Santa's workshop isn't the only bustling factory this time of year. ETC offices across the globe are busy filling end-of-the year orders and gearing up for a new year with a lot of new surprises. Even with all that work going on, you'd have a tough time finding a Grinch or a scrooge at ETC.
We started getting into the holiday spirit right after Thanksgiving, when Town Square at the Middleton headquarters was transformed overnight by some hardworking elves. The 1930s New York streetscape was turned into a living snow globe, with candy canes, ornaments, wreaths and garland adorning every inch of the space. Our faux storefronts can compete with any department-store holiday window display. And because we're a company full of engineers and techies, we have an automated, life-sized Santa bobbing up and down in a chimney near the marketing department. Even King Kong, perched atop the Empire State Building, has donned a santa hat (seen here in a grainy photo shot by a local news helicopter).
Being the arts-minded company we are, we couldn't have the holidays without celebrating the arts - or the art of a good flash mob. Twice we've had impromptu groups come wassailing. A couple weeks ago, members of the Madison Ballet twirled around Town Square, dancing to holiday classics and songs from musicals like Kiss Me Kate. And then last week, the Middleton High School chamber singers filled Town Square with carols for ETC employees needing a bit of a break.
And each office has had their version of a holiday party. The first was the New York office's annual open house, where they showed off our latest and greatest products. Industry professionals, including award-winning Broadway lighting designers, packed the office to mingle with ETC staff and get product demos. True to the moniker "the city that never sleeps," the New York event was supposed to run from 3:00-8:00pm, but the party was still going on at the office until 9:30 and then continued until much later at a local bar.
Our London office teamed up with ABTT (the Association of British Theatre Technicians) to hold a Christmas party at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Close to 250 people dined at the Grand Saloon and recognized the newest fellows and honorary members of ABTT.
The picturesque Monona Terrace in Madison, WI, played host to the American offices' party. Although Jack Frost tried to ruin the festivities by dumping nine inches of blowing and drifting snow on the city, hundreds of ETC employees and our guests enjoyed a Tuscan-themed evening full of food, games and great company. The backdrop for the event was a handcrafted stage that resembled a Tuscan villa, built by ETC CEO Fred Foster and his wife Susan for the wedding of two ETC employees this summer. The whole event was lit by ETC Selador® and Source Four Revolution® fixtures. Thanks to the blizzard outside, we couldn't take the no-sleeping title from New York. The party was cut short, so guests could leave before the roads got too hazardous to navigate in the snow.
Almost everybody who works for ETC's Holzkirchen office attended the German holiday celebration, with a tasty lunch at the Gasthof Oberbräu restaurant. And ETC Asia combined their holiday merriment with customer service training. ETC VP of Professional Services Sarah Danke brought her companywide training course to Hong Kong, and employees there celebrated acing the class at their holiday luncheon.
From all of us here at ETC, we wish you happy holidays and all the best in 2011!