DHB to be reopened to marine traffic on Thursday

first_imgFollowing the discovery, over the weekend, that one of the hydraulic winches on the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) has failed, resulting in the Bridge being closed to marine traffic, General Manager Rawlston Adams on Tuesday told shippers that the Bridge was expected to be reopened to marine traffic on Thursday.DHB General Manager Rawlston AdamsAfter closing the Bridge for seven hours on Saturday for the replacement of a pontoon at the retractor span, engineers discovered mechanical failures during the reconnection process. It was discovered that one of the hydraulic winches were not holding pressure under load.General Manager Adams said that they initially thought that the problem was with the gearbox, but after stripping it, they discovered that it was in working order. Further diagnostic tests revealed that the spline in the shaft of the barrel was damaged and had to be repaired. Adams noted that the spline was damaged because moisture was trapped in the barrel.“We did some testing and it failed on the test, and we isolated the problem to the shaft on the barrel; when we opened that shaft, it took a long time and we realised that the spline is damaged. Over the years, moisture go into the spline and it got damaged. The guys are in the process of machining the part and we will hook it up and test it,” he said.The General Manager said engineers would carry out tests before installing it later on Wednesday.“We expect it to be completed by tomorrow 12 noon (today) and we will install and do the testing. For those in the shipping industry, we expect that your next retraction is going to be Thursday at 03:30 (am),” he added.Adams, in a meeting with shippers, told them that the DHB Corporation was now contemplating testing the remaining three winches on the retractor span. However, he noted that many factors have to be taken into consideration before they embark on the project.The retractor span of the Bridge comprises eight winches, four of which are small four- ton equipment while the remaining four are 12 tons each. The faulty winch has been identified as the north-eastern 12-ton apparatus.The bridge company did not have any replacements at hand and as such, it now turned to two private entities – Industrial Fabrications Inc and EC Vieira Investments Ltd to assist.Stemming from the hiccups encountered, works are currently underway to diagnose the direct cause of the problem, after which reinforcements will be put in place.This issue derived just as the floating bridge was undergoing the second of a two-part rehabilitation process on the retractor span, which carries a total cost of $103 million.The Bridge usually facilitates up to four marine vessels on a daily basis, the majority of which are attached to the fuel, bauxite and timber industries. Despite this interruption in passage, the DHB General Manager did indicate that financial losses remained at a minimum.last_img read more

Oil money being held offshore to maximise interest — Jordan claims

first_img…pegs average long-term interest Govt looking to earn at 3%Emphasising that Guyana’s oil money will be safe and better able to earn interest in the hands of the United States Federal Reserve, both Finance Minister Winston Jordan and Central Bank Governor, Dr Gobind Ganga defended the move on Wednesday.Finance MinisterWinston JordanThe two officials met on Wednesday at the Finance Ministry to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that laid the groundwork for the operationalisation and management of the Natural Resource Fund (NRF).When asked about the decision to bank the oil revenue at the Federal Reserve, Ganga noted that Guyana has long-held foreign assets at the Federal Reserve and it is in safe hands, when the other available options are considered.Moreover, Jordan pointed out that Guyana stands to make an average of three per cent interest on its investment. The Minister noted that Guyana could not earn interest if the money was saved locally.“There are different classes of assets. And these different classes of assets are invested in different markets, institutions and so on. The aim is to meet an average of 32 per cent long-term (interest),” he said.“After investing in all these different assets, the aim over time is 3 per cent. So sometimes you may get 1.5 per cent, sometimes you might be lucky to get 4 and a half per cent. Sometimes we might get 3.2, 2.8 per cent. The safer the asset, the lower the interest”.Bank of Guyana Governor, Dr Gobind GangaNRF ActPart VI of the act speaks to the management of the fund and states that the Minister shall be responsible for the overall management of the fund and shall – (a) be responsible for preparing the Investment Mandate and include the items specified in section 36; (b) when preparing or amending the Investment Mandate, seek the advice of the Investment committee established under section 13; (c) be assisted by the Senior investment Adviser and Analyst; and (d) enter into an operational agreement with the Bank for the operational management of the Fund.Section 12 (I) states that the Bank shall be responsible for the operational management of the Fund and shall manage the Fund in accordance with the Investment Mandate and the operational agreement. It further noted that the operational agreement shall state (a) the fee charged by the Bank for the operational management of the Fund;(b) the liability for paying damages to the Government for losses that occur due to negligence or intent on the part of the bank or private mangers in managing the Fund and (c) all other matters required for the effective operational management of the Fund.The Federal ReserveThe Act also provides for the committee to include a media representative proposed by the Guyana Press Association (GPA). Other entities that will have to propose representatives include the Guyana Bar Association, the Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GY-EITI), Transparency Institute of Guyana Incorporated (TIGI), the Guyana Consumers’ Association and the various trade unions.The Act specifically excludes persons such as Members of Parliament, Ministry staff, persons of unsound mind, ex-convicts and the bankrupt from serving on the Committee. It also lists the functions of the Committee, which will include monitoring and evaluating the compliance of Government and other officials related to the NRF, with the provisions of the Act.The Stabroek Block, by far the most successful oil block in Guyana, is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds a 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds a 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds a 25 per cent interest.A contract was inked on October 7, 2016, between the coalition Government, ExxonMobil and its partners in the Stabroek Block. In the renegotiated contract, Guyana agreed to a two per cent royalty for every barrel of oil, a 50 per cent share of profit oil and a US$18 million signing bonus.Guyana’s profit-sharing arrangement with ExxonMobil is for 50 per cent of profit oil. But with Exxon reclaiming its investment costs as cost oil, it means Guyana will initially get 12.5 per cent of profit.Originally scheduled for 2020, first oil production has been moved up to this month. It is understood that the initial crude lifts will be one million barrels. With the first lift going to Exxon, Guyana is not expected to get its share until February to March.last_img read more

Cowboy star Prine to walk the ‘Walk’

first_imgNEWHALL – Lanky cowboy star Andrew Prine became the fourth and final honoree for the 2006 Walk of Western Stars. Prine, who played cowboy Andy Guthrie in the 1960s television series “The Wide Country” and acted in other series and movies, will join James Arness, Rhonda Fleming and Robert Horton in ceremonies April 28, receiving a bronze saddle along San Fernando Road in downtown Newhall. In a common bond with his fellow nominees, Prine was a guest star in Arness’ show “Gunsmoke” and joined Horton in an episode of “Wagon Train.” He also worked on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” as well as films such as “Chisum” with John Wayne and “Bandolero.” The Walk of Western Stars honors film, stage, television and radio performers who worked in the Santa Clarita Valley, many of them at the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio at which the City of Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is based. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe installation and gala started in 1980 by a group of Newhall business owners and was originally held in the main gallery of California Institute of the Arts. Suspended in 1994 because of the Northridge Earthquake, it was revitalized in 2000 by the city with saddle dedications done in downtown Newhall the afternoon preceding the gala dinner, which is held at the Hyatt Valencia. Tickets for the dinner are available by visiting the festival Web site at www.cowboyfestival.org. carol.rock@dailynews.com (661)257-5252 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

WINNING STREAK TO GET ALL GLAMOROUS THANKS TO MISS DONEGAL!

first_imgStunning Miss Donegal Natasha McFadden. Pic by Northwest Newspix.RTE’s lotto gameshow Winning Streak is about to get a lot more glamorous – thanks to Miss Donegal Natasha McFadden. Newtowncunningham’s Natasha McFadden (21) has had an exiting year wearing the local beauty crown.But it got a whole lot better on Sunday morning when she discovered her nam had been picked to go on the money-spinning show. Natasha, who had just started work as a cafe manager, will appear on the show next Saturday night.WINNING STREAK TO GET ALL GLAMOROUS THANKS TO MISS DONEGAL! was last modified: September 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NO MORE KICKING UP A STINK AS LETTERKENNY GETS A NEW €26MILLION SEWAGE WORKS

first_imgWork has officially started on Letterkenny’s new €26million new sewage system.Mayor of Donegal County Council, Cora Harvey and Mayor of Letterkenny Town Council, Tadhg Culbert, turned a sod on site to mark the commencement of construction works for Letterkenny wastewater treatment plant and sludge treatment centre.It is calculated the new plant at Bunagee will be up and running in early 2013 with contractors due to move onto the site in just two weeks time. The council said it welcomes the development as the current treatment works has inadequate capacity to treat all wastewater generated in Letterkenny.A new wastewater treatment plant on the site of the existing plant at Magheranan with capacity of 40,000 population equivalent.The main works under the new contract include:*A new outfall diffuser system at the point where the treated effluent is discharged into Lough Swilly and replacement of pipework from the treatment works to the outfall. *New plant at Ballyraine for the collection and detention of stormwater overflows and their return to the wastewater plant for treatment, with a provision for a screened discharge of peak flows into the River Swilly.*A new sludge treatment centre at Bunagee with a capacity of 2,500 tonnes dry solid per annum, which is the second such centre in the county.*Replacement of existing main trunk sewer from Ballyraine to Magheranan, including new inlet pumping station.Donegal County Council retained the services of Nicholas O’Dwyer, Consulting Engineers, for design services and to act as Employer’s Representative for the project.The works are being designed and built by a contracting consortium of Response Engineering Ltd and Severn Trent Services International. TOBIN Consulting Engineers are providing design services to that group and Ward & Burke Construction Ltd have been sub-contracted to carry out the civil engineering construction works.Upon completion the contractors will operate the plant for twenty years.The total value of the Design Build stage of the contract, including VAT is €25,867,985.The contractors will also take over operation of the existing treatment plant, early in June 2011. The new works will provide adequate capacity to treat current levels of wastewater arising and some additional capacity for the future at the site of the existing works at Magheranan, a new facility to treat wastewater sludge at Bunagee, and a much improved system to deal with stormwater overflows at Ballyraine.EndsNO MORE KICKING UP A STINK AS LETTERKENNY GETS A NEW €26MILLION SEWAGE WORKS was last modified: May 17th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

€61m mackerel quota boost for Donegal-based fishermen

first_imgA new deal has been struck which will allow a €61m mackerel quota for Donegal-based fishermen.Under an order issued earlier this year, the Killybegs-based mackerel fishing sector will be allocated 87 per cent of the overall quota agreed yesterday in London.This means the Donegal-based sector will catch almost €61m of the €70m Irish quota announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed. Minister Joe McHugh, who lobbied for the order, welcomed the news announced last night:“This is good news for the fishing fleet along the west coast and which fishes out of Killybegs,” said Minister McHugh.“I want to thank Minister Creed who contacted me this evening with this news. I am also satisfied that Minister Creed will be lobbying hard for a larger quota when current arrangements expire at the end of 2018.“As everyone in the industry knows I worked hard for the Killybegs-based sector to retain its share of the quota and they did so when then Department review was completed. Mackerel is an extremely important part of our fishing industry, particularly for Killybegs where so many other jobs in processing and engineering rely on this quota.” Minister Creed announced the outcome of the international fisheries negotiations which concluded today in London.These negotiations, between the European Union, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland were focused on the sustainable management of the €1billion annual mackerel fishery in the North East Atlantic.Minister Creed said: “Mackerel is our most valuable fishery and allied to the fact that we are the second largest EU quota holder, these negotiations are always of crucial importance to the Irish fishing industry.“There was new scientific advice this year which showed that, while the stock is in good shape, a precautionary approach for long term sustainability was necessary, with a significant reduction in quota recommended.“Accordingly, following careful consideration of scientific advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and discussions  with the Marine Institute and industry stakeholders, I supported a reduction, in line with the agreed Long Term Management Strategy, in the quota for 2018.” The new mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2018 will be just under 70,000 tonnes (69,143 tonnes) with a landing value of €70 million.The current sharing arrangement for mackerel was agreed in 2014 between three parties only – EU, Faeroes and Norway.  An amount is held in reserve to accommodate the other parties. This agreement is due to expire at the end of 2018 and it is expected that intensive negotiations on a new agreement will take place throughout 2018.The Minister added: “The quotas agreed for 2018 are consistent with the Long Term Management Strategy which aims to provide sustainability and stability in this hugely valuable fishery in line with the scientific advice. In terms of the negotiations to come these are likely to be further complicated by Brexit. I remain dissatisfied with the 2014 agreement and will be working for a more equitable sharing arrangement that also protects the ongoing long term sustainability of the mackerel stock.”€61m mackerel quota boost for Donegal-based fishermen was last modified: October 12th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:FishingMACKERELlast_img read more

Winnie’s pain and torture in prison

first_imgThe ever-glamorous Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with a copy of her new book 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory) Winnie Madikizela-Mandela talks to Ahmed Kathrada at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in 2008.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory/Matthew Willman)Winnie has lost none of her style and beauty.(Image: ancarchives.org.za)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangCEO and spokespersonNelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 5600.RELATED ARTICLES• The women in Madiba’s life• Women in the struggle remembered• Commemorating 1913 heroines• Women taking SA forwardLucille DavieWinnie Madikizela-Mandela felt particularly close to her jailed husband, Nelson, in October 1970, after she was released from serving 491 days in solitary confinement. She wrote to him on 26 October, saying: “In a way during the past two years I felt so close to you. It was the first time we were together in similar surroundings for that length of time. Eating what you were eating and sleeping on what you sleep on gave me that psychological satisfaction of being with you.”She was responding to his letter of 1 October, which read: “I had to wait for 2 weeks before I could send you my warmest congratulations for serving 491, and still emerge the lively girl you are, and in high spirits. To you and your determined friends I say welcome back! Were I at home when you returned I should have stolen a white goat from a rich man, slaughtered it and given you ivanya ne ntloya [leftover traditional beer and sour milk] to down it. Only in this way can a beggar like myself fête and honour his heroes.”Nelson was 52 years old at the time, and had served six years of his life sentence for sabotage, together with seven of his colleagues. Winnie was 36 years old, and had experienced many spells in detention, but the longest was the 491 days.When he was imprisoned on Robben Island in June 1964, her life changed radically. “The first few weeks and months after Nelson was gone, that was utter hell. Solitude, loneliness, is worse than fear – the most wretchedly painful illness the body and mind could be subjected to,” she recounts in her 1985 autobiography, Part of my Soul Went with Him.Pain and deprivationShe describes the pain and deprivation she endured during those 491 days in detention in a new book entitled 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69, a record of her journal kept during the 16 months she spent in jail, as well as letters to and from herself and Nelson, and others.The journal and papers were discovered recently by Greta Soggot, the widow of David Soggot, who was one of Winnie’s advocates during the 1970 trial. Extracts may be downloaded from the Mandela Cente of Memory website.From the moment of her marriage to Mandela in 1958, Madikizela-Mandela was doomed to decades of harassment, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the apartheid security police. It started in 1958, when she was detained for her participation in a women’s anti-pass campaign.Winnie was born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela in 1934 in the Bizana district of the former Transkei, the fifth of eight children. Her parents, Columbus and Gertrude Madikizela, were both teachers. Her mother died when she was 10, and she soon took over the domestic duties – caring for her younger siblings and her father. Madikizela-Mandela attended school where her father was a history teacher. She learned Latin and English, science and maths, and she became his favourite child. In 1952, she arrived in Johannesburg to study to be a social worker, doing her training at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.ApprehensionWinnie approached the returned journal with some apprehension. She says in the epilogue: “When the pages that make up this journal were returned to me after so many years I did not want to read them. I was afraid. There are memories you keep in a part of your brain; it is part of those things that hurt so much you do not want to remember.”She, along with other anti-apartheid activists, had been detained under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, a new act which allowed for indefinite detention and indefinite interrogation. On 12 May 1969, the police knocked on her door in Orlando West about 2am, arresting her. She took with her a bag that was always packed for just these moments. Her daughters, Zindzi and Zeni, who were just eight and 10 at the time, clung to her skirt, crying: “Mummy, mummy don’t go.”She describes the conditions in prison. “You are imprisoned in this little cell. When you stretch your hands you touch the walls. You are reduced to a nobody, a non-value. It is like killing you alive. You are alive because you breathe. You are deprived of everything – your dignity, your everything,” she writes.Extremely illDespite Winnie’s strength of mind and fierce fighting spirit, she became extremely ill during her 491-day stay in prison, the result of long months of solitary confinement and the poor diet, which often consisted of porridge with maggots in it. She suffered chest pains, palpitations, body spasms, haemorrhaging, loss of appetite and chronic weight loss.She was admitted to hospital several times. Then she decided on a new course of action. “I decided I would commit suicide but would do so gradually so that I should die of natural causes to spare Nelson and the children the pains of knowing I had taken my life,” she wrote in April 1970. “I thought there would be no better method of focusing the world attention on the terror of the Terrorism Act than this.”Her illness continued, until she was taking 12 drugs daily, but she never carried out her decision, although the feeling lingered. “I was so happy at times I fell asleep and hoped I would not get up the following day even if I had not gone as far as the hospital, I did not care anymore.”After five sleepless days and nights of continuous interrogation, she signed a confession. Finally, in October, she appeared in court with 21 others, charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and the Unlawful Organisations Act, including furthering the aims of the ANC and conspiring to commit sabotage. The charges were withdrawn, and her confession was never produced in court.But as they were leaving the court, the police again arrested the group and returned them to jail. In August, they were charged with 540 offences, which were almost identical to the previous charges. On 14 September, the charges were dropped and they were free to go. Two weeks later, Winnie was served with a five-year banning order and was placed under house arrest.She survived solitary confinement but also endured shorter spells in prison. “Solitary confinement was designed to kill you so slowly that you were long dead before you died. By the time you died, you were nobody. You had no soul anymore and a body without a soul is a corpse anyway. It is unbelievable that you survived all that,” she writes now.Banning orders, prison sentencesWinnie’s life of bannings and imprisonment started in 1962, four years after she married Nelson. She was banned and restricted to Johannesburg for two years in 1962, the same year in which Nelson was sentenced to five years in prison for leaving the country illegally and organising a mass stayaway.It went on for years: in 1965, she was banned for five years and restricted to Orlando in Soweto. In 1967, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for failing to give her name and address to the security police. In 1971, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for communicating with a banned person in her house. The conviction was set aside on appeal, but in 1972 she was again sentenced for having visitors at her house. Again the sentence was set aside on appeal.In 1973, she was sentenced to 12 months suspended for three years for having lunch with her children in a vehicle in the presence of a banned person. The sentence was reduced on appeal to six months, which she served at Kroonstad prison. In 1976, she was detained without trial for four months after the June 16 Soweto uprising, in which marching schoolchildren were fired upon by the police, and some 500 died across the country on the day.In 1977, her banning order was renewed for five years – in 13 years, she lived for only 10 months without a banning order.BrandfortThen, in May 1997, in a devastating move, she was banished to Brandfort, a tiny town in Free State province, some 200 kilometres from Johannesburg, with her 16-year-old daughter, Zinzi. She lived in a small box house, with “no running water, no electricity, and the house had no floors or ceilings. The town was hostile, and the people spoke mainly Sotho, Tswana or Afrikaans, and hardly any Xhosa, which was Winnie’s home language,” says Sheila Meintjies in a 1998 report, Winnie Madikizela Mandela: Tragic figure? Populist tribune? Township tough?But Winnie wasn’t daunted. Carrying a bucket of cold water back to the three-roomed house, she showed she still had style. “She might have looked despondent, but it didn’t show. Instead she looked superb, wearing a smart skirt and jersey, a fashionable pair of boots, and a silk hat on her head,” recounts Emma Gilbey in The Lady, The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela, published in 1994.She opened a clinic and a crèche, and initiated feeding schemes for the young children of Brandfort, where she lived for nine years.Return to SowetoBut she defiantly returned to Soweto in 1986, where she formed the Mandela United Football Club – the members, in effect, were her personal bodyguards. In 1991, she was charged and convicted for the assault and abduction of 15-year-old activist Stompie Seipei. She received a six-year sentence which was reduced to a fine of R15 000 and a suspended sentence.Perhaps she herself offers an explanation of what went wrong: “Throughout the years of oppression, I think my feelings got blunted because you were so tortured that the pain reached a threshold where you could not feel pain anymore. If you keep pounding and pounding on the same spot the feeling dies, the nerves die,” she writes in 491 Days.Today, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela continues her political service to the ANC – she serves on the National Executive Committee – and she is a member of parliament.last_img read more

Marijuana legalization petition rejected

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Attorney General’s Office rejected the petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution to legalize marijuana in Ohio.On April 9, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, titled the “Marijuana Rights and Regulations Amendment” from the attorney representing the petitioning committee. The summary was rejected for several reasons, including:The summary language giving the General Assembly authority to regulate “marijuana commerce” does not accurately reflect the actual amendment language.The summary omits references in the amendment that “Marijuana businesses shall be lawful only in those voting precincts in which the majority of the voters approved this section.”The summary omits references in the amendment that “The General Assembly shall within 240 days after the effective date enact and enable laws, rules, and regulations consistent with this section.”“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stated in his letter rejecting the petition. “However, I must caution that this letter is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”In order for a constitutional amendment to proceed, an initial petition containing summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board would determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5% of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10% of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.last_img read more

In an Experiential-Obsessed Marketplace, Surkus Uses Tech to Stand Out

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Experiences have flooded the marketplace. Whether they’re investing in pop-up stores or festivals, brands have recognized the major shift happening. The IPA Bellwether Report found that in the U.K., experiential marketing was the only area to experience significant growth in spend in 2017 besides internet marketing.Similarly, EventTrack found that American consumers gravitated toward the brands that gave them experiences to savor, with 74 percent reporting they were more likely to purchase from brands engaging them with experiences. In fact, 98 percent admitted they created social content when they participated in these experiences — and all of those who created content also shared content.The writing’s on the wall for companies that have paid attention. These experiences can be beneficial to brands of every type, and Surkus is determined to use technology to make experiential accessible.Abandoning the Spray-and-Pray ModelSurkus classifies three major areas as experiential: branding experiential (such as pop-ups), ticketed experiences (such as concerts or festivals), and immersive experiences (such as VR). In working with brands that launch experiences in every category, Surkus focuses on making the strongest matches it can between its members and its clients.It does that through technology. The brand’s platform uses an algorithm to identify the right audience members for each experience being offered. By curating a group that’s expressed interest in a certain subject or a similar brand, Surkus pinpoints the members who will feel excited about the opportunity.That translates to a win for Surkus’ client companies. Surkus’ focus on targeting the right audience makes both attendance and engagement possible. Clients can ask for a variety of engagements — social content, surveys, market research — with Surkus enabling communication between clients and members throughout every point of a campaign.“We don’t need to complicate things, but simplify them,” explains Stephen George, Surkus’ CEO. “We want to make sure the right audience is attending and engaging, and we know the little things are our clients’ entire objective in working with us. It doesn’t have to be complex.”Capitalizing on What They’ve GotSurkus’ knowledge of where members are at every touchpoint is valuable: By tracking members’ locations and activity, the platform can nudge them and offer reminders. The platform, designed for Instagram posts, can point out that a member, still at an event, just took 50 photos and should post one of them. If the member exited the venue, the client can ask questions to get real-time feedback on how the installation or product played in front of its audience.“It’s important to be able to time our interactions and engagements correctly,” George says. “In the moment, members shouldn’t be interrupted so they can absorb the experience. But there hasn’t been an easy way to transfer instantaneous reactions. Brands don’t want to target people when they walk in or when they’re in the middle of a performance — they’re not going to get very good information.”But good information is there for the taking. George points to concerts as an example: If a concert producer spent the majority of his budget on the closing act and the grand finale fireworks, but 40 percent of concertgoers left two hours before the encore, Surkus can provide that data to the producer so he can reconsider where he’s spending his money. While Surkus’ goal with members is to provide them with compelling experiences, the brand’s focus for clients is driving long-term value.“If brands have already planned out the production of their events and are wasting money at certain times, we need to be able to tell them,” George explains. “They may be able to restructure the production to use the same layout of money but increase engagement. And the longer we can keep people engaged, the more ancillary revenue that drives — but there’s also a better experience because there’s no lag in the event itself.”Bringing Experiential to the MassesTechnology has made things more affordable, particularly through automation. Surkus itself thrives on this fact: While a PR agency helping with experiential activations can handle 20 clients at one time, Surkus can work with 10,000. “Bodies just aren’t as efficient as our algorithm,” George says.This sheer volume helps every activation under Surkus’ umbrella — as its base grows, so does its data collection. This enables Surkus to give first-timers a head start by giving them insight into what’s worked well for similar types of events or which types of audience members responded best. But, as George says, that data becomes more meaningful as clients repeatedly work with Surkus to launch experiences; the brand can provide continuous data on who engaged or took actions so constant tweaks can occur.The affordability and ease created by technology hasn’t completely trickled down, and George says that’s created a misconception that lingers among small brands. “There’s a perception that events have to be grandiose, multimillion-dollar affairs that only global brands can afford,” he says. “It can be a small mom-and-pop retailer with a pop-up event, and that can be just as enticing as Under Armour launching a $1 million activation at its store. The point is targeting the people who will respond.”Brands from small businesses to international conglomerates should be fitting experiential into their budgets, regardless of the size. While attention is paid to experiences offered by Netflix, Anheuser-Busch, or LiveNation, anyone can do it, George points out, and platforms like Surkus enable the same types of results for brands of every size.Smaller brands that refuse to invest in experiential, in fact, will run into a universal problem: ad blockers and other tools that allow consumers to bypass marketing. With people skipping commercials regularly and billboards simply not having the reach they should for their cost, experiential has become a more affordable way to stick in consumers’ minds. Surkus’ platform offers a la carte services, allowing clients to determine what’s most important in terms of engagement and what fits within their budget. Getting one attendee to walk through the door at an event can cost as little as $3. After an era of spray-and-pray advertising, with money sprinkled everywhere, experiential can result in reverse sticker shock.What’s NextBringing experiential to the masses also means expanding markets, and that’s next on Surkus’ agenda. George, the former co-founder and head of operations for Groupon, says the Los Angeles-based business launched in Boston last month and is “relaunching” in San Francisco in October.“A lot of our markets in the past grew organically, but now we’re announcing launches in targeted areas — we’re highly dedicated to these new markets,” George says. The brand also has an eye on global growth and serving its clients in any market they’re operating in; beyond its office in Hong Kong, Surkus plans to expand to Singapore in the next few months.That reinforces the company’s belief that experiential isn’t necessarily what people think it is — and it’s not outside anyone’s reach. By incorporating technology to make experiential activations more affordable and accessible, Surkus just may have found a way to bring personalized experiences to the masses. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Tags:#branding#customer experience#CX#event marketing#experiential marketing#festival#marketing#pop-up shop How Data Analytics Can Save Lives AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Related Posts last_img read more

Being Responsive Versus Being Reactive

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now If you are waiting for your clients to need something, you’re being reactive.If you can’t shut down your email and turn off your phone for a couple hours at a time, you’re completely reactive. If you can shut down distractions long enough to do big blocks of focused work, only calling or emailing your clients back when you’re finished, you are being responsive.If you help your clients solve their service issues when they call or email you, you are being reactive. When you help your clients get to the person that owns the transaction on their first call, only escalating calls to you when they need a new outcome, you are being responsive to their real needs. (Hint: You own the outcomes, not the transactions. You don’t often add value as an intermediary)If you wait until your client decides on their next big initiative and bring it to you, you are being reactive. It’s proactive when you respond to the changes you notice in their business and bring them the new big ideas.The problem with being reactive instead of being responsive is that you’re always waiting for something to happen. You’re waiting for the world to act on you before you respond. Something happens and you react. While it’s necessary for you take action when your clients have a need, this is the opposite of being proactive and taking initiative.How much better could you serve your clients if you were responsive instead of reactive? How much more value could you create if you found a way to limit what you have to react to so you can be more proactive?The more reactive you are, the less responsive you can be. You’re too busy reacting to what comes your way instead of doing your most important work.QuestionsHow much of your day is spent on outcomes you were determined to take, not a reaction to what someone else dropped in your lap?Can you be responsive without being reactive?Do you answer your email and your voicemail before you start working on your most important outcomes? How much of you inbox is made up of things that require you to react?What do you need to do to be more proactive and less reactive?last_img read more