On Thursday March 12th BizDojo Wellington was abuzz with activity. Paper was hung, lights were strung and many delicious treats were prepared, all in readiness for an event to officially open our new coworking and events space at 115 Tory Street, Te Aro.
The night began with the first panda-head lanyard being bestowed on the first esteemed guest and ended with a noise control notice. Between these bookends was a #connectWLG-themed celebration featuring videos that showcased resident businesses and supporters, speakers including Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, a craft station, a tweet wall, an indoor night market, Mario Kart, some seriously rad wall-painting, Mexican food and those time tested startup staples - pizza and beer!
BizDojo Cofounder Nick Shewring hit the nail on the head when he said ‘This space is not for us, it’s for you’. It was a delight to see so many different sectors and organisations sharing stories. These connections, and the opportunities they create, are the reason we do what we do. The event also connected us with some of Wellington’s most outstanding humans, and now’s a great time for us to recognise them. Take a bow: La Boca Loca, Tommy Millions, Grouse Lighting, Garage Project, Ambius, Zacinfact and Kenese for the sounds, Peoples Coffee, The Wine Portfolio, Falconhead Wines, Six Barrel Soda, artists Gwil, T-Wei and Anna, The Cloud Commission, Victoria University School of Design, Popup Arcade Wellington, Haworth by Europlan and, of course, those of you who came along to help celebrate.
While the guest experience began at the registration desk, BizDojo’s #ConnectWLG event was a few months in the making. There were different ideas about how to pull it off, but one thing we knew from the start was that we wanted to create a physical snapshot of our community and provide ample opportunity for those involved to learn about each other. The team were also hyper-aware that everyone has different feelings about what makes a great event, and varied levels of enthusiasm for drinking, videos, networking, games, art, activities, social media, speeches, exchanging business cards and so on. Aiming to provide something for every person to enjoy was ambitious but it helped us shape an inclusive experience with a lot to offer.
Everyone familiar with us knows BizDojo is a physical space - a platform for collaboration, innovation and getting work done - but through the event we wanted to get to the heart of what this place is about: people. We have a philosophy, we have an amazing coworking space, and it doesn’t mean a thing without you. Seeing so many people making the most of their night was a beautiful thing, and the perfect reward for those who worked to connect Wellington.
It feels really, really good to be officially open for Biz.
Nik Jarvie-Waldrom is BizDojo Wellington’s Community Manager. Follow her on Twitter @nikinajar.