The spirit of 4sqDay (Happy 4sqDay 2014!)

The Foursquare Day 2010 Team behind the first Foursquare Day

The team behind the first Foursquare Day in 2010 (before it was renamed to 4sqDay).

Over the years 4sqDay has made headlines, Mayors have made proclamations, cupcakes have been baked and parties were thrown around the world. The app evolved dramatically along with the company, going from foursquare to Foursquare (capital F), opening new offices and moving to bigger ones. The catalyst for all this was the users and throughout the years the number of users of the app skyrocketed and continues to do so (for example: Foursquare added 12 million users in just 8 months last year in 2013 – a growth of 36% to 45 million and usage also blew up, going from 3.5 billion check-ins to 5 billion check-ins in the same period). 4sqDay and 4sqDay fans (and by that I mean you, yes you! Thank you!) have helped with this growth and Foursquare has certainly showed their appreciation. Throughout it all, fun was had and people checked in together on Foursquare. We here at 4sqDay HQ feel that this is the true spirit of 4sqDay. So go! Get out there, check in on Foursquare and have some fun!

Happy 4sqDay!

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4sqDay 2014 Is Rapidly Approaching

4sqDay-2014-nears

Wow! It is almost that time again. Where did all of the time go? It seems like we were all celebrating 4sqDay 2013 not too long ago. It is a thrill to gather together and enjoy April 16th with so many people, and it is amazing how well this grassroots celebration has taken off over the past few years. Even as our schedules become more and more demanding, we are happy to know that so many people are still gathering each April. In addition, we are pleased to know that Foursquare is also just as excited. As they work on new great innovations and features for all of us Foursquare users, they took time to create the 2014 logo as well as this FAQ!

What to expect!

Excitement! Sure, some of the folks in your community might have gotten extremely busy in recent years, and they may not have as much time to share in the passion and excitement, but new people are constantly joining the Foursquare community each and every day. Amazingly, some of those people do not know the full story behind this great grassroots celebration that we call 4sqDay! If you are hosting an event and would like some 4sqDay swag, be sure to fill out the form from Foursquare by this FRIDAY (March 29, 2014).

What not to expect!

Unfortunately, there will not be a 4sqDay badge this year. We know that this is a bummer for most, but Foursquare is actively working on great things for the application, and badges are no longer at the top of the list. Also, they streamlined a lot of their processes and operations, so there is no more Foursquare [apparel] store. As a result, they will not be producing awesome t-shirts to sell. With that said, they have allowed us to sell t-shirts at cost. We will have a separate post about this soon. In the meantime, look on the upper right side of the site for a link to where you can reserve and order your shirt.

Start Planning Today!

It is never too late to start planning. Just remember that the first 4sqDay is organized within a couple of weeks. Whether you plan for a gathering of 10 people or a crowd of hundreds, let’s make this year’s celebration greater than ever! Let us know how we can help you make it extra special!

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Thanks for a great 4sqDay!

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 6.33.23 AM

We’ll have more to come and for now we wanted to send a big thank you to everyone for a great 4sqDay! We can’t wait to celebrate with you all again next year – but don’t wait until then to meet up again with your best Foursquare friends – plan a Foursquare meetup and keep the fun lasting all year long! Thanks again everyone and Happy 4sqDay!

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Atlanta Prepares to Celebrate 4sqDay 2013

2013 4sqDay Party by 4sqATL

Guest Post by Chad Elkins, founder of 4sqATL; congratulations to Atlanta on another great upcoming 4sqDay gathering!

It’s hard to believe that 4sqDay is hitting its 4th anniversary on Tuesday. And for the fourth year in a row, Atlanta will be celebrating. Right out of the gate in 2010, the Atlanta community rallied together with over 50 4sqDay specials and a party with 100 folks who were both existing users and new users who signed up that night to check-in for the first time. The annual celebration has steadily grown in participation, sponsors, and event attendees. Our party last year had over 300 users celebrating with food trucks, free custom Atlanta 4sqDay giveaways, and beer at SweetWater Brewery. Not only did we have a great turnout, the City Council issued a proclamation for the day, and we had the most active venue in the world on Untappd! (photos from 2012 event)

4sqATL logo

I’m excited about what we have planned for 2013. As in previous years, we are assembling one day check-in specials that are only valid on 4sqDay. The Atlanta City Council has already proclaimed 4sqDay for 2013 as well. No 4sqDay would be complete without a party! This year we are gathering at a brewpub in Atlanta called 5 Seasons Brewing where we will be taking over their rooftop bar and patio. Secondhand Swagger, a popular local band, will be playing and we have 2013 Atlanta 4sqDay custom t-shirts and koozies to give away to attendees – thanks to our sponsors: Original El Taco, Engauge, The Fox Theatre, Strongbox West, and What’s Up Interactive. We’ll also have the 4sqDay water bottles to hand out to everyone courtesy of Foursquare. Not only will we be gathering to celebrate, we’re also using that opportunity to do some good. The Atlanta Community Food Bank will be on-site collecting donations. Entry to the event is free, but we are asking for a $4 suggested donation or 4 non-perishable food items from attendees. The ACFB can turn a $4 donation into 16 meals for families, a four…squared benefit! Please check out the 4sqATL site for more details on the 2013 4sqDay party.

