I used to think that Klout was a sham. Not anymore.
If you’re into social media at all, you’ve heard of Klout. Some people swear by it. Others think it’s all fluff. I fell somewhere in between.
If you’re not familiar with Klout, it’s basically an online service that measures your influence from your social networks and summarizes your performance into a single numerical score. Klout analyzes your activity on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more. The more engagement your posts receive, the more influential you are.
Anyway, one of the ways Klout gives back to its users is by offering perks. Most perks are pretty lame, although I did get a sweatshirt once.
Last week, I received a perk for an invite to a Super Bowl-themed event called Social 46. I blew it off at first, figuring that hundreds if not thousands got the same perk. But, for the heck of it, I RSVP’d yes. A couple days later, someone from Klout e-mailed me with more information about the event.
It turns out that thousands of people were not invited to the event. In fact, not even hundreds. In honor of Super Bowl 46, only 46 invites were sent.
It started to sound a little more legit. I asked a few more questions, and eventually found out that invites were sent to those with the top 46 Klout scores in the state of Indiana. I had no idea I was even close to that. I definitely wasn’t going to miss this event.
The event was as good as I was hoping it would be. Social 46 was put on by the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. The idea was to get 46 of Indiana’s most influential social media users into one room and talk all things Super Bowl.
The event was moderated by Mark Miles (Committee Chairman), Allison Melangton (Committee President and CEO), and Scott Dorsey (CEO at ExactTarget). Mark and Allison’s insight into the tremendous effort that has gone into planning and executing all events surrounding the Super Bowl was fantastic. Scott provided an inside look at the social media and technology efforts that have gone into the Super Bowl.
Many topics were discussed, but here were the highlights:
- The Committee wanted to give visitors the Super Bowl experience from the moment they touch down at the airport. There will be Super Bowl signage, buzz, and excitement all the way from the terminal to the hotel lobbies.
- The Super Bowl is much more than a football game. It’s a community coming together and pulling off the greatest event in all of sports. The game will be over within a few hours, but the financial and cultural impact surrounding the Super Bowl could last a few decades.
- On Monday, the official NFL Mobile Super Bowl phone app will be released to the public. Scott Dorsey was really hyped about this app. Users will be able to view an interactive map of the city, displaying all of the best restaurants and bars Indianapolis has to offer. There will also be a “Know Before You Go” feature, which will show available parking spots within all of the city’s parking garages in real time. Incredible tool.
- A big concern for people both in and outside of Indianapolis is the threat of weather. However, Committee Chairman Mark Miles was not worried about the weather one bit. Super Bowl Village, the epicenter of the events downtown, will offer heated benches for chilly patrons. There is also over 200,000 sq. ft. of indoor space dedicated to various Super Bowl events, including the NFL Experience area. No matter how cold it is during Super Bowl week, I really believe locals and visitors are going to embrace it and enjoy the atmosphere. It’ll be tough not to get caught up in it.
- ESPN will be posted up in Super Bowl Village for the week. Over 110 broadcast hours are planned for ESPN’s Super Bowl coverage.
- Over 60 bands are set to play during the 10 days leading up to the big game.
The rest of the evening was spent brainstorming with everyone in the room. I was blown away by how savvy all of the Social 46 invitees were. Everyone brought forward great ideas on how we can integrate social media into the Super Bowl. We even voted on a couple official Super Bowl hashtags that we will push throughout the week leading up to the game. I promise not to overdo it, but you’ll probably see me tweeting #SB46 and #SuperBowl a fair amount leading up to kickoff.
We didn’t leave Social 46 with a shortage of free swag. Every attendee received:
- Exclusive Social 46 Reebok Beanie Hat
- Exclusive Social 46 Reebok Messenger Bag
- VIP Credentials to the Super Bowl XLVI Social Media Command Center
- Super Bowl Media Day Credential
- NFL Experience Ticket
After Social 46, I am extremely excited for the events to come. I left with a much broader sense of what the Super Bowl is all about. Sure, we’re all hoping for a great game and funny commercials. But the entire community has come together to ensure that Indianapolis will be one of the best Super Bowl hosts in history.
Our city is built to make this event a smash hit. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.
[Editor's note: Tyler will post here from time-to-time. He is a must-follow on twitter, and also has a personal blog for thoughts more than 140 characters.]