I had heard of meets and get-togethers where companies invite bloggers to come and experience (for lack of a better word, forgive me) their product line-up. @ideasmithy invited me for one such event this past Sunday, the Indiblogger and Dove All Women’s Blogger Meet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Worli.
Initially I declined, with a heavy heart, because a friend was visiting that weekend. A little twist of fate on Friday night and I decided I was going. Frequent readers of this blog will note that is quite an unlikely event for me to be at. Grooming and hair care lies at the very bottom of my to-do list. But what the heck, I like surprising myself occasionally. Besides Dove is one of the few brands I’m willing to experiment with.
My first Indiblogger meet, I was there just testing waters. I was only sacrificing a Sunday in return. @ideasmithy and I trooped in slightly late, after a leisurely breakfast but no, there was no guilt on that front. We put down our names for a foot massage and hair-styling session. Getting pampered was the only agenda.
Meanwhile, we perched ourselves closer to the stage, amusing ourselves with the live Twitter feed on the screen ahead. A few ice-breakers ensued. Evoked much laughter and giggling. I was dreading blogger introductions – words remain one of my best pals, albeit only on paper. It didn’t help that I was one of the last few but to cut a long story short, I was relieved that it was over. Having to stand up and introduce yourself to a roomful of strangers is extremely taxing. But it was heartwarming to see so many women who had found their voices by means of a blog. It was encouraging to say the least.
Post blogger introductions, we had a mini-presentation by the folks from Dove. For a brief period, it felt like being at an induction program, replete with brand values and so on. But I guess we needed the back story to understand why Dove portrays the stories it does. We saw two TVCs that would be going on air shortly and a short video compiled using women’s responses to their new Dove Nourishing Oil Range.
Lunch was a scrumptious affair. But I had polish off dessert in a hurry because one of the volunteers informed me that it was my turn at the Foot Spa next. The folks manning the spa were fabulous. We went in great ceremony but fifteen minutes later, the attendant’s (I forget the guy’s name, ungrateful me) fingers had rendered me languid, unwilling to move. I hated moving my feet away from his dexterous fingers and slipping them into my footwear. I wish I could have roamed around barefoot all day.
We returned to the main event room for some more exciting stuff. Indiblogger volunteers passed around large sheets of paper, each with an attached string (which I have been informed is the practice at all Indiblogger meets). We were to wear this on our backs, like we would a double-shouldered bag, and it would serve as our “wall” for compliments, brickbats, et al. Brilliant ice-breaker I thought. Suddenly everyone was off their seats introducing themselves (once again) and offering to write on another person’s back. I felt quite silly initially but the enthusiasm was contagious. I received comments ranging from “great hairdo” to “lovely voice.” Now I know what to look at, the next time I’m feeling glum. On a side note, the mother, upon seeing that sheet, enquired if I intended preserving this for posterity or eventually disposing it off like some “normal” people would consider doing. I informed her that I would be placing it on my soft-board, tacked with all my other fun memories.
Back to the meet now. Saumya, Brand Manager, Dove, came on the floor, inviting questions relating to hair care. We discussed the finer aspects of serum and hair oil, the dos and don’ts of hair care and general recommendations. Nothing that I hadn’t heard or knew before but it was so nice to hear a brand rep use the same language that we do.
Post-this, @ideasmithy moderated a brief session on blogging. A few women shared some experiences, the good, the nasty and the awkward. It was enlightening to the extent that it left me wondering, “All this also happens?”
The treasure hunt was fun. There were claps, loud squeals of delight and much enthusiasm. We were all declared winners at the end of it. By then I was also getting edgy for my hair appointment. It’s difficult to resist a good hair-wash.
The guy at the sink lamented about the lack of moisture in my hair while the stylist was a little disappointed to note that I wanted all strands off my face and forehead. But it was refreshing. My hair didn’t feel mine after applying that serum folks keep raving about. Soft, smooth and silky.
I left Four Seasons with a big smile on my face, armed with Dove’s new Damage Therapy kit. It comprised a shampoo, conditioner, hair-mark and some serum. I’m yet to try all those but I think I like the serum already.
Thank you Dove and Indiblogger!