March 2014: Spotlight Event of the Month

Heartland Farm Sanctuary held their fourth annual Gala, A Barn in Bloom, here at The Madison Concourse Hotel last month. It was a celebration for both humans and animals alike and both were in attendance. Guests could participate in live and silent auctions benefiting the sanctuary while enjoying their meals, desserts, and cocktails.

Check out images from the event below!

Social Media Changes for 2014 (Part 2)

(Photo from (

Part one of the blog post explored three of the biggest social media sites in the world. The four featured here in part two are working on changes for 2014 that could give Facebook and Twitter a run for their money.

TUMBLR: The popular, Yahoo owned blogging site has undergone some groundbreaking changes so far in 2014. One of the biggest improvements we’ve seen this year is the site’s improved security measures. Tumblr users can now choose to install a two-factor authentication method for their account.
Tumblr’s official staff blog describes the new security system by saying, “You know how you need two keys to launch a nuclear missile? Two-factor authentication works like that. One key is your password, the other key is your cellular phone, and you need both to access your Tumblr Dashboard.”
Users have to manually change their security settings, but it’s a super easy process, requiring only a click of the mouse and entering a six digit code into the website. Learn more about it here.

LINKEDIN: LinkedIn has introduced several new tools this year to help businesses use the site more effectively. One of these tools, the content marketing score, measures the effectiveness of a business’ content by taking the total number of unique LinkedIn members who engaged with any post by the company, then dividing that by the total audience of active LinkedIn users that you’d like to reach. In other words, it tells you what fraction of your target audience you’re actually reaching. The image below also explains the new tool.

LinkedIn will also soon be providing a list of trending topics to business’ that are popular with their target audience. The site’s new features show that they’re not only committed to helping job seekers, but businesses looking for prospective employees as well.

GOOGLE +: Is Google+ going to take over social media in 2014? It just might, if it all goes by the numbers. According to a recent article on, a Forrester Research poll shows the site ranks second, only to Facebook, in number of monthly visits. The report also found that Google Plus fans engage more with brand posts than they do on Twitter. The social network recently added a view count to all business pages, letting both companies and their followers see exactly how popular they are. Google+ also celebrated a successful April Fool’s Day prank this year, with automatic photobombs by David Hasselhoff in pictures added to the site on April 1. Their latest updates and marketing efforts show they’re not a social network to ignore.

INSTAGRAM: Last year, the image editing app was bought by Facebook, and despite concerns about “selling out,” it swelled in popularity. The app’s user base is expected to double by 2016. Instagram also remains unique in that it can only be used on smartphones. Instagram’s smartphone user count rose above Twitter’s in 2013, and according to eMarketer, it will continue to beat out the social network in the years to come.

2014 is obviously going to be another year of massive changes in the world of social media! We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Social Media Changes for 2014 (Part 1)

What sites are growing? Which are failing? The answers to these questions constantly change in the world of social media. 2014 promises continued rapid growth and decline in the world’s newest way to connect. Let’s take a look at what each site has been up to so far this year, and what we can expect next.

FACEBOOK: Another re-design and new video advertisements are some of the world’s largest social network’s biggest news stories for 2014 so far. Facebook is trying to recover from the news of 2013, that younger users are leaving Facebook, as many of them believe it has become the social site for their parents rather than themselves. Though it may be losing the teen market, the site still has more users than any other social network. In other good news, the newly public company’s stock has had a recent rally, proving the enormous global company can’t be written off as quickly as some would like.

TWITTER: Twitter has been getting a lot of buzz lately, especially after Oscar night. If you’ve been hiding from the internet and aren’t aware, Ellen DeGenres took a selfie (above) with some of the biggest movie stars in the world, and the photo was retweeted over 2 million times, setting a new record. The night itself was huge for Twitter, and after the photo was uploaded to the site, the whole network crashed. Unfortunately, crashing has become almost the new norm for Twitter, leaving many users fed-up. Check out this great Wired Blog about why the social network can’t afford to keep having technical difficulties.

PINTEREST: Pinterest has changed the way people shop, craft and create. The site recently announced it would begin to have advertisements, and in typical adorable Pinterest fashion, the news was broken by a formal email letter to each user from the CEO. According to Business Week, ads will begin appearing in Pinterest feeds at the end of 2014. The site is gradually easing viewers into the commercialized transition by creating a new “Gifts” feed, featuring only product pins. Users can even arrange the pins by price.

Updates on Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn coming soon!

