Starbucks held their first annual meeting as a public company on Friday, February 19, 1993, at 10:00 a.m. It was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle.
I worked in the Investor Relations department at the time. This was before we went digital and got our own podium with a logo. We were still using slides back then and they were set up behind a big projector, two ladders high. Howard decided to make a last-minute slide change (and I am talking about a change 10 minutes before the doors were scheduled to open). Not trusting anyone else to do it, I went back behind the screen and said I needed to climb the ladder. The guy working there said I could not go out there, not only were they up high, but I had to walk about 10 feet across a narrow sort of plank, and that he would have to do it. I said no, that will not work. I convinced him and I climbed the ladder. I did not fear the height so much as feared the slide would fall as I switched them, trying to make sure it didn’t end up, upside down. We had also used Velcro to attach the logo to the podium (we got our own the next year!). As I stood at the back of the room, I prayed the logo would not fall off, because that would be what you would see on the news. Luckily, the logo stayed, the slides were right, and it was a great, if low key, annual meeting. The next year we had to set up screens for overflow and then they just became more popular, elaborate, and grew. I look forward to seeing what they do with the online meeting this year.