I’m proud of how active our Atlanta community is and their passion for both Foursquare and charitable efforts. Looking forward to seeing everyone again here in Atlanta and I would like to wish all of you around the world a safe and happy 4sqDay.

How are you celebrating this year? We’d love to hear all about it!

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Enhance Your 4sqDay Event With ScreenScape

4sqDay 2013 ScreenScape

As in previous years, we have teamed up with ScreenScape. ScreenScape is a great tool that helps make place-based marketing easier and much more affordable. In years’ past, foursquare communities like yours have turned to the ScreenScape platform to engage the audiences at 4sqDay events. Like last year, we have the privilege of a special offer for our 4sqDay communities. ScreenScape is allowing all 4sqDay communities to enjoy their platform for free (30 day free trial). Over the past two years, more and more communities have taken advantage of this engaging opportunity. And, this year, ScreenScape has improved its platform even more, so what are you waiting for?

First: Claim Your Account, Venue!

First things first, you need to go onto the ScreenScape.com site and claim your profile today. To sign up, you need go to https://manage.screenscape.com – provide your email address, business/community name, desired login name, and desired password.

Second: Confirm Email!

Second, it is important that you then confirm your email. Once you complete step one, you will get a confirmation email; open that email up and click the link to verify your account profile.

Third: Claim Venue & Use Our Promo Code

Third, it is very important that you then click to Claim Venue. When you do this, you will be asked for more information. Once you select your specific venue and fill out the details, you will want to be sure to enter the A4SQ13 promo code. This will give your community the free 30-day trial instead of the normal 14-day trial period.

Fourth: Create Content And Link To Us!

Now, it is time to create your awesome, event-specific content. We recommend that you take this opportunity to showcase your event sponsors, foursquare itself, and certainly your non-profit partners! Just be sure to shoot us your group/business name so we can invite you to the global 4sqDay group! Go to our contact page and send that information to our information email address!

It’s That Simple!

Thanks to ScreenScape, your community has one GREAT tool to make this 4sqDay event better than ever. So, sign up today, use the promo code, create awesome content, and send us your information so we can invite you to the global content group! How are you using ScreenScape this year? We’d love to hear all about it!

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How To Participate in 4sqDay as a Business

If you’re a business, 4sqDay is a great opportunity to bring new customers in and get your existing customers to try new things. Here’s how to set up a special for 4sqDay:

If you haven’t already, claim your venue!

If you haven’t claimed your venue, go to foursquare.com and search for your business. Once you find it, click on the link in the right sidebar to claim the venue, and follow the instructions to claim managerial rights to the location (you can be verified immediately if you can answer the official phone number associated with your business listing).

Set up a special and schedule it for 4/16/13.

If you’ve never set up a special before, follow instructions here to do so. What sort of special should you offer? It can be anything! A discounted on a new or featured beverage, a sale on popular retail items, or a special free giveaway for anyone who checks into your store. You could also offer an extra special Mayor Special to whoever is Mayor of your establishment (assuming it isn’t an employee/owner/yourself!).

Spread the word!

Foursquare will help market your special to people who check in nearby or use the Explore feature by adding a special banner to draw attention to your business as people are searching for places to go. Of course, it helps if you use your blog, Facebook, Twitter, email list, and signage in your store to let people know what awesome special they can expect on this special holiday! You can also encourage check-ins by displaying this window decal on your storefront (you will be mailed a decal when claiming your venue, or ask a local 4sqDay organizer for one!):

foursquare_specialoffer

Have some great 4sqDay Special ideas? Add them in the comments or tweet them with the #4sqDay hashtag!

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The One Thing You Must Do on 4sqDay

4sqDay is SO fun, y’all. 4sqDay is also time consuming and exhausting. After organizing two Foursquare Days the past two years, I’m taking a break from the proclamation and the giant party. Instead, I’m electing to have a small dinner celebration with some friends I’ve met through foursquare. But as a “veteran” 4sqday-thrower, I do have one, simple request for those organizing 4sqDay events:

Emphasize Foursquare Explore 

4sqDay Houston Cupcakes

Although delicious, cupcakes are not the meaning of 4sqDay.

Please make sure your event has an educational bent. Although cool, 4sqDay is not about the swag, the badge or how many attendees you have. April 16th should be about securing the future of the app, and the future of the app is Foursquare Explore. As Dennis says: “It’s not about the decline of the check in but the emergence of search and discovery.”

Ways to focus on Foursquare Explore:

  • Have a discussion about the best ways to use Explore: individual examples may give you more insight on different ways to use the feature
  • Hold a scavenger hunt using Explore – hide a prize at a nearby venue
  • Give out swag to those with the most tips, lists, etc (I did this at 4sqDay 2011 – my big winner only had eight tips!)
  • Set out a 10 minute block of time for everyone to leave thoughtful tips – ain’t no party like a tip-making party
  • Have “How to use Foursquare Explore” incorporated in your live Twitter/Instagram visualization stream

How else can you emphasize Foursquare Explore? Leave your tips (ha!) in the comments.

