Wow. Thinking back over my very first OfficeNinjas Event, that’s all I can say - WOW! I had an amazing time getting to meet so many of you, talking shop, laughing, and just soaking in the amazing energy that you all brought to the event. My experience working as Community Manager here at OfficeNinjas has been an exceptional one; I get to talk to you online all the time, and meeting all of you in person at #OfficeNinjasSV just helped renewed my passion for our mission.
Here are my favorite moments at the event:
1. Customized Name Badges
You heard me mention the name badges every time I was on stage, because they were just THAT cool! Every attendee received a custom name badge created by DC Design Studio. (The founder, Durell Coleman, is the nicest guy ever!) These engraved wooden name badges aren’t the kind you want to throw away at the end of the night; instead, I’m using mine in place of the traditional nameplate on my desk to spice things up.
2. Overflowing Swag Bags
Our swag bags are always full of goodies at our events, and it was no exception at #OfficeNinjasSV. In fact, the bags were overflowing with all the amazing swag that was given out! Attendees walked home with fun items like lemon lavender pound cake baked fresh by Miss Emily’s Bakeshop (one piece of this amazingness was not enough), molasses cookies from Grey Ghost Bakery (I managed to snag a few extras for a midnight snack), water bottles from Doordash (to take to the gym to work off the cookies and cake), all natural smoothies from Replenish (a healthy treat post-gym), $20 gift cards to CanvasPop (time to decorate!), and lots more!
3. Pink Champagne in a Can
I love a little bubbly, and when it’s pink and comes in adorable petite cans, I get downright giddy - and so did a lot of you! In fact, I even got a request over Twitter for more champagne, but sadly we had run out (I delivered some Pinot Grigo to Ms. @Alyon instead). Big thanks to Tonic Beverage Catering for providing Sofia Blanc de Blancs from Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
4. Scrumptious Food
I judge every event pretty much on the food. Was there enough? Was it good? YES to both! The heavy appetizers provided by 415 Catering were phenomenal. I ate too many prosciutto powdered melon and smoked wild mushroom focaccia. And the chocolate station from Chocolate Ribbons was hard to walk away from. My favorite combination? Watermelon + chocolate.
5. Massage Ninjas
What better way to spend an evening relaxing than with a massage? Attendees were greeted upon entering the event by six massage ninjas from WCEI ready to work out the kinks and knead away the stress of the day. Judging by the ever-present line, this was one of the favorite areas at the event.
6. Networking That Didn’t Feel Like Networking
Event MC Ashley Cravens said there is rarely a whole department within an organization for you to turn to so its important to attend events like these to network and meet your peers. I don’t know how many people I met and talked to at #OfficeNinjasSV, but every person, regardless of age, experience, or industry, I felt like I had known forever. As office ninjas, we share the same challenges everyday, and it was great to collaborate and commiserate with people who really understand what we do.
7. Ropes and Tiaras!
When I learned team building exercises were going to be a part of the event, I was HIGHLY skeptical. I am a fun person. But, I do not like team building exercises. Then Alex and Melissa from CLASH got on stage and divided everyone into teams, gave us some rope, and challenged us to race to string the rope through the back of every team member’s shirt. Ashley Cravens (event MC) and I immediately starting striping off our sweaters and hilarity ensued. To top it all off, winners were crowned with tiaras! (Sorry Pingboard, maybe next time) My views on teambuilding are forever changed.
8. Live Demos on Comfy Couches
Casual seating was scattered throughout the event, but the must-have seats were the comfy white leather couches (complete with cushy pillows) that guaranteed a front-row seat to the live tech demos. As with all our events, attendees were treated to live demos from ten tech presenters sharing products that can help improve their offices. The presenters for this event were: Doordash (their office ninja has the nickname Mama Bear!), Uber for Business (it integrates with CONCUR! Best day ever!), Eventyoda (more team-building!), Pingboard (yay for fewer spreadsheets), Peerspace (no more offsites at hotels), HUMAN (please put a Healthy Micro-Market in my office AND apartment building), Poppin (Arielle totally looks like Rachel McAdams circa The Notebook - right?!), Fitmob (this might be the way I ACTUALLY work out), YouMail (voicemail to email = yes please!), and OfficeNinjas (Just plain awesome. more on this below).
