The day started bright and early for me on Saturday. The team decided to meet at Asian Civilisations Museum at 9am to get things ready for Social Media Breakfast 3 (SMB3). Guess I was too “gan cheong” (excited) as usual, and reached at 9 sharp. When I reached, the venue for SMB3 looks like this…

My first impression? “WOW! What a place!”

It brought my excitement to the next level! Having missed the SMB1 and being in the cosy cafe for SMB2, the River Room at ACM indeed brought SMB3 to a next level! Thanks NHB for the great opportunity and hosting SMB3 at ACM. I’m sure everyone just can’t wait for SMB4 now! (Planning already in progress! Look out for it!)

Since I was early, and really don’t know what I should do yet, I went outside to take a look and was greeted by the beautiful morning sun by the Singapore River. What a way to start the day!

Beautiful view from River Terrace at ACM

River Room and River Terrace is the ideal place to host a wedding or any corporate events! Will surely recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a place to host their event. Imagine having it in the historical building with view of the beautiful river and Singapore skyline of the financial hub. Lovely place! I’m sure the night view will blow anyone away too.

Back to SMB3… as the clock ticks towards 10am, we got the place set-up. With help from Wei Chong and Kenny, Daryl and I arranged the chairs and get the reception desk ready…

Waiting for the arrival of all guests

Do you know, these chairs were arranged and moved around couple of time before we settled them in the final position? Looks like our plan didn’t quite work out at SMB3. But we hope things will improve for SMB4. (1) We would love to get any feedback and suggestions from you. Do keep them coming.

NHB press kits with the usual stuff for everyone

This time round, we wanted to try something different. There isn’t the “tagging kit” like those we had in SMB1 and 2. Instead, we wanted to help identify the guests better hence the color tags.

Blue = “I’m a blogger.”
Orange = “I’m in PR, from companies, or advertisers.”
Yellow = “I’m a listener and here to participate. (aka none of the above)”
Green = “I’m here for the first time.”
Blue, Orange, Yellow and/or Green = “I’m all/ some of the above!”

These color tags was quite a last minute decision, so the grouping was kinda off I think. (2) What do you think? Well, at least it did help me identify the first timers whom I managed to help some of them get started in the mini-discussions. I know how daunting it is to enter a room and not know who or what to do next. It’s great for the experience ones or those from previous sessions to help with the introduction part. (More on this in another post.)

From 10am, guests start strolling in and crowded the entrance area of the huge room. It’s interesting to know why is it that there were so much room inside the room but everyone choose to settle near the entrance? Or was it because the food was there? Maybe we should move the buffet table into the center of the room for future SMBs.

It was good to see new faces chatting away almost immediately with everyone. Once everyone was warmed up, mini groups were formed naturally and discussions took place. As there were still many guests who RSVP but hasn’t arrived, Daryl and I thought we should give a little more time before we ermm… do a little “welcome speech”. But even after almost an hour later, we still didn’t see some of them. Perhaps we’re too used to the fact that there’ll sure be late comers or has RSVP but couldn’t make it in the last minute for any events/gatherings hence it feels alright. Quite a bad habit but well… (3) Anyone has any suggestions how to improve this situation? We were wondering if things will be better if it was a paid event? Perhaps a small amount to cover the catering? Feedback?

Food for that day

There was quite a lot of left over! Maybe some of you are too shy to grab more food, but really, nothing to be shy one! Eat as much as you can ok? It’s better to help finish the food than to have them throw away in the end.

Presenters for the “welcome speech”…

Daryl welcomed everyone to SMB3, Walter shared a little about ACM and the free admission for all those present that day and Jerrick asked anyone who’s free to join in their Podcast recording for Tech65.

The plan for a open discussion on a suggested topic didn’t quite take-off this time round. We wanted to try something different and hope to get some thoughts on bloggers outreach program from the various point of views. There was lots of post-it and pencils for everyone to write down their thoughts, ideas or comments and there were three huge papers along the sides of the room for everyone to post their thoughts to. But in the end, there were only two post-its collected. Some feedback that the topic was too serious and some said that it’s not suitable. (4) Any suggestions on how we can improve this and hopefully build some focus discussions for future sessions? (Or would you rather just have a free-and-easy session and meet to network and eat and be merry?)

Shots of small groups having their conversations…

Tech65 gang in action…

In short, this is quite a successful session in terms of the turn out and the good mix of people who came. I’m sure there were many meaningful and great discussions that took place that day, and I should make a note to snap less photos and do more talking the next time. It was great having to meet the old friends and meeting new ones! And finally I managed to put faces to those whom I’ve been reading their blogs, plurking and camwhoring in google lively with! *winks* SMB started by Daryl and Derrick hoping to build up the community and getting like-minded to meet up. This session reflected well on their objectives and I’m sure if Derrick was with us that day, he would have been happy to see the interactions and happy faces.

Personally I have many little thoughts that I would like to share, but if I should continue, this post is going to be too long for the causal readers. I will share more in individual posts soon. But if you’d noticed, there are 4 points which I highlights and hope to get feedback and suggestions and thoughts from all of you. (more brains work better than 4!) To recap the 4 points…

(1) Are chairs necessary at such event? (3 hour session) What to you think is the ideal setting/arrangement for SMB sessions?
(2) Thoughts on color tagging to help identify individuals? How do we group the guests since the group is so diverse?
(3) How to encourage guests to arrive on time? And how to encourage those who RSVP to eventually turn up for the event?
(4) How can we improve future SMB sessions? (This is actually the most important question out of the four!)

For those who prefer visuals or had missed SMB3, here are some other shots taken that day…

Jerrick jumped out from nowhere when I gathered the girls for this shot

Beautiful people

Photo by Willy
This was how the above shot was taken!

And this was how I got this photo of me below!

Group photo of most of the guests at SMB3!

And this is how it came about!

Thanks Willy for the shot!

And here’s how one duplicate digital photo in the modern time…

Me taking photo of DK taking photo of Willy’s group photo!

And there should be one more where Nicole taking me taking photo of DK taking photo of Willy’s group photo! Wahahahaha! Crazy things we do at times! *LOL*


For all links and posts on SMB3, please check the SMB Facebook group!