The place was on our way, but how I wished it hadn’t been. The promise was there on a hot day in Shirlington, Virginia…my husband, 4-year-old daughter, and I had just come from getting our hair cut and styled at a posh salon and we were ravenous. We knew the restaurant on the corner was a sure thing, but we wanted to try something new.
But it was hot And we were hungry And then we saw the hand painted sign on the street promising margaritas for $4 inside. This had no impact on our daughter at 4 years old but for my husband and me it was significant. We decided to turn into the restaurant we’d never heard of and give it a try. We were hungry, hot, and now we realized thirsty, as well and we figured we couldn't go wrong. Note: When you figure you can’t go wrong, that’s usually when fate steps in to remind you that yes, yes you can go wrong, oh and how. We realized the restaurant had not one other customer in it. As we were seated in a booth, my husband hesitated to take his seat. The reason? There was an odd rough looking pillow that looked less like décor and more like someone’s nap pillow. The waitress insisted he take his seat and seemed unpracticed with customers, but we went along for the ride. We were cool…we had nice hair and we were trying a new place. (It doesn't take much to excite married couples.)
We gave our drink orders and I quickly plunged my hand into my cavernous purse to grab what? What do you think I just had to have? :
My iPhone… You see, I just had to look up the place on Yelp to see what the best tips were for the place. What I should order. If there was something they specialized in. What I found was a collection of comments advising me to turn back while I still could! Some included…
Comment #1 How do you spell disappointment and letdown in so many words? Oh yeah, Luna Grille.This used to be my default eatery, when I couldn't think of anywhere else to go (not sure whether that's a compliment or not).Now... since good ol' Mr. Shallal (Busboys and Poets) sold this fine diner to a far less experienced restaurateur with terribly tacky interior decorating skills, it has become, well... blah.I really don't know what to say, other than the service is terrible, the food is meh, the prices are reasonable, but I'm left with this empty space in my teeny-tiny heart that longs for the good ol' days.Luna Grille is, to say the least, past its prime.
Comment #3This place wins the award for the worst food that I ever had in a restaurant. I called in an order for pick up, they got it wrong. I had to wait there for another 30 minutes while they tried to correct it. When I got home, the salad was all wrong and it was disgusting. Paid $20 for a shrimp salad that had 2 shrimps. I will never go there again and I'm going to blast them on every review site I can find!
Horrible service we stated with Mexican coffee and they were ok, after that we tried the waffles and they were hard and bland. We tried to change the order for pancakes and after 30 mins wait we decided to leave. The manager made us pay for the order of Bacon and drinks I will never come to this place again.
Decidedly not pleasant reviews to find when you have already had your seat in a place. After an extraordinarily long wait and once the food came, I received validation. It didn’t matter how well coiffed we were, we couldn’t wait to leave and I had a lesson reinforced upon me: that when I had a choice in matters, never to choose a restaurant without first checking one of the more popular SoLoMo apps, Yelp. And that is a lesson being taught to more people than just my little family, through the use of apps like Yelp, people are changing their behaviors. You can look at your location as your attendees will and see if bad customer service or regular problems are clustered around a venue before you make decisions. This can be a negotiating chip for you, if you know what to look for.
Yelp is just part of the story in SoLoMo, but I can see in your faces that before I go any further you have one lingering question in your minds beyond anything I have said or will say. “What the heck is SoLoMo?”
There is a place where a social meets local on your mobile and that is SoLoMo – a sweet spot for personalized local activity for your audience on their mobile devices. I agree it’s a silly name, and I feel kind of silly saying it, but for one fact and that is there is nothing silly about it. My friends, it is changing our behavior! If you’ve ever used Foursquare or Facebook to check in places, if you’ve ever used SCVGR on the tradeshow floor, if you’ve ever used Yelp, you’ve used SoLoMo apps that have changed the way we and those around us look at social media on a local scale. And things are progressing even past this point with the development of augmented reality apps. But wait! Slow down, KiKi! You’ve only just begun telling us about this SoLoMo, can you break it down for me just a little bit before you start talking about Augmented Realities and so on? Yes.
