Just how many "likes" do you think we can get Grand Rapids in a weekend? That, to over simplify, was the goal of the Middle West Influencer project. Let's bring some people who know the in's and out's of the social media game to our home. Let's give them a carefully curated weekend filled with our favorite spots. Let's get some of our favorite local companies involved to see if they can't leverage the social media blitz into something positive. And why don't we do it during ArtPrize so that the influencers can see the worlds largest public art contest and the tail end of a Michigan House?
The result was a three-day tour of Grand Rapids, the likes of which have rarely been seen. Rather than attempt to write a Russian novel, how about my favorite cheat? A list.
Failure Lab inspiration, Mawby Champagne at the ArtPrize Hub, sleepy time at the JW Marriott, early morning zen with AM Yoga, interior design fun at Hunt & Gather, craft hour featuring adult coloring books by Escape Artists, tour of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Founders Brewery tasting, Cheeky Strut hair sprucing, Siren & Proper brow shaping and make-up applications, tacos with Cat Footwear team at Taqueria San Jose, Le Bon Macaron for dessert, lattés at Rowster New American Coffee, Cat Footwear cocktail hour in a bank vault at Start Garden, Bennet performance at Michigan House, Site:Lab exploration, vegan delights at Bartertown Diner, Complete VII dance party at The Pyramid Scheme, post-yoga breakfast pizzas at Terra, East Town wandering, pour over lessons by Kitchenaid, sweet treats at the Cakabakery, cocktails and fancy toast at the Downtown Market, Michigan House Wrap Party featuring live music by The Go-Rounds, modern mexican brunch at Donkey Taqueria, a taste of the countryside at Farmhaus Cider, and one last caffeine stop at MadCap Coffee.
And now I'm tired all over again. That whirlwind resulted in over 70,000 likes and 4.7 million social media impressions. Our partners in the weekend received over 40,000 new followers… and if you have any doubt that West Michigan put its best foot forward, just check out our new pal Annie's blog write-up about it here on The Midwestival.
It was like Instagram came to life and to say it was inspiring is a complete understatement.