Category: Events

Pretty in Pinterest: Beauty giant Sephora integrates pin-boards

Pretty in Pinterest: Beauty giant Sephora integrates pin-boards
Ciara Byrne for VentureBeat
Beauty retailer Sephora has just become one of the first retailers to fully integrate with digital pin-board Pinterest by adding a “Pin It” button to every one of its 14,000 products.
Sephora staffers will also highlight their favorite products on Pinterest pinboards. Following a meteoric rise, Pinterest is now the third most visited social network in the U.S. after Facebook and twitter. Given that Pinterest’s users are overwhelmingly female and Pinterest has been shown to drive considerably more revenue per click than either Twitter or Facebook, the fact that Sephora has pinned its hopes on Pinterest is perhaps unsurprising. Sephora’s sleek stores have long functioned as the cathedrals of the beauty product world. The French retailer operates more than 300 stores in the U.S. and Canada (and many more globally) and is something of a trailblazer in integrating technology into its retail experience. Last month VentureBeat reported how the retailer, having noticed the high overlap between its customers and Apple users (70 percent of visits to Sephora’s website are from iPhones) introduced iPads running a custom, in-store Sephora app into 20 stores across the U.S. The iPad application leverages the iPad’s camera functionality to create a “virtual mirror” that lets users see themselves practicing makeup application as a video of the relevant technique are played below. Shoppers can review their purchase history (to avoid shopping disasters such as buying two of the same lipstick) and product information like ingredient lists. Sephora also invested in iPod touches which can be used for mobile checkout in every store. Sephora’s website is the world’s biggest beauty store. Mobile shopping grew 300 percent on Sephora in 2011 and the company expects another 100 percent increase this year. iPad traffic was up 400 percent in Q1 2012 compared to Q1 2011.

GrapevineStar Media Events Calendar 2012

81 events found
  • Mar 26
    • Atlanta Georgia March 26, 2012 – March 29, 2012
  • Mar 27
      • New York New York March 27, 2012
      • Portland Oregon March 27, 2012
      • San Francisco California March 27, 2012
      • Denver Colorado March 27, 2012
      • Denver Colorado March 27, 2012
    • New York New York March 27, 2012
  • Mar 28
      • Washington District Of Columbia March 28, 2012 – March 29, 2012
      • Portland Oregon March 28, 2012
    • San Francisco California March 28, 2012
  • Mar 29
    • 325 E 3rd Ave, Scottsdale, AZ Arizona March 29, 2012
  • Apr 03
      • SAN FRANCISCO California April 3, 2012 – April 4, 2012
      • Beverly Hills California April 3, 2012 – April 3, 2012
    • New York New York April 3, 2012
  • Apr 09
      • Baltimore Maryland April 9, 2012 – April 12, 2012
    • Seattle Washington April 9, 2012
  • Apr 10
      • New York New York April 10, 2012
    • Miami Florida April 10, 2012 – April 13, 2012
  • Apr 11
    • New York New York April 11, 2012
  • Apr 18
      • Chicago Illinois April 18, 2012
      • Washington District Of Columbia April 18, 2012
    • Los Angeles California April 18, 2012
  • Apr 19
    • Portland Oregon April 19, 2012
  • Apr 22
    • Captiva Island Florida April 22, 2012 – April 25, 2012
  • Apr 23
    • Cincinnati Ohio April 23, 2012 – April 26, 2012
  • Apr 24
    • Chicago Illinois April 24, 2012
  • Apr 25
      • Toronto Ontario April 25, 2012
      • Captiva Island Florida April 25, 2012 – April 28, 2012
    • Toronto Ontario April 25, 2012
  • Apr 26
    • Chicago Illinois April 26, 2012
  • Apr 30
    • New York New York April 30, 2012
  • May 01
      • New York New York May 1, 2012
    • New York New York May 1, 2012
  • May 02
      • New York New York May 2, 2012
    • Chicago Illinois May 2, 2012 – May 3, 2012
  • May 03
      • New York New York May 3, 2012
    • New York New York May 3, 2012
  • May 05
    • Karachi None May 5, 2012 – May 6, 2012
  • May 06
    • Boca Raton Florida May 6, 2012 – May 9, 2012
  • May 07
    • Boston Massachusetts May 7, 2012 – May 10, 2012
  • May 08
      • New York New York May 8, 2012
    • Berkeley California May 8, 2012 – May 9, 2012
  • May 09
    • San Francisco California May 9, 2012
  • May 10
    • Los Angeles California May 10, 2012
  • May 14
    • New York New York May 14, 2012
  • May 15
      • Seattle Washington May 15, 2012 – May 16, 2012
    • New York New York May 15, 2012
  • May 16
    • New York New York May 16, 2012
  • May 17
    • New York New York May 17, 2012 – May 17, 2012
  • May 21
    • Las Vegas Nevada May 21, 2012 – May 24, 2012
  • May 29
    • 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago Illinois May 29, 2012 – May 31, 2012
  • Jun 04
    • Minneapolis Minnesota June 4, 2012 – June 7, 2012
  • Jun 08
    • Schaumburg Illinois June 8, 2012 – June 10, 2012
  • Jun 18
    • Phoenix Arizona June 18, 2012 – June 21, 2012
  • Jun 25
    • Austin Texas June 25, 2012 – June 28, 2012
  • Jun 26
    • New York New York June 26, 2012
  • Jun 27
    • New York New York June 27, 2012
  • Jun 28
    • New York New York June 28, 2012
  • Jul 09
    • Tampa Florida July 9, 2012 – July 12, 2012
  • Jul 19
    • Los Angeles California July 19, 2012
  • Jul 23
    • Dallas Texas July 23, 2012 – July 26, 2012
  • Aug 06
    • San Francisco California Aug. 6, 2012 – Aug. 9, 2012
  • Aug 20
    • Des Moines Iowa Aug. 20, 2012 – Aug. 23, 2012
  • Aug 27
    • Boston Massachusetts Aug. 27, 2012 – Aug. 30, 2012
  • Sep 04
    • Columbus Ohio Sept. 4, 2012 – Sept. 6, 2012
  • Sep 10
    • Birmingham Alabama Sept. 10, 2012 – Sept. 13, 2012
  • Sep 11
    • New York New York Sept. 11, 2012
  • Sep 12
    • New York New York Sept. 12, 2012
  • Sep 13
    • New York New York Sept. 13, 2012
  • Sep 24
    • Chicago Illinois Sept. 24, 2012 – Sept. 27, 2012
  • Oct 08
    • New York New York Oct. 8, 2012 – Oct. 11, 2012
  • Oct 22
    • Atlanta Georgia Oct. 22, 2012 – Oct. 25, 2012
  • Oct 24
    • Ontario California Oct. 24, 2012
  • Nov 05
    • Seattle Washington Nov. 5, 2012 – Nov. 8, 2012
  • Nov 12
    • Indianapolis Indiana Nov. 12, 2012 – Nov. 15, 2012
  • Nov 13
    • New York New York Nov. 13, 2012
  • Nov 14
    • New York New York Nov. 14, 2012
  • Nov 15
    • New York New York Nov. 15, 2012
  • Nov 26
    • Kansas City Missouri Nov. 26, 2012 – Nov. 29, 2012
  • Dec 10
    • Charlotte North Carolina Dec. 10, 2012 – Dec. 13, 2012
  • Dec 17
    • Phoenix Arizona Dec. 17, 2012 – Dec. 20, 2012

