Case Study


Facebook Leans in to Silicon Valley Specialties For Exceptional Event Deliverables

Carrie, an Executive Administrative Assistant with Facebook, is known as much for her ability to make things happen, as for her attention to detail—making sure every ‘i’ is dotted, every ‘t’ is crossed. Carrie knows how to make everything run smoothly whether it’s for an employee all hands, an international division meeting, or a large corporate event.

For an internal conference that Carrie was planning, Facebook would be bringing a team together from all over the world. So Carrie needed to find a gift that would (a) be both relevant and creative, (b) appeal to employees of different nationalities and a broad demographic mix, (c) travel efficiently, and last but not least (d) be delivered on time.

“As an executive admin, having vendors I can rely on is super important. One of the many reasons I have worked with Susan Woolf of Silicon Valley Specialties at every company I’ve been with is that she comes through EVERY TIME! Whether it’s a last minute request from my boss, a conference, or team building event, Susan comes up with the coolest ideas that people get excited about. It’s a true compliment every time a colleague asks, ‘Where do you get your gifts from? They’re so much better than what I get’.”
Carrie S

Executive Administrative Assistant, Facebook

The Dao of Consensus

One of the plusses about working with Facebook: It’s a consensus-driven organization. One of the challenges about working with Facebook: It’s a consensus-driven organization.

This can prove a bit tricky when you’re walking the fine line between decisions and deadlines. “Because Facebook is so consensus-driven, it can be difficult to nail down decisions,” Carrie shares. “But Susan has perfected the art being persistent in following up without becoming pesky. She’s an expert at helping us make decisions and concurrently managing timelines.”

When Going Retail, It’s All in the Detail

The event team came up with a lot of ideas. But the idea that made the final cut was a Pendleton® blanket. So, Susan was presented with a significant challenge right from the start: Pendleton is a retail brand first with the promotional gifts a secondary sales channel. The blanket the team chose was extremely popular. This meant Susan needed to work closely with the manufacturer to make sure they could get the inventory in the quantity and colors they needed before it went to retail and online sales.

These are the details Carrie trusts Susan to manage. “One of the many reasons I have worked with Susan Woolf of Silicon Valley Specialties at every company I’ve been with is that she comes through EVERY TIME!”

But that’s not the end of this story. This was not just some folded blanket they were handing out. This was a gift. And it needed to be special.

Transforming A Product to A Present

First, Susan was able to source 300 of the Pendleton blankets in four different patterns. She also came up with a novel way to decorate the blankets that would give them a subtle, retail look as well as save both time and money. A woven label with the conference logo on one side and the company logo on the other was sewn, instead of embroidered, on the blankets. Then Susan designed and printed a branded decal that affixed to the poly-bagged blankets. Because the decorator Susan worked with was local, everything went back and forth via courier rather than carrier-eliminating any risk the blankets would get lost or delayed.

The Pendleton blankets were a huge hit. “Our employees were blown away with the quality of the blankets. The four patterns Susan found were so cool, people couldn’t decide which one they liked best!” Adds Carrie, “Management was equally amazed because once we placed the order, there was nothing left for us to do but wait for everything to arrive!”

Designing Additional Event Deliverables

For this event, the team also wanted to provide notebooks. The one they liked best was a retail brand that couldn’t be customized. Susan sourced an option that was virtually identical, and she was able to incorporate the design they liked while making sure the look and feel said “Facebook.”

Beyond the notebooks, Susan also helped design name badges, lapel pins, and branded balloons. “Because Susan has worked in high tech marketing, with agencies and design teams, she can help translate our requirements to the designer,” Carrie explained. “Susan understands what creative teams need to get things done, and she went above and beyond to help make sure everything was done in time for our event.”

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