It's a win-win situation for at least three parties, including:
- The sponsors: Usually the company sponsoring such events is looking to strengthen its PR and online marketing initiatives via word-of-mouth publicity on blogs or social networking sites like Twitter (as a matter of fact, the live tweets and the trending on Twitter using specific hashtags have proven to be such brilliant tools to get the word out!)
- The folks at IndiBlogger: Obviously, someone will end up raking in the moolah ;)
- The local blogging community: Who meet and trade ideas from time to time in the hopes of getting out of the everyday rut (don't get me started on the unabashed networking, which evidently gets into full swing each time a large-scale event is organized; plus the usual cream of the crop that turns up to win freebies and occasional expensive gifts.)
Plus what wonderful hospitality! Anyone who has frequented the last few IndiBlogger meets in Delhi would tend to agree that the venues (read "chic 5 star hotels") are best in class ... and no-no, that's not the foodie in me talking!
Take Le Meridien Hotel for instance. On March 1, the Sovereign ballroom housed over 400 of Delhi's finest bloggers. That's a crazy number by any standard.
|Sovereign - The largest ballroom in Le Meridien Hotel, Delhi|
The "biggest" IndiBlogger meet was sponsored by Skyscanner - a passenger flight, hotel, and car hire search engine. Since I also work for a leading travel company, I was intrigued to hear their success story.
Skyscanner offers a multilingual site and app that allows users to browse for flights, hotels, and cars in over 30 languages, including Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, and Japanese.
After downloading the app from the Play Store, it took me awhile to figure out that Skyscanner does not sell flights directly; however, you can find the cheapest deal for a desired route, after which you are automatically redirected to the airline or travel supplier’s website to make a booking. Pretty neat!
|Agenda for the Skyscanner IndiBlogger meet|
Post registration and lunch, we were introduced to Kavitha Gnanamurthy, Senior Marketing Manager at Skyscanner Singapore. We got to know that the company was headquartered in Scotland, United Kingdom, with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Singapore, Beijing, Miami, and Barcelona. In fact, Singapore is their headquarters for Asia-Pacific operations.
Kevin Foo, who is the Head of Communications APAC at Skyscanner, urged us to travel smarter and make easier travel decisions by using Skyscanner. He seemed genuinely interested in hearing about our travel exploits, so the folks at Indiblogger obliged. Like how? By sharing travel pictures tweeted by fellow bloggers :)
The deal was: if you tweet your favourite travel pictures with you in it, you could end up winning a return flight ticket to any domestic location of your choice. It was mandatory though to use the #skyscanning hashtag in the tweet. One winner was randomly chosen from the several who managed to send in their pictures in time
|My Favorite Travel Picture|
|Khusnud and Moi|
|The Selfie winning entry - "bromance"|
I volunteered to become the leader for Team #3 (Skychainers). We put up a great show and were the self-proclaimed winners :)). The winning team (#5) came up with the cheapest fare of INR 4+ lacs, which was much closer to the real deal.
|Team #3: Skychainers|
The mic was later passed to enthusiastic bloggers, who narrated their travel stories one by one. I couldn't help but talk about my South Korean escapade. For the uninformed, I spent seven youthful years of my life (from 2005 to 2012) in the Land of the Morning Calm.
Post hi-tea at 4pm, an open panel discussion was held, wherein hot topics like the safest countries for women to travel were discussed.
Finally, in the true tradition of all IndiBlogger meets, a group photo session took place and freebies like T-shirts and bags were distributed to all and sundry.