One of our core values: No minions here. We hire amazing people first, let them tell us what they’re good at, and then help them find their superpower. So as you may have guessed, team is important to us, and ours is made up of some pretty incredible people.
So, last month, our whole team stopped by HQ in Orlando for a week of creative collaboration, coffee brainstorms, and a bit of fun.
Here are some of our favorites moments from the week:
An extra bonus of having the entire team in-house means we get the chance to take advantage of the creative talent of our design team. Any time they’re in town, we schedule a few hours to update the chalk wall in our lunch room.
This time, we set up a camera to capture the entire session:
To meet some of the Flip.to veterans along with some fresh faces, hop over to our about page. Plus, always feel free to say hello 👋 to us here—we’re always eager to chat with other movers and shakers in hospitality!
A few months back, we shamelessly shared our first blooper reel after an excited foray into video production. It’s been one heck of an experience and we’ve learned an awful lot along the way.
At Flip.to we’re all about authenticity and the connections between individuals. So when we first committed to making video there was unanimous agreement that whatever it is we’re talking about in our videos, it should be us talking about it.
I was asked to be the voice of our videos. One never to turn down an opportunity (or a challenge), I was happy to take up the mantle. (To be honest I was more excited about recording impersonations, so I convinced myself this was a step in that direction.)
As fun as it’s been, we’ve been focused on continuous improvement. If you’re thinking of integrating video into your content marketing strategy (and you should), here are some major lessons to help you get started.
1. Spend time on a script…
Going into this, I was working under the assumption that we’d need some manner of script but, for the most part, we’d be winging it. It only took a single video to realize how wrong I was. We were using a script from the beginning. While we did adlib a bit, it was immediately apparent how important the script was.
This may seem like an obvious thing, but when you spend the better part of your day talking about a product, you feel confident enough you can do the same with a microphone in front of your face.
Don’t bet on it–having a polished script ensures you’re covering the important points.
2. …but don’t be afraid to deviate
As critical as the script is, if you want the video to feel authentic and convey real emotion, you’ll need to make changes on the fly. We’ll record each section of the video multiple times to make sure it feels and sounds authentic and natural. The script isn’t gospel. Instead, it’s a guide to tie together the scenes and concepts in the video.
3. Record, record, and record again
Getting a scene right on the first try is akin to keeping a wet dog in the bathtub. Try as you might, there will be slip ups.
Or, it just may not feel right. No matter how you feel after recording a scene, the playback may change your mind. In the beginning, we recorded a scene, played it back, and recorded it again—then repeated. We wisened up and now we record each scene a few times back-to-back and then listen in succession. Doing it this way lets you compare each attempt to single out the best take. If none sound good, well… do it again!
4. Finding the right voice and tone takes time
I don’t mean to say you need to make a host of videos to find your voice and tone. Instead, I’m talking about finding the right tone for a specific video.
We went back and listened. It sounded noticeably different! The final 25% felt so right, that we took the time to re-record everything up to that point so that there was continuity. It was well worth the effort. Once we dialed it in we were able to record much more quickly too.
For future videos we recorded a reading of the entire script, sometimes multiple times, to get a feel for the tone. Ultimately this saved us time, produced a better quality video, and gave the video authenticity.
5. Have fun
It’s not all business. You will definitely need to take breaks. We deviate from the script (sometimes by A LOT) because a good laugh can go a long way.
And like I said at the start, doing impersonations was what I really wanted to do in the first place. So don’t hesitate to cut loose when the urge strikes and enjoy the moment. It’s not often you get an opportunity to professionally record yourself cutting up for, you know, posterity.
Oh, and don’t think we didn’t save some of the fun stuff—listen in for yourself below!
Jumping into your own recordings? Let me know! We’re always eager to share and learn more, and collaborate along the way.
HITEC 2016 wrapped up last week, and it was the perfect opportunity to have a bit of fun with our Director of Partnerships, Richard Dunbar by introducing his new-found colleague and friend, Flat Ricky. (One Ricky just wasn’t enough.)
