Report: The Open Room Launches!

The Open Room was held today at Ogilvy with the tagline “where brands and bloggers connect”. I was one of the privileged bloggers to be invited, and I have to say I had a blast.

John Bell (who I had the honour of talking to for awhile) kicked it off with 12 points on the Code of Ethics for blogger outreach. Needless to say with my recent issues with journalist-blogger relations, this struck a chord with me and I have to say I think Ogilvy has got it spot on.

The Open Room was a great event for me as a blogger. I got to meet people I met previously from Social Media Breakfast: Singapore like Sheylara, Supriya, Jean, Ridz, Rinaz, Nicholas, Michael Netzley and Aaron, as well as some bloggers I know of online but never really met in person like the Tech 65 crew, Ian on the red dot, Sabrina, Plaktoz and Nadia, as well as a ton of people from Ogilvy. (I’m sure I’ve missed people out, let me know so I can add your link!)

The one thing that I felt was replicated from the IDC Conference was that the companies involved seemed a little unsure about what to do when meeting bloggers. We were identified clearly by our magenta tags (they had green), but yet the two groups never really mingled. I don’t think this is the “fault” of anyone in particular, just that this new social media space and community marketing concept are something corporations are just figuring out right now. I definitely hope this changes soon. I don’t want to be pitched by companies at events like these, but it would be nice to talk to them and find out more about them.

Y’know, start a conversation, have a relationship. Like real people.

For example, I was checking out the new Canon models (because my sister took my camera), but there wasn’t really anyone there I could talk to about it. In fact, most of the “green tags” were gone by 6:30pm. (Probably considered as overtime for them).

I think the issue here is simple: Bloggers have taken a step forward. Companies like Ogilvy have taken a very important step forward by organising something like The Open Room. Now the companies, the very people who the bloggers and agencies are trying to help and engage, need to take that step forward and be a part of the conversation, part of the community too.

After all, at the end of the day, for the bloggers it’s a blogger social event, but the companies should at least go back with something to show for it, be it a new blogger relation or a referral. Because otherwise, the time was wasted wasn’t it?

Edit: Forgot to insert the picture, but we got some swag from the event! Nice touch I must say. Anyone needs the PSP case? I don’t have one so feel free to ask for it. Don’t even think about the Nokia N-gage thumbdrive though!

Big thanks to Brian and Tania for inviting me, looking to future events!

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5 Responses to “Report: The Open Room Launches!”

  1. Ian On The Red Dot :: Someone Stole My ThumbDrive! Says:

    […] for one small surprise. The N-gage box was empty. Now, I know what was supposed to be inside. A thumbdrive! Karma’s a […]

  2. Tianhong Says:

    hey nice to meet you. hope to see ya for next event

  3. Jonathan Kong Says:

    Thanks for the article UF. Was looking forward to a post event writeup since this sounds really interesting and your article registered a ping.sg.

    On the point about the lukewarm interaction from the companies, I assumed it has to do with how much the personnels themselves are exposed and understand all things Social Media. In an ideal scenario, with a ‘in-hse’ social media evangelist of some sort.. it will helped to foster tighter the relationship between their own products with the people matters.

    You’re right about the conversation thingy. It’s never about the sale, it’s always about the relationship – build first by giving.

  4. Daryl Tay Says:

    @Tianhong: Nice to meet you too. Hopefully I’ll see you at the next SMB.

    @Jonathan: Interesting that you mention that. Quite a few articles floating around about whether there should be an in-house social media specialist/strategist. From my perspective the answer is a definite yes. Will a company be willing to spend money to bring that person in? I’m guessing it ranges from a maybe to a no for the majority of companies.

  5. Sheylara.com » Blog Archive » Was I at Ogilvy’s The Open Room or not? Says:

    […] has all the intelligent stuff, times two, so go and read his blog and leave me to my chocolate bar now, […]

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