What happens when you take more than 40 remote teammates, most of whom have never met in real life, and bring them together for three days of back-to-back company events, training, and bonding time? We had the chance to find out at our largest company reunion yet, held the week of Aug. 21 in FormAssembly’s headquarter city: Bloomington, Indiana.
Day 1: Travel, Eclipse Viewing, The Tap
No, we didn’t plan for our company reunion to begin on the same day as the “Great American Eclipse,” but it’s kind of neat that it worked out that way.
Some team members came to Bloomington early to watch the partial eclipse (B-town wasn’t in the path of totality), while others were en route to the reunion via plane or car.
That night, the main reunion activities got off to a familiar start with a return to Bloomington restaurant The Tap for a team dinner (the same site as last year’s initial night meal).
Day 2: Company Training, Bowling, Laser Tag
Fun activities are something we always look forward to at the reunion, but we also take the time for key work-related activities, such as the state of the company presentation, a security training, and (new this year) updates from department heads on accomplishments and milestones in their area.
Directly after the trainings, the team received their FormAssembly swag (a step up from last year’s if we do say so ourselves!), which included sleek water bottles, branded hand sanitizer, and an unbelievably cool and comfortable company t-shirt.
With unexpected rain in the afternoon, we headed indoors for bowling and billiards at the Indiana University Student Union, followed by laser tag and arcade games. (They say you never really know your teammates until you’ve played a game of laser tag with them. They don’t? Well, they should.)
Day 3: Lake Day, Company Barbecue, FormAssembly-Themed Paint & Sip
For the last full day of reunion activities, we brought back the lake day from last year, and had a blast traversing Lake Monroe in not one but two boats (did we mention how much our team has grown?) in addition to kayaking, jetskiing, and relaxing on the dock.
For our farewell event, we gathered at FormAssembly CEO Cedric Savarese’s house for delicious barbecue and the first-ever FormAssembly-themed painting class.
With a design and class instruction from our content marketing designer Dustin Phelps, the FormAssembly team worked up a few dozen variations of the FormAssembly robot aboard a boat. The activity was a fun, whimsical way to spend the evening before teammates dispersed.
Days 4-5: Travel
Over the last two days of the week, the team headed back to locations across the U.S. and as far as Japan. The verdict on our 2017 team reunion? A whopping success.
Now we’re back to business as usual and more fired up than ever to work with our current customers and continuously help more and more people drive business forward with web forms.
So, What Did We Get Out of It?
Here’s what the team said:
“When at the FormAssembly company reunion, I was able to get a holistic view of what the company is doing. It was also encouraging to see the growth and projection of FormAssembly. Additionally, it was helpful for me to hear the thoughts of other team members about our product and marketing and be able to discuss ideas with them in person.”
Dustin Phelps | Marketing Designer
“Speaking as a newbie, the FormAssembly Reunion was the perfect introduction to the company. I got to learn about its values and goals, and meet the people who compose it. And as most of us work remotely, it was great to see the actual smiles behind the avatars!”
Jeff Krueger | Customer Support Specialist
“During the reunion I was able to meet the members of the team, and get a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the company. I think having that experience is going to make me a better team member and improve my relationships with my co-workers.”
Chelsie Conder | Accounts Receivable Specialist
“I felt really grateful to be included during the reunion week as this was my first week working for the company. I learned a lot about FormAssembly while having fun and the best part for me was getting to know the team in person! Already looking forward to next time!”
Jen Capenito | Customer Support Specialist
“The reunion is like a working holiday away from all of the daily routines and regimens. On an average, one spends a quarter of any given year interacting and working with colleagues, and our reunion gives us a chance to meet all of these wonderful people in a nonchalant environment. Above and beyond putting faces to names and building trust and confidence, it helped me understand personality traits. Chat and written communication is the backbone of a remote work environment, and the reunion enabled me to put emotions into emoticons. Smileys truly came alive after the reunion.”
Jaineesh Davda | Director of Infrastructure
“The FormAssembly reunion was a wonderful experience. Since most of the team works remotely, it was great to be able to meet face-to-face and build stronger connections with everyone. Communicating mostly via written text and sometimes video chat, meeting in person gave me the opportunity to see my coworker’s personalities and learn more about them and in turn, I feel made us a stronger team. I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Samantha Mestwarp | Business Development Representative