I never would have dreamed that the type of phone I have could lead me on such an amazing adventure.
I got my first Samsung phone in April 2019. I take a lot of photos and loved how clear the images were. After a trip to Broome, WA in 2021, I shared a couple of photos to the Samsung Members app. I was asked if I’d be happy these shared on the SamsungNZ instagram account, which of course I was. A month or two later I was contacted about becoming a “Samsung Maker”.
I had my phone upgraded to the Galaxy S22 Ultra in April and shared a few photos and videos of some some of the features. And then the most unexpected email arrived in my inbox: did I want to come to New York City with Samsung? Let me think… YES!
It took me 24-hours to fly from Wellington to New York via Auckland and Houston (running for both transfers and missing a flight due to delays!) I arrived to 40 degree heat, from a freezing and rainy Wellington the day prior, and with very little sleep, but filled with optimism.
The first day we received a welcome pack and had an orientation dinner and drinks, with a chance to meet Samsung Makers from around the world. At the dinner table we met the other “team members” we would partake in a challenge the next day. I was with 5x from the US (Chicago, Philly, New York and 2x from Dallas) and 2x from Australia (Sydney and Adelaide).
The next morning we headed over the road to Samsung 837 for Unpacked Live. This is where the new products were unveiled on the big screen (Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4), with around 50 of us in tiered seating, chatting about the new features as they were revealed. Afterwards there were a couple of workshops, sharing some great tips for video content.
After that walked a couple of blocks to the Unpacked Experience where we could get hands on with the products. It was absolutely a benefit to see the new phones up-close immediate after launch. It’s here that we each received the brand new Galaxy Buds2 Pro (which are my fave travelling companions!) and a couple of us were interviewed about our thoughts on the products.
That afternoon we headed to Times Square, where Samsung had a planned take-over with SUGA from BTS on the many large screens. In our teams we filmed some footage in the city – this was a really fun activity and one of the Aussies (Vueey from Adelaide) took the lead, which we all appreciated. Dinner was at Carmine’s before a few of us walked back via the High Line (a must-do in NYC).
The next day we had another workshop, learning more about the products, headed to the amazing Color Factory, then had a farewell cocktail hour with some awards (which our team won!)
The next day, most people headed home, while I dragged my suitcase about 18 blocks, closer to Madison Square Garden where I’d bought tickets to Rage Against the Machine that night (EPIC).
My final day was a rush of shopping and trains before a 30-hour return trip home (including another missed flight).
The Samsung team were fantastic, and it was such an unexpected and amazing experience.
Above are photos from New York, and our winning video below.