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Sometime back I had donned a new hat and what followed was a very interesting afternoon.
I conducted a bloggers meet for the Philips Saeco Coffee Machines and it was called the Philips Brew Camp. It was a new experience for me. Bloggers meets are an increasingly popular way used by marketers to reach out to their consumers. The idea is to invite bloggers over and then have them write about it. I have attended a few of these as a blogger. Not too many though as I try write about events that naturally happen in ones life in the blog than about those in marketing events. So conducting a blogger’s meet was an interesting challenge and I jumped at the idea when the nice folks from Avian Media approached me to conduct it. What’s life without trying something new after all?
Trying something new comes with its challenges and there was a dual responsibility here. Firstly to the bloggers who would come to the event who should not go back feeling that it was a waste of time. And of course to the folks at Philips and Avian who had reposed their faith in me. The afternoon had to be worth their while too. A lot of time went into prepping and planning for this and quite a few telecons with the Avian and Philips teams followed to help plan for the event till d-day arrived. We had to decide on the activities. Do the research. Fix on a baker. Decide on the menu. Then the venue which turned out to be Ave 29 in South Mumbai, quite a nice facility for workshops. All the planning was quite novel and interesting for me as I have never really planned for an event before. What helped was that we worked as a team to put this together.
The event happened on Saturday, 16th November 2013. We started off with getting to know each other and our feelings about a quiz. Next was a quiz on coffee which helped wake up our group of bloggers. This was followed by a session on the types of coffee beans. Preparing for both the sessions was a great learning experience for me too and it was great to talk to folks about the coffees from the Americas, Africa and Asia. Just as coffees can be of different types, so can be our cappuccino personalities and we went through a fun exercise to see what the various cappuccino personalities in the room were. A lot of this came to life in the pairing session that followed. A mix of cappuccinos and espressos and mochaccinos were made using the Philips Saeco espresso machines. It was impressive to see the coffees come out of the coffee machines and the room was shrouded with the aromas of coffee.The participants were divided into groups and they had to pair the coffee on their tables with the lovely bakes that Aditi Juneja of Socially Foodie had prepared for the event. The results of the pairing were quite interesting and a lot of subjectivity and creativity came into play. By then the audience was quite warmed and ready for one more activity. So the winners of the events of the day got to try out some coffee art on the cappuccinos whipped up on the Philips Saeco machines and we got to see some brilliant creativity from the participants before we wrapped and headed for lunch.
I quite enjoyed the experience at the end. I love conducting workshops and doing a blogger meet was a new experience. Having been on the other side this time I think the afternoon helped drum up a new found respect for those who hold blogger events. I got to see the planning and work that goes into it to ensure that those who come to the event had a good time to start with.
Once again the world of blogging had made me step out of my comfort zone and try out something new. It was a great feeling.
The following are links to some of the blog posts written about the event:
Karishma Shah of Sugar Rushes: http://sugarrushes.blogspot.in/2013/11/the-philips-brew-camp.html
The Cupcake Confessions: http://thecupcakeconfession.com/2013/11/23/blogger-life-1-the-philips-brewcamp-with-kalyan-karmakar/
Aditi Pathak’s A Life Unpacked: http://lifeunpacked.blogspot.in/2013/11/a-saturday-well-spent-at-philips-brew.html