Inside Innovative Minds: An Interview with Entrepreneur Ted Widen
By: Administrator 11/05/2013
Ted Widen pioneered the online social industry before the term “social media” existed with Chicago Scene—the premier nightlife industry online publication which focuses on events, nightclubs, restaurants and entertainment in the city. Today, Chicago Scene has more than 40,000 email subscribers and 10,000+ Facebook followers. Obviously with this kind of fanbase, Meet Advisors had to meet Mr. Widen to ask him three key questions.
Meet Advisors: You founded Global Scene Productions and its subsidiary Chicago Scene in 1998. Describe how the promotional landscape has changed since then.
Ted Widen: Social media has opened up a fantastic new set of options for principals and promoters alike. Facebook quickly evolved from a social media site for personal use to an absolute necessity of doing business. Where it had been viewed in the early stages of this metamorphosis as a direct attack to promoters, now, I would say, it and other companies like it such as Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and others serve us as valuable tools in our ability to promote ourselves and our sponsor clients.
Again, in the early days of the social media "attack" we saw this as predatory and one result was an increased focus on the event production side of our business. This was a great thing because it launched us into our craft beer segment where we now produce a series of craft beer festivals in addition to pub crawls. This has become a significant side of our business that we execute through our parent company Global Scene Productions and this area is growing very quickly.
MA: Why did you start Global Scene and Chicago Scene?
TW: Global Scene was originally founded to allow all the same values that Chicago Scene delivered at the local level to be possible in cities around the country and the world. Today, Global Scene still serves this function as parent company to Chicago Scene which now focuses 100% on promotion of events and happenings exclusively on the city of Chicago. Global Scene also focuses on event production which then can be promoted by regional promotion companies like Chicago Scene.
MA: What are the differences between the two?
TW: Very simple, Global Scene Productions creates and produces events on a global scale and acts as parent company to Chicago Scene which promotes these events at the local Chicago level. Going forward, other regional subsidiaries in other cities emulating Chicago Scene will be managed by Global Scene as well.