Editor’s Note: Whether you’re looking to improve your brain powers, let off some steam, or have a blast meeting new people, OfficeNinjasIRL on 11/1 has everything you need.
It’s official—play has the power to make you smarter.
As adults with busy lives and professional goals in mind, it probably isn’t often that you kick off your shoes and jump in a puddle, or whip out a colorful puzzle. Yet, engaging in some of that childhood whimsy could be the missing piece of your full-potential-puzzle.
Here’s how: by experimenting with new ideas, stories, or activities that include physical stimulation, “play activity is actively helping sculpt the brain.” All of play’s super beneficial effects stem from the fact that the very concept of play involves trying new things without feeling threatened physically or emotionally.
The trick, however, is incorporating play into life once you’re too tall to ride the pony train at the fair. That’s where play research comes in, and businesses around the country are starting to integrate play into the office.
Now, anyone who’s part of this community will hardly be surprised to hear that OfficeNinjas is riding this bandwagon. We incorporate experiential elements into all Ninjas gatherings. It’s not only fun, but this differentiates Adminglings and our annual events like OfficeNinjasIRL and Admin Bash from other events.
In fact, we’re such strong champions of letting loose and building brain power that we’ve tricked out the OfficeNinjasIRL theme with adult recess-like details. We want Ninjas to meet up with cool vendors and sip great cocktails, but at the very core, it’s about growing professionally while having a kickass time.
We want you to reap the professional rewards that come with playful interactions, so we’ve tailored every chair, light fixture, conversation, and even the menu to reflect the carefree, explorative environment of recess.
As such, OfficeNinjasIRL will be jam-packed. You’ll network, you’ll eat, you’ll laugh, you’ll play—and you’ll constantly wonder what’s coming next. We want to save some surprises, but here’s a rundown of what your inner 10-year-old is in for:
1. Scenes from the Playground
Close your eyes for a second and think back to your elementary school playground. We’ll bet you can recall a few things: bright colors, sleek lines, and lots of variety.
To keep that vibrant visual alive, Blueprint Studios and Impact Lighting have teamed up to add funky, brightly-hued furniture, intricate lighting, and modern, earthy decor to the venue. The setup will be reminiscent of an outdoor playground—without the sticky monkey bars.
2. Learnings via Fireside Chat
We love a good time, but OfficeNinjasIRL isn’t all play. As mentioned, the goal is to combine playful elements with networking and education—which will come in the form of a Fireside Chat and overviews of innovative tech companies. Ninjas will not only connect with each other and a panel of All-Stars, but they’ll also meet a handful of vendors who are taking their respective industries by storm.
3. Not Cafeteria Cuisine
Acting like a carefree adolescent doesn’t necessarily mean eating like one. Because OfficeNinjas takes awesome eats very seriously, Nybll has taken charge of the menu to ensure the spread is reminiscent of your wonder years without putting off your sophisticated adult palate. Juicy sliders, truffled mac and cheese, Korean-style chicken nuggets, and spiked juice boxes are just a few of the goodies you can expect.
4. Bunnies in the Classroom
Plenty of classes adopt a pet to teach the kiddos responsibility. We’re just bringing in bunnies because they’re super cute and really fun to hang out with. Thanks to 1Up Events, these furry thumpers will be around for snuggles (because we know you’re already responsible).
5. Water Fountains & Snack Times
Another staple of recess is a rusty, metallic watering hole that hardly ever works. Luckily, Bevi has given the fountain a much-needed upgrade—that also ups the fun factor. In the mood for some bubbles? Go for it. Want a bit of flavor to wash down your savory appetizers? No problem, use the touchscreen dispense system to choose from tons of flavors. Then, when it comes to snack time, push images of stale crackers from your mind, since Byte’s modern, healthy vending fridge will keep you fueled and ready to party.
6. Arcade Games After School
We chose an adult recess theme because of the playful, explorative aspects associated with conquering the playground—but we like to think Dr. Stuart would enjoy the idea of carrying imagination beyond school grounds. Joey the Cat, a company that knows all about getting adults gaming, is stocking the place with arcade games for a bit of fun competition.
7. Say Cheese for School Pictures
Ahh—photo time. Blazer Photo Branding Agency will be around to give away free professional headshots that are leaps and bounds ahead of the awkward poses and props that characterized your school photos. Don’t worry, even if you aren’t one of the lucky winning Ninjas, Oh Snap! Booth Co. and Cheshiredave Creative have got you covered with three photobooths and candid photography.
8. Good Beats (No Sing-alongs Involved)
A final component of fun and learning? Songs. Music has been part of curriculum for ages, and people love the power of a good song. Gatsby Entertainment is bringing a live band, Ibiza Vibes, and A+ background beats to keep the energy alive.
9. Knapsack Swag
Don’t worry, we won’t have you lugging around books and pencils. Instead, you’ll leave with a legendary swag bag—thanks to non-profit Ashbury Images. Not only will the totes be sturdy and stylish (and large enough to hold all your free goods), but the creation process allows at-risk youth to learn professional and life skills through employment and mentorship.
10. Championing the Fun
Like with all good things, recess has to end.
However, companies like Eden and Boxed allow Ninjas to shake a bit of workplace stress by making some routine tasks way easier. In true office-cleaning fashion, Eden will even set up a soap-making station where Ninjas can add their favorite botanicals to the glycerin. These two powerhouses prove that bringing in a full-stack office management team to keep up with your digs, or using an office supply delivery service, can give Ninjas freedom to focus on adding light-hearted creativity into the workplaces they support.
That’s all just to start. We’re not completely spilling the beans on IRL—but trust us, you’ve gotta see it. From the looks of things, Ninjas are ready to shake stereotypes to engage in some good ol’ science-backed play. Tickets are going faster than the new soccer balls, don’t miss out!
How do YOU fuel your brain with childhood whimsy?