EF: Passion(ate) About Education - guest blog by modig!media
by Guest Editor, Lance VanDyke Salemo : modig!media
Cambridge, MA | September 26, 2012
When is a groundbreaking not a groundbreaking? When it’s a social/multimedia event that features electropop darlings Passion Pit as the headlining act!
EF (Education First), an international study-abroad and language-instruction leader that blends technology with education, knows how to throw a party. Under a crisp, blue New England sky, September 25th marked the official unveiling of EF’s planned $125-million North American headquarters at Cambridge's North Point Park, in the shadow of the iconic Zakim Bridge.
Sure, there were the usual hallmarks of such ceremonies: shovels and hardhats; speeches by politicians and execs, from Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to EF's charismatic CEO, Alex Hult, and a cadre of media journalists and photographers there to report the story.
But what set this event apart was the youthful enthusiasm and innovation so typical of EF.
The company engaged social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to generate an early buzz for their “Hello World” campaign, and that excitement continued on site as the day unfolded: a fire boat salute from the Charles River; a crowd brimming with vibrantly colored pink shirts, jackets and balloons; multiple buffet tables of food, beer and wine; a throng of Boston-area food trucks; green-screen photo tents inserting subjects into exotic locales around the globe; branding and impact videos on the stage-flanking Jumbotrons; a constant online presence teeming with chatter and images direct from the event, and reporters covering the ceremony on the run, using social media tools to file live accounts.
And then there was the band.
Passion Pit, a local act with a global following, performed a stripped-back, 6-song mini-set to cap off the afternoon. The crowd rushed the stage to hear selections from all of the band’s releases, including recent full-length Gossamer. They reworked some of their more well-known numbers, like “Take A Walk” and “Sleepyhead,” for this “acoustic” performance, but their up-beat drive remained intact and the crowd responded enthusiastically.Continued on the next page