The Agent3 2019 Offsite

We can’t progress by standing still. Pardon the cliche, but in an agency it can be tricky to find the headspace to reflect on certain processes, this offsite allowed us to do that.

We’ve all been there — attempting to build a house out of newspaper and elastic bands, uncomfortable trust exercises that incorporate far too much physical contact, or even the odd improv session lifted straight out of an amateur dramatics class. Team building days can be an all-around grueling experience…but this year’s Agent3 summer offsite was the opposite.

Where?

A farmhouse on the coast in Devon, UK

When? 

September 

How long? 

3 Days

Who?

The whole cohort, the first time the global Agent3 team has all been in one place… ever. 

We’ve had offsites before but due to our size these were largely limited to geography, so this was a pretty special opportunity for most of us to meet face-to-face for the very first time. 

Bringing six teams together from all over the world can pose unique challenges. People sticking to who they know like a primary school disco (or elementary school dance for our US friends) or making sure everyone feels included, especially new team members. In the month prior to the offsite alone, Agent3 welcomed a handful of new joiners – with the trip falling within the very first week for some. Despite this, it was clear upon arriving that mingling was not going to be a cause for concern (albeit aided by a welcome glass of prosecco after some very long journeys).

Our first evening BBQ really set the tone for the rest of the week. After watching a beautiful sunset over the sea, we started a bonfire and had a pretty amazing evening filled with a lot of laughs and even some impromptu fire-spinning by one of our data scientists (which had us all calling for a health and safety intervention). Yes. Our data scientists spin fire – what can yours do?!

The main day consisted of a presentation in the morning, followed by some workshop activities in our teams. 

The first workshop came from the brilliant minds of our creative arm: This Machine. Now, what do three guys, with over 60 years of creative marketing experience between them, ask us to do to test our strategic capabilities and push our creativity to the limit? ‘Sell them… a smart-nappy (or diaper for our US friends)’. Yes, that’s right. We spent an hour… in a field… in Devon… naming and building a marketing campaign around a nappy that can predict your child’s bowel movements. Needless to say, this project was a great laugh, while still producing some (dare I say it) explosively innovative ideas around strategy and execution. After our brain dump sessions, we presented to the wider team. The winning team was announced (‘Baby Bott’) and while my team missed out on the top spot, I’m taking personal fulfillment in the amount of poo puns I managed to weave into that paragraph. Did you notice? 

After the first session, we moved on to our next project – ‘building a better Agent3’ which focused on some of the insights and feedback gathered from previous company meetings. Each group had the opportunity to come up with resolutions to some of the challenges we face as a company (managing growth and efficient product development to name a few). As you’ll know if you’ve worked in an office environment before, small frustrations at work are almost always a reflection of a wider challenge, so having the opportunity to break away from the everyday and really address our thoughts and feelings in a positive way was very rewarding.

Following all that work, we let our hair down with a cocktail making contest, some curry, a music quiz, more fire spinning, and some beverages.  The party continued into the wee hours of the morning (with the help of some very questionable 90s club anthems). The morning after, awards were given, headache meds were shared and we took a walk down to the beach on the strict orders of our CEO (the same CEO who, when it started to pour with rain, ran for cover and abandoned our voyage). 

Now, apart from a newfound intolerance to Tequila, there were a few things I took away from the trip which I think I can speak for the team on:

  • Number 1: The best teams are made up of people who genuinely like each other.
  • Number 2: We can’t progress by standing still. Pardon the cliche, but in an agency it can be tricky to find the headspace to reflect on certain processes, this offsite allowed us to do that.
  • Number 3: What motivates us? Primarily – the people we work with. 
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