#InspireItForward: Sharing Tips on Community Management for C. H.

A few weeks ago, I received a message from an old acquaintance of mine, Jess M, by surprise. It has been two years now since I left my community management role at Hootsuite so it was a pleasant surprise to know I was still being remembered! Jess connected me with Angie P. who was looking to get some ideas on how to really rejuvenate the campus ambassador program she’s spearheading over at C. H,  an online crowdsourced learning platform.
Angie and I talked for an hour and I shared a number of strategies that I used previously at Hootsuite. The challenges she faces are pretty similar to what I faced in the early days, so I was able to guide her through the evolution process and how I got Hootsuite ambassador program to the state that it was.
A week later, I followed up with Angie and she replied:
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Thanks Jess for connecting us and best of luck, Angie!
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The Most Magical Night

It has been over a month since we celebrated the resort’s third anniversary yet I still can’t get over it. How could I? It was a magical evening and everything I have dreamt and planned for turned into a reality. It was more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine and I’m glad the guests and staff felt the electrifying energy too.

Every detail was carefully crafted as I did not want to leave anything out. I was a control freak, I admit, but I knew I had to if I wanted it to be magical.

As I have shared on April 20, it all started with an idea of having mermaids at the anniversary party. Indeed, the mermaids drove the whole concept and we decided on “Threemendous Sunset at the Enchanted Garden of Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran”. The evening enchanted our 450 guests with our lush tropical garden and one-in-a-kind 1,300sqm saltwater lagoon area.

Guests were greeted with the magical appearances of stunning mermaids from Mermaid.Inc, accompanied by fairytale-themed music from Bali Classical Lounge.

To kick off the evening, guests were invited to release beautiful butterflies of various species from all over the Indonesian archipelago to give them a new home in the gardens. The butterfly release stunned many of guests and added a magical sight along with the stunning golden dusk as the sun sets.

The celebration continued with cake cutting ceremony of a one-and-half meter signature éclair tower along with the thrown of real flower petal confetti.

Acro and fire dance performance from Dwi & Eka, the grand finalists of ‘Indonesia Mencari Bakat’ also enlivened the evening, followed by fashion show by Air Resorts & Swimwear, Uluwatu Handmade Balinese Lace, and Aryuna Jewelry, worn by models from Yongki Model Management, and the groovy tunes from Bali’s rising DJ Shissy Bvlagry.

Aside from the actual celebration itself, we had to keep the guests busy while we work on putting and setting up the magic in the pool area. So we had Uluwatu Lace Demonstration and Flower Crown Making at the lobby and they were both so well received by the audience.

The day after, we also hosted A Day at Sea – an experience to know a life of a local fisherman, and other engaging activities were also specially prepared to take all the guests’ experience to the whole new level during this extraordinary jubilee.

It was truly a magical night and I could not have done it without the immense support of the team, the family, EP, our entertainers and partners. I wish I could replay the moment and slow mo it.

Can’t get enough? Me too. Watch the video here.

This event marks a few career achievements for me:

  • Efficient planning
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Enhanced leadership skills
  • DIY’d backdrop
  • Event styling
  • Project management
  • Internal/external communication

Those are just a few things I learned during this whole process and I am just glad to have had the chance.

Photos by Grace Road Photography

Behind the scenes of the opening of the first sports bar in Jimbaran

“What about sports bar?” asked one of the bartenders at the hotel.

For the last 1+ year, we have a venue at the hotel that we’re not using. It’s just left empty because we didn’t have a strong concept for it. It’s such a waste of space but we just didn’t know what to do with it.

Until one night I had a chat with two of the bartenders at the hotel and they brought up the idea of a sports bar.

But it was in August. We were too busy with everything else that was going on and we didn’t have a budget for it. But we’ve got everyone’s approval for it so we started planning and in January 2016, we really put all those planning into action.

On January 7th, I posted on Facebook, hoping there will be 3-4 replies to help us get started.

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I obviously underestimated the power of Facebook and my friends’ interest of sports bar. 36 people liked the post and over 40 comments were shared. Each of them are so valuable. Some weren’t even considered by our team previously. We really took the comments seriously and we discussed them over and over again to make sure we hit all the right marks.

When I got to Bali, I made sure all the preparation for the opening is ready. There were still a few important things missing, like the pool table, foosball, and decor. I’m a GSD (get sh*t done) type of person so I took my Purchasing guy out and made sure we got everything we needed.

A week later, things looked better.

Yep, that’s our pool table before they got put together. Here’s a little secret for you… it’s a refurbished pool table. The price is half of the new and I was super picky about the quality.

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For example, this leg right here, needed more bronzing. They had to do it three times ’til I was satisfied with the result. But once we put the pool table and 6 TV’s in, it started to look a lot like a sports bar. The next thing we worried about was the food and beverage.

I was wrong. Nothing to worry about here. The team has got it under control.

Thankfully, everything ran as scheduled and we were able to open the sports bar to our in-house guests as per our original schedule. It was a huge success! We received great feedback from our guests and we fixed our mistakes right away. It’s far from perfect still and there’s still lots of training to be done for our staff, but it’s definitely off to a good start.

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Never in my life I thought I would ever help open a sports bar, but I did and I had so much fun doing it. I could have never done it without the support of the team here and the friends I have on Facebook. So thank you, for your hard work and for your ongoing support for Smoqee Sports Bar and Lounge, the first and only sports bar in Jimbaran, Bali!

The background story of preservARTion

Remember a month ago I went to visit Blangsinga for a meeting with 150+ men that led me to being invited to a special ceremony? Well it all led to the planning of preservARTion.

My dad and I were invited to Griya Blangsinga where the living dance legend, Maestro Gus Aji Blangsinga, lives and teaches. He apologetically explained to us that his house is a mess because he’s currently raising funds to build a dance studio there to welcome even more students and teach them the real and traditional Balinese dance. We were stunned by how much it means to him to preserve such art. It got us thinking, how can we help this 86 years old man preserve this treasure? Better yet, how do we share his dream with more people?

Here’s what we came up with:

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 6.17.28 PMIf you happen to be in Bali on August 14th, please do consider coming! The team and I have been working our asses off for this event. We hope tourists, expats, and locals alike will join us for this special night featuring the legend himself. I have had the honour to watch him dance and it was just remarkable for an 86-year old man to still be dancing with such elegance and energy. Through this event, we hope we will inspire more people to conserve and appreciate the true treasure of Bali, its art.

Know your target audience

Last week was a week full of different religion celebrations here in Indonesia. On Wednesday, July 15 Bali celebrated Galungan, a Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma. It marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit Earth. On Friday, July 17 it was Eid al-Fitr and Muslims throughout the world have a joyous three-day celebration of the end of their month-long fasting season.

The hotel had planned a special buffet for the Friday and Saturday as we expected full occupancy during the period. The team was well prepared after having a big spill over crowd from the seafood cafe across the street coming in last year. I thought, how great, the team is well prepared this year because they planned ahead.

Late Tuesday, I was just at the Lobby area when Win was the bartender attending our lobby bar. I congratulated him for his newborn and our conversation went from A to Z from there. He informed me the seafood cafe across the street will all be closed tomorrow. All 10+ of them. A lightbulb went on in my head. This is our opportunity. This is a golden opportunity for us to take over their crowd even for one night. I quickly made a call to one of the owners of the seafood cafe across the street to confirm it, he said yes, the cafes will all be closed for Galungan. This is great!

I rushed down to the restaurant and met with Alan to inform him. He gathered the team together. Our Executive Chef, Sous Chef, F&B Leader, and Security. The famous seafood cafes that attract thousands of diners will be closed tomorrow, should we take on the opportunity to have a seafood buffet at our hotel instead? Yes, yes, yes, yes. Everybody agreed in a heartbeat. We didn’t know if it will be successful or not, but it seemed like a good idea. Alright, all team activate. F&B will take care of the manning schedule; chefs to make sure we have enough inventory; security to place their men at the right place tomorrow.

Wednesday afternoon came quickly. Alan called to ask if it was okay to move the event from the rooftop to the restaurant. It’s too windy up there. Sure, why not. When I checked the area at around 4, the banner was already up. The decorations were already out. We even got a BBQ set outside to grill some onions just to entice people with the smell. It’s five. I got anxious. The parking lot across the street was never that empty.

There I stood. For hours. I had flyers and menu in my hand and with my high heels I stood just outside of the hotel, waiting and waiting. I smiled at every car that turned into the parking lot, hoping they would stop and come in.

I was wrong.

I was rejected over and over again. None of the cars stopped. As soon as they saw the empty parking lot and the seafood cafes door closed, they turned around right away. I never been rejected that many times in my life. I was so embarrassed. Did I mislead my team? Did I let them down? No time to back down now, Stephanie. I straightened up my posture, put on a bigger smile, and kept my team positive. Inside, I was praying over and over again that we would at least get 10 people to cover the cost.

