Hosting a Lounge at a Conference

24 Aug

In the past month, I’ve attended the ever popular with brands- BlogHer and the newly minted 20 Something Blogger Summit (20sbsummit).  The bloggers at both events, were great, as were the speakers.  However, the difference in lounges and brand outreach was completely unique (and that was by design I’m sure).

As a tech/geek gal, I’m someone who obviously would skip the fashion or toy lounges for the tech lounges.   While out at BlogHer, I went to two lounges (HTC and LG) and had a completely different experience than I did at the Lenovo Lounge at 20sbsummit. All were unique in how they were reaching individuals.

HTC had a very aesthetically pleasing room.  Along the lines of their green color branding, you felt like you walked into a stone spa- that just happened to also have tablets and phones.  In the back, they were hosting oh so secret focus groups and to the back right, they had massages.  While I thoroughly enjoyed my message and the tranquil beauty of the lounge.  I did find that the individuals in the lounge were lacking in knowledge of the products on display, and didn’t really want to carry on a full conversation (At least when I was there- which in all fairness was the last day of the conference-among the final hours).  The thing was, this warm and welcoming environment did bring in several women to the Lounge.  This, as opposed to the LG lounge which was fairly bare and unexciting.  However, I spent a ton of time in the lounge speaking with the LG Rep who worked specifically for LG (not a PR rep from a firm) and could share stories about his own experiences and more.   Finally, there was the Lenovo Lounge which was warm and inviting and had a good mixture of people to talk to and great conversation.

From this experience, I really took a few things away.  The first is that there is no replacement for having actually company representatives who understand the product and are inviting.  Basically, you want your best brand advocates.  Also- please don’t send people who don’t understand the demographic.  BlogHer had a ton of different brands, but I can tell you there was one brand in particular that left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths because they just didn’t interact well with others.  That obviously becomes a problem, because as a brand, you are there to help other people learn more about your company.  If you can’t be inviting and engaging, you probably are doing more harm than good.

Either way, the Lenovo Lounge at 20sbsummit probably get’s my favorite vote with LG and than HTC following.  To me, content will always be more important than style, but a marriage of the two is ideal for everyone involved. I spent over an hour and a half in the Lenovo Lounge playing around with the new ThinkPad Tablet (which OMG guys, I totally want one. It’s so lovely and productive, and awesome) and eventually chatting with the amazing Kionna Coleman (one of their wonderful Social Media Reps).  Before this, I am completely ashamed to say that I only vaguely knew about Lenovo.  But they’ve done an amazing job with their tablet line, and I look forward to seeing them go head to head with the Apple iPad.

And being completely honest, before the events, I was on board and seriously considering the HTC Flyer.  However, after my experience in the HTC Lounge versus LG versus Lenovo- I honestly think the ThinkPad Tablet is my top choice  in my pursuit to give up my silly little smart phone.


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