Posted on : 16-11-2008 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media
Tags: Pete Blackshaw, Vegas, WOMMA
So Wednesday morning I am exchanging private tweets with Pete Blackshaw from Nielsen Online (BuzzMetrics) and author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customer Tell 3000. The next thing I know I am off to the WOMMA Summit in Las Vegas. WOMMA is the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Pete was doing a presentation about his book and my work is a good case study. As I was flying out to Vegas I sat and reflected on the past year, the changes that have happened at work, all my new friends, and changes within my life. This has been one eventful year. The next few days were also very eventful!
So I flew out late on Wednesday so I could see the presentation by Tony Hsieh of Zappos. I walked in to say hi to Tony but he had to rush off to go into the wienermobile. I looked to my left and sure enough there was the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. I knew this would be an interesting few days!
Tony took the time to discuss the Zappos culture and how the passion of the team leads to above and beyond service. This in turn leads to repeat business and word of mouth for his company. I will not talk all about it because I think the topic could be a blog post by itself. I have had the opportunity to tour Zappos and meet many of the great people there. I will write a post soon that discusses some of that. Even though I have heard the story before I always enjoy the opportunity to hear it again.
As the day progressed, I was asked to join another panel with @davidalston, @boughb and @akeats. We were discussing employees as Word of Mouth Ambassadors for your company. It was fun to talk on this topic with a great group of people. I have always felt that employees are always the best ambassadors for a company. The conversation typically drifted to online, but I find the same to be true offline. It is so important for employees to want to be ambassadors for the company they work for. If they are not, they may want to consider where they are working!
So after the great day we went to a meet and greet at a bowling alley at the Rio. There I had some great conversations with many of the participants. After the cocktails, many of us went separate way to meet for dinner. They did something very interesting, they had everyone sign up for dinner in smaller groups. Pete signed us up for dinner at the Tau. Tau is located in the Venetian so I did enjoy seeing the look of the building. I have been to Venice twice, so it was interesting to see the Vegas version.
So we had a lovely dinner at Tau. The ambiance there was very interesting. In fact I think it led me to believe the food would be better than it really was. At the same time it was an interesting conversation with Pete and John Bell, Managing Director and Executive Creative Director for Ogilvy PR. We were discussing social media and its influences in different parts of the world.
So after dinner Pete decides he is interested in checking out the club located within the restaurant (I think it was his mixture of drinks – Red Bull and Espresso). We went walking up to the third floor only to be stopped by a bouncer telling us we need to have our hand stamped and to see our waiter. So we go to our waiter to get our hand stamped. Of course this now requires 3 different people to eventually get done. We make our way back up to the 3rd floor only to be told the stamp just helps us move to the front of the line. Since we did not intend to spend much time, it was not worth the cover charge, so we decided to leave. We walked around the Venetian working our way across the street. At this time we decide to go to check out the water show at the Bellagio. Not seeing it before, I was interested. The next thing I know Pete asks what time is it. It was 10:56. He turns to me and says we can make. He starts running. Of course I have to follow. It seemed really close, it is just on the other side of Caesars Palace. So we are running for what seems like forever. Through the whole run, people were just staring at us like we were crazy. That is a strange feeling when you are in Vegas. Anyway we did make it for the 11:00 show. It was really neat to see. Here is a version I found on You Tube:
Once it was finally over, an announcement came on to say that the next showing would be in 15 minutes. I ran all that way to save those few minutes? Thanks Pete!
After it was over Pete and I walked back to the Rio talking about some of the contemplation I did on the way to Vegas. He was encouraging me, and advising me how to write a book. He thought it would be a compelling story. From our original use of our website to share updates regarding Gia to the past year, that can only be described as wild. I enjoyed Pete’s insights.
The next day Pete and I did the keynote for the WOMMA conference. It went very well and the reaction from everyone seemed to be very positive.
For anyone that has been to Vegas, you know there are many strange things to see. Have you ever seen anything more odd than Pete and I running through the streets? I am not sure I have!