Apple is known for being very strict and confidential. About 3 weeks before the launch event, I didn’t know they intended to invite to the US to attend and suddenly one day received an email from them. With such a close time, only those who have a US VISA can attend in time. Even in the invitation, they did not mention the launch of a new product, only “pleased to invite you to the Steve Jobs Theater to attend a special Apple event” and all other information about the product is question mark.
Everything happened very quickly after Apple sent the invitation and after I confirmed my attendance, they started sending a second email, carefully advising before the event like what to prepare for the international flight, when What to do next when arriving at the airport, how to get to Apple Park, how to check-in before entering the event and health – medical information.
Talking a little about health – medical issues, Apple requires attendees to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the September 7 event. You must agree to the terms, follow medical procedures as well as allow data sharing (here is the COVID-19 test result) to a 3rd party, CTEH (Center for Toxicology and Environment Health, roughly translated in Chinese). Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health), of course your data will also be secure and only the Apple side with this CTEH will be able to access it.
Also in this section, Apple recommends that wearing a mask or not at the event is an individual’s choice, but if you have just recovered from COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with an infected person, it is required to wear it.
Testing for COVID-19 is probably not too strange for us, but during the time I attended another technology company’s event in New York in August, I was never asked to test for COVID-19 nor was it tested. as there are no requests for this medical or health information.
It can be seen that Apple is very careful and cares about the general health of all attendees, even at first I was a little skeptical and a bit “annoyed”, but when I stepped inside the event, I understand why they’re asking for it, and I’ll explain it elsewhere in this post.
Experience, experience and experience
What is important must be said three times. Apple always wants users to have a seamless experience when using its ecosystem, and when organizing events, too, every guest who attends has the most comfortable experience.
Closer to the date of attendance, Apple started emailing flights and I was quite surprised when they opted to buy business class tickets. As someone who has attended a lot of international tech events over the years, I have never flown in this class and it was clearly a whole new experience for me. About 10 times on business trips to the US, I was quite “beaten” and even fed up with having to sleep for nearly 20 hours, but with this Apple-invited business trip, everything became different.
With business class seats, you get a private space to truly rest, a large display screen, a corner of the table where you can eat or work, and the best part is that at the touch of a button, the chair can recline. straight out of the bed to sleep during the long flight.
Arriving at the airport, walking out the door, there is an employee wearing a luxurious black suit holding a sign with my name and picking up the hotel by limousine service. This driver also shared that these days, his company brings a lot of reporters from all over the country when coming here, “I took this trip for the 3rd time of the day and of course the event is going to be huge”he added.
As far as I know, this entire hotel is rented out for reporters and other attendees such as content creators or partners. Apple also made a separate wifi router called “Apple Wifi” with a larger bandwidth than hotel Wifi, which also shows how psychological they are and understands that content creators need a good connection to work, posting huge amounts of content on social platforms on the day of the event.
After a night of rest, I attended a sunrise Yoga session organized by Apple in the hotel’s garden area. Talking more about this training session, it is designed specifically for attendees of the Apple event, and the Apple family has invited it since before the flight.
Because the sun rose quite late here, the training session started at 7:30 am and everything was carefully prepared from the practice mat, towel, wooden mattress for beginners and drinking water. Attendees of this workout were also given a beautiful black water bottle with the Apple Fitness+ logo laser engraved on it.
The session is also quite gentle and mostly for you to warm up the muscle groups in the morning and stretch the joints and spine. The teacher also doesn’t forget to remind you to choose the Yoga practice feature on Apple Watch to measure and review your parameters later. It can be said that this is a small program, but it shows Apple’s ingenuity when it shows concern for everyone’s health, but on the other hand also creates a closer connection with them, silently. advertising without being too grotesque or forced.
Usually with the international events that I attend, companies tend to put a lot of activities or meetings, which easily adds pressure and also takes up a lot of reporters’ time. Personally, if I try to follow the schedule all day, when I come back to the room at night, I will feel quite tired and not awake enough to be able to work (US night is daytime in Vietnam and of course I still have to check check work email as well as do some necessary work of the editorial office).
After the “stretching” session with Yoga in the morning, I continued to be… free to experience. This means I can explore anywhere I want without being tied to Apple’s time or schedule. Therefore, I and the guests of the Vietnamese delegation invited each other to visit Apple Park to admire with their own eyes.
It is quite sad that Apple will not let you visit the Ring Building inside Apple Park, but can only go to the Apple Visitor Center area (located opposite Apple Park) and this place has a rather grandiose store, completely wrapped around Apple Park. with glass doors and a team of young and dynamic staff.
