In 2011 our fearless leader Mark Aistrope was walking to brunch with Marla Wasserman when he was stopped in his tracks by the sight of a sock monkey in a store window. There was something about this mysterious creature that called to him and he had to have it. He entered the store, purchased the monkey, thanked the store clerk, and was on his merry way.
While waiting for a table at brunch, Mark was intrigued by how many people were drawn to the sock monkey. Kids and adults alike were coming up to interact with the monkey and it was clear that this simple object was making them happy. After enjoying a delicious meal with his new stuffed buddy, he had a thought: corporate gifts are often unmemorable and fail to surprise and delight clients.
This sock monkey was clearly accomplishing this very goal, so the next day he decided to work with his team to distribute as many sock monkeys they could find as a thank you gift to clients, technicians, and partners.
More Monkeys Please!
Finding these sock monkeys was not as easy as one may imagine. Marla Wasserman took the lead in calling as many stores as possible to locate these delightful beasts and even ordered toddler sized t-shirts branded with the MT logo for each monkey to wear.
From this, the MT Client Appreciation Team (CAT) was born. CAT is still intact today and is responsible for developing unique ways to make people smile with a thank you, that more often than not, includes a sock monkey.
A Monkey Tradition
This initial idea has grown with Meeting Tomorrow. The first round of monkeys received such a great response from recipients that it was clear this tradition should continue. Meeting Tomorrow went straight to the distributor and purchased a bulk order of monkeys and even had a room dedicated to storage of the plush that is known today as “The Monkey Space.”
The sock monkey has been sent to clients after a large event, for valentine’s day, to celebrate the solar eclipse, or as a thank you for a great year of partnership. The sock monkey has also greeted many a staff member as they return home after the birth of their child. Meeting Tomorrow has even used the sock monkey at trade shows as a giveaway prize item and people line up at the booth just to see what it’s all about!
The sock monkey represents a side of Meeting Tomorrow that makes our office tick, our events great, and our culture flourish. The sock monkey brings out MT’s whimsey and giving spirit. When we are asked, “what’s with the monkey?” the answer is simple. The sock monkey started as a small idea to make people happy as well as evoke surprise and delight for all those it’s gifted to.
The Sock Monkey Today
Today, the sock monkey is known around the office as Socrates and has his very own Instagram account. Through his posts, Socrates shares an inside scoop of what it’s like to work at Meeting Tomorrow and has a great sense of humor. While Socrates is still a little confused about some basic AV functions, he is learning quickly. Socrates even spends some time with Meeting Tomorrow employees outside of work and participating in family activities.
Socrates has grown into an office tradition, visits events, and joins MT at the occasional happy hour. Meeting Tomorrow is dedicated to perfecting inspired events but believes it’s important to also have fun along the way. The sock monkey continues to be a great way for us to thank those outside of MT who have helped us become who we are in a unique and memorable way.
Follow the adventures of Socrates the Sock Monkey on Instagram to see what he does next!
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