The History of Leisure and Recreation

When you stop to think about it, humankind has always enjoyed some type of leisure and recreation, so the history of leisure and recreation goes back a very long way. The Romans had the Coliseum, where they watched chariot races and other entertainment. The Greeks had amphitheaters where they viewed drama and comedy, and of course they invented the Olympics, one of the greatest entertainment sport spectacles on earth. The list goes on. Even the Bible discusses singing, dancing, music, and other forms of acceptable recreation, so even the most ancient civilizations enjoyed entertainment and recreation of some sort.

The Middle Ages

Life for most people in the Middle Ages was dark and difficult. More emphasis was put on work, and there was little time for leisure. However, jousting tournaments, hunting tournaments, and the earliest forms of chess, checkers, and other games developed during this time. The people worked hard, the Church forbade many forms of entertainment, but there were still leisure pastimes to help develop the growing history of leisure and recreation.

The Industrial Revolution

This history of leisure and recreation goes far back in time, but leisure and recreation really took off when the Industrial Revolution hit Great Britain in the 1700s. The Industrial Revolution revolutionized work in the modern world, and helped create the modern factory environment. Machines mechanized the manufacture of fabric and fibers, and this ultimately led to more leisure time for the workers. They worked long hours in the factories, but they also had time off, and most employers gave at least some holidays off. Thus, people who had labored from dawn to dusk on farms in rural England, moved to the big city, got jobs in factories, and had leisure time away from their jobs. The Industrial Revolution helped create the notion of leisure time, and it helped create a different view of work and leisure.

The 20th Century

If the Industrial Revolution helped create the history of leisure and recreation, the 20th century helped cement it. Workers demanded shorter working hours, paid vacations and holidays, and weekends off, leading to even more leisure time for the world’s workforce. Today, work and leisure are still strictly separated, but leisure time and recreation are some of the most important aspect of modern life, showing how the history of leisure and recreation has altered throughout time, and become increasingly popular as people gain more freedom from work and toil.

Tribal Warfare

It’s interesting to note that the wide separation between work and leisure in our modern society is something that wasn’t necessary in early, tribal cultures. Early man (and woman), worked when it was necessary to find food or to create items they needed to live, but they did not work continually, they interspersed work with pleasure or leisure, something our society not longer enjoys. For example, in Native American societies, boys “played” at war and warfare, but this play taught them how to use a bow and arrow, useful for hunting as well as defending the tribe. Work became play, while today, the two terms are decidedly distinct.

A Short Article on Technology

The world has undergone severe changes over the past decade. We now live in a world where communication is paramount. It seems that everyone and everything is connected in some way.

For school students this has made things much more efficient. Research papers that used to involve hours of laborious effort, can now be searched and documented without ever touching a card catalog or a periodic index. Worlds of information are now available at the click of a mouse.

Questions that people pondered without any answer previously can now simply be typed into any convenient search engine and answered almost immediately. There are countless sites filled with informative short articles all over the Internet. Videos and music can now be seen on demand and news from across the world can be delivered in an instant.

There are some people who worry that the technological revolution and evolution we are experiencing today is moving too fast. There seems to be a loss of privacy in some respects and the specter of a Big Brother society looms larger than it has since 1984. Whether their fears are well founded or not will remain to be seen, but it is unlikely that people will ever willingly Give up the almost instant connections to our wired world.

Flying in the face of these fears are individuals who share their worlds through their blogs. What used to be shared with only close friends is now put online for millions of people to see if they should happen upon the blogger's website. Individuals are learning to take advantage of this by using their well placed blogs to sell products and services. The internet has allowed individuals an opportunity to step on to the same playing field as the big boys of business. With the right information and the ability to get it seen, anyone can now reach the masses and share their thoughts, feelings and even sales pitches.

Businesses as well as individuals have come to relly on the Internet as a source of advertising and actual sales. Entire business models have been constructed and thriving based solely on using Internet websites. It is rare today to find a traditional brick and mortar establishment that does not have some type of online presence. Any business that does not adapt and grow to keep up with the latest technology seriously risks being left behind in the wake of their competitors who choose to ride technology's leading edge.

Time will tell where this all will lead. We should make the most of the positive capabilities technology promises, but we should also keep a careful watch on where we are going.

Attending Shows & Concerts? Which to Choose Among Budget Hotels & Luxury Hotels?

If you are attending an event in a big city, it is always advisable to plan your accommodation in advance. Most travelers are always looking for events that promise fun including concerts and shows as part of their itinerary. Whether you are a boat, trade or home and garden show, it is highly likely that you will not be alone.

Most hotels within the vicinity of the venue will have more guests than usual. Other than the competition for available rooms, you should also consider the type of establishment you find. Over the years, lodgings have changed tremendously from ordinary places to stay a night to become homes-away-from-home.

In today's establishments, guests are treated to excellent settings where they enjoy modern amenities and services including Wi-Fi, cable television, video games, mini-bars, on-site restaurants, sports facilities, laundry services and so much more.

Budget and luxury facilities are the most popular options for travelers attending these events. If you are planning to attend a renovation show, it is important to get more insight on these facilities to help you make a better choice.

Budget Hotels in Brief

These establishments are ideal for guests looking for an affordable place to stay without compromising on quality. Basic facilities including beds, washing area and toilets are available but you should not expect to find a prior or ambient environment at the price you are paying for.

Luxury Hotels

If you want to indulge during your travels, a luxury hotel is a good idea. The rooms are well detailed to create an ambient and prestigious environment while the facilities are designed with comfort and elegance in mind. Guests enjoy 5-star features including spas, gyms, Wi-Fi and restaurants and more. The catering is excellent and personalized services are also available.

When it comes to choosing the best place to stay, it is important to first assess your unique needs. For instance, when attending a trade show in the city, your accommodation requirements will differ from a vacationer's. It is also important to determine your budget because this will help you choose the best place to stay.

Location is also a critical consideration which even overrides the cost. When traveling for a particular show, you must ensure you stay close by. This saves you the cost of commuting and makes it easier to sightsee. If you are traveling to see your best band in concert, make sure you find lodgings near the concert hall to guarantee easy access at any time of day or night.

Choosing between luxury and budget establishments depends on affordability and your preference. Always make sure you do your research to find the best accommodation during your travels.

What Is Digital Marketing? A Guide to Marketing in Today’s Digital World

In the world of business development and branding, going digital is all the buzz. So just what is digital marketing and how can we use it to grow our businesses?

Digital Marketing Defined

Digital marketing is the advertising and promotion of businesses and their brands through digital media channels. Digital media, at the moment, includes websites, social media, radio, television, mobile and even forms of traditionally non-digital media such as billboards and transit signs. Essentially any marketing media that is delivered electronically is considered digital marketing.

This leaves only various forms of person-to-person (P2P) marketing, print advertising and direct marketing outside of the digital marketing umbrella. Even then, print ads, direct mail, print directories, billboards and posters are all starting to connect to their digital counterparts. With items like URL landing pages, QR codes, web banner advertising, online directories and text codes, traditional marketing and advertising almost always has a digital marketing connection.

Why the Focus on Digital Media?

The shift to digital media is being driven by marketing agencies, business owners and consumers alike. The ever-increasing demand to show quantifiable results makes going digital a dream for the digital marketing agency. Most digital media, including websites, social media and mobile advertising is much easier to track than traditional marketing media such as print advertising.

For business owners, many forms of digital advertising are very low cost. Having a web presence, engaging customers in conversations through social media and e-mail marketing are low cost alternatives to print advertising and direct mail. These digital channels are available to businesses of any size, and help to even the playing field for start-ups, small businesses and independent consultants seeking new business.

For consumers, the fast pace of life makes digital advertising a must. When consumers are in need of goods and services, gone are the days of thumbing through a phonebook to find them. Now, we whip out our mobile devices or head to our computers for answers – and we find them fast.

Using Digital Media to Build Your Business and Brand

No matter what size your business is – large or small to medium sized business / enterprise (SMB or SME) – you can effectively market your business through low-cost digital channels. The foundation of your marketing efforts will be your website. Invest wisely in your website, and be sure that it does the following:

  • Adequately represents your business and brand (look and feel, messaging)
  • Adequately speaks to your target audience
  • Can be found by searchers on top search engines
  • Is up-to-date and easily navigable
  • Provides multiple channels for customer communication
  • Connects to other marketing efforts

It is recommended that you work with a professional web design firm that is skilled in web development and search engine optimization. Because your website is the foundation to and from which all other digital channels will lead, it should be considered one of your top business investments.

Once you have your website complete, the next steps would be to launch regular monthly or bi-monthly e-mail campaigns, and connect with customers via social media. If you are truly on a shoestring budget, these are efforts that can be done in-house (by someone with the proper knowledge) or for a low cost by an outside digital marketing agency. Be sure that all of your efforts lead customers back to your website where they can fully engage with your business, products and services, and choose the channels through which they contact you.

If you’re interested in getting aggressive with search marketing, you can set aside some digital marketing dollars for search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. Many businesses today rely heavily on being found online to gain new customers. A common misconception among business owners is that simply having a website means that customers will find it. Not so. Your site must be built with specific key words and phrases, meta data, page content and linking strategies that will help it reach top search rankings.

Because many key words and phrases have stiff competition for top search rankings, you will need to supplement your organic search engine optimization efforts with pay-per-click advertising. Getting established with pay-per-click advertising campaigns can be a little daunting, but with a little time, effort and instruction, that too can be accomplished in-house, or for a reasonable cost through an outside digital marketing agency.

Beyond e-mail, social media marketing and search engine marketing, you can venture into a host of other digital marketing efforts. Mobile advertising, radio, television, electronic billboards and much more are available as marketing outlets. Whatever digital efforts you choose, they should all connect and tie into your foundation – your company website.

If you have the means, a wise investment would be to engage the services of a digital marketing agency to assist in your marketing efforts. Today, many digital agencies offer multiple levels of service to accommodate businesses large and small.