Last week, SheBuysCars and Chevrolet invited KiloThought Media to be a part of #ChevyPlayMiami in sui generis South Beach. It was a 2-day car, tech, and style pure rush SoBe extravaganza, culminating in an exclusive, private tour of the Miami International Auto Show.
If you follow @kilothought on social media, you probably saw quite a bit of this business all up in your feeds, but this blog will show you how it all went down.
#ChevyPlayMiami: Day 1
The influencers arrived as directed at the Surfcomber Hotel, including some of the biggest names and most influential bloggers and social media moguls in Miami. Then, I showed up.
Our instructions were to plow through the lobby and head straight back to the pool, where we had been warned that we might pass a cow…
on the roof of a cotton house or two. This proved true, and I did pass some colorful cows and sheep along the way.
The program began with a “quick coding” session, led by the inimitable Ryan Hall (@RyanHallTV) of Code Fever Miami. Naturally, this would be our [Cuban] bread and butter. However, Ryan let our small group know, very correctly, that it would be rather impossible to for us to learn anything substantial about coding in less than an hour. He compared it to trying to teach complete newcomers something about Spanish or English in under an hour and expecting us to walk away being able to actually speak some of that language, which sounded like an analogy I would make, which means it’s true. We instead had a lively and productive poolside chat on fundamental concepts about branding and growing an online following.
That’s So Bal Harbourian
For the next part of #ChevyPlayMiami, style blogger, personal shopper, and fashionista Jenny Berger (@MiamiStyleMom) schooled our group of social influencers on the latest Miami-style fashions and trends. Jenny provided Cap Confidential and I – the two males in our group – with some male/unisex fashion advice. I came away from the session with the desire to throw away a lot of things I haven’t worn in years, and some things I have. Unlike the Miami Beach Sun, Jenny, very graciously did not mock the fact that I was wearing a blazer in 90 degrees in the shade.
Playing with CarPlay
After coming away with a newly-improved fashion sense, Chevrolet allowed us to take an inside look at some upcoming vehicles from Chevrolet, and the integrated, state-of-the-art Apple CarPlay and Wi-Fi technology. Chevrolet’s Apple device integration, which essentially allows the driver to use their iPhone through the usual stereo controls rather than take their eyes off the road, was definitely impressive.
Besides listening to music from your iPhone (including Spotify and Pandora, the latter of which we tried out in the video above), you can use CarPlay to get maps and directions and even view text messages from your friends without high-tech cars. While neither I nor Cap Confidential had an Android device to try out Android Auto, I assume the experience would be patently similar.
After taking CarPlay for a spin, we also got to test drive Chevrolet’s new RemoteLink technology, which a friendly Chevy rep explained allows for such things as sending and receiving GPS directions from OnStar, monitoring vehicle stats (such as fuel performance, tire PSI, and so on), and locking and unlocking your car doors from anywhere in the world. (As weird as it sounds at first, we were able to come up with several scenarios in which this last function would be a lifesaver.) You can learn more about RemoteLink here.
Interestingly, the idea of “democratizing technology” came up – which was the central idea behind this year’s WordCamp Tokyo (which we sponsored and which just ended a few days ago – blog about our experience there coming soon!) Democratizing technology is an idea which I really like; actually, I think it would be difficult to find someone who would be against it. While, we were told, some higher-end manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz also had CarPlay technology, Chevrolet is bringing the new technology to the people at a price point that many more vehicle shoppers can afford.
The Social Network(s)
After we were done taking in the world of tomorrow and the new, nay – unreleased – car scent, we strolled back into the hotel for a talk on “Hacking Your Social” with @MsVanessaJames, CEO of Vanessa James Media.
In addition to covering best practices for growing and engaging an audience on social media platforms, we talked of things like what brands should be on Pinterest, how irritating Twitter auto-DMs are, of kings, and days of old. It was interesting to hear such an all-star group of local influencers discuss their experiences with social media marketing. Thanks to Vanessa, I discovered HYPERLAPSE, an app by Instagram designed for making polished time-lapse videos.
After a day of learning how to hack style, hack social, hack driving, and… well… how to hack, Cap Confidential smartly made use of one of the free drink vouchers we received, while I unsmartly forgot about mine. That means I’ll have to visit the Surfcomber Hotel again soon!