Seriously. We are going to have to figure out a way to take these CrackBerry Meetups to more cities around the world. Talk about a great time and great success! CrackBerry and BlackBerry fans simply are THE BEST!
When we announced we were holding our NYC CrackBerry Meetup, we figured it would take at least a few days for us to max out our RSVPs. Instead, it took a few hours. Event planners told us to bank on about 60% of RSVPs showing up. CrackBerry people? They all show - and then some. By the time the lineup made its way in through the doors, we were over our planned limit by 60 guests. And talk about a lineup!
The event started at 7pm, but eager guests were already waiting in line before 6pm. By the time I pulled up to the venue at 6:30pm, the queue to get in was already long. And by the time the doors opened just after 7pm, the lineup was massive - stretching down the block. It was an awesome scene to take in. BlackBerry's Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben was in NYC and dropped by just as were getting set to open the doors, so he got to witness the passion of CrackBerry Nation first hand.
Inside the doors, we had Bla1ze and Amanda greeting guests and handing out name tags and CrackBerry stickers (leading up to the event I concluded the difference between a "meetup" and "party" is name tags). Guests were also greeted by our sign outlining the Ten Rules of a CrackBerry Meetup.
"It was such a fantastic night! The venue was beautiful, the staff was excellent the CrackBerry team were fantastic hosts."
We had an open bar, but the official drinks of the night were the CrackBerry Fizz and CrackBerry Spritz. Adam and I cooked up these concoctions and had a bet coming into the night who's drink would be more popular. The CrackBerry Fizz was Orange Vodka, OJ and Sprite. My CrackBerry Spritz was a little more sophisticated, combining Processo, Aperol, Soda and Orange Garnish (Aperol is owned by Campari!). I think in the end I won the bet, but Adam is still trying to argue otherwise. We eventually ran out of Processo and Aperol for the Spritz - so it was definitely a winner with the crowd. Apps and desserts for the night were provided by our friends John and Victoria and many kept to the BlackBerry theme. Super tasty!
We had a kick ass BlackBerry 10 + CB logo "step and repeat" (the backdrop thing) setup for snapping photos and as the night went on it got a ton of use. My face was sore the next day from smiling so much! It's such a honor and privilege for me to get to meet so many CrackBerry fans face to face. You guys and gals all rock.
"It was an awesome night! Got to play with the Q10, it's a really hot phone. CB team are all cool guys, and CrackBerry Kevin was super patient as he stood there and took a picture with every single CB member there."
The real star of the night was the BlackBerry Q10 in the room. You'd think it would be the BlackBerry Z10, but with this being a CrackBerry party most of the attendees were already rocking Z10s and wanted to get their hands on a Q10 to try. Henrique from #TEAMBLACKBERRY was giving demos on the Q10 all night and a couple more Z10s were on demo too for people to try who didn't yet own one. Heck, there were even a bunch of BlackBerry Z10 Oreos in the room!
"Definitely a blast! If the meetup was a sign of things to come, BlackBerry will be fine here in the U.S."
At the back corner of 1 Oak, we had a pile of CrackBerry swag for people to pick up, including t-shirts, stickers and pens. We also had a video station setup where guests could say hit to the CrackBerry camera. We figured with so many Z10 owners in the room, we could get some pretty good footage together. We'll have that video up on the site soon.
In true CrackBerry fashion, most of the music for the night was pumped in streaming via Songza running on a Z10. Adam (that jerk!) paused the party and commandeered the tweet wall monitor to play my horrible I'm Sexy and I Know It workout video for the crowd. I swear that video is going to haunt me for the rest of my life.
"My takeaway from sharing time and space with these guys last night for a few hours is that the CrackBerry people we've come to know from the articles and the podcasts and the commentaries are exactly the GENUINELY nice, unpretentious, relaxed, good sense of humored people that we've come to like and respect here on CrackBerry."
Of course, a CrackBerry party wouldn't be complete without some prizes, and we gave away some awesome ones. By the end of the night we gave out 7 phones. 6 IOUs for BlackBerry Q10s and 1 Z10.
Everything else aside, a CrackBerry Meetup is really about one thing - getting BlackBerry fans together. Sometimes you can go to these kinds of events and they feel forced. But not a CrackBerry Meetup. Everybody there wanted to be there and stayed right until the end. Nobody was shy, which only makes sense - it really felt like family coming together. And talk about passion for BlackBerry. Heck, two guests even flew in from San Francisco just to hit up the event! #HARDCORE
Be sure to hit up the photo gallery above to check out some photos from the gallery, and be sure to hit up this forum thread for more. If you were at the party and have more photos / videos, be sure to email us a dropbox link to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can have a copy.
Thanks again to everybody who came out to the meetup and made it such a good time, and big props to everybody who was involved in making it happen - from BlackBerry, to our event planners, caters, and more. You all know who you are. THANK YOU. Let's do it again!! I LOVE NEW YORK!