Is Your Conference Room an Einstein, a Slayer Cake or a Plain Old B?
"Fake Apple Store," "Tater Tot" and "Barnacle." All are contenders in the naming of Victors & Spoils' new conference room, the latest crowdsourced project launched by the Havas-owned agency.
It sounds over the top to put out a brief to come up with a moniker for where you go rehearse powerpoints or furtively call your spouse, but the truth is, crowdsourcing on this occasion is probably a fairly efficient way of doing something that normally seems to eat up a lot of staff time at agencies, marketers and, especially, at tech companies.
To underscore how weighty a decision it can be, here's a Quora thread on the topic, and here's a very lengthy Reddit thread on the topic. Any number of Yelp, Ask and other pages exist with lots of earnest askers for help, and responders too.
The Reddit thread offers this helpful suggestion to a company setting up in Boston: "Characters played by Matt Damon: Ilario, McDermott, Ripley, Caldwell, Grady Cole." On Yelp, responses to a plea from San Francisco included signs of the zodiac or members of the Wu-Tang Clan.
At Austin, Texas-based GSD&M, which has 35 meeting spaces, most are named after clients and former employees of the agency, a spokeswoman said. "However, for the one room that's hard to find in the agency, we allowed our employees to come up with a name because the creatives weren't keen with an 'accounting' conference room in their new area. The end vote was for 'Tauntaun,' which is based on the Star Wars creature because it lives in a wintery, far off place. The junior creatives went as far as to create a logo and t-shirts to raise awareness for the lonely room."
Staffers who need to hop into a private room at TBWAin Los Angeles hold meetings in Oz, the Redplanet, and the "Boardroom," where the table is made from surfboards.
Local neighborhoods, landmarks or bodies of water are also popular conventions among agencies. Inventors and scientists too -- like the "Einstein" or "Newton" room.
The Richards Group in Dallas are a sort of tribute to those who don't get caught in the revolving door of adland; the shop names its conference rooms after employees who have worked at the agency the longest.
Deutsch, New York has one of the most straightforward and unsexy methodologies. Each meeting room has a number alphabetically going from East to West: 14A, 14B, 14C, 14D, and it has a "Main Conference Room," "Video Conference Room" and "Focus Group Room."
Nike pays homage to its own products, naming conference rooms after sneakers.
Tech companies and start-ups seem to take things the furthest.
At Facebook, there are conference rooms named after bad ideas, such as "Subprime Mortgage" and "Beacon" (the ill-fated ad product) as the Zuck revealed in a 6,000 word profile the New Yorker did of the hoodied CEO a few years ago.
Twitter has been known, unsurprisingly, to name its rooms after birds. At Square, every one is named after a famous Square. At Apple, it's been said that the conference rooms are named after a mythical land, known as Disney. Whether it was Steve Jobs' idea we don't know, but there have been meetings held in Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland (which is supposedly a glass-walled, oval room) and Fantasyland. Etsy gets downright silly, creating mashups of food and bands: Soy Division, Little Kim Chi and Slayer Cake.
Have you got a particularly clever conference-room naming convention at your company? Share it in the comments.