What do a virtual berry tasting event and a game launch have in common?

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Last week, I went to a virtual berry tasting event.

Confused yet?

I was, too, when I first received a forwarded email invitation to a special event hosted by Driscoll’s.

Raspberry Bellini

So what was the event? Driscoll’s Moments was a combination cooking demo/tasting and Twitter party held on November 4. Rick Rogers, a well-known chef and food blogger, provided a cooking demonstration of five holiday recipes involving Driscoll’s raspberries. This demo took place at Food Pop Studios in front of a live audience comprised mainly of food bloggers (this was what my invitation was for).

Simultaneously, berry fans around the country livestreamed the demo, tweeted questions and comments, and held parties of their own, featuring those same five dishes. It was a really well-organized event that did a great job bridging online and offline foodie communities, all while connecting to a brand.

Brie with Raspberries & Pistachios

Since I am taking over as CHAOS agent for Seasoned Advice, our cooking Stack Exchange site, I attended the event to network and discuss Thanksgiving cooking issues. I got to sample a lot of food, meet some interesting people, and chat about Stack Exchange as a resource for chefs.

Why am I writing about this? It’s a very similar format to what we’re doing here at Stack Exchange HQ tomorrow with our Skyrim v. Modern Warfare 3 showdown. Livestreaming? Check. Platform for Q&A from the online community? Double check. Delicious food? Members of the community meeting each other in real life? Check and check.

Using a special event (like a holiday, or the launch of two huge games) as a way to tap into existing excitement and activity is almost a no-brainer for brands. The question is: what do you hope the impact to be? The Driscoll’s event was fun, but is there really a community of Driscoll’s fans I can continue to interact with? We hope that by introducing a crowd of gamers excited about these new releases to Stack Exchange, they will connect us with an exciting moment in their gaming lives and remember gaming.stackexchange.com as a great resource to ask all of their questions.

If you’re into Call of Duty and/or Skyrim, check out http://skyrimvsmw3.com/ and tune in for the livestream of our launch party tomorrow. Otherwise, check back here next week to see how it went!

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