SXSW Interactive 2012 Recap

Kent Lewis
President Anvil Media

SXSW Interactive 2012 Recap: A Noob’s View

Posted by Kent Lewis for iMedia
As a first-time South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) attendee, I thought it would be helpful to provide a newbie’s perspective on the mad-cap annual conference in Austin. I attended 3 of the 5 days, which gave me a fairly good perspective. Essentially, I distilled my visit into four distinct experiences: networking, sessions, technology and marketing. Based on value received, I’ve tiered the experiences in order, from highest to lowest. Networking Since I’m a networking junkie, I figured I’d start with what I know. Networking generated the greatest overall value for me at SXSW. What benefitted me the most, and I recommend this to any attendee, is to leverage any local relationships you have, in terms of getting a sense of what events and sessions matter, and it can help in terms of transportation. Secondarily, be sure to plan in advance to meet up with folks you know from your network or city, as it’s much easier, fun and effective to travel in packs. I attended a variety of parties and venues, some better than others. I’m a big fan of Driskill Hotel, a classic venue and popular hangout. We hit up a Bing party Friday night, complete with hosted bar and food, swag and a decent vibe. We moved on to other local venues lacking sponsors, but packed with people. Saturday, I visited Google Village an impressive compilation of bars, all of which offered free drinks, snacks, bicycle blenders and swag, as well as demonstrations and presentations. Sunday morning I attended a brunch and panel Google hosted, including a variety of agency, VC and entrepreneurs that captured the essence of why people attend SXSW, including what’s hot (social discovery) and what’s not (Bing Lounge). On Saturday, I attended a Klout house party, complete with food, beverage and a social-powered jukebox: Roqbot. Saturday evening Microsoft & Frog co-sponsored the official SXSW party, which was DIY-themed (build your own LED lights, mini-robots & play life-sized pong). Unfortunately, it was a bit too crowded, so I moved on. Sunday evening, I attended the SOBCon mixer at Dogwood, which was one of the best parties: great people and a good vibe. In fact, it was so good, I missed the Urban Airship & Mashable parties, which was unfortunate, but a smart investment in terms of meeting great folks. Most nights end at The W, and this was no exception. Educational Sessions While I had roughly 2.5 days to attend sessions (and paid $650 for the honor) I only attended 4 (not including the Google Village panel off-campus. The first session I saw, which I was greatly looking forward to attend, was Rainn Wilson of The Office and SoulPancake. It was slightly disappointing, as he was unfamiliar with PowerPoint, rambled a bit, but saved the day by smashing guitars with a lucky audience member. My next session was Ebay to VC, where the theme was social discovery, (Highlight, Circle, Glancee) and what makes a good investment. The speaker, Jeff Jordan, was solid, but the host was not. The third session I attended was intriguing, but not actionable: Privacy & Neuro marketing. The presenters and audience discussed the conflict between privacy and marketing insights: what is a fair exchange of value between people and marketers (convenience vs. security)? The last but most inspirational session I attended was Internet legend Jaron Lanier, discussing how social media has improved or worsened our lives. He challenged us as consumers and content creators to get paid for the value we create on networks like Facebook (we are the product). Marketing My biggest takeaway from SXSW 2012 was definitely that corporations have taken notice of the marketing potential of the weeklong event. That’s potentially bad news for SXSW purists, who’ve likened 2012 to the jumping of the shark by Fonzie. True or not, it was apparent many companies bet big on making a splash at SXSW Interactive in 2012. One of the best sources of news for SXSW was Mashable Buzz, which managed to turn out solid recaps and timely updates. They even made the news themselves during the event, with a rumored $200M buyout. The big winners at SXSW in terms of buzz, had to be the Homeless wi-fi and Nike, who made news with its venue, parties, Nike+ and Fuelband API during the event. In terms of SWAG, FILTER Talent brought it’s a game with LED light sabers handed out at various parties. Additional kudos go out to the companies that sponsored value-added (albeit somewhat risky) giveaways like ponchos, umbrellas and scarves in a city that ended up being colder and wetter than anticipated by many visitors. By Monday, the sun returned, and with it, sunglasses and sunscreen SWAG. One of the smartest (yet under-reported) viral marketing campaigns was Catch a Chevy, which is exactly what it sounds like: get free rides care of 45 Chevys. The cars were skinned and branded, but it was dumb luck if you managed to hitch a ride anywhere outside of the convention center grounds, as there was no hashtag or other easy way to contact the drivers. Regardless, it did generate buzz and goodwill from weather-weary walkers. As a foodie, I appreciated the free food carts provided by brands like SquareSpace and The Today Show. Last but not least, shout out to Google for their significant and strategic presence, in the form of Google Village. It was a great place to get beverages, snacks, swag, phone recharge and even a product demo or two. As far was what didn’t work, beyond distributed venue locations, lines, crowds and general mayhem, I thought the #FAIL sign went to free t-shirts in general (too many of them). I also noticed a trend of brands (like Klout & Google) expecting you to write a personalized message on the t-shirts. Technology and Company Launches More a marketer than technologist, I didn’t pay as much attention to the product and company launches at SXSW as others. That said, a few apps did bubble to the surface during my time at SXSW. The first was one of many social discovery apps: Highlight. The social discovery category generated a good deal of buzz, with Highlight leading the pack. Additionally, I was pleased to see one of Formic Media’s clients, Tixie, debut with its digital/mobile concert ticket giveaway platform. I also checked out Guy Kawasaki’s latest venture, AllThis, which is essentially a marketplace for exchanging time with others who have desired expertise. Lastly, I was impressed with, Roqbot, which debuted last year, yet I was impressed with the socially-powered jukebox platform at the Klout party. Overall, SXSW Interactive 2012 was informative, entertaining and inspiring, but mostly via serendipitous moments, vs. the planned and engineered events. Now that I have a better feel for the event and the city, I will have a game plan in place for next year. If you plan to attend SXSW 2013, I suggest formulating your own plan (and making reservations) as soon as possible.

GrapevineStar Media Rumor Alert – Will CNN buy Mashable for $200M?


