A few weeks ago, I got an email from General Motors, inviting me to be their guest at the North American International Auto Show. Of course, I graciously accepted their offer and last weekend, I flew to Detroit. From the moment that my feet hit the ground in Michigan, I was treated like royalty.
General Motors’ staff greeted me at Baggage Claim. They helped me dig my winter coat out of my luggage and get prepared for the cold. Once I’d gotten my bags, I was whisked away in a very FAB GMC Acadia. Lucky for me, the Acadia allows the backseat passengers to control their climate. I was shuttled to the door of the Marriott Renaissance Center, which shares a building with GM headquarters.
My instructions were to get my Welcome Packet and to be ready for the shuttle to dinner by 6:45pm. Just beyond the elevators to my 17th floor room, I found a table of GM employees. This is where I first met (in person) Lisa Gilpin, of GM’s Social Media team. Now THIS is one FAB chick! I had heard only great things about her, but nothing even came close to the real thing. She gave me my packet and chatted a bit. She had me at “hello”–my new sister from another mister. She’s cool, cute and comedic. LOVED her! And, since I was starved she offered to show me where the Food Court was in the gigantic RenCen. I also met another GM social media maven, Deb Ochs. She’s another cool chick. And, just by chance, I ran into one of my favorite folks in the world, Kameya Shows, of OnStar. She was with Travis Rauh, one of OnStar’s SuperFans, who I’d met here in South Florida a few months back.
This is also where I found that not only were there going to be automotive and lifestyle bloggers, but also SuperFans. GM had selected a few of their most vocal Facebook fans and invited them along. This was huge and also amazing. You see, I’m a blogger. I’m (getting) used to being catered to by brands. But, can you imagine being invited on such a trip, and all you did was “liked” the brand on Facebook? These SuperFans were one of the highlights of my trip–you couldn’t help but be happy for them and excited with them.
GM had arranged for us to have dinner, as a group, at the Rub BBQ Pub. It was heavenly. The menu offered things like homegrown, fried Michigan pickles and bbq spaghetti. I had the Bases Loaded–Texas beef brisket, Tennessee pulled pork, and 2 St Louis style ribs. My sides were collards and mac/cheese. Whew! I was so loving this trip! It was at the dinner when I first met some of the others in the group–including Stacey Hoffer Weckstein of MomRenewal.com, Joel Feder of HighGearMedia.com, and Gary Grant, of TheGarageBlog.com. In all, there were more than 20 in our crowd. I also met more of General Motors’ SM team, including Chris Barger, Mary Henige and Connie Burke. Joining us at dinner was Andrew Farah, Chief Vehicle Engineer for the Chevy Volt. He told us all about the Volt, from an insider’s prospective. Since I drove the Volt a few months back, I was able to ask some informed questions.
Fun was had by all, but I turned in early in anticipation of the KILLER schedule the next day.
Disclosure: I was a guest of General Motors for this press junket. They provided my travel, lodging and meals. My opinions remain my own.