DISCOVERED! The Disney Experience – They Do it Right

Last week, I took a trip to Disneyland to not only celebrate my one-year wedding anniversary with my husband but to also leave adulthood behind me and let the child within me escape normalcy and interact in a world full of wonder and unexpectedness. We need that sometimes.

I work at a company that delivers experiences all the time. We know experiences are what makes or breaks an event. So suddenly, for the first time, I became acutely aware of the Disney experience. Before I even began my trip, a little bird told me to download Disney’s free app, Mousewait. It’s imperative you do this before you go to the park. You’ll find it most useful on your journey.

From the moment I stepped onto the Disney property, the sounds of whimsical music grabbed my attention. Memories of my childhood poured into me and all sense of adult responsibilities went away. I was a child in a magical world. I could already smell churros before I entered the park, which, let’s face it, are made the best in Disneyland. Every single Disney employee I encountered was friendly, smiling and looked like they really enjoyed their job. It was a lovely break from the cold, distracted stares I get in the Starbucks line every day before work.

The most amazing part of the Disney experience is how every little detail that you see, hear and smell was carefully thought out to greatly impact your day. Random entertainment surprises you in some of the most inconspicuous places. I was passing by the saloon and three actors came out suddenly and did a hilarious performance. At the end, they invited everyone to the restaurant. What a clever way to get people engaged! At California Adventure, all would be quiet on the streets sans the crowd of people moving along to the next attraction when suddenly a car filled with musical performers would drive up and rock the crowd. I would bet that someone strategically planned out each and every performance from the location to the time they arrive.

Have you ever taken a real close look at the attractions as you’re riding through them? Like, REALLY take a look at them? There are so many details in the scenery of these rides that it becomes truly magical. One that stuck out to me was The Little Mermaid ride in California Adventure. When we first get into the two-seater “shell” car, you start to ride backwards down the ramp as if you are dropping into the ocean water. In front of you is another shell car and bubbles are video projected onto the back of that car as if it was filling it up with water. I was amazed by just this little detail. It literally felt like you were riding into the water.

And did you know that there are hidden Mickeys all over the park and on the rides? Kind of cool, huh? Someone actually took the time to inconspicuously hide Mickey heads all over the park and when you find one, you feel like you’ve accomplished something.

Walt Disney thought of everything. It’s not just the colorful characters and enjoyable rides – he really thought about the experience from beginning to end.

Amanda Chartier Retter, Marketing Specialist, InVision

DISCOVERED! Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate

As we head into the month of October, the pumpkin aroma is finding its way into Fall again! While I love the pumpkin spice drinks at Starbucks, I just can’t bring myself to spend $3.50 every time. After researching warm homemade drinks, I came across this one which seemed ideal for this time of year. If you’re trying to stay on the light side, simply substitute reduced fat milk. It still tastes delicious and saves you half the calories and fat! This warm delight is great for an evening dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Having a party? Pour into a tall fancy glass, add a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick. Guests will go nuts over this perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Grab your mugs (or tall fancy glass)! This is definitely a treat everyone will fall for.

 Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • pinch salt

 Directions

  1. Heat the milk, pumpkin puree, and spices in a sauce pan until it just starts to simmer and remove form heat.
  2. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted.
  3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Nicole Martin, Receptionist, InVision

Get Engaged with InVision in our Twitter Contest!

We create engaging experiences that turn attendees into participants. Are you prepared to get engaged? We want to know how well you know InVision. Follow us on Twitter and participate in our IVC Tweet N Seek contest. The lucky winner will receive a fun prize! Starts April 4th.

IVC News – April 2012

  • IVC is sponsoring Event Marketing Summit’s opening networking reception The Happy Hour on Monday, April 30th.
  • IVC recently received a Telly Award for the Cisco “Giving Moment” video-based on Cisco’s contribution to the St. Bernard Project.
  • IVC received “The President’s Society” recognition from the Cancer Support Community for our years of service to them. We are proud to be supporting our communities!
  • Check out our new Twitter page look and Facebook timeline!

Discovered! Book Recommendation

Hi everyone, it’s Angela and I have got a great book recommendation for all of you. Looking for an easy read on your next journey across country? A really amazing memoir called “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls took me by surprise. From her writing to her candor, I was hooked by page 10.

