My Road to Retail Experience

3:56:00 PM

So it took me a while to write about my experience with Road to Retail's first episode of its workshop series: Create Your Own Product. The main reason is because I have no personal photos as proof so I waited for Manila Workshops to post theirs so I could grab some. I don't own a smartphone or camera

>> So before anything else, I would like to state that the following photos in this blog are not mine. They all belong to and are taken by ManilaWorkshops. <<
The Venue
The venue of the workshop was in Bonifacio Global City, aka BGC at the Fort Building. The room that the workshop took place in was well-lit, kind of business-y and at the same time welcoming, courtesy of Voffice. 

The First Impression
Well, let's start from the beginning; I was late. It's something a lot of moms can relate to; it takes a while to put down your own child-i mean, put him to sleep. So I missed the first 30 minutes of the workshop, but I have to assume it was mostly introductions. However, based on my observation, they seemed to have had a brief activity where they used socialization as a means to win a BINGO kind of game. I feel bad I missed it, I could use some practice with my social skills.

Like in any other occasion, I was anxious and didn't know how to say Hi to the people I sat with. I was shy and felt out of place mostly because I was late, but Ma'am Sally Yu helped me find a seat immediately. It was nice that she pointed me where to sit and even went out of her way to introduce me to my seatmates. It was something I didn't even think of doing when I sat down. 

The Workshop
First of all, the workshop was nothing like what I expected. The truth is I was expecting an ordinary seminar-like workshop where the speaker would simply tell you what to do, give slide shows and ask if there are any questions. Surprisingly, the Road to Retail workshop was, well... creative and fun. Even the appearance of sponsors did not feel at all like an ambush, there was even a raffle where some lucky people (..i wasn't one of them okay!?) won shirts and a 25,000 peso-worth of Insurance! Imagine that! Lucky sumbitchez....

This is Ms. Sandie Asonto from Pru Life UK, raffling the 25k php worth Personal Accident Life insurance to two luck participants, and below is Mr. Lyle Jover giving out free Escrow Fund Credits to everyone, courtesy of ! In case you are a freelancer like me, I highly suggest, it is purely Filipino and an effective way of finding clients and the pay is good, really good.

Group Work
We had group activities where we brainstormed together and made mood boards and even miniature packaging samples. I didn't feel shy, and I even get to present at some point, which I never imagined I was capable of doing (insecure little person here with no social skills).

in case you were wondering. I'm the girl with glasses.

It made me feel...accomplished, for some reason. I also felt comfortable to talk and contribute to the project. My group mates and I also had a lot of fun. We were quite slow in deciding but we were able to make a nice mood board, but I wish I could have taken a picture :(

Hands-On Activities
One of the unexpected things in the workshop was the hands-activities. Cutting up pictures in the magazine and pasting them on the cartolina made me feel at home. We created a mood board, something that identifies and expresses everything about your product in mind.

Not only that, we were also able to practice presenting our product to people. That's something I now realize is important, if you want market visibility. There were around 3 times during the workshop when we had to state our product and tell people in the room what it was and for whom. I was able to practice my speech skills but flaked at the last presentation so my group mate, Felix, thank yow! presented the final product with miniature packaging sample.

The Speakers
Mam Besa and Gertie are down to earth, that's my opinion of them. They approached every table and asked every group about the progress. Ma'am Gertie even helped us come up with a simplified version of our product idea.

My group mates and I had trouble in making our ideas solid and Ma'am Gertie helped us to identify our product's best feature. Ma'am Besa explained things thoroughly, she managed to make pricing simple for me. Most of the best things I learned from the workshop were the speakers' personal advice. I jotted down a lot of notes from the experiences they shared.

I enjoyed the workshop, completely regret not having a camera or a phone to take pictures of our hands-on projects. I wish I could have taken that mood board home and I wish I could have asked the contact numbers of my group mates, even though I have no idea what I'd tell them. All in all, I do want to attend the next leg, which is the Offer It! Where to Sell Your Product workshop. You can view the details of that workshop here.

I can therefore say that there is nothing to lose in attending Manila Workshops workshops. There is still a lot of room for self improvement, whether you are a professional in your field, a mother who is looking for extra income or an aspiring student who want to learn more. 

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