Back to the Apple Visitor Center, here they have a total of 3 main areas: in the middle is the store, on the left is the AR experience area that I will mention later and on the right is the cafe of… Apple! All are completely clad in glass so we can see clearly from the outside.
To combat the sleepiness of the time difference, I chose Caffè Macs as the first place to enter. This is really the first time I heard that Apple has its own cafe here, with the menu and every step of choosing, customizing drinks and paying is done on one website. the iPad. The space is very beautiful, has a minimalist trend and especially makes use of skylights and glass panels to get natural light in.
Stepping into the main space, this is the place to fully display all the products of the Apple ecosystem, but the special thing you should know is that this is also one of the only two places. (the other store is located at One Infinite Loop – Apple’s first headquarters in Cupertino) sells Apple souvenirs, from tote bags and t-shirts to even baby shirts. Does the Apple family also want to guide their children to grow up to be iFan?
And this is the last space, and also the most interesting place at Apple Visitor Center: the Apple Park model display area.
If you’ve ever been to museums or exhibitions, looking at construction models, you’re probably familiar with this style. But no, Apple has taken it to the next level in visitor experience. With the strength of being a giant in the technology industry, Apple of course does not miss the opportunity to apply and advertise what it is: LiDAR.
They use this sensor technology (which is already built into the iPad and iPhone) to scan the inanimate model and make it more interesting on the screen of a tablet. The technology of the LiDAR sensor and augmented reality (AR) is what helps visitors have a more vivid and detailed view of the work that Apple has worked so hard to build.
Right on the iPad screen, you can see what Apple Park looks like with the times of the day, or see how they simulate using natural energy like wind and sun to run the entire area, even “pop the roof” to know what’s inside those buildings.
Spectacular but close
On the day of the event, attendees were invited to board buses to move from the hotel to Apple Park. This is officially when I was allowed to step through the Apple Park gate and “penetrate” inside.
When you have just passed the gate, the staff asks you to take your laptop out of your backpack and perform a security scan.
Once again we see Apple using large curved glass panels for their entire architecture. I myself really like this design because it brings a lot of natural light inside, not having to spend electricity to light the building, and creating a feeling of being closer to nature.
A round of Steve Jobs Theater.
Overlooking the other side is the Ring Building, with a circumference of about 1.6km.
The lobby at the Steve Jobs theater was crowded with people, with a counter serving snacks and coffee in the middle, and so was the outside campus.
Honestly, I really like the lighting in the product testing area after the launch event is over. In the past, I used to wonder why foreign news sites and newspapers took pictures of iPhone on the launch day so beautifully, when I went to foreign events of other brands, I also saw that most of them used dark tones, or Turning off the lights and then using spotlights creates a feeling like in luxury places, high-class restaurants… But no, it makes the experience of both attendees and operations extremely difficult.
At that time, I thought again: “Perhaps they can borrow it to take home photos?”. And then today, I really opened my eyes to know that everyone is the same, that is, everyone appears at this experience to work, not to be “favored”, from major news sites to to famous YouTubers like MKBHD or SuperSaf are all here.
Apple’s secret lies in the use of light colored wall panels, with skylights to bring in as much natural light as possible, so even though it’s on the B1 floor, everything is still “bright as day”. Thanks to that, attendees like me can see the purple color of the iPhone 14 Pro in the clearest and most realistic way, without being changed by colored lights reflected in it. Once again, Apple shows that they can do things completely different from the competition and deliver the best experience whether it is the user when receiving the product or the guest with a machine in hand at the experience table. . It’s a seamless experience that not everyone can do.
However, nothing is perfect and even at this event, I also saw that clearly. Apple encapsulates the experience area in this circular building, so they use 3 long tables and each table has a series of newly launched products, namely 1 table for iPhone, 1 table for Apple Watch and 1 table for Apple Watch. desk for Airpods headset. With more than 200 reporters and content creators, along with Apple employees demoing products, you can understand how crowded and congested it is here. Perhaps that is also why Apple requires attendees to be tested for COVID-19 1 day before the event to ensure everyone’s general health.
After the product experience, attendees can return to the hotel by bus or have lunch at Caffè Macs by the Visitor Center. The Apple House is not binding and lets everyone have the most appropriate choice, so that everyone has a comfortable time and is free to experience according to their personal preferences.
Contrary to other phone companies that tend to send products to reporters to experience soon after the event, Apple does not have this policy. That’s why I spend the rest of my time experiencing nearby places. Overall, this is a trip that is called a business trip, but it is very comfortable, without pressure, which I have not seen in all other business trips. Perhaps it’s thanks to the way Apple puts the experience first and cares about everyone, “designing” a trip to the best of their ability. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to experience upcoming events and expand my horizons even more in the future.