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Superior Insurance Services offers auto, home, life, and business insurance to Superior Credit Union members. Superior Insurance Services is an independent insurance agent representing many leading insurance companies, including Progressive, ASI, United Fire Group, Wyandot Mutual, and Travelers.

Staff Reports
news@the419.com

LIMA —Superior Insurance Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Superior Credit Union, Inc., is pleased to announce the hiring of Jodi McDaniel as an insurance consultant. She comes to Superior with 20 years of insurance experience, and is licensed to provide property and casualty insurance for consumers and businesses. Jodi will be based at the credit union’s Kibby Street office, but will be available to meet with clients in all SCU branch locations.

McDaniel is very active with the Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce. She is a member at Forest Park UMC and very involved with leading worship, teaching Sunday school, serving on leadership committees, and coordinating fund raising activities for missions programs. She is the church coordinator for Family Promise and currently sits on the Family Promise board. McDaniel and her husband, Arby, are lifetime residents of Lima and live in Bath Township. They have one son.

Superior Insurance Services offers auto, home, life, and business insurance to Superior Credit Union members. Superior Insurance Services is an independent insurance agent representing many leading insurance companies, including Progressive, ASI, United Fire Group, Wyandot Mutual, and Travelers.

Marc Bowker, small business owner,, saw sales double at his downtown storefront during the first Lure event.

Alter Ego Comics using the power of the mobile app to boost sales

Interview and story by Taylor Johnson


Mark Bowker, owner of Alter Ego Comics and e-commerce site alteregocomics.com, stands outside his storefront in downtown Lima, Ohio with Pokemon Go "trainers" as they waited for the Lure's at the stores first Pokemon Go event.

Bowker, owner of Alter Ego Comics and e-commerce site alteregocomics.com, stand outside his storefront in downtown Lima, Ohio with Pokemon Go “trainers” as they waited for the Lure’s at the stores first Pokemon Go event.

Let’s face it – it’s a Pokémon Go world, and we’re just living in it. In just two weeks, the augmented-reality game has become the biggest mobile game in U.S. history and divided the world into two populations– those playing the game, and those complaining about everyone else playing the game.

It’s even increased Nintendo’s market value by almost $18 billion.

The instant pop culture phenomenon has turned millions of kids and adults into phone-gazing zombies roaming the streets chasing Pikachu and friends. While much of the success stems from GenY users – a generation known for gobbling up nostalgic content – the fantastic hybrid of reality and fantasy has reached new audiences.

“My 7-year-old son is actually the one that taught me how to play,” laughed Marc Bowker, owner at Alter Ego Comics.

Bowker’s not naïve to modern-day technology– he started his e-commerce website in 2003 and has since grown it to be one of the top online stores in the pop-culture collectibles industry.

As users race around capturing Pokemon, they’re actually following real world maps.

As users race around capturing Pokemon, they’re actually following real world maps.

However, Pokémon Go, a game that uses real locations and forces you to spend real time and energy searching for Pokémon, is new territory for everyone. Players are required to roam the streets, looking for the digital monsters and locations called Pokéstops. These locations are usually in high-traffic areas and have hidden items like Pokeballs – the essential tool needed to catch as many characters as possible.

While the game is free-to-play, players can also visit the Pokestore to purchase additional beneficial items. A particularly popular one is the “lure” – a module that attracts Pokémon to a specific location for 30 minutes a pop. Each Lure costs 100 pokecoins – or 99 cents in real money.

Once familiar with the game, Bowker saw the “lure” as an opportunity to increase foot traffic at his storefront in downtown Lima. He purchased $10 worth of Lure’s and launched a Facebook campaign on Alter Ego’s page, promoting the first-ever “Catch a Pokémon” event at his store. The rules are simple: show up in the time frame of the event, and “catch ‘em all,” as they say.

During the first-time, two-hour event last Thursday, Bowker says sales doubled.

“It’s one of those things we figured out early and knew if we were going to jump on, we better do it quickly,” he said. “When you’re a small business owner, you have the ability to pivot more quickly as far as how you want to reach new customers. You don’t have to jump through a lot of hoops. ”


Pokémon Go event at Alter Ego Comics:


In total, Bowker spent only $20 on the entire event – half on Lure’s, half on Facebook promotions. He encourages other local businesses, specifically retail shops, to do some research and see how best to maximize the game for their business. If it makes sense, redirect some of their marketing spend as the mobile game racks up a bigger user base.

