After two whole years of remote work and being apart, it was time at Sociabble to meet face-to-face for our annual Global Week offsite. And this year, the entire company came together in the south of France.
At Sociabble, we have a tradition of annual Global Weeks, when we bring the entire company together to catch up, discuss new ideas, plan for the future, and of course, have fun. It’s an important tradition at a company where employees—that is to say, people—have always come first. But for the last two years, the Covid crisis has made these face-to-face, company-wide meetings all but impossible. But this fall, we decided to host our first post-pandemic Global Week in the south of France, giving employees the chance to reconnect after these difficult years apart, not to mention to welcome some exciting new hires to the team!
A Chance to Come Together
It probably goes without saying: the last couple years have been tough. And even though remote work and our own Sociabble platform made business possible throughout the pandemic, what was lacking was that critical human element. Face-to-face meetings, small daily connections, after-work events, simple conversations during coffee breaks. Since the beginning, our annual offsite Global Weeks have been a chance for the entire company, everyone from our team in Mumbai to our employees in New York, to come together here in Paris and be part of the same Sociabble spirit. Obviously, this wasn’t possible with the challenges Covid put on gatherings and global travel.
This fall, however, Sociabble hosted its first Global Week offsite in two years. And to mark the occasion, we decided to get together in one of our favorite places: the south of France. This 4-day adventure was planned as a chance to reunite and celebrate our achievements after the physical time apart, but also as an opportunity to properly welcome the 34 new employees who have started at Sociabble during that time.
The trip was funded with our own profits, not VC money. With finances going better than ever, the company wanted to reward employees with something fun that they’ve earned—we believe in bootstrapping at Sociabble, which means we appreciate the hard work and talent of our invaluable workforce. The trip was planned by Sociabble volunteers, and funded entirely by profits earned through diligence and commitment.
Fun Activities for the Whole Team
The week-long experience began in Paris, with a series of workshops and after work cocktail events close to Sociabble HQ conducted over the first 3 days, including a pitch contest, a marketing brainstorm, and a CSM client onboarding seminar—followed, of course, by Happy Hours and Karaoke.
The real adventure began, however, when we traveled to the south of France for the next 4 days, at a recreation center right on the Mediterranean Sea. Activities included wind surfing, catamarans, mountain biking, and as the highlight, a visit to the beautiful Porquerolles Islands nearby. These fun activities were paired with team building exercises and games designed to help the new members get to know their fellow employees, followed by concerts, sports, and of course, more karaoke (what can we say, it’s fun!).
But it wasn’t all play—we did discuss business too, complete with a CEO presentation, a “win fest” to explain the positive gains Sociable has made recently, and an outline for what lies ahead—all of which was very exciting.
And Safety Was Paramount
To ensure that our Global Week was both safe AND fun, the company initiated a strict Covid protocol. This involved mandatory testing before, during, and after the event, to ensure that everyone could participate in a totally secure environment. In the end, everything ran smoothly, and everyone was able to enjoy the sun, the sea, and the time spent together in the safest way possible. Additionally, the activities themselves, like mountain biking and catamaran sessions, were conducted by trained professionals with experience helping participants at all levels of expertise, creating an environment that was fun and safe for all.
A Photo Contest Captured the Magic
One of the activity highlights of our offsite was a photo & video contest, to capture the Global Week experience. Attendees gathered in groups of 8, created their own team name & logo, and participated in different photo challenges, i.e. take a picture with 5 people from a different department, take a photo of the perfect sunset, or capture a video of a push-up challenge. Points were awarded, a leaderboard was shared, and the winners received prizes from the different regions of France, like a bottle of wine or a tapenade. In the end, all of the photos were made available in a shared folder, so everyone could create their own digital scrapbook of Global Week in the south of France.
The Sociabble Platform Made It Possible
One of the technological elements that made communication and media sharing possible, and that allowed for coordination and regular updates, was actually our own Sociabble communication platform. It’s always fun to put our own technology to the test, and for Global Week, it passed with flying colors. Initial surveys, logistics, transportation info, activity schedules—it was all managed on Sociabble, with a specific channel created just for the event. Alerts were used to remind attendees of their next session, reminders were set up to keep people on track (i.e. “Don’t forget your Sociabble t-shirt for the group photo!”), and chat rooms allowed people to always be in contact and share ideas. And yes, everything went off without a hitch!
Sociabble Global Week 2021 Was an All-Around Success
All in all, the 2021 Sociabble Global Week offsite was a resounding success, enabling our teams to finally meet in person and come together after almost 2 years of working remotely. Yes, we have video meetings and online chat, but there’s no substitute for real, face-to-face interaction. And if you can do it in the south of France, well, even better!
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