Did you know Formstack has employees in more than 27 cities across four countries? Since making the decision to go remote in early 2013, Formstack has been intentional about gathering its distributed workforce together for an in-person meetup every fall. This year’s “All Hands” event took place the last week of September. Home base for the week? The luxurious West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Indiana.
Formstack has added several new faces to the team this year, so the 2015 All Hands retreat served as a first-time in-person meeting for many employees. The weeklong event was packed with team-building activities, talks of the company’s future, and good old-fashioned fun.
Want an inside look at how we spent our week? Here are the highlights:
Employees from across the globe met up at our headquarters in Indianapolis on Monday morning to get the week started. After lunch, we boarded two large, yellow school buses (talk about nostalgia!) and drove three hours south to French Lick.
We arrived just before dinner and kicked off our week with a catered meal at West Baden Springs Hotel. Formstack CEO Chris Byers welcomed everyone and even took time to name all the cities from which Formstackers hail.
We ended the night by receiving Formstack swag bags full of goodies for the week (snacks, trucker hats, T-shirts, and drink cozies)!
We woke up to a rainy day on Tuesday, but that didn’t hinder our plans!
We started the day with breakfast catered by the hotel. We then divided into mixed department teams to complete a historical scavenger hunt of French Lick Resort—which had us running circles around the West Baden and French Lick hotels to find artifacts as quickly as possible.
After enjoying another hotel-catered meal for lunch, we journeyed over to French Lick Springs Hotel for an afternoon of “backyard” activities (which were moved indoors due to the rain). We split into teams and worked our way through several game stations, including corn hole, trivia, Connect Four, Jenga, and table mazes.
We were free to spend the evening as we pleased, so groups broke off to head to dinner, go bowling, stop by the French Lick Casino, or hang out at the hotel.
We started Wednesday morning with department meetings during breakfast. We used that time to talk with the members of our individual teams away from the larger group.
We then spent the rest of the morning and afternoon huddled as a full Formstack team discussing the company’s goals for the future and brainstorming ways to work toward success. These meetings were an important part of our All Hands week since all Formstack employees were under the same roof for the first time since the 2014 All Hands event. Our leadership team took full advantage of the in-person workshop to communicate the company vision and gather insight from everyone.
After the “day o’ meetings,” we blew off some steam at FLWB Indoor Karting. We were placed on teams and had a blast flying around the winding track. Some people even donned Mario Kart headgear to add to the experience!
We ate dinner on our own and then stopped by French Lick Casino—where we learned how to play table games and were each given a $5 voucher to play the slots. A few ‘Stackers even left as big winners!
We kicked off our last day together with breakfast (or lunch, if you were one of the last tables to be served…) at Denny’s.
We then divided into three groups to enjoy some of French Lick’s top entertainment offerings: laser tag and mini golf at Shotz, wine tasting at French Lick Winery, or horseback riding at The Stables at French Lick Resort.
After enjoying some free time in the afternoon, we headed over to French Lick Springs Hotel for a Formstack manifesto mini-series—which involved teams of eight or nine ‘Stackers performing skits to represent the company’s seven chief values and objectives. It was awesome to see the various creative interpretations of Formstack’s manifesto items!
We wrapped up our week with a beautiful farewell dinner at The Pete Dye Course.
It was a great evening of picturesque scenery, tasty food, camaraderie, and good-humored presentations. Some fun awards were even handed out—like the “Carmen Sandiego Award” for the person who was always missing throughout the week.
The dinner was a perfect ending to a wonderful All Hands week. We parted ways on Friday morning but took with us many lasting memories and a strengthened team spirit.
Until next year, Formstackers!