I had the pleasure participating in the Tel Aviv edition of the Creator Awards, by WeWork.
Fun it was; from preparations, through the wait, to the event. And let me tell you this: One does not get to participate in better industrial events these days, so this is what this post is about.
Spoken Word at Creator Awards
The event was co-hosted by Adam Neuman, founder and CEO, and his sister, Adi. I got a chance to glimpse at the teleprompter back in the crowd (Why don't people look where they're supposed to? one wonders). Sheer poetry, I say, both for the pre-written text and for the messages that were disseminated from the stage. Spoken word, rhymed and orchestrated, to the last syllable.
In this day and age, with our cynical faculties are stressed to the limit, one could ache on the New-age flair spewing from stage. Do people still talk like this, and do they ever read the news?
But then a deeper pattern emerged, and that's the focus of this post.
Tour de force
For a tour de force it was, this particular event, and the whole series it is a part of.
We have witnessed a perfectly organized competition: The build-up came first, through social media channels and WeWork's own app. Mobilization of community managers at the local branches, each of them exposed to hundreds of tenants daily. A massive accompanying email campaign was set in place, too.
Then came the intake of the proposals which was a sleek experience. One page form. Few attachments. A short video. Bam! You're done. Engaging, yet not too burdening.
Next came a quiet period of several days, after which most of the participants received a well phrased rejection message, with a small consolation prize attached.
In the meantime we were showered by the next wave of the email campaign, inviting us to the finals event, and then reminders, sent at shortening intervals, towards the D-Day.
Turnout was organizers' reward, with 3,000 attendees filling the venue. Eating, drinking, buying, stoping at the assorted stands, participating in master classes presented by luminaries such as Shay Aggassi. A warm up time well spent before main festivities.
When finally seated through the ceremony, we were obediently clapping, cheering, and standing in ovation as scripted, watching a long by rhythmic succession of finalists, culminating in the pitches, Q&A, and winners announcements.
This can be very long, let me tell you. This event was OK on that aspect.
The agenda sprinkled with short stimulating gigs by A-Wa sisters and Balkan Bit Box, building up tension to get the audience ripe for fun and business.
Culminating in confetti cannons spewing on winners, judges, and audience, the ceremony was over, and the audience flowed to the dance floor where more food and drinks were served, to the tune of music thumped through the Speakers.
I am not familiar with the actual numbers, but this event must have cost a little fortune, hence the "Force".
Organized to the last detail it must have served its purpose perfectly, building the brand of WeWork with prospective tenants, with partners, for its existing offering, and for future endeavors, hinted throughout the event.
Takeaways - Actions speak louder
If you're like me, somewhat cringing at the love and harmony discourse on stage, or for that matter, at the selection of the winners, "doing great by doing good", don't.
These were, in my view, the core messages of the event, but an icing on the cake, embellishments on the car of Juggernaut: WeWork announced itself to the world as a scale oriented business, growing fast and large.
So here are my personal takeouts from this competition and event:
WeWork means business #1: Great execution. No hassles, no glitches. This competition delivered, this event rocked. It takes significant organizational maturity to pull such and event, and WW showed their might
WeWork means business #2: A massive marketing effort, brand building, prospective tenants luring, whatnot - and willing to spend, too: millions of dollars in awards and assorted costs
WeWork is built to scale: For this is what we saw. How an organization mobilizes its troops to generate such awareness, increase turnout, speak to new people (I brought several companies to join in the competition myself)
Consolation prizes tie ins: Participants got a year membership to the digital platform "We"', basically allowing WeWork to sign them on newsletters, future marketing efforts. Part of the winners' prizes were subscriptions.
WeWork plans to expand to other property driven sharing economy domains: WeLive is almost here (with Bjarke Ingels, a star architect building in New York, and perhaps now in Israel, too), a maker space (announced today), and a yet to be named Art related space, presented by Aviv Geffen - the never aging local rockstar.
Corporate speak is never more than corporate speak, and action speak louder than words!
What's your take?