January 2014: Spotlight Event of the Month

The Madison Concourse Hotel had the privilege of recently hosting an event for the Kappa Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The luncheon was attended by about 120 sorority sisters. Since the organization’s founding in 1908, the group’s mission has been to “cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, and to maintain a progressive interest in college life.” Their guiding slogan is “To be of service to all mankind.” We are glad we could be of service to these lovely ladies, providing them with their signature color lime green and pastel pink napkins and decorations. Thank you for choosing The Madison Concourse Hotel, Kappa Psi Omega!

Spotlight Event of the Month: November 2013

The women of Alpha Phi Iota at the University of Wisconsin-Madison held their annual Red Dress Gala here at The Madison Concourse Hotel this November, and we were so thrilled to host this wonderful event. The sorority held the gala in support of women’s heart health and cardiac care. All proceeds and donations went to the UW Hospital-Heart and Vascular Unit along with the Alpha Phi Foundation. Parents, family and close friends of the sorority members joined the girls for an evening that included hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, games, a guest speaker and entertainment. Attire was formal cocktail, and especially red in support of the cause.


We’re so thrilled to announce that thanks to our past clients we’ve been awarded the Wedding Wire 2014 Couples’ Choice Award! The award is given to the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide for excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Thank you to all our brides for making us Madison’s premier wedding venue!


We’re so thrilled to announce that thanks to our past clients we’ve been awarded the Wedding Wire 2014 Couples’ Choice Award! The award is given to the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide for excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Thank you to all our brides for making us Madison’s premier wedding venue!


2014 is an exciting year for the Concourse Hotel, our new renovations have begun! Check out our website for the details. We have a lot changes coming up that we cannot wait to share with you, so go to our renovations page to get a preview!

We are currently getting creative with our storage space in preparation for all of the new changes. We are already anxious to see the final result. We will continue to keep you posted with updates as construction progresses!

Spotlight Event of the Month: October 2013

Our spotlight event of the month for October 2013 is the Sparkle of Hope Ball hosted by the UW Carbone Caner Center and the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This event has been held here at The Madison Concourse Hotel for the last three years. The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, and concluded with dinner and a program celebrating women and recent advances in women’s cancer research. The event also featured a comedian this year, to keep the night fun and entertaining. Thanks to the UW Carbone Cancer Center and the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for choosing us to host this wonderful event!

Children’s Holiday Party 2013

The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us, and we are so excited to celebrate one of our favorite Concourse traditions: our annual Children’s Holiday Party. The event will be held on Thursday December 19, and will bring together 350 local children from community organizations like The Dane County Boys and Girls Club. The children will enjoy a fun filled afternoon that includes a kid-friendly buffet, cookie decorating, craft stations, holiday pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Grinch, and special visits from local celebrities including Bucky Badger and Maynard the Mallard.

Click here to see the photo album from the 2011 party.

Interested in involving your business in a great cause this holiday season? Consider donating! We’re looking for small gifts for the approximately 350 children attending. The gift would need to be available in bulk and appropriate for ages 5-11. Contact Marketing Manager Joan Herzing at for any inquires or if you are interested in donating!

Volunteers are also needed for this event! Contact Stephanie LaBella at for more information!

Helpful Meeting Planner Apps

Smartphones and tablets are essential for any meeting or event planner. But have you heard of these helpful apps?:

Point & Measure turns your iPhone into measuring tape. Point your iPhone camera at an object and the app will tell you its height. It can also give you the dimensions of a meeting room or event space just by pointing your device at the opposite wall. You can save the measurements in your photo library and send it to an email recipient, or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. The newest update to the app also has a built in calibration and zoom for even more precise results. Great for site visits! $1.99 in the App Store. Check out this how-to video for more information.

Google Hangouts app is an instant messaging and video-chat platform that facilitates conversations between multiple users. You can have up to 10 people on the call simultaneously on this free app available for Apple devices and Android. Updates in the newest version include emojis and “anytime messages” which allow you to message people not online. The newest version also has a snooze setting for the times when you’d prefer to be undisturbed by alerts.

Check-in Easy is another free app which makes check-in at your events fast and simple. When you download your registration list from Excel into the app, it alerts you when someone checks in to your event. The app can hold guests lists of up to 20,000. Unique boarding pass technology lets planners send an email with a unique barcode to each guest, so they can be scanned in at the door with either an iPad 2 or iPhone. A new feature of the app allows you to text all your guests messages at once, ie. “Silent auction closing in 10 minutes!” Check-in Easy is available for iPads, iPhones, Android devices, and the Web.