Interview with Dan Berger, CEO of Social Tables
This company has the solution to creating event layouts in the fastest and easiest way imaginable. Dan Berger created a company with the vision to make planning corporate meetings and events as easy as possible. After a long and strenuous process, Social Tables was created. Social Tables is cloud-based, meaning your entire team can come together online to create and manage events from any location, on any device. Social Tables requires no training for you or your team to learn the software. Social Tables is launched and in full force bringing you less hassle, better expectations, and a meeting and events strategy that works.
How have you gotten where you are today? Tell me a little about your story. Where and when did the initial idea for Social Tables come to mind?
Dan Berger: I’ve always been into technology. First hardware (I built computers as a kid) and then software (I developed websites later on). I’ve also always been into events—professionally and in my personal life. The idea came to me when I was going to a wedding and I wanted to see who was going to be at my table. I built a basic app that let planners publish seating charts and that’s what we’ve been iterating on going on five years.
Moving forward, in terms of Social Tables, what exciting new projects are you working on?
D.B.: Two very exciting things. First, we’re currently migrating over to our 3.0 stack, which is the next generation of our platform. It’s API first, beautifully designed, and better performance. Second, we’re building more products that help planners and suppliers collaborate on meetings.
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What would you say is your overall goal for your company, and how do you plan on accomplishing this goal.
D.B.: We want to play our part in making corporate meetings and events more successful. To that end, we have software that helps planners discover space while allowing suppliers to collaborate with their clients. We believe that these kinds of technology products will inspire more successful face-to-face experiences.
When it comes to your team, what communication strategies do you use to get them going?
Dan Berger: Many! We have a monthly all-hands called Global Takeover Congress. We have Friday night Town Halls where the engineering team showcases what they’ve built throughout the week and where I take questions from the company. We use Slack for communication, email for company newsletters, TinyPulse for measuring employee sentiment and dishing out virtual cheers, and Confluence for departmental blogs. What I’ve learned is that if leaders are committed to radical transparency and open-book management, which I am, then they need to leverage multiple communication channels. This is especially important in a growing company that is predominantly filled with millennials.
For a full mindmap containing additional related articles and photos, visit #SocialTables
Blood sweat and tears, tell me a story about the most challenging adversaries you have faced since being CEO?
Dan Berger: Every day is a struggle for one reason or another… and every struggle makes you want to win even more.
IN THE PHOTO: DAN BERGER, SOCIAL TABLES CEO PHOTO CREDIT: SOCIAL TABLES
On a personal level, what are your values and how do you tie them into leading your company?
Dan Berger: My values are very much reflected in the values of Social Tables. I think that’s a given for most authentic companies. For example, here are some of my values and the comparable company values. I value operational excellence (as a company, we’re “committed to quality”). I value direct feedback (as a company, we’re “always honest”). I value constant learning (as a company, “every day is a school day).
What makes Social Tables better than all the brands you are in direct competition with?
Dan Berger: Our Employees.
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Correction (8/17): A previous version of this post included multiple variations of Social Tables. This has been corrected.
All photos courtesy of Social Tables.