“We’re having a brainstorming meeting in conference room 29A.” Snore. “We’re having a brainstorming meeting in Pillow Fight.” I’ll bring donuts!
Pillow Fight is just one of the love-at-first-sight meeting room names at the headquarters of LinkedIn in San Francisco. It was inspired by the City’s annual Valentine’s Day flying feather fest on the nearby Embarcadero. LinkedIn’s novel theme of lively local events includes rooms named Bay to Breakers, SantaCon, Cherry Blossom, and How Weird. The latter is a sensational spectacle where thousands of revelers in colorful costumes from around the world celebrate creativity and weirdness. Coincidentally, LinkedIn is smack in the epicenter, on the corner of Second & “How Weird,” a.k.a. Howard Street.
Considering most brainstorming happens in conference rooms, it’s only natural that you give them innovative names.
A few blocks from LinkedIn is Riverbed Technology. When I worked with them several years ago, I was charmed to see conference rooms had fish names like Salmon and Trout. (I was relieved not to have to present names in “Flounder.” I’m not sure if that room exists or if they have a fish named Wanda.)
Online marketplace Etsy has conference rooms with names as crafty as the goods they sell. The employee-generated musician/food mashups names include Fleetwood Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Oreo Speedwagon, Sushi and the Banshees, and Nine Inch Snails.
Groupon’s theme is “irreverent.” They win the award for the kookiest names including Crocodile Done Deal, Meet Locker, Elvis is Alive in Here, Unlimited Salad and Breadsticks, This Used to be a Forest, and Organic Cageless GMO-free Conference Room.
Mozilla, the company that makes Firefox, has meeting room names inspired by movies and comics. “Mozillans,” as they call themselves, can gather in exciting places like the Batcave, Thunderdome, Spider Skull Island, Death Star and Mos Eisley Cantina, the last two being especially cool for Star Wars fans.
If your conference room names are as exciting as dirt, try names that bond employees over shared memories to bring joy and foster conversations. Themes that work well for this are names of childhood toys (Slinky, Magic 8 Ball), popular dances (Funky Chicken, Electric Slide) or favorite candy (e.g. Jelly Belly, Tootsie Pop).
Not sure if your office is ready for such a bold transformation? Try out new names by masking tape over the current ones. I think you’ll quickly find giving your conference rooms exciting names can rouse the same enthusiasm as announcing, “There’s leftover pizza in 29A.”
What creative conference rooms names does your company have or have you seen? I’d love to hear about them!
From the new “Corporate Creativity” chapter in the second edition of “Hello, My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick.” (October, 2019, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, distributed by Penguin Random House.) Want to know when it’s released? Email me at email@example.com.