At the Crossroads of Media, Culture and Technology

Conference Mascots: Fad or Rad?

Fall means many things across America:  returning to school, Monday night football, crisp air, falling leaves, and for the restless at work, conference season. We recently did a run down of the upcoming conferences and today we will focus on a fun aspect of two of them: #AWCConf13 and #SIC2013

 The Association of Women in Communications came up with the idea of a mascot to engage their annual conference goers with a bit of pre-trip fun. They created a pdf of Flat Abe and challenged the attendees to make a Flat Abe travelogue (ala Flat Stanley) from home to the conference. Basically, the idea is to take photos of the Flat Abe in front of cool stuff where you live, like so: (see full album online).

Flat Abe visits Bronze Washington

Flat Abe visits Bronze Washington
Photo courtesy @peacefulldawn


Well… seems that this is a “thing” now – I just discovered that Seattle Interactive Conference (SIC) is doing something similar. In fact, conference goers this year could win a SIC pass by participating in one of the four weeks of a social photo game. Each week had a theme – #WorkingTimmy and #HometownTimmy for the first two weeks. The last two weeks were #WheresTimmy using the UGC from weeks 1 + 2.





Both conferences seemed to get some pre-event traction from the contests. Their social streams are full of photos and hashtags for their mascots. Along with the engagement increase, somehow the conferences seem more personable, like a conference you would want to have a beer with after a long day. Since these are the first two conferences I have seen do this, we have yet to see if it is a fad that fades or not.


Winning image from #WorkTimmy contest. Photo by @weareratio

Winning image from #WorkTimmy contest.
Photo by @weareratio

Hometown Timmy

Winning image from #HometownTimmy.
Photo by @nicoladubs

What about you – what do you think of this type of engagement strategy? Have you seen something similar? Do you think events need mascots like sports teams?

UW Husky and Flat Abe

Mascot face-off: will event mascots be as popular as sports mascots?

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This post is categorized in: Business, Society

About Peacefull Dawn

While a UW graduate candidate, Dawn also writes and wrangles content for the Henry Art Gallery Blog. Addicted to twitter and a professional live tweeter she would love to get your next event noticed in the twitter-verse. She volunteers on campus for the Graduate & Professional Student Senate, the campus chapter of the Association for Women in Communication, and co-organizes the networking events First Fridays.

3 Responses to Conference Mascots: Fad or Rad?

  1. Kim Coulter says:

    Great article/blog Dawn. I love the idea! I think it’s here to stay and I’m planning to implement a few photos at work with a Pantry Pat or Patty. Which gender?

  2. Peacefull Dawn says:

    I love it Kim! I actually think with your stuff you could do twins Patricia and Patrick (Pattie & Pat for short?). Have them go on adventures in the pantry from both gender perspectives!

  3. Dawn Boyer says:

    Fabulous, Dawn! I agree – mascots lend a warm & fuzzy feeling to the proceedings (unless they’re scary ones like that new Uncle Sam commercial). It was wonderful meeting you. I look forward to reading many more of your insight and reflections!
    Best wishes from Springfield, Illinois! – Dawn B

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