9. “Freakishly” Happy, Engaged Crowd
That’s right, one of our vendors called you all freaks, but in the best possible way! They said that after participating in over 500 events around the country, they had never seen a crowd that was so “freakishly participatory”, and I have to agree with them. Never before have I seen an entire audience on their feet, doing squats (thanks Fitmob) enthusiastically (I mean, I usually grumble about these sorts of things). It’s a true testament to the uniqueness of the OfficeNinjas community’s high-energy spirit and up-for-anything attitudes.
10. Photobooth Fun
It’s not a party without a photobooth and props, and you guys loved it! Every time I looked over at the Oh Snap! Photobooth, there was a huge line, lots of giggling and dollar bills flying through the air. My only regret is that I didn’t photobomb some of you - next time, watch out! Check out all the photobooth silliness on our Facebook album (don't forget to tag yourself and your friends!).
11. Crazy Diverse Vendor Alley
We scour the ends of the earth for the best of the best products and services that will better equip you in your daily role as a ninja. And, the Vendor Alley at #OfficeNinjasSV did not disappoint! Every vendor had a unique perspective on the problem they were solving, and was passionate about being your partner, not just a vendor. I absolutely loved when I asked @GloriaPaulen what she liked most about the event and she said meeting the vendors! I heard that a lot over the course of the evening, with attendees excited about the new products and potential partnerships.
12. OfficeNinjas Marketplace
Drumroll please … announcing the OfficeNinjas Marketplace! That’s right, at #OfficeNinjasSV, we launched our very first tech tool. The OfficeNinjas Marketplace is a curated one-stop-shop for office ninjas to discover, buy, and request quotes from a wide range of trusted, quality products and services including travel, catering, furniture, office software, and swag. Currently in BETA, the OfficeNinjas Marketplace is being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we’d love your feedback to help make it better before launching it nationally. All of the awesome companies you met at #OfficeNinjasSV are on the Marketplace, so you have no excuse not to start using it today and let us know what you think!
13. Nostalgic Fun
Joey the Cat always brings the fun, and #OfficeNinjasSV was no exception! Attendees challenged each other to old school arcade games like skeeball, whac-a-mole, bubble hockey, and basketball. My personal fave was the basketball game, but the few rounds I played made my arm hurt...proving that I need to get with the Fitmob program ASAP.
14. Oodles of Raffle Prizes
25 Raffle Prizes were given away at #OfficeNinjasSV! Prizes included roundtrip airfare from Delta, snack boxes from HUMAN, an iPad from Pingboard, wine tasting for six from Eventyoda, and a six hour massage day for the office from WCEI. How awesome was it that the ninja who won the Joey the Cat prize (pictured above) was also wearing animal print? Yet another serendipitous moment brought to you by OfficeNinjas.
15. OfficeNinjas Shirts
The question I got asked the most throughout the night was, “How can I get an OfficeNinjas tshirt? You know, the ones that say ‘Without an office ninja, there is no office.’” And I told you to “stay tuned!” Well, at long last the day is here - we’re selling a small quantity of OfficeNinjas shirts for a limited time starting Thursday, September 18th. If you attended the event, check your email for an exclusive presale. And remember - we’ve only got a few, so make sure to get yours ASAP!
There you have it: #OfficeNinjasSV. Thanks for making this an incredibly memorable night for me and all who attended. I didn’t get a chance to chat with everyone at the event, so email, tweet, facebook, or linkedin me because I want to hear all of your stories! Be sure to check out all the pictures from the event (and tag yourselves) in the photo gallery and photobooth albums. Want to attend the next event? Sign up for our newsletter to hear about upcoming events in your city.
Did you attend #OfficeNinjasSV? What were your favorite moments? Share them below!