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Friday, September 17, 2010

Fashion Over Cash...

Packed parking lot and crowded sidewalks at The Village Plaza on FNOJa
... Or is it cash over fashion? Well whichever it was, people were certainly out in their numbers for the Jamaica Observer's Fashion Night Out Jamaica (FNOJa) on the eve of September 10, 2010! The Constant Spring shopping area was a buzz with eager crowds pacing the floors of the stores and sidewalks of the shopping plazas. Traffic was thick, and parking was only a figment of the imaginations of drivers who arrived after 6:00pm! It seemed as if the entire Kingston metropolitan area descended on the shopping strip.

Customers inside Jewelry Collection Twin Gates Plaze
A very packed Ammar's Village & Mall Plazas
From all indications FNOJa as a great success for the stores who participated in this event as all stores were seeing more than their regular customer count. This was even more evident with stores like Collectibles and Xtras, which had to be letting in customers on a phased basis, customers who were already in endless lines at the doors of these establishments. This was just more than browsing customers in many of the stores, especially with the ones that were actually having a reasonable discount of 30% and up. I recall seeing the cash registers at quite a few of the stores being swarmed by eager customers making their discounted purchases.

Customers lined up at the entrance of Collectibles waiting on their turn to enter the store.
Some establishments employed creative ways to lure customers into their places of business and to advertise their services. Bling Bling had live mannequins in their store window which drew quite a large crowd of curious onlookers. In Motion Fitness Centre hand representatives dancing and giving out flyers, while the LIME store had a large screens and neon lights at the entrance of their store. Some stores certainly went the extra mile to get customer in and some certainly benefited from their participation in FNOJa. However, not all benefited greatly as the stores at Devon House seemed to be devoid of customers, which were sucked in by the hub of commercial activity brewing at the Constant Spring shopping plazas. Nevertheless, they still seemed to be happy with being a part of the event.

Shoppers looking at live mannequins at Bling Bling.
A dancer promoting In Motion Fitness Centre
The Impressive entrance at the LIME full service store.
The crowds seen at the stores in the plazas along Constant Spring road was certainly huge, so much so, it seemed even bigger that the crowds seen in the days before Christmas! One thing is for sure, FNAOJa seemed to be a success for the organizers and the participating stores... and maybe even for the consumers! This definitely looks like an event that will be returning next year as shoppers are always on the hunt for cheaper prices.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mini Bloggers Linkup

L-R: Irie Diva, Taylor, Marangand, Jamaipanese, Jamaican Dawta, Stunner, Bobby, Tami
Hot off the heels of the Jamaica Pegasus Tweetup, was a mini blogger/ex-blogger linkup on Saturday September 4 at relatively new spot called Scotchies on Chelsea Ave. I say ex-blogger as some have moved on from blogging the pursue other interests... something I can relate to as I am not blogging as frequently as I used to. The mini linkup was the brain child of blogger, now turned lurker, Bobby Minoramp seeing that it has been ages since we had a bloggers linkup... from 2006 in fact! It was cool reuniting with fellow bloggers and meeting the other bloggers who I have interacted on the blogsphere with, but had not had the opportunity to meet.

Chatting while we ate.
The location was a decent place for such a meetup as we had secured a corner for ourselves as well as two tables to ensure we were comfortably seated. The smell of jerk meats being prepared permeated the air and the chatter of patrons also followed suit. We had a good time getting acquainted and reacquainted over some Red Stripe Beer, Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, festivals and roast breadfruit. 

Scotchies Jerk Pork
I however, have a bone to pick with Scotchies for slow service and undercooked chicken which made me sick in the early hours of Sunday morning! Nevertheless, the linkup had a good vibe with fun people like: Irie Diva, Tami, Bobby, Taylor, Jamaipanese Marangand and Jamaican Dawta. Definitely would do another lyme like that again... But not at Scotchies!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Jamaica Pegasus Tweetup Round Two!

The Twitter fountain on a projector screen at the Jamaica Pegasus tweetup

In June of this year the Jamaica Pegasus (@JamaicaPegasus) created history when they hosted the first ever corporate sponsored tweetup in Jamaica. It was a great event which saw not only the popularity of the hotel grow, but also it gave so many tweeters an opportunity to put the faces behind the tweets. It was hailed a great success by many and yet the Jamaica Pegasus hinted that they had plans for another tweetup in the future. But after the success of that historic even. could the Jamaica Pegasus really pull off another tweetup to compare?

Guests at the Jamaica Pegasus tweetup
That question was certainly answered not even on the day of the tweetup, but even several weeks before the actual tweetup on September 3, 2010. The Jamaica Pegasus decided to go bigger and better and this idea had some positive indications weeks before the event. Within approximately two days of sending out the invitation on Twitter, all the available invitations were gobbled up by eager tweeters who wanted to relive the experience as well as those who heard the good reviews and wanted to get the experience of a Jamaica Pegasus tweetup! Now they had the support, but could the Jamaica Pegasus really deliver to the anticipating guests?

A shot of the tempting food at the tweetup
With a larger crowd confirmed for the tweetup the Jamaica Pegasus moved the party from the 17 floor to their beautiful lawn of the "Gardens of the Pegasus" which was big enough to host a crowd that was twice as big as that of the first tweetup. As expected the Jamaica Pegasus delighted its guest with an open bar flowing with an unlimited supply of alcoholic beverages and mixes. But that was not the only thing flowing as the ever funny Elva (@Elvajamaica) kept the vibes going as she MC'd the programme and the mix master Captain Collin Hines (@captcollinhines) kept everyone swinging with some dangerous mixes from the turn table! The crowd after being fuled by some good food from the appetizing buffet, couldn't resist the mixes being dished out by Captain Collin Hines and the bartenders at the two bars! They hit the dance floor and partied the night away on the mini stage/dance floor as well as the lush lawn! The sounds of great music, laughter and friendly chatter filled the air at the Jamaica Pegasus, all a sign of a people having a good time.

Tweeters dancing up a storm to the music of Cpt. Collin Hines
Sticking with their bigger better plans the Jamaica Pegasus enlisted several other corporate sponsors for this event, such as, NCB (@ncbja), Jamaica National (@JamaicaNational), Secrets Resorts (@SecretsResorts), Palace Amusement (@PalaceMovies) Boingo (@boingo) and returning sponsor Calico Jack. Calico Jack provided their addictive rum punch to loosed the up the crown while the other sponsored provided even more good cheer with several prizes and giveaways including a Blackberry and a weekend for two at the luxurious Secrets Resorts! Hopefully these sponsors will realize the impact social media can have on the success and continued growth of a company in this competitive environment and jump on board to even host their own tweetups in the future.

Guest collecting a prize with MC Elva (left)
This tweetup gave me yet another opportunity to physically connect and reconnect with so many people that I interact with on a daily basis on Twitter. But it did not end there as just with the previous tweetup I met and am now connected to so many more tweeters. It was great hanging out with my now extended twitter family!

 L-R: @Jamaipanese, @IrieDiva, @djnarity, @KarmaizaDiva @Elvajamaica and me.
Me and @IrieDiva 
Me and @Reesy11
L-R: @Jamaipanese @StunnerJ @9970000
Me and  @sweetpersona
Me and  @captcollinhines
Kudos to the Jamaica Pegasus for hosting another successful tweetup and the biggest tweetup in the history of Jamaica! For tweets about the tweet up you can visit the twitter hash tags #jptweetup and #jptweetup2. To get a full eyeful of the Jamaica Tweetup visit my facebook album Jamaica Pegasus Tweetup II.