Who We Are: 





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The Grand Hotel is located on the historic downtown square of McKinney TX. Built in 1886 and restored in 2007, the Grand Hotel is an elegant, luxury hotel reflecting its Texas roots and Old World charm. 

Historic downtown McKinney was established in 1848. A rich history combined with an array of eclectic shops and restaurants makes downtown McKinney a perfect location for our Cultural Immersion experience. A short drive from Dallas, Plano or Frisco, McKinney is within easy reach of DFW and Love Field airports. 



Fill out the form below, include specific workshop location you're interested in attending, and we'll be in touch soon!





Who Should Attend: 

Passport To Discovery™: Customer Experience Through Cultural Immersion

Melanie Garcia Kartalija

Storyology Research 

Immerse yourself in the culture of the customer and learn from the experts on how to improve the customer experience. Our workshop offers a wide range of tools, techniques, and experiences to participants. It is organized around three distinct steps: 

November 14 & 15: McKinney, TX--The Grand Hotel

Jan/Feb TBD: San Diego, CA--More info coming soon!

Our workshop is open to anyone interested in how to improve the customer experience. It’s especially relevant to professionals in customer experience (CX), user experience (UX), service design, marketing, innovation, strategic insights, HR, and sales.

  1. Passport Essentials: Your journey begins with a classroom overview of essential concepts from the fields of anthropology, design thinking, and narrative storytelling, to help develop new ways of viewing and thinking about the world of the customer. Our overview includes the culture concept, how to build empathy for the customer, the importance of social context, and the “native” point of view.  We combine class discussion with team exercises, so that you can practice what you learn as you learn it.
  2. Voyager Hands-On Cultural Immersion: We’ll pick a site for our Cultural Immersion, and you’ll go out “into the field” to investigate specific cultural contexts--where people live, work, play, socialize, and shop, to better understand the customer. While in the field, you’ll practice key methods, including observational research, material culture study, event analysis, and customer intercepts.
  3. Basecamp Brainstorming and Ideation: After your Cultural Immersion, you’ll return to the classroom, where you’ll learn how to translate field-based data and create powerful narrative stories based on your insights. You’ll learn how to run an effective brainstorm and ideation session where everyone participates and every idea is valued. Then, you’ll learn how to apply creative problem-solving techniques to transform your ideas into business action. 

Costs and Class Size: 


tel: +1.214.491.8590

email us here

Donna Maria Romeo, PhD

Romeo Anthropological Consulting

You're in good hands with Donna and Melanie, your workshop facilitators. 

Donna is a business anthropologist and customer experience expert with a PhD in applied anthropology. For over 25 years, she’s helped global firms, such as Whirlpool, JCPenney, and Pepsico, see the customer through fresh eyes. Her work has contributed to innovations in customer experience, marketing, service design, and product development.  Since 1999, she's been conducting ethnographic research and taking global teams “into the field” with the goal of obtaining a deeper understanding of the culture of the customer by walking in their shoes.

Melanie is a market research professional with a passion for qualitative research and storytelling. Her 18 years of experience in television research (KFMB, KNBC, and KGTV), helped her understand the value and impact of storytelling.  While working with seasoned news professionals, she saw that artful storytellers were able to transport and engage viewers. This prompted her to combine research and storytelling to help clients understand their customers’ stories & use these stories to develop marketing strategies and effectively communicate the brand’s story. 

  • Discover strategic business opportunities as you explore fresh ways of thinking about and understanding the customer experience.
  • See the world of the customer with fresh eyes through the time tested RAC “stop, look, and listen” approach.
  • Walk in the shoes of others for greater empathy and deeper understanding.
  • Practice best in class brainstorming & ideation techniques.
  • Learn the nuts and bolts of powerful & effective narrative storytelling.  
  • Translate key learnings from field immersions into business action. 

$2450 per person, EARLY BIRD discount until September 12: 20% ($1960 per person); Included in cost: breakfast and lunch for 2 days and classroom supplies; for large corporate groups interested in participating, please contact us for more information.

The Location: McKinney TX--November 14 & 15: REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

What You Will Learn: 

What It Is: