Employee Story: HPL/IFA through my eyes

It was 2006 when I first got enthusiastic about Social media and at the time it was just one of the many ways to remain in touch with my friends. Twitter in particular caught my attention as I thought it was a brilliant medium to convey my opinions and learn from others in 140 characters. If Facebook was the place to remain in touch with people you went to school with, Twitter was a medium to know people whom you wish you went to school with! (Source: Twitter, again). Thus I entered into this wonderful world of social media and 140 characters.

Cut to 2016 when I joined Lenovo. I could see the seriousness attributed to social by Lenovo. Leveraging the app,  Voicestorm, Lenovo was able to crowd source content. Considering I tweeted about Technology and Business, I found some really cool articles to share via the tool. I was informed in June 2017 that I was shortlisted for the final stage of the AP Social Champions Contest and my final task was to submit a post on why ‘Different is better’. A call went out to some of my good friends around the globe to help with my entry. As a result, I was selected as the winner, and the prize was a trip to attend IFA in Berlin.

The first thing I realized about the event is that Lenovo HPL/IFA is a meticulously planned event, right down to the last minor detail. To quote Stephanie Shi, Director of AP Marketing Communications, "The planning of the IFA 2017 event, began almost immediately after the 2016 IFA event in Berlin". I was given a briefing of the exact intierary of the four day event two months in advance. From then, my tickets were booked, visa processed and I reached Berlin on 29th August. 

The first meet up was the welcome lunch with Nick Reynolds and the AP Media/Staff on 30th August.  The Grand-Berlin, a school that was now a restaurant, was the venue of this meeting. It was a unique opportunity to get to know some of the media and influencers on the tour and the different backgrounds they came from. You bring thirty Tech influencers together for a lunch, and you can expect the only topic in the room would be technology and more technology! There was excitement about what would be the big reveal at the launch. Under strict NDA, the makers of the product presented what would be launched the next day at Lenovo HPL. It was in important session because it would be a precursor of what to expect during the big announcement. The major announcements were the Yoga 920, the Lenovo explorer with Mixed Reality, the Moto X4 and the collaboration project with Disney and Lucas films - Star Wars Jedi Challenges. After the presentation, the media managed to get up close with the products, have some quick interviews and then we were geared up and ready for the grand Holiday Product Launch the next day.

During IFA week, Berlin is the center of all the technology innovations. But Lenovo ensured we got a glimpse of the rich cultural and historical aspect of Berlin as well. The hospitality part of the media tour included a trip to the Berliner Dom that serves as a vital center for the Protestant Church of Germany. The trip also included a visit to the The Reichstag- that served as the German parliament, Holocaust Memorial, the Stasi Prison and the Berlin Wall memorial. These were somber reminders of the history of Berlin and represented a city that has truly transformed itself, staying true to its roots. 


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Next, it was time for the Lenovo Holiday Product launch. A strong underlying theme that was an evident during the launch was the power of partnerships. During the launch, Lenovo welcomed Intel, Disney and others to share stage and be part of the grand announcements. Minutes after the launch, the cyber world was buzzing with the latest news from Lenovo, courtesy the influencers and media who were present there. And the experience zones saw huge lines to try out the new products, especially Star Wars Jedi Challenges. 

The final day at Berlin was at IFA, and if you were a technology enthusiast there is no other place in the world you would wish to be that day. One day did not do justice to the plethora of companies and people who were displaying some cutting edge technologies there. Lenovo and Motorola saw a lot of footfalls and won up to 40 awards during the IFA week. My favorite session of the day came from Dr. Feiyu Xu where she explained Lenovo’s three wave strategy with a sneak peek into the future Lenovo products. Xiaole- an AI based full product lifecycle service, SmartVest- the world’s first medical-grade ECG wear, and using AR to provide remote diagnosis of an Engine! Terms like AI, AR, VR is no longer the future. It is here and waiting for you!

It is easy, sometimes, to be caught up in the day to day routine at Lenovo. At IFA I had the opportunity to meet the creators of the product and I can now appreciate a little better the various functions spread across geographies, that help run this amazing company. I was able to better understand the making of this mega event alongside the Marketing, PR and Product teams who prepared with the smallest details in mind (complete with 12am Fupans!). All this, when I was tweeting and writing posts on Voicestorm, Twitter and Facebook. Who says Social media is not rewarding?!