My story starts with an idea, a colorful one which evolved by playing. Like nature, when it created the starfish.
Life After Work started in 2010 and it was all about creating learning experiences for people who wanted to spend their time after their work schedules. At that point, the Funshops (that was the way we called them) were learning laboratories on specific topics like photography, improvisation and storytelling. Our main objective (Elena’s and mine) was to educate people and spend quality time learning something new.
We did not believed at that point that we would have such a huge impact and interest in Bucharest, but we did. Soon, we realized that the brand we have created was not the specific activity we had in mind. So, we decided to go for a different approach.
Therefore, we knew what we desire and what we want to sell – learning through playful experiences, but we needed clients. Lucky for us, our first clients appeared in a short period of time. Our first playful activity delivered was a creativity and problem-solving workshop.
The GoGame much? Wait, we are not there yet.
A big moment of our business lives was the encounter with the Impact Hub members. Not only that we have got ourselves a place where we could work, but also they really helped us gathering new ideas and opportunities.
About the same time, I have participated at a big conference in Austria – Start Europe, where basically I’ve learned how to set up a business, for real. After discussing with Elena, we have come up with the idea to deliver gamified team building products (in 2011, this idea was not very popular in Romania).
The turning point in our story was (you might guess this) contacting our now friends, The GoGame company, located in United States. Our first try started with a very long and excited email from my side, which… well… did not get us any answer. I was so excited to contact them that if we were to compare the email with some real paper, it would probably be a long papyrus, as you see in the movies. 🙂
Meanwhile, we did our own thing here and we have created urban challenge activities, treasure hunts, for people to have fun and learn new stuff – exactly what we wanted to do in the first place. Now we were getting closer to our objectives and we had some very nice clients that believed in our ideas. This experience, of working with corporate clients, taught us how to create and understand a team building brief, as well as being focused on each client’s needs.
With that in mind and some extra courage, yet again, I wrote another email to The GoGame. However, this time, I knew what to propose, what we want and how we can implement it. And guess what? They did answer to me and not only they have answered, but we have made ourselves a deal. We were the official The GoGame francize in Romania.
My first GoGame experience
The story of my first The GoGame experience is about a team building we did in collaboration with the American team for a gaming company in Turkey. It happened in Gaziantep, a city located at the border with Syria. That sounds exciting, right? Well, it really was a mix of adrenaline, missing laptop, technical problems and translation issues. However, it was the first time when we have delivered such a great event that is still on my top team buildings.
This gave us the opportunity to take the European leads that The GoGame was receiving. We have delivered team buildings all over Europe starting with 2012 – England, Scotland, Austria, Egypt, Italy, Denmark, Holland and many others.
Our personal touch of delivering this kind of experiences that we have made them fully customized based on the clients’ needs.
In 2015, we begin to think that we can do more. This meant that we took the responsibility of the event management as well. This learning experience gave us the opportunity to look at the whole picture of an event.
Did you remember that our name was LifeafterWork, right?
Well, it was not until 2016 when we have decided that we need a new brand. Our activities were not about Funshops anymore, they were about team building!
And this is how Starfish Events was born.
What are we now? A lifestyle type of entrepreneurship. We focus on creating great and playful experiences for our clients. Moreover, we always find new ways on making each team building a custom one. We refuse to deliver a by the book activity.
How did we get here? With help and inspiration from our friends from Human Invest and Impact Hub.
Who are we? A not so big team that shares the same passion – we evolve by playing. We are Starfish Events!
-This is the first part of the story, stay tuned for the second one.-