People often travel for business, but next week, most of Auctiva will travel for work-related play, as the company flies to China for a party.
Sixty of the company's 73 employees will head to Hangzhou, China, on May 8 for a weeklong visit with Auctiva's parent company, Alibaba.com. While there, staff will attend Alibaba Group's annual celebration honoring the anniversary of its Taobao marketplace, tour the Alibaba campus and visit the Great Wall of China.
It means a lot that Alibaba felt it's important enough that we be there in person… not to do work, but to celebrate a success with them
Jeff Schlicht, Auctiva's founder and CEO, says this year's Taobao celebration is a big deal. On May 10, the day of the party, Taobao will celebrate its 10th anniversary and Alibaba's founder Jack Ma will retire as CEO of the company, though he will remain chairman of Alibaba Group.
Schlicht says he was shocked when Auctiva was invited to the party. He says he knew it would be tough to keep the invitation a secret until management worked out the logistics of the trip and could share the news with staff.
"This is one of those things everyone will talk about and remember for a long, long time," Schlicht reports. "It means a lot that Alibaba felt it's important enough that we be there in person to invite an entire office to travel overseas—not to do work, but to celebrate a success with them."
This is the first time Alibaba has invited all of Auctiva—from full-time staff to interns—to its annual party, and employees are very excited.
"I never thought I'd have an opportunity like this," says developer Kevyn Masuko, an Auctiva employee of 13 years. "Going with my co-workers is just another part that makes this trip so awesome."
Auctiva.com and Auctiva's offices will be operational during the away time. The trip will not affect users or their listings.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.