A Trip Into The Mind Of Trevor

Trevor Travels: Denver

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Seattle → Denver

One of my favorite cities to visit growing up and still today is the Denver, CO. The weather is great, the people are great (because nowadays half of them are Chicago natives), the beer is great, the views are great...should I keep going? So it goes without saying this trip has been top of mind for me for a while. As one of the USA's fastest growing cities, especially when it comes to tech, it’s also no secret that Denver has so much to offer from a corporate event perspective; from hot retail shops to unique breweries, they have it all!

Wild Women Wine

Though Denver is a city known as a big beer scene, with 148 different breweries, they also known how to whip up a nice bottle of wine. Trying to diversify my pallet, I made a stop at Wild Women Wine for a fresh cheese plate washed down with some of the best wine in the rockies. During my visit I also took the time to create a virtual tour of their space, which you can view here. This cozy space in the heart of downtown is the perfect place to host your next corporate event and enjoy a wine tasting with stationed hors d’oeuvres.

Mile High City

The beautiful city of Denver has so much to offer from a tourist standpoint, so I had to get out and enjoy the town. To start, I decided to get my sports fix in by swinging by the Pepsi Center to watch the Nuggets play; shout out to the home team for the big W. I also made sure to stop by one of the largest museums in the west, the Denver Art Museum, which is just as stunning on the inside as it is the outside. Since I was fortunate enough to catch some really nice weather, I also made a point to visit the beautiful Denver Botanical Gardens.

Howl at the Moon

Not to be confused with Ozzy Osbourne’s early 80's hit, Bark at the Moon, Howl at the Moon brings their own spin on live music to the Denver area. Located only a couple blocks from Union Train Station and across the street from Coors Field, Howl at the Moon is the perfect spot for your next client entertainment event. The extremely talented house band can cover any song from the last 60 years with their own unique spin, not to mention the large dance floor to shake off some of the calories consumed on their big bucket drinks. You can take a virtual walk through their space here and listen in on my conversation with their event manager, Sam, here.

Colorado Springs

Just an hour south of the big city lies one of the hidden gems of Colorado, The Springs. From garden of the gods, cave of the winds, and pikes peak, there’s plenty to marvel at. I took a day to head south on I-25 and take in the sights. The highlight of the day has to be my trip to the top of Pikes Peak, where at the 14,000+ ft. summit I had a chance to try out some flavored oxygen; if there was an easier way to get there it would be the perfect place for a unique corporate Kapow event.

1515 Restaurant

Earlier this year one of Kapow’s partners, 1515 Restaurant, became the first Denver restaurant to host the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Dinner, quite the achievement for this fine dining downtown hot spot. Featuring over 500 wines, tons of local Denver beers and new american menu has something to offer for everyone. I stopped by to visit my friend Gene Tang, Owner & Executive Chef, who hooked me up with their signature steak. So, in return, I set them up with a virtual tour of their space, which is available for you to checkout here.

Next Stop: San Diego

The best way to follow up a trip to the rocky mountains is a trip to the beach for a little sunshine, so it’s time to visit one of Kapow’s newest markets, San Diego. I’m excited to visit some of our hottest new experiences with the finest venues San Diego has to offer. In the meantime, don’t forget to visit Kapow.com to browse thousands of unique corporate events and book your next team outing, client sales meeting, or networking event in real time!

Trevor Travels: Seattle

Space Needle

Miami → Seattle

Some time has passed since my last venture, but it’s time to hit the road again. This time to the northwestern most part of the contiguous United States, Seattle, WA. For quite some time now this trip has been at the top of my wish list and I couldn’t be more excited to check out the space needle, the music and art scenes, and some of Kapow’s most unique venue partners!

Copperworks Distilling

Nestled comfortably right along the shoreline of downtown Seattle is a beautiful, rustic distilling company, Copperworks. The location operates as a tasting room, a retail store, and a fully operational distillery.Their spirits (vodka, gin and whisky) specialize in premium malted barley primarily grown in the local Washington state area. From the tasting room you have a wonderful view of both the distillery and the shoreline. Take a virtual tour of the space for yourself here and check out my conversation with their Vice President, Jeff, here.

Pike’s Place Market

Without question of the most highly recommended attractions in the city is Pike’s Place Market. With over 70 authentic Seattle restaurants and food stalls, there’s a treat for everyone to enjoy. Beyond the world of food, the market also has nearly 200 additional mom and pop “shops” that range from antique stores and tattoo artists to the world of acupuncture; I wasn’t kidding when I said there was a treat for everyone! No matter how much or little time you spend in Seattle, your trip can’t be completed without a stop or two at the market.

Seattle Glassblowing Studio

A staple in every Kapow market is a fun, hands-on activity: glassblowing, and Seattle is no exception to the rule. Seattle Glassblowing Studio boasts a beautiful two room gallery, a large studio space, and even on-site food and drink. The studio is also located in prime position in downtown Seattle, whereas most other glassblowing studios are located away from the hustle and bustle. You can take your own walk through the space here and listen in on my chat with events manager, Sarah, here.

Rain Rain Go Away...

...come another another day. The only stigma I I’ve heard of Seattle carrying is the dreaded rain; I’ve heard nightmare stories of the months without sun. Fortunately for me, I caught the city in a good mood which only showered me with rays of sunshine! During my trip I also learned that cities like New York, Miami, Boston and others, actually receive more rain per year on a volume basis. Where Seattle takes the cake is the number of rainy days per year, 158 on average.

Columbia Sportswear

It’s no secret Seattle is surrounded by some of the most spectacular outdoor sceneries in all of the US, so I decided to stop by one of Kapow’s newest national retail partnerships, Columbia Sportswear. This two story store is located in the heart of downtown and even has its own private event space. Take a spin through the space yourself here and book your next corporate event in real time.

Next Stop: Denver

My first trip to Seattle was a huge success; from the unique venues, delicious chowder, perfect weather, and beautiful skyline views. I even had a chance to see a favorite band of mine, the Eagles, play a live show at Safeco Field. While I’m sad to leave this beautiful place, I’m excited for my next adventure in a city I’m very familiar with, Denver, CO. Stay tuned for a update on my trip to the mile high city!

YouTube Marketing For Event Venues

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What is YouTube? Well, you already know what YouTube is, but how much do you really know about YouTube from a marketing perspective? For instance, did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? Or that it’s bigger than Bing, Yahoo and Ask combined? Or that one-third of all internet users, use YouTube? Essentially, YouTube is a big deal, especially when it comes to finding and sharing content.

Why YouTube Matters

It’s no secret that video is king when it comes to content and it’s no secret that YouTube is the king of video. It’s the first place everyone looks when they’re trying to find a video—“just YouTube it”. It’s also an engaging way to show off your space or experience offering, especially if it includes an interactive component. The good news for you is that it’s very easy to embed a YouTube link on your website or social platforms, and it’s even easier for a viewer to share your video after they’ve watched it. If you gain enough consistent viewership, you can even begin to monetize your YouTube channel, creating a new stream of revenue for your business.

How To Stand Out On YouTube

On YouTube, 100 hours of video are uploaded each minute; that’s over 1.4 million hours every day. So how is someone supposed to find and watch your videos? Well the good news is that three billion searches are processed and over six billion hours are watched on YouTube on a monthly basis! YouTube is a very complex system that takes a lot of unique factors into consideration. The most important place to dress up your video is the creator studio, which is a great free tool that is easy to use and allows you to keyword and tag your video to maximize the chances of it showing up in searches by your target audience.Thumbnails

Just like in real life, first impressions are everything on the internet. Your first impression on YouTube is your thumbnail image. By default their uploader will randomly select three frames from your video as options for your thumbnail. But, you also have the option to add a custom thumbnail instead, where you can select the perfect frame, upload a different image, combine images, add text and anything else your imagination will let you do in photoshop. According to an article from Hubspot, “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.” So we’d recommend uploading a custom image that you feel accurately represents the video and piques the viewer’s interest. 

Titles

Another chance to make a good impression is the video title. Your title is the first thing (and in many cases the only thing) viewers will read in the process of watching you video. The title is also one of three places to focus on SEO and maximize your influence on that massive search engine. This section has a 100 character limit, but best practice calls for 60 characters, so keep it short and sweet. And for the love of all that is good and pure, do your best to avoid clickbait titles.

Descriptions

Another chance to drop in important keywords is in the description. This is easily the longest text of your video with a whopping 5,000 character limit, so take the time to let the viewer know what’s going on in your video. YouTube will scan the text along with text in your video or the video transcript to ensure the description accurately describes the video. If you’ve written clickbait that doesn’t relate to the video, it can harm your chances of showing up in searches. Consider including some background info, links to your website or another resource, etc. And don’t forget to squeeze in some keywords in here too. One thing to note here is that Youtube will often only display the first 100 characters of the description, so put the most important information at the beginning. 

Tags

While every element of your video has its own significance, the most important in regards to search on YouTube is the tag section. Keep in mind there is no limit to the number of tags you can include, only in the total number of characters used (500). This is where you’ll want to add in keywords and phrases that are not only specific to your video, but also but also to the overall theme of your video. For example, both “game-winning field goal” and “football” could be relevant tags to a video featuring highlights from an NFL game. Put the most relevant keywords at the top and work your way down from there. YouTube also picks up spelling exactly as it’s entered, so if you have a word or phrase that’s commonly misspelled, it’s wise to include the misspelled versions as tags as well. 

If you’re looking for more insight into these tactics as well as some different tips and tricks for utilizing your YouTube channel, check out the recently launched interactive creator academy on YouTube. Or contact your Market Manager to request a video for your Kapow experience, which will be posted on Kapow’s site and on our YouTube channel, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!

Trevor Travels: Miami

Miami Beach

Las Vegas → Miami

My trip to Vegas might technically be over, but it’s not really, because my next stop is another party city: Miami. Great weather, great people, and great beaches, who more could I ask for? Cuban food, I could ask for Cuban food...well, I mean I did ask for Cuban food. While there are a lot of great restaurants in the area, the side of a truck will always be my favorite way to order food. While I was in town I figured I might as well stop by some of my favorite Kapow partners and create a virtual tour of their spaces.

Marine Layer

There’s nothing I love more than an ultra soft tee, and Marine Layer, a San Francisco based clothing brand, takes pride in having the softest ones around. With locations all around the country, I couldn’t help but pop into their new Miami location and check out what the latest styles are. You can wander through the store yourself in the virtual tour of the space here. While you’re at it, stay up to date with the latest trend in corporate events (retail) and reserve the space today. Next time your clients throw on their ultra soft tee, they’ll be thinking of you!

Beaches

I would say that Miami has a lot of beaches, but Miami basically is just one giant beach, so it goes without saying that I spent a fair share of time beach bumin’. I’ve always loved watching the sunrise, but there’s something about watching it rise over the ocean that makes it extra special. I’m happy to report that watching the sunrise from Miami’s beachfront did not disappoint. Also, just for the record, I build a pretty mean sand castle.

Mango’s Tropical Cafe

There’s nowhere that pulls together the Miami lifestyle quite like Mango’s Tropical Cafe located on south beach. Between the Latin dancing shows, exotic drinks and Florribean (Floridian & Caribbean) food they’ve got it all. Located literally steps from the beach this party spot has 5 bars spread out amongst their two massive floors. Oh and did I mention they have a dance floor? You can take a tour of their space and book a cocktail reception dance party here.

Swamplands

Nothing gets me quite as excited as a trip to a national park and the Miami area has one of the most unique in the entire country; the Florida Everglades, a 1.5 million acre batch of wetlands, plays host to some deathly terrifying creatures like crocodiles, pythons, recluse spiders, and even a rare bull shark sighting. Naturally, I had to see it for myself so I booked me an airboat tour through the glades and ended up wrestlin’ a croc. Obviously, I won!

Yardbird Southern Table

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all of my travels across the country it’s that there’s no denying the power of some good southern comfort food, and Miami is no exception. I mean come on, who doesn’t feel welcomed after getting served up a steaming hot plate of buttermilk biscuits? Or maybe some classic chicken and waffles? Well, when I made a stop to see my friends at Yardbird Southern Table they gave me all the foods, so I gave them a virtual tour of their space. Book your next corporate event at their space to try some of their delicious cuisine for yourself

Next Stop: Seattle

Next up is Seattle, WA, one of the only major US cities I’ve yet to visit. I’m hoping to get my hippie on and spend some time in national parks surrounding the city. I also have the plan to gain 1 or 2 or 10 pounds from eating all the salmon Seattle has to offer. Stay tuned for the update on my adventures and be sure to visit Kapow.com for all of your client entertainment, team building and holiday party needs.

Where To Watch The 2017 MLB Playoffs

Baseball in Glove

Baseball fans it’s time to celebrate! We finally made it through the long 162-game MLB season. So now it’s time to get ready for the main event—the playoffs.

WHY PLAYOFF BASEBALL?

Baseball games always get the juices flowing. And there’s no better time in the world of sports than playoff season. The action of the game gives you a talking point right off the bat. By bonding over your favorite team, you’re likely to form strong relationships with your clients or colleagues, making games a great corporate event.The playoffs are where all the best drama happens, and when your clients remember the game, they’ll remember you. Since you’ve established a common interest, you can follow up after every big moment in the series—keeping you and your company top of mind. It’s a win, win!

Check out the matchups below and buy your tickets using Kapow’s new ticket platform. Or check out the list of our favorite places to watch, and book a playoff viewing party with Kapow.

THE MATCHUPS

The wild card round

  • American League (AL): Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees – Tuesday, October 3rd at 8pm ET

  • National League (NL): Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondback – Wednesday, October 4th at 8pm ET

Division series Thursday, October 5th – Thursday October 12th

  • Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

  • AL wild card winner vs. Cleveland Indians

  • NL wild card winner vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals

WHERE TO WATCH

  • Minneapolis: The Twins squeaked their way into the playoffs with the last wild card spot, and have a tough road ahead to the title. You can follow their journey at New Bohemia.

  • New York: The Yankees are headed back to the playoffs and you can support them at Sidebar, one of our favorite sports bars in NYC.

  • Boston: If you can’t get into Fenway Park, watch the game from the ping pong pizza bar attached to it, Blazing Paddles. You might even get a chance to see the visiting team warm up in the batting cages.

  • Houston: The Astros have looked great all year and are primed for a deep run at their first World Series win, and you can watch every game from Revelry on Richmond.

  • Denver: The Rockies have made the postseason for the fourth time in franchise history and the first since 2009. Denver is sure to be rocking in support of their team, so get out to Lucky Pie to watch the game.

  • Phoenix: The Diamondbacks are on the hunt for their first World Series win since 2001 and it won’t be an easy road this year. You can catch all the action this postseason from Brat Haus.

  • Los Angeles: The Dodgers posted the best record in the regular season and are favored to win it all. Stop on by Rock and Reilly’s to watch their games.

  • Chicago: There’s no better place to watch the Cubs defend their title than from the rooftop of Lakeview Baseball Club

  • Washington D.C.: The Nationals and their high-powered offense are in pursuit of their first playoff series win. Watch all their games at District Chophouse.

GET YOUR GEAR

If a watch party doesn’t work for your schedule, stay in theme and host a retail event to let guests gear up for the playoffs. Both Nike and Under Armour always have the latest and greatest in game day essentials and Road Runner Sports will finish off the outfit with some custom-fitted shoes. 

Even if your team didn’t make the postseason this year, you might still consider a viewing party or retail event at a venue in your city to catch some of the excitement. Head to Kapow.com today to browse ideas and book your next event.

The Value In Hosting A Football Event

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Football fans rejoice, it’s finally that time of year again! You’ve been throwing the pigskin around all summer, spent countless hours prepping for your fantasy draft and built the perfect tailgate menu. Now, it’s time to dedicate the next 21 Sundays to sitting in front of the TV for 12 hours watching football. BUT, the fun doesn’t have to end there thanks to the NFL’s Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football; how convenient considering Monday and Thursday nights are two of the best for hosting corporate events.

A BIG HIT WITH CLIENTS

NFL games are consistently among the highest-rated television programs in the U.S. But it’s no secret that a lot of people like football. This makes football watch parties, tailgates and games a great way to win over your clients. They’re universally liked and leave a lasting impression. Plus, every game has that moment you’ll always remember, whether it’s an insane catch, crazy weather or the final score. You can also create your own fun moments by raffling off a hat or jersey for your guests. The next time the winner throws on their jersey, they’ll think of you.

In case you need some help deciding where to go when, we’ve laid out some of the most anticipated games and where to watch them this season. So book a football experience and watch your favorite team win, while you win over your client.

HOTTEST PLACES TO WATCH

New York – Watch the Giants take on the Lions in prime time from the comfort of Ainsworth or Flatiron Hall Monday, September 18th.Dallas & Phoenix – Watch America’s team, the Cowboys, play the Cardinals from Nodding Donkey in Dallas or RnRin Scottsdale on Monday, September 25th.

Chicago – Catch Trubisky fever and head to Jake Melnick’s in River North for the heated Bears vs. Packers rivalry on Thursday, September 28th.

Atlanta – Check out reigning MVP Matt Ryan and the Falcons during a tailgate at their new stadium Monday, November 11th as they take on the Seahawks.

Boston & Miami – Watch the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots take on the division rival Dolphins from Causeway Restaurant in Boston or American Social in Miami on Monday, December 11th.

GET IN THE GAME

Sometimes watching the big game on TV isn’t enough. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Kapow recently launched a tickets platform to give you a fast way to gain entry into your favorite sports and entertainment events at the best price. In addition to tickets for every NFL game this season, you also have the option to host a tailgate party before the game and/or get a private suite inside the stadium. Visit Kapow.com and see what NFL experiences are available for your team. Lastly, if you’re just not able to host an event on gameday, you can still keep a sports theme to your event by hosting a retail event at Nike or Under Armour.

Whether your team wins or not, getting the whole gang together for a game always leads to a good time. This year capitalize on the opportunity to host your next client entertainment or team outing at or during a game.

The Power of Video

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If you’re an avid scroller on the good ole’ social media, you’ve probably noticed the fastest growing trend across all platforms, video. YouTube, the largest library of video in the world, is also the second largest search engine on the internet behind only Google. On average, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 5 billion of their videos are watched daily. Instagram and Twitter, apps created exclusively for photos and 140-character thoughts respectively, have not only allowed users to start creating video, but have continued to improve the tool over time. Video in Facebook posts has increased 94% annually over years and they recently started running ads on videos to help support creators. No matter what stats you look at, they all draw the same conclusion: the fastest growing and most engaging piece of content is video.
 

See It In Action

Text is a great way to share your thoughts, but often leads the reader wanting more. Photography provides the benefit of a visual aid, but is still and one dimensional. Video on the other hand, allows you to give your thoughts and ideas life. Video is more efficient, it’s more exciting, and it’s more creative. Seeing something in action provides so much more detail and context than seeing something frozen in time. The term motion picture comes from the fact that you’re literally showing 1,800 photos every 1 minute (double or triple that if it’s slow motion) which will spark a much strong reaction from the viewer. How does that saying go again?...”seeing is believing”!

Talk To Your Customers

With video you also have the added element of audio which allows for you to add music and sound effects in order to set the mood. You also have the option to talk to directly to your audience and make them feel as if they’re part of the conversation. This additional component can be so vital for engaging the viewer by asking them questions or giving them a call to action instead of relying on text or graphics to provoke a response from the viewer. Remember this piece is just as important, if not more important, than your visuals, so don’t neglect it.

Work With What You Got

Everyone’s project is going to come with a different budget. For some it may be big enough to hire a production company, others may only include the funds for a small camera to complete the project internally, and there’s a chance you may have zero budget with no choice but to use your mobile phone. Sure the quality will vary depending on your budget, but the message can be successful regardless of cost; story is the most important element of any video and nobody knows your story better than you.
 

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish for your business, video can help. Use video to share with customers all the exciting things you’ve been working hard on, use it to engage your customers, and make video work with your budget. There’s no better time than now to jump into the world of motion picture video and start sharing with the world, so go out there and create something great!

Trevor Travels: Las Vegas

Phoenix → Las Vegas

The southwest has been so nice to me so far, I just can’t leave yet! Phoenix has been a very laid back trip, but it’s time to unleash my wild side in Las Vegas. Sin Cities claim to fame is vibrant nightlife and a 4 miles strip full of 24-hour casinos,  most definitely a recipe for success! If I can pull myself to take a break from all the partying at some point, I might even try to squeeze in some 360 tours.

Sun Buggy Fun Rental

Ever since seeing the revival of Mad Max back in 2015 I’ve had a strange desire to paint my chest and drive into battle on top of a car screaming war chants. Since this is neither recommended nor possible, I decided to take a dune buggy ride in the desert instead. My friends over at Sun Buggy Fun Rental got me caught up to speed and racing around on the tracks in no time. You can get an inside look into my adventure here. If you’re looking for a thrilling experience in a unique environment, this is the perfect spot for your next corporate event!

Risk It For The Biscuit

One of the most exciting things about visiting Las Vegas is that it doesn’t matter if you’re at a casino, a restaurant, a gas station or on the toilet, you can blow your kids college fund anywhere, anytime. Hell, with the addition of casinos inside the Airport, you have the potential to lose your life savings without even stepping foot outside, now that’s efficiency! For me however, gambling is different, I never lose (except for when I do). So naturally I threw down a little coin on roulette, which took about 7 minutes to lose and set me off on the walk of shame...to the ATM. Let’s just say I spent more time in the process of getting money out of the ATM than I did playing #RoughNight.

Andiron Steak & Sea

There might not be an ocean within 300 miles of Vegas, but that hasn’t stopped Andiron Steak & Sea from creating some of the best seafood around. They even won the Eater Las Vegas Restaurant of the Year award! Personally I’m more of a steak guy, so I had them whip up their famous 8 oz. filet and it was to die for. In an attempt to return the favor, I hooked them up with a virtual tour of the space, which you can check out for yourself here. After you take the tour, don’t forget to reserve a spot for your next corporate event by booking a chef-presented dinner.

Gold Strike Hot Springs

After a short time, the free drinks and air conditioning blasting in my face to keep me awake began to suck the life out of me and I needed a change of scenery. It had also been awhile since I’ve had a chance to break out of the concrete jungle and do a little hiking, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Gold Strike Hot Springs. The narrow, 4.5 mile trail full of rock climbing obstacles and hot springs eventually opens up into the Colorado River. The hike was glorious, but left me in need of a beer.

Banger Brewing

Conveniently enough, my next 360 tour stop of the trip just happened to be a brewery: Banger Brewing. Located on the old Fremont Strip. This brewery founded by 5 best friends and Las Vegas natives definitely knows how to make a traveler feel at home, their beer passes the smell test too! You can take a virtual tour of their space and book an event (complete with a brewery tour) with them here.

Next Stop: Miami

As great as the dry heat of the west coast has been, I deeply miss the disgustingly hot and sticky summers in the humid  southeast part of the country. That can only mean one thing: a trip to Miami; one of the dampest cities in the US. On the to do list is wrestle a gator and eat enough Cuban food to last me a lifetime, maybe some 360 tours too. Stay tuned for the latest update on my adventures, and in the meantime, visit Kapow.com to book your next event!

Trevor Travels: Phoenix

Philadelphia → Phoenix

While I have very much enjoyed my extended time on the east coast, it’s time to mix things up and get back out west, I just miss the mountains too much! This time I’m making a stop in the greater Phoenix area. This section of the wild west is filled with sand, great venues ready for a 360 tour, and baseball fields… a lot of baseball fields. Which can mean only one thing, the return of my stadium tour just in time for Spring Training to kick off.

Clayton on the Park

In the heart of Old Town Scottsdale lies a beautiful modern venue, The Clayton on the Park. This two story venue comes complete with a outdoor patio making it a great place to host your next large event. Take a tour of the space HERE and be sure to reserve a spot for your next corporate event. 

Spring Training

Growing up a die hard Cubs fan and an equally passionate fan of nice weather and mountains, you’d think Spring Training in Arizona were a annual trip for me, but I had surprisingly never been before. Finally, I can check it off the bucketlist, and since I made it all the way out to the game, I couldn’t just settle for being a fan in the stands. So, I threw on my old little league uniform (just a tad snug) and offered to bat cleanup for Joe Maddon’s Cubs. Sadly he declined which means you won’t be seeing me make my major league debut anytime soon.

The Ostrich

Just a few miles south is the beautiful city of Chandler, home of venue partner The Ostrich. Located in the forgotten basement tunnels of the haunted San Marcos hotel, this 100 year old bar features delicious cocktails and ridiculous celebrity mugshots. Take a spin through the space yourself and host your next event there by visiting their experience listing on  Kapow.com.

Mountain Sunrise, and Sunset

The only thing better than watching the sunrise during a peaceful morning in the great outdoors, is watching it set. Naturally, I did both. I may not be a morning person, but waking up in the middle of the night to climb Camelback Mountain in order to reach the summit and see the sunrise over the Phoenix mountains was more than worth it. I then followed up with a sunset in South Mountain Park, which was quite the encore presentation. I must say, the outdoor life that Phoenix has to offer does not disappoint. 

G Collection Cars

I may not know how to change the oil in my car, but I consider myself a fan of the vintage American muscle car. G Collection Cars is the perfect place to take in some vintage cars while enjoying cocktails. Not to mention they have a built in arcade and private movie theater, making it the perfect place to host a large event. You can take a walk through the venue and book your next corporate event there HERE.

Next Stop: Las Vegas

Unfortunately my time in Phoenix is done, but I’m not finished in the desert just yet. I’m making the short drive up north to the most mysterious city I’ve visited so far… Las Vegas. Sin City. I’ve got some exciting 360 tours on the slate, which will hopefully distract me from the casinos and give me the strength to avoid a major blow to the wallet. Stayed tuned for some sure to be wild adventures. Be sure to visit Kapow.com for all of your corporate event needs!

Trevor Travels: Philadelphia

Atlanta → Philadelphia

The last installment of Trevor Tracker recapped my trip to the wonderful city of Atlanta, Georgia. It’s now time for me to leave the southern hospitality of the ATL and head to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. Established in 1682, Philly has some real American history inside its city limits, which I set out to explore. Also cheesesteak; I set out to ‘explore’ a lot of restaurants with cheesesteak, let me tell you, it was quite an adventure.

SOUTH Jazz & Kitchen

The best way to kick off any trip is of course with a virtual tour photoshoot, so I visited SOUTH Jazz & Kitchen. After indulging in some fine southern cuisine, I popped into the Jazz club for some live music. For making me feel right at home with their hospitality, I decided to hook them up with a virtual tour of the space, which you can checkout HERE. I also had a chance to sit down with the GM, Harry, to learn more about how SOUTH Jazz & Kitchen came to be and where their unique taste comes from. Check out the interview and book your next event at the venue HERE.

Mmmmm Cheesesteak

Even though I made the trip to capture 360 tours for our venue partners, I created a separate tour for myself; a cheesesteak taste testing tour. I roll with cheese wiz, onions, mushrooms, mayo, which I think would get a the approval of most locals. After giving Jim’s, Pat’s, Geno’s, and Tony Luke’s a try throughout the trip, Tony Luke’s wins by a very slim margin the award for my favorite cheesesteak, congratulations.  

Garces Group

There are a number of large restaurant groups in Philadelphia, none bigger than the Garces Group, by chef Jose Garces, which has an impressive 14 unique restaurants. So, I couldn’t make a trip to Philadelphia without paying them a visit. So I made a stop at some of my favorites in the family, Garces Trading Co. and JG Domestic. You can take your own tour of Garces Trading Co. and book a mozzarella demo HERE. Likewise, you can walk through JG Domestic and book a flatbread making class HERE.