Will CNN buy Mashable for $200M? (rumor)

Will CNN buy Mashable for $200M? (rumor)
from VentureBeat
CNN will reportedly buy social media blog Mashable for more than $200 million,according to Reuters blogger Felix Salmon.
Salmon said that a source told him that CNN will announce the deal on Tuesday. We are checking with Mashable for confirmation but are unable to confirm anything at the moment. If true, it would be the latest marriage of old and new media in a changing landscape of internet news. The deal price is a big one, considering that Mashable was founded by Pete Cashmore from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland in July 2005. The company now has dozens of writers and has more than 50 million monthly page views. Cashmore himself has 2.7 million followers on Twitter. For some perspective, TechCrunch, a competing tech blog, sold to AOL last year for less than $30 million. AOL also purchased the Huffington post last year, paying $315 million. Cashmore won the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders award last year. [Photo credit: Mashable]

With 4 women leading 300 men, Game Insight will triple revenues in 2012


With 4 women leading 300 men, Game Insight will triple revenues in 2012 (VentureBeat GameBeat exclusive)

With 4 women leading 300 men, Game Insight will triple revenues in 2012 (exclusive)
Dean Takahashi for VentureBeat
 Game Insight has quietly become a big force in mobile. The Moscow-based game publisher owns a majority stake in 15 game studios with more than 300 developers. The company has published dozens of games on Android and iOS. And it is run by five women.
Now the company is expanding and making some noise about it. Alisa Chumachenko, chief executive and founder (pictured below, right), said in an interview that the company aims to triple its revenues from $50 million in 2011 to more than $150 million in 2012. It is expanding from greater Russia to San Francisco with a new office that could have dozens of employees. It plans on publishing 26 games this year and will expand to publish third-party games, developed by outside studios. The first third-party games may hit the market by this summer. The company is one more example of how the world has flattened in the game business, with barriers to entry dropping so that anyone with talent can start a mobile game business and become an international success. In Russia, companies such as ZeptoLab,, and others have proven they can make hits. “We’ve learned how to make good games and how to market them,” Chumachenko said in an interview at the Game Developers Conference. “Now we are making the bridge from Moscow to San Francisco. And I’m very much thinking about how we will go to Asia.” The company is profitable and it already has 50 million monthly active users. In February alone, it grossed $6.5 million. It released its first Android game in China a couple of weeks ago. Darya Trushkina (pictured above, left), vice president of business development, is heading the expansion in San Francisco, where there may be 30 to 40 employees by year-end. Chumachenko has been in the game business since 2000. She was the marketing and ad chief for Astrum Online Entertainment until the company merged with Mail.Ru Group in 2009. After that, she started Game Insight, which started out first as an incubator. The company has only 15 employees in its headquarters, which handles publishing and marketing, but it owns a 51 percent to 75 percent stake in its 15 studios. “I knew a lot of talented developers and focused on investing in them,” Chumachenko said. Besides Chumachenko and Trushkina, other executives include Olga Skvortsova, chief operating officer; Alexandra Pestretsova, vice president of marketing, and Leonid Sirotin, vice president of production. Those studios publish games through 6L (formerly 6waves Lolapps) on Facebook. Game Insight publishes its own games on the mobile platforms. The company tried social games on Facebook at first, but found the market was saturated with Zynga titles. Then it launched its first game on mobile in January, 2011. The game, Paradise Island, debuted on Android just as Google was kicking off its in-game payments system to enable free-to-play games. Within two days, the title jumped to the top-grossing games list on Android in 26 countries and stayed there for 20 weeks. In the first month, revenue was $700,000 and in the second month, revenue jumped to $1.2 million, even with minimal advertising expenses of around $20,000. Game Insight also broke new ground when it created Mystery Manor (pictured at top), the first hidden-object game on Facebook, which was followed by Playdom’s big hit Gardens of Time. Hidden object games are a big deal in single-player games on the casual web, but Game Insight and Playdom turned the genre into a more social experience. “We decided to focus heavily on the Android market and word-of-mouth marketing,” Chumachenko said. Then the company expanded into iOS. By the end of 2011, it was publishing on Facebook, Android, and iOS. The studios are spread out across Russia, Byelorussia, and Ukraine. “We concentrate on getting the best of the best,” Chumachenko said. “We help them understand free-to-play monetization. To us, quality of content is what matters. That gives you word-of-mouth marketing and that is what leads to the best results.” As for getting five women to run the company, Chumachenko said, “We look for the best people. We are not afraid to innovate.” [Photo credit: Dean Takahashi]

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