As a remote-first company, we cherish when we can all get together in one location. Since the pandemic, we've made it a priority to gather twice a year. For our Spring 2022 retreat, we headed to Las Vegas. Yeah, you read that right. Somehow we convinced our CEO that sending nearly 50 people to one of the world’s largest resort cities was a good idea (spoiler alert: it was).
It's safe to say their tagline is accurate - "what happens here, only happens here." But that's only true because of the people you experience it with, in this case, our coworkers.
Over three days, the Beacon Digital team met to share ideas, talk about the future of the company, and prepare for some competitive team-building activities. There weren't trust falls per se, but we all grew closer after just a few short days together.
Day 1: Welcome Dinner and Meet the Team
Since our inaugural retreat last fall at our headquarters in Beacon, New York, we hired 17 new employees — that’s nearly three new hires per month! For some of us, our time in Vegas served as more of a reunion, but for others, it was the perfect way to meet their new colleagues.
The first night’s meal over Neapolitan pizza and artisanal pasta was the perfect way to introduce ourselves to each other. Most of us called the night early because we knew Day 2 would be busy from start to finish.
Day 2: Why Are We Here, Where Are We Going, and How Will We Get There?
When you send an entire company to Las Vegas, especially a group like us who loves to have fun, it's important to start with some ground rules. So, ground rules there were:
- Building a company is a constant work in progress! Give input! We’re building something together, and everyone is a part of it.
- Build new friendships with people you don’t know well. Be curious!
- Most importantly, have fun. (Within reason!)
We may have pushed the “within reason” part as much as we could without sacrificing our jobs. With those rules established, Whitney, Beacon Digital's Founder and CEO, took the stage to redefine our core company values:
- SHOW UP AS YOURSELF: We are empowered to do our best work when embracing everyone's differences. Diversity drives our innovation, our curiosity, and our achievements.
- BE CURIOUS: We believe that knowledge is power, so we constantly seek personal and professional growth. Mistakes are okay if you learn something from them.
- SET HIGH STANDARDS: We set the highest standard for ourselves, our clients, and our work. We continually challenge our idea of what's possible to achieve success.
- DO IT RIGHT: We value integrity at every level of our organization. It's the foundation of strong leadership, strong client relationships, and strong deliverables.
- CREATE SOLUTIONS: When faced with problems, we think about solutions. When we come together, we spark creativity and greatness in one another.
Afterward, everyone from the leadership team offered a growth plan for their department. Without revealing too much, we have big plans, and there are many opportunities for you to be part of them.
Even though we spent the morning hyping each other up and applauding the motivational presentations, we geared up for a city-wide competition led by Hosts Global: a scavenger hunt along the Las Vegas Strip. We donned colorful bandanas and our Beacon Digital branded t-shirts and set off to complete some absurd tasks. (Rumor has it the Orange Team checked out midway through the race and spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool.) After twelve thousand steps, a pit stop for frozen drinks at Fat Tuesday, and virtual scrapbooks filled with photos in front of upscale casinos and neon signs later, the winners were crowned.
Later that night, our service teams split up for some quality time together. The Creative Team opted for a Cirque du Soleil show, the Paid Team went to a taping of America's Got Talent, and many others tried to double their luck at the roulette tables. Without saying too much, we’re much better at marketing than we are at gambling.
Day 3: Strategic Growth Framework for 2022
The morning began with a detailed growth plan for client success. What we do wouldn't be possible without our clients, and our relationship with them drives what we do every single day.
The Account Team shared how they're striving to become stronger, smarter, and more indispensable to our clients.
Afterwards, we all had the opportunity to explore Vegas, and beyond. A select few dads (and some wannabes) spent the day teeing off at Top Golf. (Turns out if you take them away from their clubs for a few days, they get a little bit nutty.)
While others set out on an immersive art adventure at Omega Mart, the rest of the team spent the day in an open-air Pink Jeep Wrangler riding through the Mojave desert's Red Rock Canyon. For anyone considering this -- do it -- but maybe have one less margarita before you go. It’s a bumpy ride!
To our surprise, we had one night left with each other before packing our bags, boarding our flights, and getting back to our Zoom calls. We enjoyed our final hours together at the NoMad patio, where we couldn't help but raise our glasses and strike poses for polaroids to remember this one-of-a-kind opportunity — we’re still a bit fuzzy on the “remembering” part.
We've all been back in our respective home offices for a few weeks now. We've had to adjust, but we're better for it after everything we learned in Vegas — we're stronger as a team, inspired to grow Beacon Digital Marketing, and motivated to work with our values in mind every single day.
There’s good news for us and you. It won't be long until we all see each other again in person. In September, we return “home” to Beacon’s headquarters for our Fall Retreat. Will you come with us? We have plenty of open roles available. Apply to join today!
Posted In: Company Retreat
Samantha brings a broad range of experience writing for small businesses, nonprofits, news outlets, and radio programs to the Beacon Digital content team. Prior to joining Beacon, Samantha worked as a marketing associate for a Hudson Valley-based designer lighting company, writing content for their blog, social channels, and print and digital advertisements. Over the last several years Samantha has been a contributing writer and editor for creative magazines and radio programs. Samantha earned her BA in Sociology and English (Creative Writing) from SUNY New Paltz. She also studied at Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, where she developed skills in audio storytelling.