This year's Pizza Executive Summit will be characterized by a strong emphasis on social media, not only covering the topic in sessions, but also making it a part of the way the conference is structured and its information delivered.
In fact, a cornerstone of the summit will be the Social Media How-To Station, where executives can learn how to register their restaurants on Foursquare, Twitter and more.
"The way it works is simple: We will have a station staffed with people to help our attendees register or learn more about Foursquare and Twitter," said Paul Barron, publisher of PizzaMarketplace.com, the event's sponsor. "We will focus on sign-ups and even give some basic instruction on how to operate these tools once they are back in the restaurant on either the computer or their iPhone or Android mobile devices."
Executives know that social media is an important part of marketing, customer outreach and even commerce – but not all understand the basics. Pizza Executive Summit's interweaving these tools into its show reflects the newer mediums' lasting effects on the restaurant industry.
Other similar initiatives will employ real-time and geo-location software. The Twitter hashtags #pizzasummit, #askPMC and #PMCPizzaTour will be used to deliver real-time information before and during the event, questions, and the Sunday pizza tour, respectively.
The Twitter handle @pizzaexec will contain registration and conference information leading up to the show; attending sponsors and attendees are encouraged to notify event staff at @pizzaexec of their Twitter handles.
Finally, the tweeter of the most retweeted (repeated on Twitter) phrases will be eligible for a mobile receipt scanner. For more information, visit @pizzaexec or the website.
"With social media and geo location apps on the rise, these technologies will be critical to a restaurants growth in the future," said Barron. "Our hope is that these initiatives will introduce or help focus operators on a clear and creative new way to communicate and connect with customers."