The evening turned to night. More cars turning around. But patience is a virtue. We got two people to come in and sit down. And then two more. And then four more. And then some more.

When I looked at my watch next, it was already 7:30pm and I realize I have been standing there for 3.5 hours. I went to check on the restaurant and sat down with my mom. I told her it was a great learning experience. The idea was created in a spur of the moment. I did not even think who the real target audience was. We hold these seafood buffet every weekend and it’s always foreigners that come. Yet there I was, standing for hours trying to get the local guests that normally come to the seafood cafe for the sunset on the beach and for the seafood. Yes we had both but the cost was not what they usually pay and we do not have direct access to the beach.

Thankfully we closed the night with 24 people enjoying the seafood buffet. More than our typical weekends. More than I expected. Most of them were our stay-in guests just like any other weekends. They are indeed our target market. We should have promoted inside the hotel. The occupancy was high that day, we could have got more people to stay and dine. Lessons learned.

Looking back now, I am glad I took on the opportunity to do it. Of course I am grateful it’s successful but we would never know if we did not try right?

Are you the next Hootsuite Global Advocacy Lead?

After a few months of hiatus, the Hootsuite Community team finally put out the search for the next Global Advocacy Lead.

I absolutely loved my role as the Global Ambassador Lead and wish I could apply for the position again. It was indeed the most rewarding role I’ve ever held. It was not just another job, it was my passion. How could it not? Every day was different. Every day I got to interact with smart people from all around the world. Every day we brainstormed creative ways to advocate and share our knowledge with others.The ‪#‎HootAmb‬ family has taught me so much and the Community team at Hootsuite is a joy to work with. If you genuinely love building and celebrating community, you’ll love this job. Trust me.

For more info: https://hootsuite.com/about/careers/community/Global-Advocacy-Lead

#HootAmb brings home an award!

Fast forward to a year since the relaunch of the Ambassador program, I am so proud to announce the Hootsuite Ambassador program got nominated and awarded the Best Social Engagement by Influitive!

This is a huge win for both Hootsuite and the Ambassador family and I am so, so, so grateful to be standing on the stage accepting this award tonight on their behalf.

TheSelfieGuru.biz is back to action!

I’ve heard many times that doing a business with a partner is hard but I decided to give it a try earlier this year. Like any relationships, it started off great. Everything was going great. We made constant sale and we sold more than we have ever thought. However, things quickly turned sour when money and time got involved and unfortunately, the business got in the way of our friendship and we became bitter with each other. For two months I kept making excuses and blaming my ex-partner for simply giving up on the business and on the friendship. Today I decided to take control of the situation.

Christmas is just around the corner and I know these selfie sticks would be a hot seller as stocking stuffer. Unfortunately our website was down and I don’t know how to fix it without talking to my ex-partner. Instead of letting the business go down the drain, I signed up for Shopify and got cracking.

An hour later I got it done.

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I had no idea it was so easy to set up a working site through Shopify. For two months I’ve been procrastinating it and I feel ashamed of myself now. It was so effortless because I already have all the content. All I needed was to put everything together. But at the same time, I feel so proud of myself for taking the matter to my own hand.

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I’ve been so selfish and let my feelings took control and I’ve forgotten everyone that have supported the business along the way. I’m back now and I’m excited to be promoting The Selfie Guru once again. So if you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer this Christmas, please holler or check out the new and improved site, theselfieguru.biz!

Be Proactive

Be that one in the seven thousand. That was the title I chose for my talk at Simon Fraser University’s Interactive Design course last week. It was a repurposed title from another presentation I did last year, but I thought it makes to bring it back to a group of students that are eager to know what’s out there for them.

As a student, I was a fairly quiet one. I never raised my hand in class. I choked every time I gave a presentation. I skipped a few labs here and there. So I felt really honoured to be invited by Andrew Hawryskewich to be a guest lecturer for his class of 50 students.

In the slides (below), I touched upon the advantages they have as students and why they should start using social media to leverage their own brand today. I started the presentation by admitting to them that I did an experiment. In my conversation with Andrew weeks prior to the lecture, I told him to let the students know they can reach out to me directly with questions so I can address them during the lecture. Only one did.

Unfortunately that’s true for the real world too. I’ve heard many of my friends complaining that they couldn’t find a job and when I sat down with them to see what they’ve possibly done wrong, I realized that none of them have tried to be proactive. So the million dollar question I always ask them is… How do you stand out?