Just Like The Movies

As promised, I made sure to do my duty as an American citizen and visit some of the most exciting historic landmarks Philly has to offer. First stop, where our founding fathers started it all, Independance Hall. It looked exactly as I pictured minus Nicolas Cage frantically looking around for things to steal. I then went across the street to see the Liberty Bell, and I can confirm, it’s still cracked. Lastly I channeled my inner boxing legend by running to and up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum as seen in the movie Rocky.

Charlie was a sinner.

I decided to squeeze in one more 360 tour at Charlie was a sinner to wrap up my trip to the beautiful city of Philadelphia. This all vegan bar and lounge offers an amazing mixology demo and dining space complete with candle lighting. You can take a walk through the venue and book your next event at the venue HERE.

Next Stop: Phoenix

As much as I’ve enjoyed my time on the east coast, it’s time to head west and soak up the sun. So, I’m headed to The Valley Of The Sun, Phoenix. The plan is to catch some Cubs Spring Training and maybe a couple of sunsets in the mountains. I also have a lot of cheesesteaks to walk off with a few outdoor hikes. I might even consider doing a couple virtual tours, we’ll see, stayed tuned for the next episode to find out. Be sure to visit Kapow.com for all of your corporate event needs!

Trevor Travels: Atlanta

Peachtree Park - Atlanta, Georgia

D.C. → Atlanta

My last trip, in D.C. ended up being a chilly one so I decided it’s finally time to fly south for winter and enter hibernation mode. This trip has me staying in the eastern time zone while heading to Atlanta Georgia where Falcons fans are still recovering for their teams slip up in the Super Bowl. Fortunately for me the city was still in good spirits and treated me with their staple southern hospitality. I also had the chance to get a number of 360 tours and even sit down with a couple of our partners to learn a little more about what it’s like to host an event.

Monday Night Brewing

If clever craft beer names is your thing (let’s be real, it is) then Monday Night Brewing is the place to have your next corporate event. They feature a lineup of 6 house beers including Nerd Alert and Slap Fight, it doesn’t get any better than that! Not only did I get a chance to set them up with a 360 tour, which you can check out here, but I was also able to sit down with their events director Carlen for a chat. You can listen in on the chat and learn more about the Monday Night Brewing experience here.

Olympic Games

The United States has held the Olympics 8 times throughout history (4 summer, 4 winter), the last summer city being Atlanta in 1996. Olympic Centennial Park was built to help serve as a central gathering location for spectators, and still today hosts millions of visitors each year, like me. The park has a beautiful olympic ring fountain and a nice view of the city.Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, it’s a must visit while in town.

The Blind Pig Parlour Bar

It was time to mix things up and get out and experience Atlanta nightlife. Of course I had to stop by my friends at The Blind Pig Parlour Bar for some live music and delicious eats. The space has a very vintage blues vibe set up by the decor which comes from all over Atlanta. You can walk through the space in a virtual 360 tour here and learn more about the venue by watching my sit down with bartender Jordan here.

College Football HOF

Though my college (UIC) doesn’t have a football team, I’m still a big fan of the sport and couldn’t make a trip to Atlanta without visiting the newly relocated College Football Hall of Fame. The museum features tons of memorable from historic moments of both the recent and distant past. I also had a chance to put my skills to the test on their indoor field and let’s just say you won’t be seeing me in an NFL uniform anytime soon!

MODA

Of course no trip can ever be completed without an educational photoshoot, so for this I stopped by the Museum of Design Atlanta, MODA. Of all the museums I’ve visited, and trust me there have been a lot, this has to be the most unique. They feature a different theme every 6 months to showcase a piece of design that has the ability to change the world. The current feature is all about efficiently growing healthy food in our homes. You can walk through the museum here, but this is one place you truly need to experience in person, and lucky for you, you can book on Kapow.com

Next Stop: Philadelphia

I’ve been loving life out east and I’m not quite ready to head back home to Chicago, so next up I’ll be heading to Philadelphia for some more 360 tours. Be sure to check back to discover the Philly hot spots and following along while I go on a cheesesteak tasting tour, it’s going to be delicious! Be sure to visit Kapow.com for all of your event needs.

Trevor Travels: Washington D.C.

Washington Monument.jpg

Houston → D.C.

My last travel update left ended on the notion of going from the warmth of Houston, TX back to the bitter cold winter of Chicago. I’ve rested up and ready for the next adventure to Washington D.C., just in time for changing of the guard at the white house. Even though I wasn’t elected as the new President of the United States, I couldn’t make a trip to D.C. without sneaking into the oval office for a quick selfie. In between my tomfoolery, I made some time to visit some wonderful venue partners and hook them up with a 360 tour.

Pansaari

A hidden gem off 17th street in D.C. is one of my favorite spots, Pansaari. Want to kick back, relax, and sip some chai? Check. Interested in learning how to prep some delicious and healthy meals traditional in India? Check. And of course, they have a fantastic event space, which you can check out here. You won’t find a more cozy spot to host your next group!

Smithsonian Institution

Washington D.C. has a ton of history, both on the streets and in the museums. Most famous are the city’s 19 completely free Smithsonian Museums, which include the Free Art Gallery, the Air and Space Museum, and even the National Zoological Park. Originally I was going to get a bunch of 360 scans for venue partners, but decided instead to make it my mission to visit all 19 museums. While I did fall short of my goal, I was able to get 7 different museums and in turn cash in on a little free education.

The Gibson

D.C. certainly has a lot of history being on the east coast and features are number of prohibition style bars and speakeasies. One of my favorites, The Gibson, has started doing an Omakase menu which allows you to fill out your flavor profile and work with the mixologist for some delicious drinks made specific for you. When you inevitably get hooked on mixology, you’ll need to come back for a mixology demo with one of their talented instructors. Check out what else The Gibson has to offer in this video.

Soaking In The City

Although D.C.’s winter is supposed to be on the more mild side, I just happened to catch it in a bad mood. With some snowfall and average temperatures in the 20s, I certainly did a poor job of escaping the Chicago cold for a little while. Despite the cold temps, I had had to get outside, roam the city, and check out some of the beautiful architecture of the city. The city is most known for its Neoclassical architectural style (seen very clearly in the White House) which has great Roman influence and features tall columns.

DBGB

One of my favorite restaurant groups around is the Boulud Restaurant Group. Outstanding chef and founder of the group, Daniel Boulud has 9 top selling cookbooks, multiple James Beard Foundation awards and 15 beautiful restaurants around the world. A pretty impressive resume if I do say so myself. So, I couldn’t help but stop by DBGB Kitchen and Bar in D.C. while I was in town to hook them up with a 360 tour. You can take your own virtual tour of the space here and book your next private dinner with them at Kapow.com.

Next Stop: Atlanta

Next up I’ll be heading down south to the peach state so I can spend some time in Atlanta. I’m prepping myself for some more delicious southern hospitality and cooking. I might even make it in the Hall of Fame...like inside the College Football Hall of Fame, as a visitor. Stay tuned for another update on my travels and be sure to book your next corporate event at Kapow.com.

