Thursday, November 29, 2012

IKEA Shopping Preview - the Cocktail Reception

Part of our event was the cocktail reception for the media. Let me set the stage for you...
David and I arrived at about 5:55pm. We waited outside in the cold until they opened the door. It was fun for me to imagine who people were and what media organization they represented. Did some of these people feel surprised by their invitation or were some expecting it? Were there other "mom bloggers" who left their littles at home with Dad or a babysitter? Did anyone else feel nervous about the cocktail reception and whether they were dressed "professional" enough. Those five minutes seemed to last forever. David was so cute, for those of you who know him, it would be no surprise to you to hear that he was literally bouncing with excitement. I, on the other hand, pretended to be taking in stride. "No biggie, folks, media events are *yawn* 'old news'." Inside I'm going "EEEEEEEK! Let me in! Let me in!" Doors open.

We then checked in. "Hi, I'm Coralee Gingras from the Angry Turtle, and this is David." It's hard to sound cool and professional with a blog title like the Angry Turtle. I think I might have giggled a little. So much for taking it in stride. The lady checked us in and over her shoulder said "Happy IKEA date night."

We dropped off our coats at a coat check set up for the evening and headed up the escalator. At the top of the escalator were servers offering us our choice of wines or champagne. Toward the restaurant we were greeted by IKEA PR people and servers with appetizers. There was a DJ playing music and we headed further in to check things out.

This is the part of the evening that intimidated me going in. I am not a networking type of person, though I was prepared with my handmade business cards. I am an introvert, but have been working hard over the last five years to be more bold and assertive in regards to meeting people. I was so proud of myself for taking the initiative to introduce myself to a lovely young lady. Hi, Amy!

David took a bunch of pictures and we "parked" ourselves at a cocktail table and let the servers come to us with appetizers. I was waiting for what I was assuming would be an official program of sorts. I expected speeches from different IKEA representatives, but was surprised that the extent of the formalities ended after a 2 minute speech by a gentleman, whom I don't recall his name or role at IKEA.

At this time I realized if I wanted someone to answer my questions about IKEA for Children, then I needed to take care of it. I have to admit, this took a few tries. Did I mention that I felt intimidated? So, I found the first IKEA worker that looked like someone I could approach (someone who didn't dress like a fashion magazine or look like an executive). Well, I happened to stop a restaurant worker, she took pity on me and flagged down a PR guy for me. I stumbled over a couple of questions and called it done. David teased me a little. I did only end up asking two or three questions with little information. I still wanted to take some pictures and tour Småland, so I knew that I needed to try again. I flagged down another IKEA representative and asked permission to go take some pictures and he said he would get someone to escort me. The lady who took us and answered our questions was great. PHEW! My "business" was done. Time to shop, relax and enjoy the rest of the evening!

Just a note about the IKEA Restaurant and Cáfe: It's beautiful. My favourite features are the separated seating areas. It has created a more intimate environment than other IKEAs that I've been to and taken away from that typical cafeteria type of feel. We are looking forward to going for dinner sometime.


Donna Dawe said...

Love your excitement. I could feel it through my laptop. I also checked out Amy's blog & hope to leave a shout out to ya after this. Thanks for sharing this with us. We moved just in time to miss all the crazy Ikea buzz. Not sure if that's good or bad.

Jenni said...

Great work Coralee!:D Thanks for going in and checking out the children's area for all us mom's who want to know all that!

Amy Walters said...

Thanks for the "hello's" Coralee! I really appreciate you going out of your way to introduce yourself ;)
Wonderful posts on your experiences at Ikea. I feel like I'm re-living that wonderful night!