This post was written by Dan Berger, CEO and Founder of Social Tables, and Claire Repass, Manager, Communications for Social Tables.
There are no words to properly do justice to the electric culture that exists at Social Tables as a result of our leadership, and every Tabler’s commitment to making themselves a little bit better every single day.
Since we can’t summarize them in words, we celebrate once a year at an employee appreciation party that we lovingly refer to as ‘The Chiavari Awards’.
So, just what is a chiavari, and why do we dedicate an entire day to it? A chiavari is the crème de la crème of seating – an elegant, detailed structure that is found only at the finest events. As a company that works very closely with the hospitality industry, we knew that using this as the visual for our employee appreciation showed that we put our coworkers on the highest pedestal, where we believe they should be recognized.
In his opening remarks in 2014, Dan reminded the crowd of (then) 40 employees that, “3 years ago there was no company. 2 years ago we had no customers. 1 year ago we had no home. Today, we are a formidable force in hospitality that is revered locally and respected globally.”
We’ve grown a bit since then:
- The 2015 Chiavari’s welcomed 90 Tablers and an additional 40 guests, (including our CMO’s parents!).
- The 2015 Chiavari’s celebrated a company that is about to move into a new 30,000 square foot office.
- The 2015 Chiavari’s recognized a company that was named to The Washington Post’s Top Places to Work, with a CEO who was named The 2015 Event Innovator of the Year, and a Washington Tech Titan.
Below are the transcribed remarks that Dan delivered to the company to let you take a little peak into the special day:
So I hear some people think Social Tables is a cult and that this award ceremony is our annual sacrifice to the SaaS gods.
You are right – Ram, can you please bring out your special goat from India?
We all know there are several event objectives. Now contrary to popular opinion, my personal favorite is to Celebrate.
And that is exactly what we’re here to do.
We are here to celebrate one another because what each of you accomplishes every day is truly extraordinary, and it fills my heart with pride.
When we work as hard as we do, it’s easy to get lost in the day to day of our jobs.
- It’s easy to forget that we’re on a mission to inspire face to face experiences using the power of software.
- It’s easy to forget what life was like without The Link, 410, and Chinatown [our original office space].
- It’s easy to forget closing deals without Zuora, Pardot, or even Salesforce.
- It’s easy to forget what it feels like to call into a prospect that doesn’t even know your company’s name.
- It’s easy to forget the headaches of having one repository for every line of code.
- It’s easy to forget a Chiavari show without a speaker system.
The Chiavaris date back to a time where we didn’t have enough runway for more than a few months. Even then, I knew that employee recognition was the most important thing a company can do.
But that doesn’t come in front of customers. In fact, at the first show, which was held at a coworker’s house, our engineering team spent half the afternoon in the living room deploying bug fixes in order to save a customer. Today, we actually have a customer as part of our festivities: Lindsey from Hyatt.
I am really excited about today’s program. We have a total of 13 awards, 55 nominees, a raffle, and of course, some very special ST surprises.
Thank you for being here, for being a part of this company, and for inspiring me every single day.