Trevor Travels: Houston

Austin → Houston

Last time on Trevor Tracker I was living off street tacos and trying to join a rock band in Austin. I picked up a couple extra pounds and didn’t make it to stage, so all things considered I’d say it was a successful visit! I also did just a teeny-tiny amount of work getting 360 tours. Now it’s time to jump on I-10 and cruise on over to Houston!

Stadium Tour Continues

For months I’ve been making a point to visit a baseball stadium in every city I visit. I was able to see the Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Red Sox, Twins, Rangers, and Indians all play at home. Unfortunately the MLB season has come to an end so it’s time to shift my focus to basketball and the NBA. First stop is of course the Toyota Center in Houston to watch the Rockets take on the Utah Jazz. My streak of cheering on the home team to victory is still in tact, I really should start charging for all this good luck I bring!

Peli Peli

Texas only has one South African Fusion restaurant, Peli Peli, and it happens to be in Houston. Since I’m all about unique venues, I couldn’t complete my trip without a stop by to say hello. They take great pride in creating authentic dishes packed with flavor. Peli Peli, or Bird’s-Eye Chilli, has become very popular over time and a signature of Chef Paul Friedman’s style. You can checkout the space and book your next event with them here.

Esperson Gallery

No trip of mine can be completed without some influence with the arts, so I had to visit my friends over at Esperson Gallery to check out their latest exhibits. The gallery features tons of great work from not just local Houston, but also national artists of all different styles. It’s location in the heart of downtown makes it a great spot to get everyone together for a night out. You can walk through the space and book your next event here.

Houston, I have a problem

I’ve seen so many space-themed movies in the last 5 years that I’ve decided when I grow up (if I grow up) I want to be an astronaut. What’s not to love about living in a zero gravity environment and getting to eat all my meals out of a ziplock bag? Plus, we haven’t had a man on the moon in over 44 years, it’s about time someone makes another trip. What could possibly be better than a Trevor Tracker from the surface of the moon?

Moonshiners

The Salt n Pepper Group has a big stake in the bar & restaurant game in Houston, so visiting with them while in town was a must. Moonshiner Southern Table + Bar is the perfect mix of comfort food and southern hospitality that you’d expect from the state of Texas. And of course, no southern cooking is complete without moonshine and whisky served up in a mason jar. You can check out the venue and book your next corporate outing here.

Next Stop: Washington D.C.

Up next I’m heading to the nation’s capital, Washington DC to see if I can convince Obama to pass me the presidency instead of Trump. If I don’t have any luck, I’ll just pay a couple bucks for a tour of the White House, which is basically the same thing, right? Stay tuned to see what DC has in store for me and of course for all your client entertainment and corporate event needs be sure to visit Kapow.com.

Trevor Travels: Austin

Orlando → Austin

My last travel update came from the sunshine state where I partied with Mickey Mouse at Disney World and collected some new nightmares at Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights. This time I’m keeping things in the south as I visit the booming city of Austin, Texas for the first time. As a wannabe rockstar, I had a blast checking out some of the very talented musicians in the music capitol of the world; not a bad place to go if you’re a fan of live jams. As an even bigger fan of deliciously stuffed street tacos, I can confirm Texas taco trucks are about as satisfying a meal as I’ve ever had!

G’Raj Mahal

“Keep Austin Weird”, a motto of sorts for local Austinites is the perfect three word descriptor for G’Raj Mahal. Of course, this is weird is the best way possible! Located on the infamous Rainey St., this Indian cuisine hotspot is a deck out head to toe with old fashioned bikes, fun chandeliers, and comfy dining areas. Complete with an outdoor patio, indoor dining, and “backyard garage” lounge area. Take a walk through yourself in the virtual 360 tour here.

Music Capitol of the World

Austin is a not only the state Capitol of Texas, but also the music capitol of the world. So, it’s safe to say while in town I spent a night or two roaming up and down 6th street tuning into some of the finest live jams the city has to offer. By the end of the trip I found myself longing to start a band and hit the road to live the rockstar life. Sadly, I can confirm any shott I had at making the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has burnt out.

Adelbert’s Brewery

Austin has more breweries than the internet has trolls, and one of my favorites is Adelbert’s. The space has a beautiful art gallery with every item available for purchase at a reasonable price. There’s also plenty of space for bar games like giant jenga. Oh and did I mention they have beer? It’s pretty good! For hooking me up with some of the finest beer Texas has to offer, I set them up with a 360 tour. You can walk through the space on your own here.

The Bat Colony

You may be surprised to know that Austin is the largest urban bat colony in North America, reaching up to 1.5 million during peak times in the summer. Unfortunately I was a bit late to the party and most of them had already migrated for the winter season. To make me feel better for missing this wonder, I ate an excessive amount of taco truck tacos.

Pelons Tex Mex

After a while I got tired of getting my tacos from a truck so I… scratch that, I’ll never get sick of taco trucks. But, I did need to take a break from the Houston heat, so I made sure to stop by my friends at Pelons Tex Mex for some free air conditioning and amazing tacos. For cooling me off and filling my belly, I decided to serve them up a 360 tour, which you can check out here.

Next Stop: Houston

I’ve loved my time in Austin so much that I just can’t drag myself home, so next up I’ll be hitting the road and making the short drive east to the fine city of Houston, Texas. I’m also dreading a return to the frigid Chicago winter, so Houston might not only be my next stop, but also my last! Stay tuned to find out what surprises my next adventure will hold and of course be sure to visit Kapow.com for all of your corporate event needs.

 

Trevor Travels: Orlando

Universal Studios

Dallas → Orlando

I traded in my cowboy hat for a cowboy toy (shoutout to Sheriff Woody of Toy Story), and made the trek from Dallas to Orlando to hangout with some of my favorite Disney characters. Despite what anyone might tell you, breakfast with Mickey Mouse and his pals is just as exciting at 25 years old as it was at 5 years old.

Norman’s

After getting into town I made a stop at the new Ritz Carlton in Orlando for a round of golf. After coming in under par, as expected, I stopped inside the hotel for some fine dining at Norman’s. You can check out the venue in virtual 360 fashion and book your next event mixing mojitos here.

Eye drive

Near the Orange County Convention Center, Central Florida’s largest convention center, is the infamous I-Drive. The mini strip is full of tourist hot spots, fine dining, and nightlife. They’ve even recently added a 400 foot ferris wheel, called The Eye of Orlando, the perfect way to take in the Florida sunset.

Minus 5

Typically a Chicagoan visiting Orlando means an escape from the cold weather, but in the case of doing a 360 tour at Minus 5 bar it meant I couldn’t leave the winter jacket at home. This ice bar is a great place to cool off from the Florida heat while enjoying some of their specialty drinks. You can take a trip inside the winter wonderland here, but you’ll need to book your event in order to experience it for yourself.

The Happiest Place In The World

Or the scariest depending on when you go! When I went to Universal Studios in Orlando I was expecting to see what’s going on behind the scenes at the hottest film sets, but instead was greeted by the frightening characters of Halloween Horror Nights. Walking through a real life American Horror Story and The Walking Dead experience was quite the treat!

