Every day, people visiting Apple Stores around the world share photos and videos of their creativity using the hashtag #todayatapple. Impressive portraits, illustrations, songs, and movies reveal remarkable talent unlocked by attending in-store sessions. The posts are inspiring and remind me that even ordinary people like myself can make something extraordinary today. But what happens tomorrow?
Many customers attending Today at Apple sessions have no formal background in the creative arts. First-time visitors often drop in unplanned. When you’re already in a store, it’s easy to be drawn in by activities happening on the video wall. Seeing the creative process firsthand and the work of other customers shown during a session makes trying something new more approachable.
But browsing the session schedule online can cause hesitation. What will I make? Is this session worth my time? Am I skilled enough to keep up? What have past attendees created? The professional video trailers and photography on Apple’s website are a great primer, but can’t completely substitute for real customer creations.
Taking Skills To The Next Level
Apple says that Today at Apple sessions are meant to “inspire learning and encourage connection between participants looking to take their skills to the next level.” With just over two years of global sessions in the books, it’s time to highlight the unique ways customers have been leveling up.
One of my favorite Today at Apple anecdotes was told at last October’s Apple keynote in Brooklyn. Artist Sara Franci illustrated and published a children’s book after learning how to use Procreate on an iPad through a few sessions at her local Apple Store. Her story was even featured on the App Store Today tab and culminated with her own Kids Hour art session in Milan.
Sara’s journey is the perfect template for future features and shows how learning doesn’t have to end when you walk out of the store. There are undoubtedly inspiring success stories for each of the passions Today at Apple teaches just waiting to be told. After all, over 18,000 sessions are held every week. Entire communities of budding photographers, filmmakers, musicians, and app developers could be springing up thanks to interests kickstarted at the Apple Store.
Global Platforms For Global Talent
How can Apple go about highlighting creative success stories? Today at Apple already offers promotion for established creators that host sessions in its stores. These individuals receive the opportunity to tell their story in front of an audience in their own community and are featured with a short biography on the session signup page. By sharing the stage with these creators at individual stores, Apple is trying to build what it calls “global platforms for local talent.”
On Instagram, Apple’s official account often features photos and videos from customers #ShotoniPhone, but these are not frequently related to in-store sessions. The retail side of Apple has no official social media pages aside from Deirdre O’Brien’s personal Instagram account. A more robust online presence would give Apple the opportunity to curate the #todayatapple hashtag and make sure great content gets featured.
The Apple Store app would also be a great place to spotlight customer work. Once primarily a gateway to purchase products through the Apple Online Store, the app is now more of a companion to the physical store experience. Soon, you’ll even use the app to view augmented reality artwork in a series of new art sessions.
To promote those new AR sessions, Apple built an incredibly detailed feature article for the Apple Store app and the web with photo galleries and documentary-quality artist profile videos. I was excited to see the article, as I’ve long hoped for the equivalent of the App Store’s Today tab in the Apple Store app. You can even share the article just like a Today tab story. More importantly, it shows how naturally editorial content fits into the app. Using this format to highlight how customers have taken their skills further through Today at Apple would create a global platform for global talent.