I recently had the pleasure of emceeing Third Tuesday Toronto with guests Ali and Alex de Bold from ChickAdvisor. Donna Papacosta from Trafcom News also interviewed Ali and Alex for the first Third Tuesday Toronto podcast.
I still had a few questions, particularly about social shopping, so I interviewed Ali this weekend. I thought you might be interested in her answers too...
Why did you decide to start the Queen St. Shop Crawl?
Our members were asking for the longest time to get together. We wanted to create an event that would be a lot of fun and get the word out. At first I was thinking of booking out a nail bar and having drinks, snacks and manicures but we realized there was no way to accommodate a large group of people.
I started thinking about the things I love to do with my friends and of course shopping came to mind. I got the idea one night last spring (2007) as I was tossing and turning not able to sleep. (I suffer from insomnia quite a bit and have had many of my best ideas when I can’t sleep.) I immediately worked out how I would do it, and in August 2007 we had our first Shop Crawl.
Are you planning Shop Crawls in other locations besides Queen West?
Definitely. We did the strip between Spadina and John twice because there are so many independent boutiques and it is an easy walk, but we plan to hit up other areas of the city for future crawls, and eventually expand the idea to other major cities in North America.
Have you ever considered negotiating volume discounts for products or services like a hot new gadget or purse for ChickAdvisor members?
Yes. That is actually part of our original business plan. ;)
What advice do you have for PR or marketing professionals wanting to pitch you?
We are very careful to ensure that anything advertised on ChickAdvisor is appropriate and useful for our members, and that it delivers value for the advertiser. We are also flexible and have on a number of occasions worked out custom strategies/campaigns.
As a social network/platform, we have many ways to work with large national brands (we’ve worked with Maybelline New York, TravelZoo, Herbal Essences, etc.), as well as local businesses and smaller companies.
We have the ability to incorporate brands in our video series, “Where’d You Get That?” and Product Review Club (companies provide product, members review it).
There are opportunities for:
• email newsletter sponsorship
• category level sponsorship (Beauty, Shopping, Wellness, Deals, Restaurants); and,
• we also have a business service we just launched www.chickadvisor.biz, where local businesses can create profiles on ChickAdvisor similar to other business directories, for $300/year.
If you have something you’d like to promote, email us. If we believe it will be of value to our members, we’ll work something out.