Dewey’s

Of course a trip to Disney World isn’t complete until you sneak in some game time, so I made on final pit stop at Dewey’s Indoor Golf for a round of drinks and a round of virtual golf. To see a virtual tour of the space and book your next interactive event, check out the 360 tour here.

Next Stop: Austin

I loved my last trip to Texas so much, that it’s time to head back. This time I’ll be visiting the state capitol, and more famously the music capitol of the world, Austin, TX. Stay tuned for another adventure to the lone star state certain to be full of brewery tours and taco trucks. Also, don’t forget to visit Kapow.com for all of your event needs now and in the future!

 

Trevor Travels: Dallas

Texas State Fair

Minneapolis → Dallas

Going from Minneapolis to Dallas can feel like going to another planet due to the change in temperature, but believe it or not, they’re in the same time zone. Fortunately for me this meant little to no jet lag, and plenty of energy to explore the fine city of Dallas, Texas. Everyone that I met for the first time in Dallas treated me as if I were a lifelong friend and was so kind in welcoming me to the lone star state.

The Big D

Thanks to great suggestions from the locals, I was able to enjoy some of the city’s gems like roaming around Klyde Warren Park and watching a Texas Rangers MLB game. The cuisine in Dallas is fantastic and nothing beats an outdoor patio with live music when the hot Texas sun goes down.

Nickel & Rye

One of my favorite spots for enjoying outdoor music, Nickel & Rye, drew me with a solo artist jamming 90s acoustic songs. The nostalgia of 90s music was enough to make it a great night, but the ribs and mac n cheese made it even better. You can checkout the 360 tour I did of the space and book your next uptown beer dinner here.

Blues Jean Bar

Fashion trends are constantly changing so in an attempt to fit in with the styles down south, I had to stop by and visit my friends at Blues Jean Bar for a personal shopping experience. In return I set them up with a personal 360 tour for their space, which you can view here.

State Fair of Texas

In between 360 scans I took some time to visit the Texas State Fair. Of all the fantastic dishes I ate in Dallas, I can confirm that a deep fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich at the fair takes the crown. I also couldn’t help but take a stroll through the Taylor Swift experience that was setup to show off some of her memorabilia. Then, watching the sunset over Dallas from inside a cable car gliding above the Texas State Fair was the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful trip.

Princi Italia

As a Chicagoan that loves a nice sloppy slice of deep dish pizza, I had to stop at Princi Italia to try out some Texas pie. To pay them back for the pizza tossing class, I decided to hook them up with a virtual 360 tour of the space. You can check it out the space and book your own pizza making class here.

Next Stop: Orlando

Even though father time is forcing me to grow up, I’ll always be a little kid at heart, which is why I’m heading to Orlando, FL. Stay tuned to find out which Disney characters I get to hangout with. Also be sure to check out Kapow.com for all of your client event and corrporate event needs.

Significance of Good Food Photography

Mac n Cheese

Everyone at some point has been at a restaurant, staring at a menu with an empty stomach and ended up basing their decision on what looks best. A catchy name might grab your attention or maybe you trust the server's recommendations, but that’s still only letting us know what sounds best. At the end of the day, the best method to ensuring guests select the item of the menu that they’re likely to enjoy most is serving up a visual.

Seeing Is Believing

In today’s world, many potential customers are going online to either your website or a review platform like Yelp or TripAdvisor to check out your menu and photos of the food. The better your photos, the more likely they are to visit you when it’s time to eat. Photos won’t just bring fill up your dining room, they’ll also make sure guests select the right menu option. Regardless of how hungry someone might be, if you simply read off an entree’s ingredients, it’s not likely to get anyone excited until the food is actually in front of them. Even if you have a creative name for the meal or some type of detailed description, words and still just words. A photo of the dish allows the guest to get a real idea of what the food will taste like before ordering.

Make It Count

Having images of your food available to guests is just half the battle. A bad food shot is just a likely to turn someone off to a meal as a good one is to turn them on to something, so it’s important that they’re executed well. Hiring an experienced professional is the ideal route to go, but if you’re strapped to a tight budget and need to take the photos on your own, there’s a few things to keep in mind. Style the food; don’t just throw the food on the plate, strategically place it that puts an emphasis on the key ingredients like a special sauce or fresh bun. Lighting is key; be sure your photos are not too dark as this can hide the little details that normally make food photos mouth watering. Make it pop; heavily saturating the key colors in your photo (like the red of a tomato or yellow of a cheese) will attract the eyes and make it pop.

Share With The World

Now that you’ve taken the time and efforts to prepare and capture some outstanding photos for your restaurant, it’s time to properly execute getting them on display. There’s no shortage of outlets for sharing these images and you should take advantage of as many as possible. Use them in an ad on Facebook, Instagram or another social media outlet. Pin the photos to the top of your gallery on Yelp so they’re the first one’s guests see. Tweak your website to incorporate the new images. Considering updating your menu to accommodate visuals. If you have an extra monitor, cycle the photos on a powerpoint for everyone to see. Always be thinking of new and creative ways to get your product in front of customers.

It’s easy to neglect a visual representation of your food and instead rely on word of mouth or a description to excite a guest, but it this is a huge miss. Don’t lose out on the chance to have your customers leave pleased and in need of another visit to try something else on the menu that caught their eye. Be sure to capture high quality images and openly display for everyone to see what your kitchen’s fine staff has to offer.

Trevor Travels: Minneapolis

BOSTON → MINNEAPOLIS

After flying back to Chicago from another exciting east coast trip out in Boston, it was time to keep things on the ground with a little road trip. I made the six-hour trip up to the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota, and stopped in Minneapolis. I made it just in time to avoid the frigid cold temperatures that would’ve certainly frozen Matt, my Matterport 360 camera, and was able to capture more virtual tours!

FUN WITH THE LOCALS

With one-fifth of the population being German, Minneapolis has no shortage of breweries with good eats. So, of course, I spent most of my trip chatting with locals at the pub. Despite the city’s negative outlook for the Minnesota Twins this season, I had to keep the stadium tour alive by heading to a game. A perfect night for an end of summer baseball game, which also just happened to be dollar hot dog night. Score.

COUP D’ETAT

After the game I decided to swing by Coup d’etat to visit my friends over at Jester Concepts. This hot spot (new as of 2014) is a prime location for big group with two floors—each with their own outdoor patio. For welcoming me into their lovely space, I set them up with a 360 tour. Explore the space and book their 4-course dinner online with Kapow.

SHOPPING SPREE

I really love mini golfing, the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster and I’m a big fan of aquariums. No, this isn’t my dating profile, but I mention it because in Minneapolis you can do all three things in the same place—at the Mall of America. That’s right, this 4.87 million square foot complex holds a full 18-hole mini golf course, a 27-ride amusement park and a 1.2 million-gallon aquarium. Oh yeah, and 520 retail stores. Needless to say, I did a little bit of everything, and racked up quite the bill.

ROJO MEXICAN GRILL

After a long day of riding rides and spending money, I needed a good meal. So I drove a few miles down the road and stopped at Rojo Mexican Grill for some fine cuisine. To say thanks for serving me up with a multi-course Mexican dinner, I returned the favor by setting them up with a 360 tour of their space. I think I definitely came out ahead in that deal.