“It’s like any other types of advertising. It can be hit or miss. But without risk, there’s no reward,” he said.

But for Bowker, it’s not just about bringing in new customers to his business.

Faith Plescher (16) and Austin Shellabarger (17) catch Pokemon at Alter Ego Comics in Lima, Ohio.

Faith Plescher (16) and Austin Shellabarger (17) catch Pokémon at Alter Ego Comics in Lima, Ohio.

“I’ve really seen the power of the game…the positive affect it can have right in my own home.”

Bowker and wife Angie have three boys, ages 16, 14 and 7.

“With the age difference between our 16-year-old and 7-year-old, they obviously don’t get along the best. They don’t spend much time doing things together because their hobbies are very different at those ages,” laughed Bowker.

But just the other night, following an 8-hour shift at his summer job, Bowker’s eldest son changed his normal routine of getting home, having dinner, taking a shower and then “doing his own thing.”

“He went up to my youngest and asked him if he wanted to go ride bikes together through the neighborhood and look for Pokémon. My wife and I were in shock – it was a really neat moment. It gave them something to do together; something they can enjoy as brothers.”

That’s not to say Bowker’s middle son isn’t up on the Pokémon craze.

“Actually, this past Sunday, my oldest son said he was going to look for Pokémon, then my 14-year-old wanted to go, and I just said, ‘hey, why don’t we all just go?’ So, the four of us hopped in the car and drove to Faurot Park to look for Pokémon. That’s what is really special about this game and we had a really great day hanging out together.”

When asked if his wife partakes in the game, Bowker laughs.

“No, but she’s still a fan of it because it got her an afternoon to herself!”


Alter Ego Comics is an award winning comic book store located in downtown Lima, Ohio at 230 N Main St. Their mission is to spread the word around the globe that comics are for everybody & they’re awesome!

Advanced Vision Care in Lima Ohio

Staff Reports
news@the419.com

LIMA – In August, 2015, Dr. Shenouda (8 years in the Lima area) joined the practice of Advanced Vision Care, Inc. with Dr. Craig (22 years in the Lima area). Because of limited space at their previous location at the POB 2 building at Lima Memorial Health Systems, they found a new permanent home at 2300 Baton Rouge Avenue, in the former Rea & Associates building.

After renovations were completed, they recently moved into their new facility and began seeing patients on July 5, 2016. This new location has allowed them to nearly quadruple their overall office space, triple their previous patient work-up and testing areas, and double their number of examination rooms.

The new location has quadrupled their space, tripled their previous patient work-up and testing areas, and doubled the number of examination rooms.

The new location has quadrupled their space, tripled their previous patient work-up and testing areas, and doubled the number of examination rooms.


Both Dr. Shenouda and Dr. Craig are currently accepting new patients. Their services include Cataract Surgery, Dry Eye Management, Diabetic Eye Care, Glaucoma Management, Macular Degeneration and other Retina Diseases, Eyelid Surgery, Glasses/Contacts, and other medical conditions involving the eye.

Located at 2300 Baton Rouge Avenue (turn off of Edgewood Drive at the corner between the Lima Auto Mall and Edgewood Skate Arena), the office is conveniently located near the Lima Mall but without all the hustle and bustle.
Advanced Vision Care is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To schedule a visit, call at 419-991-EYES.

For additional information, see the web site at AdvancedVisionCarelnc.com or follow on Facebook at Advanced Vision Care, Inc.

Wessler Engineering in Bluffton Ohio

By Activate Allen County

Wessler Engineering has always made employee well-being a top priority within the company, and they are now extending that to their office in Allen County.

Wessler Engineering Activate Allen CountyWessler is a civil and environmental engineering firm, specializing in wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater projects, providing services ranging from master planning and design to construction administration and process energy audits. The firm was established in 1975, with its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. They also have branch offices located throughout Indiana – Evansville, West Lafayette and Fort Wayne. In 2015, they opened a brand new office in downtown Bluffton, Ohio, helping establish that they are a firm on the rise in the Northwestern Ohio region. Ryan Brauen, Project Manager, spoke about the mission and goals of Wessler Engineering.

“Wessler not only treats its clients with a tremendous amount of respect and as if they are family, but they also provide a welcoming, yet challenging, work environment that allows employees to show their creativity in everything they do,” said Brauen.

“And, through these standards, Wessler is able to provide the highest quality of engineering services to the region, as well as a quality work environment for its own employees.”

Providing employees with the opportunity to have nutritious food options, tobacco-free working spaces and active living opportunities is very important to Wessler. That is why they have worked with Activate Allen County – Partnerships to Improve Community Health staff and have developed and implemented the following policies:

  • Workplace Physical Activity Policy
  • Workplace Nutrition Policy
  • Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy

Wessler Engineering is setting a great example by having policies, procedures and practices that support healthy and active lifestyles for their employees and clients. Discover what Wessler Engineering has to offer and how they foster an environment of well-being by stopping in at 103 N. Main St, Suite D, Bluffton, Ohio, by calling 419-358-0521or by visiting their website at wesslerengineering.com.

Thank you Wessler Engineering for being a community success story!

Photo courtesy Art Me a Traveling Paint & Party Studio Facebook page: facebook.com/facepaintdesigns

Owner of ArtMe! says she hopes to mentor future artists in the area

Janet Ferguson
news@the419.com

Art Me a Traveling Paint & Party Studio

Adkins says the best part of her job is working with children. Submitted photo.

Kirstene Adkins started painting faces when she was in college.

“I started at Columbus Zoo with Kaman’s Art as a caricature artist and got cross trained in face painting and liked it more,” she explained.

She worked for 6 years with Kaman’s Art Shoppes, Inc. and traveled to parks around the nation to train other face painters.

“One of the places I went was Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, that was really fun. Then my husband and I decided to move back this way, we are from here originally but there were no Kaman’s Art Shoppes here so I worked for Texas Roadhouse in marketing for a while.People knew I did face painting and asked me to do parties for them so I did it on the side and it grew from there.”

“My husband and I came up with the name. Originally we thought we would like to do a lot more selling because I’m a fine artist as well. So we were thinking along the lines of buy me, paint me, etc and it was a traveling paint studio as well so we came to ‘Art Me’ and it just seemed to capture it all and was easy to say.”

The next step seemed natural, to embody a princess.

Baylee Lindeman and Kirstene D. Adkins at an Art Me! event. Submitted photo.

Baylee Lindeman and Kirstene D. Adkins at an Art Me! event. Submitted photo.

“I was doing parties and someone asked me ‘If I rent a princess dress would you dress up while you paint?’ I said sure and then I wondered why did this two and two not come together sooner,” she laughed.

First came the ice queen, who is still the most popular and it grew from there. But Adkins had previous experience portraying a princess, and had auditioned to play a princess for a certain group of large theme parks.

“It was amazing, I went through this 6 hour audition and there were 2,000 people there; they weaned it down to 46 and there were all shapes and sizes and colors. That was probably one of the funnest things I ever did,” she added.

It took 3 months to hear back about the audition and friends and family encouraged her that she got the part, “I told them to stop saying that!” she laughed.

She found out she did not get the part, but before she could audition again she and her husband learned they were having a baby.

“So we said, well that’s not going to happen,” she remembered. “So then we had our son. But now to bring a character to life for a kid and to do it at their house is great. Sometimes the kids can’t afford to go see these characters at the park and sometimes they do get to go 3 times a year, but to have them in their house it’s just a magical experience for them.”

story continues below


View photo galleries below on the Art Me! website »

Ohio's Premiere Professional Face Painting & Character Performing Entertainment Service.


Adkins and those who work with her make character integrity their main focus.

“The older they get they really test you as the princess to see how you answer. I was so nervous when I first started but then they started saying things like ‘mom it’s the real…” or “I just met Cinderella.’ I love to play the character well enough that the kids believe it and they go away awestruck.”

The kids are the biggest fans and also the biggest critics and the ones that Adkins and her employees strive the hardest to please. She fine tuned many of the costumes from kids telling the princess at their party that her shoes were not the right color, or her hair was not styled correctly.

She said that she loves seeing the smiles on the kids faces.

“The face painting is always the best when the kids see it after we are done they are so happy. It’s something that I really love. Another thing that makes us different is a lot of people do face painting but they don’t have a team of people that do it with them.”

Adkins also has an eye to the future and mentoring others.

Photo courtesy Art Me a Traveling Paint & Party Studio Facebook page: facebook.com/facepaintdesigns

Kirstene D. Adkins, Ashley Warren Dove, Marie Corbin, Baylee Lindeman, Sarah Compton, Amelia Devony Miller and Kassie Fuiten posing as their favorite characters. Photo courtesy Art Me a Traveling Paint & Party Studio Facebook page: facebook.com/facepaintdesigns

“I love to train new artists, high school and college students because it’s something that they can do other than working at at a fast food job. They can work 6 hours on the weekend and make enough money to save up for college or pay off their car. I’m continuously training new girls and guys that have an interest in art but don’t have an outlet in this area. This is something creative they can put on their resumes or college applications and they can take pride in that.”

Art Me! is now in NW Ohio, Eastern Indiana and Southern Michigan with artists all over the area but Adkins has a goal of expand from NW Ohio to have artist in major districts and cities and continue the growth.

“We are always hiring. I encourage anyone and fill out application and we are definitely looking for male performers. I’m constantly getting requests for male characters, we don’t use copyright names but we do have a a lot of superhero requests. We love taking requests for characters and keep adding on to what we offer,” she explained.

TheArt Me! team can be seen every other Monday from 5 – 8 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings at 2948 Allentown Rd in Lima. Next event is July 25.

Please contact for more information, questions, booking, character suggestions and applications for employment at artmeohio.wix.com/artme or facebook.com/facepaintdesigns.

The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Allen Economic Development Group and the Lima-Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau announce the launch of its newly revamped website. This newly redesigned website is a one-stop-shop online resource to market the assets of the Lima/Allen County Community.

Lima Chamber, AEDG and CVB announce launch of newly revamped website WeAreLimaAllenCounty.com

Staff Reports
news@the419.com

LIMA  – The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Allen Economic Development Group and the Lima-Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau announce the launch of its newly revamped website. This newly redesigned website is a one-stop-shop online resource to market the assets of the Lima/Allen County Community.

The website WeAreLimaAllenCounty.com features videos of members in our community discussing why they chose to stay in Lima/Allen County, locate their businesses within our region, and what visitors to our area can experience in Lima/Allen County.

wearelimaallencounty.com features an extensive list of all the food options in Lima/Allen County.

The revamped website features an extensive list of all the food options in Lima/Allen County.

“This website encompasses everything all three of our organizations try to do, all in one unique website. The video testimonials give a great perspective as to what makes our community strong, why visitors should add our community to their ‘must-see’ destination list, and why others call our area home,” shares Christine Pleva, Executive Director, Lima-Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We are proud to announce we are launching into year three of the interactive video website WeAreLimaAllenCounty.com. It is our hope that site visitors will continue to use this as a resource to learn more about the strength of our community, through our businesses, resources and people,” stated Jed Metzger, President and CEO of the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce.

Things to do in Lima Ohio

A list of things to do in the Lima/Allen County area are featured on WeAreAllenCounty.com

Jeff Sprague, President and CEO of the Allen Economic Development Group explains, “We saw this as an opportunity to expand outside just showcasing our traditional infrastructure and resources and really show why a potential site selector should choose to locate in Allen County – whether it be the quality of life the community has to offer, or access to business resources.”

The website has been updated with a new layout for year three. The Quality of Life section will have a new video of Lima/Allen County that features aerial footage of the community and a few of Lima’s favorite things. The new layout also consist of different categories that have been turned into a rotating grid like format. The grid features Eat, Shop, Stay and Play in the Things to Do category. Here you will find a dining and shopping guide, accommodations, and entertainment/things to do. Business & Industry has also been transformed into a grid like format that features Work Here and Made Here. This grid features all the different manufactures in the community and directs you to the career portal of their websites. The Made Here section displays what is made in Lima/Allen County! We are proud to live in Allen County! There is so much to discover about our community!

For additional information on the community website WeAreLimaAllenCounty.com please contact Nicole Scott at 419-222-6045.

the419 Lens is intended to add to the community conversation with a focus of shining a light to the frequent positive news and events we celebrate here which, often do not receive the recognition and celebration they deserve.

Special series featuring the notable current and former Lima residents memorialized on the mural in downtown Lima


“If you are his friend, you are his friend for life.”

the419 sat down with Dick Lane’s wife Mary Lane to learn about the founder of Lane’s Moving & Storage. Photos and descriptions courtesy Mary Lane.

Story by Janet Ferguson
news@the419.com

Dick Lane learned the importance of a strong work ethic at a very young age.

"This was taken the night of the Toast when I surprised him for his birthday. We walked into the place where they were having the get together and there was a program of events and he asked, “What’s my name doing in that program?” and I ignored him and he asked again and I told him to look up and he saw the mural - he was shocked," said Mary.

“This was taken the night of the Toast when I surprised him for his birthday. We walked into the place where they were having the get together and there was a program of events and he asked, “What’s my name doing in that program?” and I ignored him and he asked again and I told him to look up and he saw the mural – he was shocked,” said Mary.

“He was born in a small coal mining town in Kentucky before moving to Lima at age six. His dad passed away when he was young,” said his wife, Mary Lane.

“He learned very early on how to work. There weren’t very many people whose parents could give carte blanche and just let them have whatever they wanted at that time – everything they had, they earned,” she said.

Dick started in the moving business after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1962.

He spent the next 14 years working for small moving companies in Lima in all capacities and gained experience in all facets of the moving industry.

When Dick and his late wife Janet began Lane’s Movers in 1974, it was a labor of love.

“Janet was very instrumental in the startup,” explained Mary.

Mary says she nominated her husband for the downtown Lima for good reason.

5DickLane

Dick started in the moving business after his discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1962

“He has loved Lima his whole life – and not just the town, but the people in it,” said Mary. “When he started his business, he took a big risk. He wanted to try and do something that would not only be successful, but that would help the community.”

At the time of incorporation, Lane’s Movers had 4 trucks and 6 employees.

“There has always been a loyalty between him and his employees. He truly cares for people. He’s been fortunate to have wonderful employees through the years and we often hear it is a great place to work,” she said.

“That means the world to him.”

Lane’s Movers has grown to 26 employees and 22 trucks.

Mary says as the company grew, Dick became more comfortable behind the scenes – especially when it comes to giving back to the community.

“He’s not shy or introverted, he just doesn’t like to make a show of helping, he’s very much in the background,” she said.

1949 Chevy ¾ Tin

Dick collects antique cars and trucks. Pictured here with a 1949 Chevy ¾ Tin.

Among the causes the couple care about are the Equestrian Therapy Program and Trinity United Methodist, where they attend church.

“People that know him know they can count on him for support every step of the way,” she said.

Dick retired from the business in 2009, passing on the torch to his sons, Todd , Jeff and Mike.

Retired life has given Dick a chance to explore his hobbies.

Dick collects antique cars and trucks. Pictured here with a 1935 Chevy Half Ton.

Dick collects antique cars and trucks. Pictured here with a 1935 Chevy Half Ton.

“Oh, he loves to golf – he’s had 3-holes-in-one,” she proudly shared. “Two at the Shawnee Country Club and one at our winter home at Lexington Country Club in Ft. Myers.”

Dick also collects antique cars and trucks and enjoys taking them to car shows.

As for something that may surprise people about her husband?

“He’s pretty much an open book. He’s a big man and can be intimidating, but he’s very easy to get along with,” she said.

“If you are his friend, you are his friend for life.”

In keeping true to their commitment to health, Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution has implemented a new and improved tobacco-free policy that protects members, employees and the public from harmful second hand smoke & tobacco use.

By Activate Allen County

Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution has been supporting healthy and active living since the first location opened in March of 1991 here in Lima, Ohio. Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution is a leader in health and wellness, providing proven programs that produce incredible results in overall wellness, weight loss, mindset, and fitness to members and the community alike. In keeping true to their commitment to health, Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution has implemented a new and improved tobacco-free policy that protects members, employees and the public from harmful second hand smoke & tobacco use.

It had been a long-standing practice that tobacco use was not permitted in company vehicles, in company buildings, or on company grounds. Long before “tobacco free” became a trending health concern, Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution knew that prohibiting tobacco use was the right thing to do. Through their partnership with Activate Allen County, an updated, clearly stated, written tobacco free policy was developed and implemented in May of 2016. CEO and founder Donna Krech spoke to the importance of providing a tobacco free environment for members, employees and the community. “We are passionately driven by the truth that a person can feel fantastic until the day they leave this Earth. Being tobacco free is a no-brainer for our company, because it is one of the many ways we can deliver on our promise to help a person be the best they can be.”

Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution is leading by example by supporting healthy behaviors for the community and for their members. They assist members in meeting their health and well-being goals, including living tobacco free lives. Discover all that Thin & Healthy’s Total Solution has to offer by visiting their website at thinandhealthy.com/ or by stopping in at 709 N. Cable Rd. Lima, OH.

Janet Ferguson
news@the419.com

7Thursday, June 17 was the launch of Nourishu’s new location in Lima at 531 N. Eastown Rd by the Vein Care Center. The company that sells nutritious meals out of a mobile kitchen started in July 2015 and has been busy serving customers at Miller’s Corral on Tuesdays in Wapakoneta, but has felt the pull to branch out to Lima.

“Many of our customers are from Lima, so adding Lima hours just makes sense. A dear friend of ours is good friends with the Vein Care Center Owner and she connected us,” stated Alisha Frost co-owner with Melissa Metz.

Frost shares that they began the company because “ I had a health diagnosis that changed my life and I knew that I needed to nourish my body with real food… and it was something to share.” The company goal is to provide blended, raw, fresh & nourishing food, to go.

droppedImage Frost explains, “In addition to our food truck business, we have partnered with other companies that provide ingredients and products we promote for a healthy non-toxic lifestyle. Nutrition is important, but products we put on our skin (our biggest organ) and use in our homes is equally important. We offer consultations and wellness workshops to teach people to be ingredient detectives and avoid chemicals/ endocrine disruptors.”

The sisters, Alisha and Melissa have clearly tapped into a desire in the area to make cleaner, healthier choices. Business was booming for lunch on Thursday and people were not put off by the line as they continued to come and wait for items made on the spot. The ladies had already provided a reasonably priced menu via their Facebook page to give customers an idea of what was going to be available for lunch.

2“We sold out of the oat almond bites and quinoa salad and had ONE hummus wrap left,” said Frost.

The mobile kitchen will continue to grow and advance orders the day before, are welcome “especially bulk/office orders, gives us a heads up so we serve more efficiently,” Frost explained.

While new locations are in the works, currently the food truck at the Wapakoneta location on Tuesdays from 11-5:30 and in Lima from 10-3. Pre-orders are encouraged and can be taken the day before nourishu.net/about_us.html where you can sign up for the weekly newsletter and Nourishu’s Facebook page is located at facebook.com/Nourishu

In just four short years, NOW Marketing Group has grown their Social Media Week Lima from a small online conference to a jam-packed two-day conference with speakers arriving from around the United States.

Stephen Johnson, CEO & publisher of the419

Beginning in 2012, Social Media Week Lima has celebrated social media while educating local businesses on social media best practices. The conference serves to help businesses grow using the power of social media by putting the power into their hands.

Beginning in 2012, Social Media Week Lima has celebrated social media while educating local businesses on social media best practices. The conference serves to help businesses grow using the power of social media by putting the power into their hands.

Snapchat, Blab, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and yes, even email, were all covered during the two-day Social Media Conference conducted by NOW Marketing Group earlier this week.

While my head seemed ready to explode from time to time with new information and examples from social media experts, speaker after speaker came to the podium to help me understand, and more importantly, how to leverage social media in today’s fast changing world. Jessika Phillips, NOW’s CEO lead the conference off with how to prepare your business for 2020 – what your future customer audience will look like, and what they will want. Next up was a panel of millennials explaining their generational views – how they shop, how they get their news, and what apps are popular with their age group. Next up – SnapChat, the fastest growing new app in social media. The impressive example provided about Snapchat was the Cinco De Mayo promotion from Taco Bell, where they offered a filter for your picture where your head, yes your head, is seen as a giant taco. Silly? Yes, but it had 224,000,000 views (six zeros is not a misprint!). Not only is it the fastest growing new social media app, but 60% of their audience is made up of 13-24 year olds. They suggested 10 SnapChat Accounts we should follow, which ranged from the infamous Garyvee to LACMA – the Los Angeles Museum of Art!

It was interesting to note that attendees came from six states and multiple business disciplines, yet I did not have to travel to Chicago or Columbus to attend a conference of this caliber – just a short drive over to Howard Johnson’s right here in Lima! Our community is fortunate to have NOW Marketing, and Jessika’s talent – and willingness to share such great information. This Social Media conference is in its fourth year, which has grown from a small group in her office to a old out conference of over 200 attendees!

There was so much useful information offered not just about multiple social media options, but also insights and ways to use and understand them. Helpful tips included best days of week and times of day to post for each new media platform, and details about their individual audience demographics.

My takeaways after two intensive learning days were:

  • Yes, there is still a place for email marketing (with specific tips and best practices)
  • Understand the future of new media – video, video and more video!
  • Discover how you can leverage the different social media platforms
  • Learn to leverage the new disease described by the panel of millennials, “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out!)

Even if you missed the conference you can still benefit by visiting the NOW web site where they offer 33 apps you can use in 2016 to be successful www.nowmarketinggroup.com We are already looking forward to Social Media Week 2017!

Cheers!