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Read all about guest blogger, Holly_J's experiences at the HP Social Support Summit. Thank you for sharing your story, Holly_J!




I do believe the global HP Social Support Summit (#HPS3) is a friendly plot cooked up by the HP Expert extroverts to get the HP Expert introverts to step away from their notebook PCs, tuck their smartphones into their pockets, turn off their tablets, and spend some quality “face time” with everyone. And it’s working. My name tag says “Expert Blogger,” but it’s hard to find time and opportunity to write, when the schedule is so packed with engaging speakers and interesting things to learn and do!


The energy and camaraderie here in Orlando are palpable. The Summit brings together the HP Experts - employees and customers who volunteer their personal time in the HP Support Forums to help HP customers solve problems and get the most out of their HP products. To me, one of the coolest things about social media is how it eliminates that initial awkwardness of introductions and breaks the ice when actually meeting fellow HP Experts from around the world. Auntie Em told me that someone saw us gabbing away and asked her if we’d known each other a long time. Nope! We just met, here in Orlando.


Jason Duncan, WW Forums Manager, welcomed everyone to the Summit and officially kicked off the event by introducing his team and asking them to say a few words in their native language(s).




The official theme of the HP Social Support Summit was Connect, inspire and create. But underlying all of it was a deep sense of the appreciation HP has for its global Expert community – volunteers, dedicated employees and loyal HP customers who share enthusiasm for technology and who enjoy spending their time on the HP Support Forums helping fellow HP customers. This was driven home by a keynote speech by Enrique Lores, Senior VP, Customer Support and Services, HP, on the important role of support and how the consumer support forums help to differentiate HP’s total customer experience from the competition.


Patricia Graca, Director, Social Support Strategy and Operations, talked about community engagement and how a great social care experience is critical to cement customers’ brand loyalty.


Pat Williams, Co-Founder and Senior VP of the NBA’s Orlando Magic delivered an inspirational keynote speech on “Extreme Winning: The Twelve Keys to Getting it Done.” Pat even led us all in some “hard work” and exercise.




For more detailed notes from the keynotes and sessions, be sure to look up #HPS3 on Twitter.




blog5.jpgIn the afternoon, we boarded busses to Universal Studios Orlando for an afternoon of team-building and fun, with a challenging Scavenger Hunt that incorporated social media, ensured that we all got enough exercise to work up a healthy appetite, and left me fairly confident that I could give guided tours of the theme park. We were randomly assigned to teams, but quickly bonded in our zeal to practice Pat Williams' tips on Extreme Winning. There was plenty of food and drink at the Red Coconut, followed by dancing (and The Harlem Shake, of course!).




blog6.jpgThere was even time to run back to the park to ride a couple of rides. How embarrassing would it be to admit to my kids that I'd spent the afternoon at Universal Theme Parks and not gone on any rides? Fortunately, I didn't have to ride alone. More than a few of us had that thought, apparently, and we ran into each other near Ollivander's. I highly recommend Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but the Dragon Challenge will rattle your teeth and isn’t for the faint of heart.


On Thursday, we kicked things off with “Social Savvy Tips and Tricks,” a panel discussion with leaders from Lithium, Google, and HP that focused on how to communicate effectively with customers in the HP Support Forums. We were all then faced with some tough decisions, having to choose between exciting and informative sessions on the Computing Track, the Computing/Printing Track, or the Social Media Track. Session offerings included:



Stephen Rose joined us from Microsoft to talk about “supporting users in a 3 minute popcorn world” – where answers are expected immediately, if not sooner – and talked about the ways in which Windows 8 improves data security and enables a more flexible workstyle. Anjali Vaidya, Google Product Specialist, spoke about harnessing the features of Google+ for business, and Ashley Verrill of Software Advice shared the results of a three-month-long research project evaluating social customer service responsiveness of 14 top brands.


Thursday night’s gala at Sea World was amazing – we got the Manta rollercoaster all to ourselves (I rode in the front car twice!) and enjoyed live music, appetizers, and a scrumptious dinner in the Sharks Underwater Grill.




The one downside to the HP Social Support Summit is saying goodbye. But it's not really goodbye - we'll soon be back to work helping HP customers and each other on the HP Forums around the world including:



What drives us? Everyone I talked with shared a passion for helping people. Other factors include a friendly competitive streak, a love of technology and gadgets, and a passion for solving problems that range from "quick, easy win" to "might make Sherlock Holmes tear his hair out." That's really all it takes to be an HP Expert (here are some other great reasons to become an HP Expert). I'm glad that I overcame my hesitation - my fear of being wrong, really - and participated enough to be invited to this amazing event: the annual HP Social Support Summit. It's not goodbye. There's just over 350 days to the next one! See you in San Diego?

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the <a href="https://www8.hp.com/us/en/terms-of-use.html" class="udrlinesmall">Terms of Use</a> and <a href="/t5/custom/page/page-id/hp.rulespage" class="udrlinesmall"> Rules of Participation</a>.