At CorSource, we love interacting with Portland’s vibrant tech community. One of the area’s best organizations for facilitating IT conversation is the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO). For the last seven years, they’ve put on an annual Kickoff Party that brings together over 500 people for food, drinks, activities, prizes, and of course, networking. As our president, Andrew Hermann is on the TAO board, we attend various events throughout the year, but the Kickoff Party might just be our favorite.
This year three Recruiters attended, Maurnet Mueller, Saheeba Shaikh, and Austin Browning, as well as Senior Account Manager Valerie Ebinger. Let’s hear what they had to say about their first TAO kickoff experience!
What was your favorite part of the event?
Austin: Using a new innovative networking app, Mixtroz, and meeting tech folks both in and outside the staffing industry. It was a fun networking event; one of the biggest I’ve been to with lots of energy.
Valerie: The venue and interacting with the other attendees.
Maurnet: The new app (Mixtroz) and the super dope photobooth.
Saheeba: The Mixtroz networking segment was a lot of fun.
Describe the venue, Iron Fireman Collective:
Maurnet: It was an industrial-like garage with a lot of open space, cool photobooth, and great food; a super cool area!
Saheeba: A cool place with ample parking that made it easy to get there. The spot had a nice Portland vibe.
Austin: Industrial but modern – big open space, cool artwork on the walls, dim lighting, and spotlights.
Valerie: Hip space with a great vibe. Dim lighting which inspired conversation instead of bright lights.
Which interactive activities did you participate in?
Maurnet: The photobooth and the Mixtroz meet up.
Saheeba: I took part in the Mixtroz activity.
Valerie: The Mixtroz activity, plus the photobooth was super fun!
Austin: An awesome high-tech photobooth!
What was the networking like? How did Mixtroz work?
Maurnet: We downloaded the Mixtroz app, answered a couple random questions (i.e. if you were in a band, would you be the lead singer, guitarist, drummer, manager, etc.), and then were placed into a group where we met fellow members.
Saheeba: There was a pretty good turnout. It was a good mix of recruiters, hiring managers, and just IT folks who are passionate about technology. Mixtroz was awesome – we basically answered a bunch of questions and the algorithm divided all participants into groups of like-minded people. It was great and made talking to different people less awkward. They even provided conversation starters which was so helpful!
Valerie: It was awesome and a fabulous way to connect with people in a focused but relaxed way. It really promoted conversation and interaction.
Austin: It was a neat way to break the ice with people. Ironically, 3 out of the 4 of us from CorSource ended up in the same group based on our responses to the screening questions. It was cool and very empowering to meet the CEO/founder of the app and hear her story! Fun to think about the ‘next generation’ of networking.
Tell us about the food! What was served, and how delicious was it?
Maurnet: The food was great! A nacho bar is always a great thing. It was served buffet-style, but they also had some staff walking around with food trays. They had some cool drinks too.
Saheeba: Good selection of veggies and meat options. I LOVED the nacho bar!
Valerie: Great sandwiches, nacho bar, delicious cheese – all around great food!
Austin: Nacho bar and lots of fresh and roasted veggies.
What was the coolest company or piece of technology you learned about at the event?
Austin: An app that helps people get connected to volunteer opportunities and log volunteer experience.
Maurnet: I’m telling you, the photobooth!
For those who haven’t attended the kickoff party before, why should they consider attending next year?
Maurnet: The Mixtroz app was a great way to meet people and talk easily. If that were at every event, I would love networking. It gave an easy way to start talking to random strangers because we instantly had something to talk about, like: which answer did you put for question A?
Valerie: It’s a great way to connect with colleagues in and out of the tech space in a fun and relaxing environment!
To keep up with the events CorSource attends throughout the year, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn!