to do is post video they are already sharing on other platforms on Twitter as well. Twitter’s strategy could also inspire small businesses. Giving your community financial incentives to engage can often boost the visibility of your brand. Look for ways to reward members of your community for visiting your website or sharing your social media posts. You may be surprised by the results.

Image: Newsy/Twitter

This article, "Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)

Twitter is going to start splitting ad revenue with content creators who post videos on its platform. The company hopes that this move will make it more competitive with other social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. And actually, Twitter is giving about 70 percent of ad revenue to content creators, making it an even better deal than YouTube.

However, YouTube is already a more established platform for those looking to raise some money through their content. So influencers and content creators already know they can make money there, whereas Twitter could be seen as more of a risk at this point.

Even so, there’s no rule stating that everyone has to choose only one platform for their online videos. And a lot of influencers and online content creators already use more than one social platform to reach their audience.

So Twitter doesn’t have to convince people to leave YouTube or any other platform. It just has to convince them to use Twitter in addition to those platforms.

The Takeaway on Financial Incentives

Small content creators who are already producing video for YouTube may see this an additional opportunity for revenue. All they need to do is post video they are already sharing on other platforms on Twitter as well. Twitter’s strategy could also inspire small businesses. Giving your community financial incentives to engage can often boost the visibility of your brand. Look for ways to reward members of your community for visiting your website or sharing your social media posts. You may be surprised by the results.

Image: Newsy/Twitter

This article, "Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)" was first published on Small Business Trends



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