Flat Ricky explored the conference, stopped by the booths of our many partners, and ended an eventful first day with a party hosted by Flip.to, Lanyon, NAVIS and Social Tables.
As our night was coming to an end, one thing became apparent—we were #MissingFlatRicky—and word spread quickly!
Turns out, our friends at Vista Cay had different plans for Flat Ricky, and an adventure in the making unfolded.
At the end of the day, Flat Ricky got a VIP tour of the town and was swept away once again. We’re still #MissingFlatRicky—but if you have any tips on where he might be, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! (Don’t worry, all tips remain anonymous.)
It’s been 4 months since we released our first video, Introducing: Photo Explorer. We’ve come a long way. We’re continuing to improve our production process, crafting our content and meticulously editing our scripts.
All this incredibly careful planning has led to some really good stuff, and even better bad stuff. So without further ado, let’s start with the bad stuff. (Thanks NAVIS for being such good sports.)
We’ve got a lot planned going forward, including a look at our team and culture, video resources for customers, event recaps, partner spotlights and more. Check back soon for even good-er video.
In just 56 days, Nickelodeon Suites Resort reached over 200 thousand friends and relatives through guest stories—that’s over 3,500 warm introductions for their hotel to like-minded future travelers around the world every day.
We’re thrilled to see Nick Hotel succeed in such rapid time. We recently caught up with Deanna Padilla, Marketing Manager at Nick Hotel, who said, “If you are looking to increase your social awareness and reach new audiences while building your relationship with existing fans, then Photo Advocacy is a must for your property.”
The guest stories have poured in. Here are some of the incredible moments Nick Hotel has seen since going live with Photo Explorer.
If the Chickasaw Nation wasn’t on your travel list, it should be. They have some spectacular offerings in store for their guests. From the breathtaking landscapes of their rec areas to a rich cultural center, opportunities to explore are limitless. Visitors can also relax in luxury at the Artesian Hotel, unwind at the Chickasaw Retreat spa, or even enjoy top-notch gaming at the WinStar World Casino and Resort.
Bedré is something really special, too. This small chocolatier was brought to life by the rich legacy of the Chickasaw Nation. Purchased in 2000, they’ve completely transformed it into a nationally recognized luxury chocolate brand. These sweets are offered in retail stores across the country, including The Artesian Hotel and Bedré Café.
(And our whole team can attest to the chocolate—we snagged a few pics prior to the devouring!)
Advocates vs. avocados: it’s more than a case of po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. Hoteliers are seemingly becoming disillusioned by avocados after seeing the power of advocacy (you should see the emails we get.)
Our advocologists did minutes of research and surveyed nearly half a dozen people to figure out why this debate keeps popping up, and of course to declare the ultimate champion.
(No advocates were mashed in the making of this study.)
Avocados offer up a rich, buttery taste with a creamy texture that brings guac to life. The results came back inconclusive for the advocates. First matchup goes to the fruit (yup, avocados are actually in the berry family).
After documenting aging characteristics, advocates showed “low to no signs of aging.” Avocados, on the other hand, succumb to time and were transformed into unfortunate brown globs. The winner was conclusive.
With the list of health benefits from avocados, the final round was a tough match. However, nothing compares to the impact of advocates.
The results are in. Advocates were the clear winner of this competition!
We published our findings in the Journal of Research in Advocology. The critics quickly chimed in:
“Guacamole is delicious, but it does jack $&*! for your hotel.”
— Dr. Jack Travelfianakis
— Haas Avocado Commission
We see the impact advocates have on a hotel’s bottom line everyday. And even though avocados have a ridiculously narrow window of ripe goodness, we believe hoteliers should keep them around as well.
Stay tuned for more on the impact of advocacy, (plus a few ripe-innings of avocados here and there) as our team of advocologists work day and night to bring you the best advocology research in the industry.
Holiday science brought to you by the Department of Advocology