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If you think that Manila has only traffic, business, fast food and noise to offer you might be wrong - go to the Megacity Hotdot Makati International & Alternative and you will see the other side (literally and figuratively) of the business district! Suited-up and well-prepared, the Megacity Manila Team met around 4.30 pm in the Manila office.
First Person Account
"All set to track down the first hot establishments in the Megacity, we left the office around 5.00 pm. The chosen area was the HotDot Makati International & Alternative - we allocated roughly three hours for it and decided that night time would be best because all of the stores and bars would still or already be open. Even though managers were not present in the first few locations, the very hospitable staff offered us all their support in featuring their establishment and contacting the owner for further information. We never felt compelled to sit down for hours and explain every bit of our project before getting scraps of information. It was more the coziness and the nice atmosphere and quality of talks that invited us to stay for a while, drinking some coffee or enjoy a nice meal before continuing to the next location. In the end of the night we were able to cover more than a dozen locations in four hours.
The first few locations were the toughest. Sometimes it took a lot of smiles to even get the number of the owner or manager. The later the evening, the happier the people to see us and provide us with information. Especially those who do not even have a website were happy to hear that soon a lot of foreigners will frequent their place. Our reasoning was that they might have had a beer or two, which opened them up. Whatever the reason, it told us a lesson: start late. While we were actually expecting to use our Powerpoint slides more often, the 'proof' of authentic business background was our bright pink calling card - thanks to our designer's talents we will be remembered for some time.
While being a foreign Megacitizen has the advantage of a door-opener, having a local Megacitizen who can adapt to different clients is the real-deal. In that combination we were able to communicate with people with a variety of backgrounds easily. That this mixture of skill-sets is handy became very obvious when switching to the mother tongue was followed by the invitation to a typical Swiss dinner. We did not expect that much enthusiasm. Another owner, who does not only bars but also is into advertising even asked us for a private meeting to discuss his options to advertise with us. Bottom-line: a team of two with mixed skill sets and backgrounds is a very effective setup.
The unique selling point was our target audience of Megacitizens who would otherwise not find this shop – because you first have to know what you are looking for before you can find it. Why exactly Megacitizens are our target group was easily explained by the inclusiveness of our services for them. The last doubts were erased when mentioning that their business was hand-picked and selected through experiences from Megacitizens such as me, who frequented their business already.
The team ended the night with a high amount of motivation, hurting feet (5 inch heels might be a bit too much for this task) and a good amount of information, pictures and documents at 9.00 pm over a beer and feedback talk – of course in one of our featured-locations-to-be."