On September 16-17, Strategic Media, Inc. hosted its second annual off-site company retreat at Sunday River in Maine. The peaceful setting provided opportunities for collaboration, team building, relaxing outdoors, and finding new ways to help our clients.
During one group exercise, employees were asked to create a marketing proposal for an imaginary client. Each team crafted a detailed media rollout strategy, created sample invoices, and wrote and produced a mock radio ad—all in three-and-a-half hours.
“[T]aking a process that normally is weeks long and trying to successfully come up with a strategy in three hours was really tough… I learned so much from this exercise – how valuable each member of our team was, the purpose that they served, but also that my team worked really well under pressure… [T]his exercise was a great example [of] how we as a company lean on each other for help but also can work outside of our wheelhouse in order to accomplish a task,” said Abby Baum, Media Coordinator.
Christina Baeten, Director of Client Services, said, “The group work was both fun and stressful working under a strict timeline. When our team ran into challenges we kept asking ourselves, ‘What would we do if this were a real scenario?’ and that guided our problem-solving. I learned the importance of strong leadership, as well as the value of having specialty roles.”
The finished products, detailed proposals with media plans broken down according to the allotted budget, as well as final produced spots, were presented to the group. The end result was a surprising display of originality and talent.
“It was thrilling to hear the spots that people from other departments wrote and voiced. They were great! I was amazed at the depth of real talent in the office,” said Payne Ratner, Copywriter.
The project also inspired a sense of gratitude among colleagues. Brooke Murray, Director of Strategic Growth, said, “I have a new appreciation for the specialty each colleague brings to our company and our clients. We take for granted how much we’re able to accomplish week to week because every team can rely on other teams to do their part.”
Employees spent the second day discussing how their learnings from the group exercise could be applied to promote clients’ profitable growth.
“We have a lot of great opportunities ahead of us! Each client has tremendous potential for growth through targeted testing and measurement,” said Murray.
“We have to look ahead to the future to stay ahead of trends to better serve our clients,” said Baum.
In addition to team exercises and discussions, the retreat provided opportunities to relax and unwind among colleagues. Employees went golfing, kayaking, hiking, or sluicing. Leisure activities provided an opportunity for bonding and enjoying the beautiful Sunday River scenery. And new approaches to problem-solving were inspired by the outdoor setting.
Ben Siegel, Information Systems Manager, said, “I felt that it was great to be outdoors, and we even discussed work opportunities as the morning’s activity was fresh in our minds! It was great to be discussing work topics without feeling pressured to do so and while in a pleasant environment. It sparked a lot of discussion, some work and some personal, and I feel that we not only learned more about each other, but also came up with some ideas for how to better help our clients in the future.”