Sharing is caring - Lenovo Malaysian Bloggers Meet-up

by Cleo Lee
 
Blogger meet-up events are becoming more and more mainstream.   Last year, Lenovo held two such meet up events to connect with influential bloggers in Singapore.    April 23, 2009, the place to be was the Metropol Gourmet Bar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as Lenovo extended blogger hospitality to new members of the  ASEAN  community.
 
metropol
 

What made this one special?  This was the first such meet up I've been able to personally attend, and while I frequently interact with many of our customers in forums,  the relaxed ambiance and face to face interactions truly made the night a wonderful opportunity to share perspectives openly. Before the event started, a few colleagues of mine like Derrick Koh from Comms, Jimmy Chin from desktop Product Team, HuiHui and Ella from Marketing, were busy chit chatting with the invited bloggers who arrived earlier. Attendees like Kugan the mobile technologies magazine writer, Brian the moderator of Malaysia famous lowyat.net forum, Lim Yung-Hui, James Yeang, Tham Keng Yew and Carolyn Chan the only female attendee, generously gave  their time to join this first ever meet-up held by Lenovo in Malaysia.    Speaking of which, Daniel C., the organizer of BarCampKL, is the person we have to really thank  for helping us reach out to many popular Malaysian tech bloggers.  Kudos!   A big thanks to  Kugan for helping get the word out on this meet-up during the final days before the event. All of us were continuously served with finger food like prawn meatball, salmon and sushi with unagi. It was exceptionally delicious!

salmon

prawnmeatball
 

As usual, the event kicked off with the product show case, followed by hands-on sessions featuring  recently released products in Malaysia, such as the Y series IdeaPad Y450, Y650, netbook S10, and the one and only desktop IdeaCentre A600, with it's amazing high definition 21.5” screen.   Amongst these machines, I must say that the A600 attracted much of the attention from the bloggers as well as the staff who worked in Metropol.  We were a bit surprised to know the workers are also in love with IdeaCentre A600.

machines_on_deck1

Seemingly, everyone was drawn to this system as if by some unseen magnetism.   Games of table tennis, played with the remote controller that comes along with the system were a crowd favorite - soon nearly everyone tried their hand at it.  This was my first opportunity to give it a try, and I found it curiously addictive.  Really cool!

a600_table_tennis

Throughout the event, I realized that many attendees were forming new perceptions about Lenovo. Some people thought Lenovo was previously part of IBM; some of them were not immediately familiar with Lenovo products or key differentiators.  It is still a very new company in the eyes of Malaysians, and so I felt very fortunate that we were able to have this meet up, and introduce ourselves as Lenovo in this way. The format of  "the blogger meet-up", as an event which enables real authentic two way communication seems particularly beneficial to both parties.  Lenovo is not only able to share brand and identity messages with the end users, but also able to garner a lot of candid and  valuable feedback.   Be it a compliment or constructive criticism, we are making our best effort to be there to listen and improve as well. But beyond the discussions around the products, I found some of the most valuable conversations were those in which we learned about what our customers are doing, what they are most passionate about. I was truly inspired by the stream of great ideas that flowed easily from the young and talented entrepreneur, Michael Teoh, a President of Youth Entrepreneur Malaysia.  The club was just established four weeks prior, and already has an amazing record whereby 100 youths have endorsed this club in an hour! It is indeed a great start! Michael has been entrepreneur at heart since his high school days. I learned  a lot from him with his experience of proposing and handling a nearly 400 thousand Ringgit Malaysia project to create buzz and boost sales for a telecommunication operator in Malaysia. Amazingly, he was still a college student when he was assigned with such a big job that was supposedly run by an experienced project manager.   However, he made it.   He dazzled everyone with his true ability, and of course with many sleepless nights of hard work.. Michael shared his focus on young entrepreneurs, encouraging them to be  innovative. I couldn't help reflecting Lenovo’s tagline, New World, New Thinking.   He suggested getting the youths to compete for a project, for example, a project that could perhaps boost the brand or sales in colleges or universities, with some funding from Lenovo.  I really appreciated his insights and his business acumen.  
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From Left: Daniel C., Michael Teoh, Me, Derrick Koh
 

bloggers_01

Kugan, a mobile technologies magazine writer, is undoubtedly a lover of anything that is mobile and wireless as he is always on the move.  The Netbook is his tool of choice for article writing and blogging.   I wondered whether the smaller display format created any challenges - turns out that is never an issue to him at all.   I am quite impressed with it as I definitely can not stand working long hours with the smaller screens commonly found in netbooks.  David Hill’s recent blog entitled “Think Netbook, Think Balance” reminded me that netbooks are sort of basic machines for email, web-browsing as well as document creation.  In my opinion, what Kugan is doing with netbook is a trend of how a contemporary writer might be always on the move, seeking inspiration for their writing. ThinkPad X300 was on the deck as well and that was my love at first sight.  I am truly impressed with the innovation of the Yamato Lab in Japan. The no compromise and ultraportable notebook that I dream to own one day is extremely light, and thinner than any other ThinkPads. Qishin, a guest of the last Thursday meet-up, was surprised to learn about the  x61 and x200 before the release of this fantastic X300 here. One thing clear to me following this meet up - we can do a lot more to share these remarkable products with the rest of the world.  Meet up events should be carried on frequently in more parts of the world to help share the Lenovo brand with more of our community members. So, how  do you think  a Lenovo Blogger Meet-up would benefit you my dear readers?     What would you expect from this kind of meet-up?   What kind of experience would you like to take away from one?