It's All-Star week in Kansas City.
A woman stands atop the Liberty Memorial and wonders on Twitter how tall it is. A visitor asks for suggestions for the nearest barbecue joint on the Visit KC Facebook page. Another man "checks in" on Foursquare after landing at Kansas City International Airport.
Meanwhile, volunteers in a command center track Kansas City-related keywords posted on social media platforms and respond:
217 feet. Gates on Main. Welcome.
For the first time at any All-Star game, Kansas City will operate a social media command center in the H&R Block World Headquarters, overlooking the Power and Light District. Teams of 10 volunteers will research and respond to social media users' posts, and share information about events and announcements, said mayoral spokesman Danny Rotert.
"The idea is to let people have a good experience in Kansas City," Rotert said.
By tracking and mapping what people in Kansas City are talking about during the July festivities, Rotert said the center can keep tabs on potential city-wide emergencies or issues with transit and traffic.
"We can spot problems earlier," Rotert said. "Those things pop up on social media pretty quick."
Rotert said the need for a command center was apparent after Indianapolis hired the digital marketing firm Raidious to create something similar for this past Super Bowl.
Taulbee Jackson, CEO of Raidious, said there was a high emphasis on risk management and scouting out problems or emergencies that popped up during the event, but the command center also responded to visitors' needs and created their own content surrounding the game.
"We were able to show how this could work," Jackson said.
Jackson said his company showed that social media could effectively monitor safety issues. Staffers picked up tweets from visitors witnessing a swaying stage and notified officials who fixed the problem. When they realized that an LMFAO concert was causing hold-ups on the road, officials rerouted traffic.
But unlike Indianapolis, whose command center was made up of Raidious employees as well as student volunteers, Kansas City's center will be manned by members of the Kansas City Social Media Club -- local residents with a passion for technology and the city.
"We felt it was really important that it was the voice of Kansas City," club president Joe Cox said.
Cox, who will also volunteer, said the purpose of the command center is two-fold: to act as "giant ears to pick up and curate conversations around Kansas City" and to engage with the public by answering their questions and fixing their problems.
And though the center will try to be "platform agnostic," some social media platforms such as Twitter will be easier to track then others.
People are encouraged to use the hashtag "#kc" while using Twitter during All-Star week, but the center will track and respond to Kansas City tweets whether it is used or not. The game is July 10.
The command center will be the voice for all the city's Visit KC social media pages, Cox stressed, and people can always reach out for help or look for content there.
Another initiative to show off different facets of Kansas City is also in the works. The city is developing three mobile applications that will be released in time for the All-Star Game but are meant to live on after it, said Alan Carr, vice president of marketing and communications for the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association.
One application will serve as a guide to Kansas City and include things to do, coupons and city-wide offers, as well as a special section related to all things All-Star, Carr said.
A Negro Leagues Baseball Museum application is in development and the city expects it to be released at the museum's Legends Luncheon on Friday. Another application, the "FanatiKC Challenge," will encourage users to visit 15 different city locations and "check-in" to win discounts or coupons from local stores. Carr said those that go to enough places can earn prizes such as giveaways or T-shirts.
The city hopes to roll out these applications within the next two weeks, Carr said.
In addition to sharing information about parking, event times and directions, the center will direct people to parts of the city outside of Major League Baseball-sponsored events, such as the Plaza or the 18th and Vine district, Rotert said.
Cox said that the focus of the command center will not be the All-Star Game itself, but the influx of people coming into the city.
"It's just a really cool opportunity to have something really big in Kansas City and show that 'social' is not just about being in front of a computer," he said. "It's connecting people not just online but off."
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