Why does SoLoMo matter? There are 3 reasons you need to pay attention to SoLoMo: We’ve changed and adapted to new communication technologies – SoLoMo caters to thatThe first reason is that we’ve changed and adapted to new communication technologies – specifically, checking in and communicating via these little computers we carry with us all the time. Checking your phone at the table has become the viral yawn of this century. Once someone else pulls out their phone to check it, you feel pulled to do the same until soon the entire table has phones out and we’re all furiously checking in and looking for information on our mobile devices. How do we use that to our benefit when considering attendees? We have conference apps and some people use SMS or text updates to attendees who opt in for them. Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas uses text as a way to inform patron of coupons and deals within Mandalay Bay while you are staying there. Patrons opt in by texting a number given to them when they check in and new deals and updates are provided. It’s like magic. And you just text stop to stop the text messages. I wish everything were that easy. Seriously.
It provides a benefit we can't get elsewhere, a resource that makes our lives betterThe second reason you should care about SoLoMo is it is providing the three key elements for success: You can’t get the service elsewhere – People have a need for it – and it offers Specific benefits to each individual.
SoLoMo makes our lives better. It certainly made my life better when I was able to use an app to save my dinner companion money when I checked in on Foursquare and received an immediate check in bonus for free wine. Oh, and since my Amex is synced with Foursquare I was also able to get ½ of my bill rebated to my Amex when I paid using it. Tangible benefits.This slide shows Highlight – a SoLoMo app that helps people discuss in a group or one on one while centered around a meeting or location. How are you using SoLoMo to provide benefit to your attendees?
SoLoMo is about to give us even more capabilities with the progression of the technologyThe third reason you care about SoLoMo is what is the progression of the technology and what is coming our way...and if none of the rest of this has blown you away, your time has come. Are most of you familiar with the movies Terminator and Predator? How about Minority Report? You now have my permission to go watch all of those movies after this presentation. Because those movies feature something SoLoMo is bringing to us very soon and in some ways already today.In this scene, which seemed like complete science fiction when I saw this originally, we see advanced SoLoMo in action, the basic version of this is already available to us now.
We can now use Google Goggles or Yelp Monocle to augment our reality so that we have facts superimposed over what we see through our iPhone’s camera lens and can search or get information based on images.
Today’s Goggles look more like this…
Anyone who knows me knows that this could be my first pair of glasses. I would bank on it. I want them desperately right now…even in beta. Don’t judge me.
But first you need to understand that I had become horribly lost to the point that I could have used MacGyver’s help. I had made several false starts for the exit. I was in the middle of a huge tradeshow hall and I had zero idea of where I needed to go to leave the hall. I can see in your eyes the disdain. “Amateur” you’re thinking, but look, I had been busy talking to my biggest client as we’d entered the tradeshow floor and we were attending a huge conference for the AV industry with a massive Expo Hall in Las Vegas.
My client had left to meet with someone else and I needed to go to my next meeting. That was when I realized I’d failed to take note of any kind of temporary tradeshow landmarks and was completely and utterly lost. Forget directionals. I was in the Bermuda Triangle of tradeshows…totally mixed up. I started imagining stairways on the wall and ceiling as if I were in an MC Escher drawing, and then I saw one of the booths was actually designed to resemble an MC Escher drawing and my imagination wasn’t as strong as I’d thought. I stopped someone who was working a booth there and asked him how to get out of the hall and he said he had no idea. He laughed and said he’d left breadcrumbs, but a janitor had swept them all up. Ha ha.I wish they’d had something like the Hynes…
The SoLoMo app offered by the Hynes Convention Center uses GPS technology and a grid of the convention center, attendees can make their way out of the hall and find their way down the multiple hallways so you don’t need bread crumbs and a prayer to get to your next meeting.
So now that your paying attention to SoLoMo and you know you should watch it,… “What do you do with SoLoMo?” There are many options available to you and more all the time with some of the various apps out there, but here are 3 great ways to incorporate SoLoMo into your meeting. SCVNGR/FoursquareYelpAllText
But what about tomorrow? What about the Terminator vision? Here’s what some of your peers said about what they wish they could see if they had Terminator vision at one of their meetings…[Videos] …room setups as they pass the rooms…speaker check ins for each room and AV orders…ability to talk to other team members and reference materials on the go…VIP alerts
How SoLoMo Can You Go?
How SoLoMo Can You Go? E4 – August 2012 Honolulu, Hawaii