Angela Cosentino, Executive Video Producer, InVision Communications

Discovered! PaperDesk App

Hey everyone, Amanda here. No longer will I need to bring a pencil or waste a pad of paper when I head into meetings. I recently discovered an iPad app called PaperDesk, which basically replaces the traditional paper notebook. It’s so easy to use and it allows me to draw, type, record and insert photos. One of the best features is that as soon as I am done, I can email off my notes to my team instead of retyping it on my computer.

Amanda Chartier, Marketing Coordinator, InVision

Discovered! IVC Chicago Favorite Foods, Part 1

Hello! It’s Andy from Chicago. One of the unique features of Chicago is that once you get out of downtown, the city is made up of dozens of neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are where the people live, shop, dine and stroll. On a human level. Street level.

The IVC Chicago office is in just such a neighborhood—Northcenter. Far from downtown, our neighborhood is comprised of a few main thoroughfares along side streets lined with single family homes of all shapes and sizes. Along the main streets are a dizzying array of restaurants, coffee shops, taverns, diners, sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Cuban, Colombian, Irish, German, pizza and encased meats (hot dogs-no ketchup).

So as a public service, the colleagues at IVC Chicago have taken it upon ourselves to do a careful analysis of the variety, quality, value and overall customer experience. Consider this a first salvo in the continuing search for the best lunches available in the North Center / Lincoln Square neighborhood of IVC Chicago.

Nhu Lahn Bakery
A tiny, almost invisible, little Vietnamese bakery close by was listed by the Chicago Tribune as having one of “the top 25 sandwiches in Chicago”: Lemongrass marinated tofu Banh Mi. The bread is a huge factor, fresh baked Vietnamese baguettes stuffed with this marinated tofu that could get past a pork lover if you didn’t tip him off. Crisp cucumbers, jalapenos carrot and cilantro combine and surprise. Rod Mickels, IVC CEO said, “This is a great sandwich.” Check it out on Yelp

Sultan’s Market
This is a favorite delivery option for the Chicago office. This is what we usually are eating during the monthly staff meetings: falafel and lamb shawarma sandwiches, hummus and pita. Spicy for me, medium for everyone else. We like to think it’s a healthy choice, because it’s vegetarian-but we pig out on it so it isn’t exactly like diet food. Check it out on Yelp

Hot Doug’s
Chicago’s finest ‘sausage superstore and encased meats emporium’: gourmet fois gras dogs, the Elvis polish: (smoked and savory, just like the king), the Brigitte Bardot (Andouille sausage and mighty hot!). Cognac and Bacon Pheasant Sausage with Chevre Cream, Wild Boar Pate and Truffle-Balsamic Drizzle. And be sure to get at least 1 order of the fresh cut fries cooked in duck fat. Serious indulgence. The line goes out the door and on a nice day, you might wait half an hour or more, but you make friends, and by the time you order and your food comes up, there’s a table ready. We have to jump in a car to go to Hot Doug’s but we still consider him part of our neighborhood. Check it out on Yelp

In the next food blog from IVC Chicago, we’ll do a tavern crawl for lunch: Bad Dog Tavern, The Bad Apple and the Globe Pub. Two of them have good food. Stay tuned to find out which…

Andy Flanagan, Account Director, InVision

Designing the Experience

In today’s world, there is a new element we must consider as we launch the meeting planning exercise. We are a part of a digital revolution where technology and social devices are driving business decisions and human behavior on all levels. We need to spend some of our time focused on designing the experience our attendees will have. People are inherently fond of connection, collaboration, learning and sharing with others. A truly successful conference is one that shifts the behaviors of the audience from attendee to advocate.

Check out Jeff Hurt’s blog for tips on how you can become a strategic design thinker.

Magic or Highly Advanced Technology?

Augmented reality (AR) has become increasingly popular in today’s tech world. You can use AR in a variety of means including presentations, demonstrations and games. Marco Tempest once again entertains us with his blend of digital media and magic by demonstrating his take on AR in last year’s TED conference.

The Cheating Wall

Want to connect your attendees from one continent to another in real time and in a new and cool way? Check out this video on how multimedia guru Monster Media and advertising agency CP+B created an interactive marketing campaign experience to promote travel between Montreal and Toronto. Are you connecting your audiences?