I spent today with an amazing group of bloggers as well as executives from Sears. We were in town to learn more about the Shop Your Way program as well as my Gofer and the Personal Shopper program. After last night’s fun at Zed451 it was time to get down to business, as well as have fun. So, we met in the morning in the Hotel Felix lobby and walked a couple of blocks down to the Kenmore Craftsman Live Experience. This was a working studio space with products from Craftsman and Kenmore. There were also some cool custom things like the Craftsman Chopper and this sweet radio.
We got to the space and everyone grabbed a seat around three round tables. As bloggers we unloaded our bags and set up our laptops and iPads and other blogging tools. We had a nice breakfast and then did introductions. All of the bloggers went around and introduced themselves and said what blog they did and their twitter handle and all that. I still didn’t get a chance to meet every single blogger there but I did meet many.
Then we broke up into little groups and went to five different stations and met with various people. We learned about My Gofer.com, Shop Your Way Rewards, The Shop Your Way site and iPhone app, Craftsman, Kenmore and Die Hard Brands and one other session on the Personal Shopper program. I learned a lot about all of the programs and will be talking more about them in future posts. I’m definitely setting up a personal shopper account to help friends and family with recommendations for products. People always ask me about buying electronics and now I can guide them to the right products for their lives. Also I can create catalogs for all sorts of things with the products that I think are best for Fathers Day, Christmas and more. Through Shop Your Way People can follow me and the brands and products that I enjoy. There is a lot more too it and it continues to evolve but it is really a different sort of experience for shopping.
I forgot to mention that right at the start of breakfast I got a professional headshot taken by a Sears Portrait Studio photographer. He took headshots for anyone who wanted one. We’ll be getting them sent to us later, I saw a few and liked how they came out.
After the rotating sessions we had lunch and then as a group we spoke with Adriana Llames the Division Vice President of Social Media Marketing for Sears. We had an honest discussion about what bloggers could do for the brand and what we’d like the brand to do for us when we work together. Some great ideas came about and they got me excited. There have been a few things I’ve done with Sears over the past few years through outlets like IZEA and Collective Bias. To work directly with brands would be a lot more up my alley because I like the relationships that I can build directly with people at different brands.
The one thing I would suggest for future meetings like this in the space would be to get the microphones out earlier so that everyone can hear and no matter how loud you think you are please use the mic out of courtesy to those of us who have a hard time separating background noise and the important words you are saying. There is a lot going on in the Kenmore Craftsman Experience and it gets very distracting. Speaking of distracting there was this video loop going in the studio of a guy making ribs. They were the best looking ribs ever and after seeing the loop about 30 times I was ready to bolt to the nearest rib shack. It was torture.
I had to leave quickly after that session and get to the airport for my flight home. I was working tonight and teaching a quick class on Google Mail for everyone. I couldn’t be late. Luckily the flights were on time and short (got middle seats again). I am nearing the end of the first book of Game of Thrones. I want to catch up to the episodes that are on TV now. I love how well the book and show are in sync. The show has translated the book into visual form amazingly.
Disclosure: I was flown out to Chicago, put up in a nice hotel, had good food and fun. I am under no obligation to write about or endorse anything about the experience. Opinions of the experience are 100% my own.
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