Anyone who has ever worked within or around The Agora has probably experienced the benefits of being completely enveloped by ideas and creativity. The people that tend to do well in these companies have an ability to take a step outside of their comfort zone. In fact, they tend to enjoy it quite a lot… even after they log off and go home for the night.
Many of us “Agoreans” are editors, marketers, and technologists by day, and musicians, photographers, and comedians by night. And by golly, we think we ought to celebrate that.
Such was the beginning of Elizabeth Massing’s brainchild, The Bazaar.
Elizabeth’s business card reads “Director, Personnel & Talent,” but she is also a fashion blogger, philanthropist, and avid art enthusiast. She’s also one very persistent girl. Once the idea came to her, she came running to us in the 14 West Communications office for help making it happen. Despite calendars of back to back meetings and calls, and new needs arising around every corner, she was adamant that The Bazaar be given the same attention any other project might be given… We love direct orders like this one.
So we got to work gathering creatives from all over our organization and telling them about her idea to showcase their talents and celebrate what makes them unique. There wasn’t much persuasion to be done. We quickly filled a four-hour performance schedule. We asked (you guessed it) a Creative Director to help us with some promotional artwork and sent the invitation out into the world.
We couldn’t be sure of what would become of the event, but now it was real.
The night of The Bazaar arrived with pouring down rain – every event planner’s worst nightmare. At 5:00 pm the doors opened. By 5:30 pm, roughly 30 people had walked through the door of Metro Gallery in Station North sopping wet but smiling. We were overjoyed that the evening wouldn’t be a complete bust. Then somewhere around 7:00 pm, we looked around the room and saw people shoulder to shoulder… taking in poetry, music, and improv. People perusing and purchasing the artwork and craft of colleagues they’ve never met or worked with before.
It truly was a beautiful experience.
While the show was great, the response was even better. The employees who were given an opportunity to participate were deeply thankful – and we were deeply thankful for them. When Elizabeth came up with the idea, it wasn’t just seen as a fun event. She envisioned it as an opportunity for us to give back to employees. To show appreciation not just for the work they do but for who they are as individuals.
And because we see creativity, grit, and individuality as desirable qualities, the night was an opportunity to attract the right people and get an important message across: that, yes, we are marketers, web developers, and copywriters, but we’re also a million other more important things that you may never see on our resumes. Those other qualities shouldn’t be ignored.