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4sqDay secret swag item: revealed! Hurry, get yours now!

Foursquare has really stepped it up this year with a surprise swag item that they’ve teased for the past few weeks. This week we got the chance to visit Foursquare HQ to get a first look. We have to say we are very excited- and now we get to reveal it! In a change from year’s past where Foursquare sent a set of stickers, pins and a t-shirt to each event, Foursquare will be sending dozens of specially designed 4sqDay water bottles to each event! Take a look at this beauty:

4sqDay 2013 Swag

It’s the 4sqDay Explore Water Bottle! It fits in perfectly with Foursquare’s new explore and discover theme. This bottle is super hip, rugged and ultra portable- roll it up or hook it to your bag with it’s carabiner and you’re good to go! Just look at that gorgeous 4sqDay 2013 logo on the side! It’s the perfect accessory for any modern-day explorer with smartphone in hand, discovering awesome places and things to do through Foursquare.

BUT HURRY UP! If your 4sqDay community doesn’t register your community event with Foursquare and let them know you are having one by MARCH 29TH (that’s less than a week away) you’ll miss your chance! REGISTER YOUR COMMUNITY EVENT HERE and don’t miss out – get registered and make sure you and all your friends get one of these awesome bottles – because exploring without hydration is almost as silly as going somewhere and not checking in!

Special thanks to Foursquare for designing, producing and shipping these bottles to all the 4sqDay communities worldwide. We appreciate Foursquare showing the love back!

PS

Foursquare has made available the official 4sqday 2013 logo in high resolution EPS format (perfect for use on signs and more!). Just click here to get the link via their usage agreement form!

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Keeping the 4sqDay Spirit Alive Year Round

We Foursquare lovers look forward to April 16th all year. Not only can we get cool specials and swag at our fave local businesses, we can also hang out with people in person that we bump into virtually all year round—the people whose avatar greet us when we open the app to check in, or who taunt us on Twitter when they steal mayorship of a hotly contested venue. On 4sqDay, we gather with our community Leaderboard battlers and break bread and toast glasses—but how can we make that feeling last all year?

Last year, in 2012, our community had a rip-roaring 4sqDay that left me longing to reproduce that convivial feeling on a regular basis with the abudance of amazing people checking in all over our city. This sparked two meetups beyond 4sqDay—4sqFriday and Portsmouth Breakfast Club.

One of the Twitter promos that our local 4sqDay organizers ran was a fill-in-the-tweet contest: “This year I will celebrate 4sqday by ____.” I filled the blank with “play actual foursquare with a red bouncy ball,” and the event coordinator at our community meetup made it happen. We had so much fun playing actual foursquare (and re-learning the rules), that we all decided we’d meet to play after work on Friday afternoon every week as weather allowed. It lasted well until the fall, when cold winds and hectic schedules dismantled the gatherings, but it was a great way to mingle, start the weekend, and get some blood flowing—not to mention the good-natured fights over the mayorship of the court itself! We plan to start 4sqFriday again come spring.

Another great meetup which has been going strong (and getting consistently larger) is Portsmouth Breakfast Club (#portsbkfstclub). It all started just a few weeks after 4sqDay with this tweet. And so it began—we have met every Wednesday morning since at 6:48am (because 6:45 is just too early), sharing updates on our fave apps (like Foursquare!), discussing tech news and new trends in social media, and generally catching up over coffee and bagels. It’s become an invaluable part of our weeks, and something that we rely on to stay on top of what’s going on in our community, both local and virtual.

That’s what 4sqDay is all about—using a common interest to get together with others in your community and learning more about them and from them. This same spirit of community connection can keep going all year—if YOU keep it going!

Be creative and find what works best for you community: an in-person meetup, a weekly hangout on G+, or participating in Monday night #4sqchat.

What will YOU do to perpetuate the 4sqDay spirit year round? Let us know!

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One Month Until 4sqDay

April 16th is 4sqDay

Wow, where is the time going? It seems like we just celebrated 4sqDay 2012 one month or two ago; now, we are already midway through March of 2013, and we are in the home stretch. Before you know it, 4sqDay will be here, and communities around the globe will come together to celebrate, check-in, and give back. Some communities have already started the planning process. Some have reached out to their local mayor(s) to get the 4sqDay Proclamation process going. On other hand, some foursquare communities have not yet started. So, if you are part of the latter group, now is the time to start planning. Mark your calendars and celebrate along with us this year!

It’s Never Too Late

Just remember that the first 4sqDay celebration was organized in under one month, so your gathering can be great. We recommend that you look at other communities and what they have done in recent years. Still, it all comes down to you. Write down your game plan today and start reaching out to your fellow foursquare users, local businesses, and local government officials. Please stay tuned for more tips; of course, you can also shoot us a tweet if you have any questions!

Be sure to let us know how you are celebrating. We’ll be posting more information about that this week; for now, just reach us via our contact us page! If you have a celebration gathering planned, we’d love to hear about it. Please comment below with link/details or reach us on Twitter! We’re extremely excited, and we hope you are too!

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