by Wayne Chang, Co-founder
TL;DR - View our WWDC Party 2012 Photos. Read below to see how it came together!
Apple's WWDC is one of the few events that draws in developers from all over the world, including many of our customers. We care deeply about our developers and wanted to celebrate with them, especially since we were going to be there attending the conference as well. It was Crashlytics' first event and opportunity to meet people in the ecosystem. It had to be amazing.
At first, we evaluated the terrace at the St. Regis. The space was great, but then we saw the W Hotel. While not inexpensive by any means, we felt the W Hotel brand better represented our own at Crashlytics. Knowing this venue would contribute to a great experience, we booked it.
Designing the Space
With the venue booked, we had to decide on what the space would look like. How do we optimize the flow for people getting drinks? Should there be lounge seats? Should there be barstools? Where would the DJ go?
We thought a bit about this and arrived at the layout below.
With a circular bar in the center, manned by three bartenders, we wanted to guarantee attendees spent less time waiting for drinks and more time in conversations.
We also wanted to have tables for people that want to sit (those are the ones on the red carpet). For the people that wanted to stand, we provided six small lighted tables (those are the ones surrounding the bar).
For more ambiance, we set up three cabanas, complete with sofas and love seats.
We also had 14-foot tall red flags made (it's true) and a red spotlight between the two flags, through a custom made Crashlytics light filter.
Finally, we thought it would be awesome if people had something to look at when they were ordering a drink or sitting down, so we got three tables with flat screens built into them (the circular bar also had two flat screens built into it as well). These doubled as demo stations - cords were available to plug into phones to demo apps!
The Endless Bar
At first, we were thinking about drink tickets. We even set up an easter egg on WWDC.net (hint: view source), where if you found one of our guys, you would get a drink.
However, we always loved going to places where the drinks were free. We wanted this to be an amazing experience so in the end we decided to cover drinks, all night, for everyone.
We also came up with a few signature cocktails that seemed fitting - the Keynote, the Jailbreak, and the NSCocktail. We had servers that had all three drinks coming around on platters all night, in case the bar was full. This also helped keep the bar from getting swarmed.
After we promoted the party (we made a site on WWDC.net), we received over 1300 RSVPs to join the party. The venue only held 300 people, so we quickly purchased drink tickets so that people who had to wait in line had the option of going to the W Bar downstairs and have a drink on us.
I could write a lot more, but a picture says a thousand words. We brought in a professional photographer and took many. Check out the event photos here.