SoMe will be at the16th Annual Food & Beverages Show!

SoMe’s very own, Aalap Shah, will be moderating and speaking on several panels at the 16th annual Food & Beverages Show in Miami next week.

Seminar topics cover best practices for social media marketing and increasing profits and sales with effective marketing strategies. In addition, Aalap will be speaking and leading discussion on leveraging the hottest trends in the hospitality industry and parlaying that into online marketing strategies to drive traffic to restaurants.

This is an exciting opportunity for SoMe to showcase it’s work in the hospitality industry and talk to rockstar chefs and entrepreneurs on the panels and bring those ideas back to our clients in Chicago.

Aalap will live tweet key takeways from the panels on Monday @some_connect.

Official Press Release from the Food & Beverages Show below:

Miami’s Top Chefs Headline Americas Food and Beverage Show Sept. 24-25

MIAMI (Sept. 14, 2012) – Miami’s top chefs and restaurateurs will showcase their best dishes and keys to business success at the 2012 Americas Food and Beverage Show and Conference ( Sept. 24 – 25.

The World Trade Center Miami-sponsored-show at the Miami Beach Convention Center will feature the likes of Mitchell Gomilla, owner, Red Koi Lounge, and John Kunkel, owner of Swine and Yardbird, as well as chefs Rachel Dominguez, The Dome Restaurant; Giorgio Rapicavoli, The Eating House Pop-up Restaurant (winner “Chopped” on Food Network); and Jimmy Carey of Jimmy Z’s.

“We really didn’t have to look very far for restaurant success stories,” said Charlotte Gallogly, president of World Trade Center Miami, based at the Port of Miami. “Some of the world’s best chefs and restaurateurs are here and they’re as innovative in business as they are in the kitchen.”

The America’s Food and Beverage Show will feature seminars for those in the restaurant business. Jimmy Carey, the chef behind Jimmy Z’s, an eatery with locations on Miami Beach and the Wynwood art district, will share his proven strategies for turning Internet visitors into paying customers.
“We’re all about social media and creating a community online in an effort to build our clientele. We’ve been able to convert our online audience into loyal customers,” said Carey, who, with the help of his staff, manages three Facebook pages, and accounts on Pinterest, Yelp, Twitter and Instagram.
Restaurant Seminars – Sept. 24

– Top 10 Trend-Setting Ways to Market Your Restaurant
– Latest In-Vogue Restaurant Trends That Work!
– Attracting The Right Customers and Making Them Your Promotional Tools
– Top Winning Tips for Turning Your Menus Into Sales and Profit Magnets

“We’re going to show you what you need to know and get you through the process to start importing to the U.S. and to extend your brand overseas,” Gallogly said. “The show has been highly successful in getting businesses to take that next step and get into other markets.”

The 16th Americas Food and Beverage Show and Conference will feature more than 400 food producers from 27 countries and top chef food demonstrations. The show is the largest specialty food trade event in the hemisphere, generating a total of $4.5 billion in recorded sales and helping some 125,000 businesses expand into new markets in 16 years.

2012 Americas Food and Beverage Show Numbers to Date
425 booths
372 exhibitors
10,000+ buyers or small business representatives (A country breakdown is not available yet.)

The Americas Food and Beverage is a trade-only event that is closed to the general public. Attendee registration and media is open at

Kickstarter Campaign Update for “Celebrating Mom & Pop Shops Across America”

We’re two weeks into our campaign with Little Independent and working towards creating an awesome coffee table book via Kickstarter. Some quick lessons learned are:

– Launching over the holiday weekend was most likely not the best idea

– Reaching out via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook lead to much success

– Active, and daily outreach is a must. Think 5-6 tweets daily, linkedin status updates, project updates, and more.

– Don’t ignore your friends and personal network – email them at the beginning, middle, and end to generate momentum.

The campaign phase with Little Independent includes includes reaching out to bloggers, generating PR, tweeting, and active outreach. All of these items require serious dedication and time and much effort. In the end though, I’m passionate about independent retailers being one myself and I’m so excited to see this project come together! Please support us and/or even spread the word on your personal networks!

Below is a blog post that was featured by Built In Chicago by our client, Lesley Tweedie of Little Independent:

Little Independent was founded in 2010 and launched June 2011. The site is an aggregate marketplace like Amazon, etsy or ebay but all the sellers are brick and mortar retailers. There are bike shops, pet stores, boutiques and toy stores that use it to enhance visibility online, access new customers and sell overstock and discounted items more quickly.

We’ve been working to add content and there are now 83 stores in 20 states. Here is what the Next Web said about the site:

“Little Independent is the perfect marriage between online and traditional commerce, and if it continues to grow, it has the potential to become an incredibly useful directory of indie stores around the US, and possibly, the world.”

That’s incredibly kind but, with limited resources, the site has yet to reach a wide enough audience to reach its full potential. That’s where Built in Chicago and Kickstarter come in.

A few months ago I added a job post to the Co-Founder category on Built in Chicago. The response was amazing and I interviewed ten people for the role. I asked each of the candidates to let me know if there was marketing a project they’d like to collaborate on to see if we’d be a good fit to partner on growing the company.

It was through this process that I met Aalap Shah of SoMe, which is a social media marketing company. Aalap is passionate about helping small businesses achieve their sales goals and he used to own a toy store so he understands what it’s like to be a shopkeeper. One of Aalap’s specialties is Kickstarter so we decided to launch a project called “Celebrating Mom & Pop Shops Across America.”

The goal of the project is to raise $7,500 to spotlight a variety of shops in an engaging coffee table book. We intend to share retailers’ and small business advocates’ thoughts on the past, present and future of independent retail. Beyond the book, we’re excited to leverage Kickstarter to spread the word about Little Independent. We’ve already seen an increase in traffic to the site and a lot of social media buzz around the project.

Even if we don’t reach our goal, I’ll consider the project a success. Of course, I’d rather we did reach it so… please check out the project, watch our video, and if you like what you see, support it and share. Thanks so much!

Lesley Tweedie, Founder

Little Independent