SIBLING CITY

Minneapolis is only one half of the Twin Cities and I couldn’t travel all that way and neglect the long lost brother, Saint Paul, MN. After taking some time to roam around the city, I made my way over to Xcel Energy Center to watch a childhood favorite band, Blink 182 perform live. I, of course, had to channel my inner high school rebel and do a little crowd surfing.

BOTTLE & BOTTEGA

After the show I made my way back to Minneapolis just in time to visit my friends over at Bottle & Bottega. A painting class that allows you to sip on wine while creating a beautiful piece of art. After failing to become a modern day Picasso, I resorted to my old skills of making 360 tours, which you can view while checking out the cool painting experience for corporate groups.

NEXT STOP: DALLAS

Up next I’ll be making a trip down to the great state of Texas to continue Operation: 360 in Dallas. Stay tuned to find out if everything really is bigger in Texas.

Trevor Travels: Boston

SAN FRANCISCO → BOSTON

Last spotted on the west coast, I was primed and ready for a new adventure. This time on the other side of the country in historic Boston, Massachusetts. Bean Town aka The Walking City aka The Hub isn’t just full of nicknames, it’s also full of museums and monuments, and, most importantly, venues in need of a virtual tour. So, when I touched down once again on the east coast, it was time to get to work.

SWEET CAROLINE

Continuing my Stadium Tour, I made a stop at Fenway Park, Major League Baseball’s oldest park (built in 1912), to watch the Red Sox dominate the Rays, see legend David Ortiz play in the final season of his Hall of Fame career, and sing Sweet Caroline with 38,000 screaming Bostonians. I was also on a mission to bottle up some of Titletown’s winning magic in my best attempt to help my beloved Chicago Cubs break their 108 year championship drought. Fingers crossed.

Blazing Paddles

Baseball isn’t the only sport famous in Fenway. In fact attached to the very same stadium is the one and only Blazing Paddles. Before Red Sox’s games, you can head over there to get your drink on—or get your pong on—and if you stick around for the game, you can see the opposition’s live batting cage sessions. I, of course, had other intentions—to set them up with a 360 tour. So be sure to check out their ping pong setup and venue space.

I’M ON A BOAT, TAKE A LOOK AT ME

At 41 million square miles wide, The Atlantic Ocean is kind of a big deal. The Boston Harbor is home to the great American protest, The Boston Tea party, which was also kind of a big deal. To honor these courageous acts, I dumped my can of brisk ice tea into the harbor. Fortunately this time there was no ensuing revolutionary war. Phew.

Classic Harbor Line

Seriously though, I was on a boat, and if you don’t believe me then check out the 360 tour of Classic Harbor Line. The captain of the ship was kind enough to invite me out on a booze cruise. So, I felt obligated to hook them up with a virtual tour, which was my first ever tour completed offshore. I wonder if I’ll ever get to take one in the sky…

FREEDOM TRAIL

Boston is undoubtedly one of America’s most historic cities, especially when it comes to first settlers and the revolution. They even have a 2.5 mile long trail starting at Boston Common, passing through downtown and ending in Charlestown at the Bunker Hill monument. There are 16 unforgettable stops along the way, including the Ben Franklin statue, the Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution. A “must walk” for any history buff.

Carrie Nation

To keep my history lesson going, I made a stop at Carrie Nation. The restaurant was built in honor of Carrie More “Nation”, a woman famous for destroying taverns with her hatchet in a campaign against the consumption of alcohol. These Bostonians sure are passionate about their stance on cold beverages. Ironically enough, the venue is a cocktail club, and you can now check out a 360 tour of the huge space, where you can host a large cocktail event.

BOSTON ART PARTY

Boston isn’t just full of constitutional history, it’s also full of pristine art you have to see to believe. Whether in a museum, on the streets, or in the form of a performance, there’s no shortage of fine arts to check out while you’re in Boston. Arguably the best spot in town is the Museum of Fine Arts, the 4th largest museum in the U.S. and home to over 450,000 pieces.

Liquid Art House

This massive art gallery/restaurant concept is full of modern pieces that are available for purchase. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience sure to provide something new each visit. When the sun goes down, it turns into one of Boston’s hottest bars, located in the Back Bay area. You can checkout a 360 tour and book a cooking class online with Kapow. 

NEXT STOP: MINNEAPOLIS

It’s time to head home to the midwest, only this time I won’t be in my hometown of Chicago, I’ll be in the land of 10,000 lakes and the Mall of America—Minneapolis. Be sure to check back soon to hear all about my big shopping spree and new 360-degree virtual tours.

5 Steps to Making a Career Change

Going to college has become somewhat of a given for recent high school grads, but crossing the finish line is no easy task. If you make it all the way through, it’s time to put forth all efforts to finding that first job in hopes that it turns out to be your dream job (spoiler alert: it won’t be). Then you’ll end up dedicating all day every day for a couple of years to being successful in this role. Congratulations, you’re now a contributing member of society.

The bad news is, come to find out, you actually hate your job and the career path you’ve chosen. Solution: freak out and press the panic button...

Despite the sarcastic nature of my comment, that is unfortunately the route most people will take. Sadly pressing the panic button only leads to your eventual content busting your butt at a job you don’t enjoy for a company you don’t care about.

So what’s the good news? If you’d rather wake up every day and get paid to do something you love for a company you believe in, well then you can do just that! It won’t be easy and it won’t come overnight, but if you keep up the same level of hard work and dedication it took to get this far, you’ll without a doubt make it happen.

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a major in Management Information Systems and a minor in Management. Turns out, I’m more the creative type than the number cruncher. So, I worked my tail off just to put myself in the position to become a professional photographer, and guess what, it worked! There will be plenty of frustrations and challenges along the way, but if you want to make a career change bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. Here’s a few of tips from my experiences that’ll help those of you in need of a nudge in the right direction:

  1. Study. Utilize every resource at your fingertips. This starts with the internet and literally doesn’t end because there are an unlimited number of outlets available for you to grow your knowledge and skills.

  2. Practice. Then practice some more. Whether you want to take pictures like me, design logos, develop mobile app, become a chef, or any of the other million professions out there, you need to practice, fail, and learn from your mistakes before you can become an expert.

  3. Network. Regardless of industry, there are so many professionals that you can learn from. Whether you’re introduced via a colleague, meet them at a networking event, or blindly reach out via LinkedIn, you’d be surprised how willing people are to lend a helping hand. Always remember to respect said person’s time, they’re busy just like you.

  4. Promote. Build your brand by making a website for yourself so you can show off your work. Create a portfolio that you can send out in job applications. Hell, simply talking about your new career path with others is a great way to let this new passion consume you.

  5. Apply. This is the moment you’ve been working towards and patiently waiting for. You won't find your dream job on the first day of your search, but you’re going to find it in time as long as you keep at it.

Please do share your experiences with me, I’d love to hear what all of you have been able to accomplish. Additionally, feel free to reach out if there’s anything I might be able to help out with. I know what it’s like to feel “stuck” in your career and know just as well how it feels to flip the script!