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My day at Apple Experience – MacStories



It took almost 18 months with Apple's usual today on Apple campaigns through keynote events and press releases, but I finally had interest in the program piqued. As I wrote earlier this month, while all other Apple product is being analyzed to the death of authors, podcasters and YouTubers, the company's stores and the Today at Apple program are often ignored by tech media. However, Apple's increased trumpeting of its retail initiatives, in the face of a collective move from the press, made me wonder what we really do not miss here. I mean if the company is passionate about today at Apple to host over 18,000 sessions a week, there must be something special about the program.

So I attended my first session.

Yesterday Monday morning I opened the Apple Store app and ordered a session on Apple Fifth Avenue, called "Photo Lab: Making Your Shot Co-made with Chase Jarvis." As I suspect is true to most iPhone owners, I love taking pictures with my phone, but I know absolutely nothing about the efforts in quality photography. As a result, the Photo Lab session seemed like a great place to start.

Much of the time Apple promotes Today on Apple, it highlights sessions that take place in its global flagship, with beautiful open forums and huge wall displays. My experience was much more low key, as Fifth Avenue placement approaches two full year in temporary housing as major renovations to its former location near completion. While the renewed Fifth Avenue store undoubtedly comes with all the beauty and greatness of places like Michigan Avenue and Regent Street, for now the site lacks all the modern bells and whistles; Instead of taking place in a forum, I found today at the Apple session around a small table that put eight participants.

I will not get much into the details of the session's content, which was solid overall; Instead, I will share three simple takeaways from this first day on Apple experience. They are the three most important things that were in my mind after the session, and after reviewing parts of Apple's October event in Brooklyn, I realized that my takeaways actually matched statements shared by executives at the event.

Human Connection [1
9659007] In Brooklyn, Apple's Sales Manager Angela Ahrendts:

"Today at Apple is … designed to encourage human connectivity, inspire new learning and unlock creativity and creative thinking for all generations. "

On several points throughout the session I found myself smiling, just looking around the table when I thought about how apparently a group of people this was. It was the participants who, from my best guess, range from 13 years to those in the 60's. Two people were friends who just got new phones, and they were always happy and terrible of everything they learned in the session. A mother participated with her daughter, who took notes for a school report. The rest of us, with the smallest appearance, had little in common. But there we sat around a table, learned and experimented with the technology we share.

The session encouraged collaborating with partners and involved a healthy amount of individual participation, as we each could view pictures we took or respond to the Creative Specialist's questions. Like someone who was already familiar with the features of the iPhone camera, I enjoyed helping those who sat next to me who needed some extra hands-on guidance. For one and a half hours, Apple became a beautiful catalyst to bring people together.

Local Talent

Ahrendts left:

"We are … creating global platforms for local talent. Photographers, musicians, developers, and artists share their creative gifts."

It should not come as a surprise that sessions on photography, drawing and music creation will be led by people who are … real creators, passionate about and experienced in their assigned domains. Still, it took me a while when Photo Lab's session manager introduced himself by sharing as he works as a photographer when he is not with Apple. Afterwards, I think the surprise moment revealed something about how I look at Apple.

Apple is a technology company, so I expected the Creative Specialist to be trained in technology, but not necessarily photography. Certainly, it would be much easier for the company to just give casual employees a crash course in teaching the assigned curriculum, which in itself was created by experts. But for this session at least, it was not the case. Instead, Apple found a creative expert to lead his workout, which must be a more challenging recruitment exercise. The effort is definitely worth it though. The feeling that a teacher knows what they are talking about and cares deeply about it makes all the difference in the world.

My session leader demonstrated true knowledge of both the creative and technological aspects of the subject. What impressed me was how he learned different aspects of photography by pointing out his own previous work, shown from his iPhone via AirPlay, as examples for the rest of us.

Distinct

After Ahrendt's retail update Tim Cook came on stage and exclaimed:

"Wow. No-one else has something like today on Apple."

The obviousness of Today that Apple is undeniable. In some of the most beautiful places in modern architecture, Apple commits itself seriously to not only helping customers get more out of their devices, but also with the help of the program's creative bend, Apple helps customers get more out of themselves . People are challenged to learn and grow in expressing their creativity, either through photography, music, video, outline or one of today on Apple's other topics. The company's holiday anniversary this year hits the same theme: each member of humanity has creative gifts to offer the world, and Apple wants to help all of us to improve it. What other technology giant has a big initiative like this?


It is remarkable to me that my big Takeaways from Today at Apple were perfectly adapted to recent quotes from Apple's top manager. In the past, I have considered some of Apple's retail statements as little more than PR buzzwords, not true goals for the company. But after experiencing just one single today in the Apple session, I could see how these are not empty words – they matter to the company.

If an increase is any indication of a program's success, Apple is clearly implementing its goals for Today at Apple. Promoting human affiliation and promoting local talent are difficult things to do in a retail environment, and it's something to build something in such a strong competition, but Apple does all three of these things. I'm keen to see what the future is like today for Apple as the company continues to pull this path.


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