SEA, SLIEVE, SYMBOLS, AND SUPERMOON BETWEEN: A TO THE MOON TAKE ON SOCHI
One of the largest cities on the Russian Black Sea coast, Sochi is characterized by many contrasts, especially when it comes to landscape and climate. Sochi is located between the sea and mountains of the Caucasus. For the non-Russian-speaking community, Sochi got its much deserved international appraise after the 2014 Winter Olympics. Writing down everything this city bestows on those who see it will take more than just one page. Although the climate in Sochi is moderately subtropical with short, mild winters and long summers, you will find many winter sports enthusiasts in this area from November to early June. In addition to recreational winter sports, Sochi is also known as a seaside resort. It is not without reason that the Russians affectionately call it the Russian Riviera. After successfully presenting TO THE MOON in other big Russian cities, it was time to take on Sochi, BIG TIME. This is the story of our experience!
We’d like to start by saying: this business trip was filled with symbolism and good omens, and it all started in Moscow’s International airport already before takeoff. The first part of our team, comprising of Alena Glukhova — our Head of Events, and Anton Bugaev — our multitalented Manager, flew to Sochi in advance and departed on the evening of March 8, which, as we all know is International Women’s Day! Cue cuteness overload, because our airline congratulated all ladies on board, presenting each with a rose. This small, but very nice detail added to a good mood and determined mindset. That’s exactly what we needed to boost our energy!
Upon arrival at Sochi International it was already long after midnight, but the desperate need for sleep suddenly flew off the radar: we immediately breathed in a completely different kind of air. Even leaving the airport was a delight — we could sense the sea and feel its breeze on our skin, all among the surrounding darkness. After a short ride to our hotel, we were met with another rather symbolic event: our rooms were located on the 13th floor — which at our company is a good omen, because it’s our CEO’s favorite number. You’d think the signs would stop here, but no: on that day (or better say, night) we were blessed to see a Supermoon — an incredible, rare occurrence and a real pleasure to be part of. The moon is the main symbol of our company and it’s great that it coincided with the trip. But we digress…all we wanted at that point was to fall asleep and to look at the city from above and see the sea the next morning.
And so, the date and venue of the event — March 10th, the wonderful city of Sochi, Hotel “Sea Galaxy”, “Panorama Hall”, 18th floor. By now you’re probably asking why were we there and what were our goals, our mission? TO THE MOON created this meetup, event, conference, call it as you like, in order to attract new users to show and tell about our company. We must expand our horizons! We came to Sochi to meet new, potential partners, and to earn the love and appreciation of new players. A big part of our mission is that existing partners will continue our work in Sochi — telling others about the development of the company and its many products, to organize events, like training-sessions and presentations.
The venue looked amazing — astonishing panoramic views on the 18th floor, we were surrounded by glass-walls from which regal mountains and the deep blue sea were greatly visible. While guests were arriving, the sun started to set, and when the event began the same huge Supermoon appeared, adding to a very special kind of TO THE MOON atmosphere. You should check out photos from the trip — they will give you a good sense of what we’re on about.
We had it all — an impressive press-wall, many rollups, and photos from previous events decorated the room. We also had cool sweet treats — sweets, marshmallows, and cupcakes with black cream — all made from natural colorants to keep it environmentally friendly and healthy for our guests. Of course, the TO THE MOON logo graced all goodies available, which people really enjoyed it. We had branded water, the label made to look exactly as a TTM bankcard, free champagne during the welcome-drink, stylish notepads and luxury soft touch pens, gifted to all participants at registration. The press-wall was set up near the entrance to the main presentation hall — a perfect location, as many people were going back and forth, taking pictures and frequently stopping to listen in and ask more and more questions.
The presentation itself was held on a big screen, to ensure visibility for all (approximately) 120 guests. Vladislav Utushkin, our CEO, performed a great speech, as always, expressively telling about TO THE MOON, and charging the audience with positive energy. By now, a team of 5 TO THE MOON representatives were making the show go on: Vlad, Co-Founder Roman Pishchulov, Anton Bugaev, Valeria Bolshikh and Alena Glukhova. Our Partners Alexey and Maria helped us. It was a huge success, to say the least.
We had some time to visit the city, too, and after we had amazing dinner at a local restaurant, we decided to take a walk, as the weather was quite nice. As there were five of us, someone came up with the idea to do something fun and unforgettable. And Lo and behold: we see exactly five pieces of electro scooters, which we used to travel through the entire city. An hour and a half we rolled about Sochi, while Vlad showed us the way — he always knows where to go, that dude. By the end of the trip, the team felt as one — we felt team spirit and each other’s support. Team building, ftw.
Next day, on the 11th, We arrived at the airport just an hour before departure and there was a risk not to be in time for boarding! But we decided that what is destined, will happen anyways, but were lucky and boarded on time. During our flight back to Moscow, tired but satisfied, of course we discussed the event. We analyzed what we liked best and what could be done better next time. Events like this one are always especially exciting — after all, this was an official TO THE MOON opening of a city! With each trip we become smarter, more experienced and better understand how to conduct events in the future, how to choose the right format for a particular city. And we promise, each time there will be something new and what? That will always remain a surprise to the last minute — we are ones that are eager to surprise!
After being acquainted with Sochi, you get a persistent feeling that its audience shares the same feeling — it’s simply impossible to stay indifferent. This tangle of emotions is devoted, in fact, to the same thing — with nothing comparable and difficult to convey in words or photos; the atmosphere spears through all your senses as soon as you get to Sochi. In Sochi, nature never lost its match with the city and it seems that the city has completely subordinated nature to itself, which is one of the many reasons it is worth a visit. TO THE MOON will be back again, that’s for sure. Let’s meet there, next time?