Saturday, August 14, 2010

Learning from the top bloggers at the Asian Bloggers Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I made a trip down to Kuala Lumpur for the Asian Bloggers & Social Media Conference, which was held at Berjaya Hotel.

I've been blogging about six years now (one year on a very personal blog on a very crappy blog site) yet I felt I've still got much to learn about writing stuff that could, would and should entertain my readers. With the desire to learn more and meet new people, I decided to fork out RM150 for this conference.

I had high expectations from this conference; unlike most delegates I had to pay for my own flight and accomodation (Dato Sri Tony Fernandes would be proud to know which airlines & hotel I am supporting). I almost couldn't make it in fact had my immediate boss took almost forever to approve my leave.

So let me review this conference in as much as I could possible remember:

Day 1 (28 July 2010):
Even before the conference started I had a poor impression on the Berjaya Hotel staff already. As I arrived at the lobby I asked a Berjaya Hotel personnel on the location of the conference. Coming from the hospitality industy I was very amused this personnel did not smile one bit; sure he told me where it was, but I was left to wonder if he knew his job requirements included smiling to guests within the hotel.

The small matter aside, the day went well. I had the chance to sit beside the lovely Annna, who had no idea about this conference prior to me telling her about it.

The above video showed the venue of the Annna's way to opening a Mentos packet. Nice one!

One of the other reasons I've decided to join this conference was because Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes was among the speakers for this conference. Wow, the man behind AirAsia was really entertaining in his speech!

Then there was the other famous person I wanted to hear:

YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir! I still have a lot of respect for what he has done for the country, not including some of the more...interesting actions he made in his time as the Prime Minister.

YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir giving out mementos to some of the speakers.

His speech, though interesting as well wasn't quite as entertaining as Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes.

So as YAB Tun Dr Mahathir was about to leave the conference...

Annna sprung on the opportunity to take a photo with Dato Sri Tony Fernandes! Heh.

More speeches of course for the rest of Day 1. There was a mix variety of topics that cater to the delegates with business suits and to the bloggers. Have a look at the programme here; to me I took great interest in listening to Ahmad Nazuwan (of Beautiful Nara blog), Joyce Wong (KinkyBlueFairy) and Khailee Ng (Youth Asia).

Not to offend the other speakers on Day 1, but I could relate most to this three. For Nazuwan I met him when he was in Kuching for his Project Alpha online show (and Annna and I are just a calefare in the show...heh), Khailee for him being an Executive Director at around my age (Read: Envy) and Joyce...well, she's hot! Quite a Kinky Blue Fairy with her awesome hairdo :)

Day 2 (29 July 2010):
Day 2 was just about as remarkable as Day 1. Of the more memorable speeches, I learnt alot about law and blogging practices from Mr. Eddie Law, marvelled at Niki Cheong's presentation slides and his answer to the difference between a blogger and journalist, and having to keep up with Mr. Amit Varma's strong Indian accent.

Of course, what is this conference without argurably the most popular blogger in Malaysia, Mr. Kenny Sia himself!

Sempat take photo some more lol.

Honestly though, while people in Peninsular looked at him as a celebrity well-known blogger, I looked at him as the boss of my second home, Level Up Fitness. And as a fellow Kuchingite, it was a very nice gesture of him to acknowlege Annna and I (at least, just by our names) in his speech :) His speech itself was also enlightening to me as he taught the ways of how a company should approach bloggers differently from journalists.

Towards the end of the conference was a panel discussion among the speakers from both days, plus special guest Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir as one of the panelists. Being a panel discussion, it was expected to have questions from the delegates for them to answer.

Kenny Sia talking about freedom of speech during the panel discussion. Do not ask why I recorded him instead of Joyce Wong or the other panelists.

However, as Niki Cheong (being the last panelist to have his say) was halfway through his speech...ALL HAIL A CERTAIN FASHIONABLY LATE V.I.P TO SHOW UP AND RUIN THE DISCUSSION!

With V.I.P YB Dato' Raja Nong Chik's presence, the organisers had to hastily end the discussion (without the Q&A session at all) for this big shot to give his closing remarks. Dato', do you know how bad I wanted to ask Kinky Blue Fairy on how can she be so sexy with her wild hairstyle kah??? much I needed to know the remarks I made in my own blog is safe & ethical or not??

The Summary, and Lessons Learnt:
Despite the conference ended with quite an anti-climax, I felt my time and money for this conference was well spent.

Here's a little bit of what I've learnt from some of the speakers (in no particular order):
Beautiful Nara - Always be funny and engage your readers.
Beng Soo Ong - Get full confidence from customer reviews, positive and negative reviews
YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir - Stick to the truth
KinkyBlueFairy - Blogging fuels other interests
Dato Sri Tony Fernandes - Don't just sell...brand!
Khailee Ng - Share good reasons for young people to tell their friends
Niki Cheong - Don't think of social media as cheap & free
Kenny Sia - Don't expect bloggers to write just because you gave them goodie bags!

So is it worth coming to the next Asian Bloggers & Social Media Conference? Well, it depends to be honest. If the programme next year is just about as interesting as this year's, the conference is on the weekend, without that business attires, and certainly without any kind of government VIPs for a closing speech...I'll most definitely would go again.

It's not just what you learnt from the speakers; it's also about networking with the delegates. I am very thankful to flirt with meet new people from Malaysia and even some from abroad...all whom I get to share my experience with.

I wish to thank MyEvents and for organising this event and all the respective speakers for their tips and hints...otherwise I wouldn't be updating this blog as often!

P.S. I apologise for the lack of any video of any of their speeches...that's because I was recording all their speeches on audio instead :) As much I would love to share the audios though, for the benefit of those who actually paid to listen to the speakers (myself included) it will not be given out for free! No, wait, let me rephase that...I can give you two audio speeches for free (because these two audio recordings were interrupted by a phonecall -__-)! OK whattttt.

However, if you comment on this post and follow me on Twitter then I could consider giving out a couple of the full speeches to you. Even better if you plan to give me some money. Hehe ($_$).


cyrildason said...

I like this " Dato Sri Tony Fernandes - Don't just sell...brand!"

Great coverage bro.

armouris said...

info tentang Dr. Mahathir di SIHAT SELALU - Rahsia Muda Dr. Mahathir

Ah_Mike said...

cyril: thanks bro! I'm sure you want to hear Tony's speech right?

armouris: i tak peduli rahsia muda dr. mahathir TQ

Niki Cheong said...

Hey! Thanks for the kind words :)

Any way I can get the audio for my talk? :D


Ah_Mike said...

Sure thing Nick! Sorry for the late reply; btw I've sent you your audio speech.