Monday, September 30, 2013

New Award!

The Center has just won a $45,000 grant from the Department of Commerce.  The team will be establishing a brand identity and tourism marketing strategy for the 10-county region of the Pee Dee, a region of South Carolina plagued by high poverty and unemployment, low educational levels, and a high number of dislocated workers. The team will undertake a brand-building exercise, create a strong unified tourism brand for the Pee Dee region, and provide a strategy for promoting this brand through innovative digital marketing strategies, whilst creating economic indices to measure the effectiveness of these initiatives. The ultimate goal is job creation.
Simon Hudson will be speaking at the 5th Annual Ignite! Event in November. Speakers names were released by the Free Times on September 18. Sponsored by the public-private collaborative effort EngenuitySC, Ignite! is described as an “annual celebration of the Midlands’ knowledge economy.” Pictured above is USC President Harris Pastides and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin at the 2012 Ignite! event. The Free Times article can be seen at:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Study finds music festivals increasingly engaging with consumers using social media

A study just published in the International Journal of Event and Festival Management, found a high degree of sophistication in the implementation of social media by music festival marketers. For example, the Bonnaroo festival in the U.S. uses radio frequency identification (R.F.I.D) technology to foster engagement with visitors, creating millions of impressions (see picture above). They also successfully employ geo-location software, using Foursquare to reward fans with a unique festival experience. When the festival ends they encouraged visitors to continue the conversation, asking them to tag themselves in the picture where they camped. The paper, written by Dr. Hudson and his son Rupert, a student in the Moore School of Business, can be accessed at:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Congratulations to Simon Hudson!

It was just announced today that Simon Hudson is an inaugural recipient of the Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award presented by the Office of the Vice President for Research.  This new award seeks to honor those faculty members who are not only outstanding researchers, but also go above and beyond their normal academic responsibilities to have a significant impact on USC and the community. Dr. Hudson will be featured in the fall Breakthrough special publication, and featured on the USC home page to be recognized for his service and accomplishments.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

China’s ‘Hawaii’: Climbing the Curve of Customer Service

Ritz-Carlton is known worldwide as a leader in customer service. Its quaintly old-fashioned credo is 'we are ladies and gentleman serving ladies and gentlemen'. But how does this translate to a remote island in the South China Sea? This article just published in Hotel Business Review looks at the Ritz-Carlton Sanya on Hainan Island and focuses on General Manager Michel Goget’s efforts to keep the hotel at the number one position on the island. Training is key, but the hotel’s policy is to do considerable groundwork before the guests’ arrival – even to the extent of providing a ‘romanceologist’ to orchestrate romantic evenings, proposals and engagements to create the perfect environment for couples.
To read the article, click here: