I’ve been writing for Nokia Innovation for nearly a year now. Having an obsession with Nokia that spans nearly half my life, it made sense for me to find some way to channel my love for all things Nokia and mobile technology, and NI was exactly what I needed to do just that. Granted, I am still fairly new at this, and I’m juggling this with classes which sometimes makes it difficult to post things, but fortunately I have an awesome and supportive team to back me up! That said, because my team is so gosh-darn awesome, I was recently given the chance to attend my very first Nokia event in San Francisco! And while it was definitely a small event, it was certainly a big deal for me, and everyone that knows me knew just how important this was.
I arrived at the event and was immediately greeted by several people, including Jason Harris, the man who helped make my being there possible (props, Jason!). I don’t think I could stop smiling, it was as if botox had been injected into my face at that very moment. When I walked into the building I noticed immediately that the place was packed. Every seat was taken by either a person, or their laptop; standing room only. That was fine, since I’m more of a stander anyways. I joined a friend of mine in the back of the room and within minutes Nokia’s signature ringtone announced the start of the event. And then there he was… the man who got Nokia there and back again: Stephen Elop. He came up to the stage and began speaking (as I began spazzing out for being within 100 feet of him) about Nokia’s announcements earlier that day with Microsoft at the Build Conference. During his speech, he introduced the MD-12 speaker, to which he claimed he didn’t even know about the name until a few days before. And of course, he showed off the tiny little speaker with his Elop-style hand modeling (am I the only one that notices how he does that?).
After his speech we then went on to the Q&A, the entirety of which I transcribed in a post here. The session ended, to my surprise, with the walls around us basically falling down to reveal an entire new section where the new devices were being showcased. Immediately we all got up and clamored to them, getting our hands on the first devices we could see so that we could snap photos, take videos, and demo the new Windows Phone 8.1 software. It took me a while before I could really get a chance to play with the Lumia 635, but they Nokia guys finally realized that they needed to bring more out and I grabbed one as soon as I could. Mine was green, and it felt great in my hands. I did my best to get footage of the new features that came on the device, but it was a little difficult juggling my own phone, my camera, my iPod Touch (for tweeting), and the 635.
I eventually moved on to the Lumia 930, also running Windows Phone 8.1, and I got some footage of it while trying out some of the features I had forgotten about when I had the 635. This is when I met Mark Guim (another internal spaz moment) from WPCentral. After introducing myself, I pointed him to the direction of the new green Lumia 1520, and off he went. That was my cue, so I went over to check out the ShapeWriting demo that they had set up, which you can read more about in a later post. Finally, I looked over and saw two guys randomly standing around next to a television screen with the Windows Phone start screen on it. I walked up to them, thinking that it was just a demo video. Turns out, they had a Lumia connected to the television, and so they were demoing the features for me in real-time on the television, which I have to admit, was pretty awesome! See the full video here. After that I left the event and immediately passed out at a friend’s place, not far from where the event was held.
The next day was what I was really excited for; they were taking us sailing! I woke up pretty early and grabbed some Starbucks. I’m not normally a coffee person, but what the heck. I then made my way across San Francisco to the pier, which was about an hour walk from where I was. I arrived an hour before we were scheduled to meet up, but I didn’t mind so long as I wasn’t late. Finally everyone showed up, bloggers and Nokia employees alike, and we all boarded the sailboat. I had an absolute blast! I met some awesome people, got some good photos, and did some networking with the people from Nokia! We sailed around Alcatraz and then underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Everyone was taking photos, and I even got some with some of the lovely ladies from Nokia ;). They also taught me some cool dance moves! Eventually we returned to the pier and all parted ways, and I made my way back home to the sleepy town of Santa Cruz, CA.
I must say though, I can’t even begin to express how awesome this experience was for me! I never thought I would get an opportunity to attend a Nokia event, and it’s all thanks to my main man Lenny Bonsignore, as well as Jason Harris and the team at NokiaUS!
Until next time! *Fingers crossed*
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