Dave Zingery of SquareShare Studios
Meet Dave Zingery, founder of SquareShare Studios
, a social media event marketing firm.
What is SquareShare Studios?
SquareShare Studios is a Midwest based [North Canton, OH] event-marketing firm that creates dynamic event experiences. Our niche is event promotion strategy and real-time event content development. We’re made up of professional photographers, cinematographers, social business strategists, designers and content marketers. SquareShare is uniquely tooled to capture the energy from your event and share it in a way that organically spreads your business message and brand, and promotes your event online.
How did you come up with the idea?
My partners and I technically started SquareShare in a basement during one of our birthday parties. Classy beginnings, I know. It started out as a sheet on a wall and a couple of cameras. Once we started sharing the photos socially and watched all of the organic conversation unfold around them, that was it. We knew we had something. I as a professional web marketer and they as professional photographers, designers, videographers and strategists came up with a new approach to promoting events online by developing organized event strategies and organic, people-centric content from within the events.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
The biggest surprise was the demand. We're not in the photo booth business, but that became a big selling hook for us. We look at everything as online content and our reinvented photo booth or square is a pretty awesome engagement tool. Although it's completely fun and interactive onsite, we use it to capture the energy and experience from the event and share it online. Leverage all of that content with a social media plan, some branding, some online conversion strategy and voila! Your event has just become a business tool with purpose and analytically proven ROI [return on investment].
Who works for SquareShare?
SquareShare is made up of six partners and expansion employees as needed. Basically we’re a bunch of web nerds and shutterbugs. We love what we do and really enjoy each other, because we were all friends first. It makes for a great work environment. We intend to stay small in numbers. Staying versatile and being able to be selective in your projects is important to us. We want to be able to give our full attention to our clients and stick to our niche.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
We don't really want to compete for web design, web development, hosting or other junk like that. We know our strengths and want to stick to them as closely as possible. Our strengths are social business strategy and content marketing with an event tailoring to them. Our days are mainly filled with research, planning and creativity. Event days are filled with energy, fun and a long list of deliverables. We want to get the biggest and longest bang from your event.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Canton?
We love our location. We're central for the most part, accessible and nimble. 10-minutes from the Akron-Canton Airport, 35-minutes to John Hopkins and Cleveland, and quick travel times to really anywhere in the U.S. This also reflects in our cost. We're central and can keep our price point low, which seems to be significantly higher the closer you get to the east and west coasts.
What resources or organizations in Canton did you take advantage of and how did they help?
The area chambers of commerce were a great launching pad for us. Our local support has been great. Although our product is a nationally based and targeted thing, we couldn't have gotten off the ground without the supportive community of Stark and Summit County.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
One of the stories I find myself talking more and more about is our recent trip to Cleveland for the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest
. We took over 4,000 branded photos in the square alone, not including our roaming event photography and video. And we released them in bursts onto Facebook. With less than 2,800 likes on their event page, we were able to help extend their reach to 1,493,382 profiles and averaged around 1,200 interactions per gallery. It’s a powerful tool and can share a message quickly and organically. We also added around 500 'likes' to the page as well, handled their entire social effort for the duration of the fest and the week after. This included blog updates, Facebook posts, tweets and email campaigning. I think WMCFest was really where we got our stride. We got to really flex our nerd muscles and put together a complete head to toe campaign that really blew them away.
What inspires you?
People. All of these different events we work, whether they're fundraising events, trade show, festivals or alike – it's the people and the energy they throw at their cause that inspire me. That's the stuff we love. We love aligning ourselves with passion and helping people, real people meet their goals. It’s very fulfilling work.
What founders do you admire and why?
Wow, well there are several! Jobs, Dell, Rockefeller, Disney, Gates, Carnegie… I think reading and knowing about founders and failures is dually important. I recently read a blog post about Michael Jordan and how he is one of the most failed athletes of all time. It goes on to say that he was a failure, because he knew what his goals were and that every time he missed a clutch shot, or lost a game, or got hurt – he failed. He was also arguably the most accomplished basketball player of all time because of his failures. I admire people that fail. I admire people that work hard and want to learn.
What’s next for you?
Events, events and more events! We have an ever-growing list of upcoming events ranging from trade shows that focus on attendee engagement to conferences and festivals that just want to create some online energy. One of which is the Content Marketing World
in Columbus. It should make for some interesting social sharing.
Interview by Joe Baur