Over the week of January 14, 2019, the Formstack team flocked to Colorado Springs for a little company retreat we like to call All Hands. As a company, we have embraced a remote-first strategy, and we’re not looking back. But with most of our staff working remotely, we don’t get a lot of opportunities to work together in person. So, our annual All Hands meet-ups are really important to keeping our Formstack family strong!
We spent this year’s All Hands in the historic Mining Exchange hotel just down the street from our office in Colorado Springs. The old vaults and granite walls made for an interesting backdrop as about 120 Formstack employees prepared for a week of big announcements, community-building, and inspiration.
We covered a lot of ground this year at All Hands, so let’s just jump right in!
Most of the team arrived on Monday in the early afternoon, giving everyone a chance to explore the hotel and chat with friends and teammates they usually only see on video calls.
Events kicked off with the Welcome Session opening remarks from our CEO, Chris Byers, and a presentation for our unifying message for this year’s All Hands.
Our dinner started with a team-building exercise, as they often do. As we were seated, we noticed our centerpiece was an enormous bucket of tangrams. We were tasked with working together to create an image that represents our company.
Our teams created some good-looking designs and, after picking our favorites, it was time to dig in to dinner!
Our most momentous day was day two.
The Tuesday sessions gave individual teams the opportunity to share projects they’ve been working on and reveal some upcoming changes. One of the most exciting announcements from the day was shared by our Creative Director, Matt Ritter, as he unveiled the new Formstack logo.
You might notice that our new logo bears a striking resemblance to the tangrams we used in our Monday night exercise, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Matt put it best when he described tangrams as a metaphor for Formstack and the way we work:
“The pieces? Our remote team members, who are spread across the globe; our customers, who come from a variety of industries; and our product, which has a versatile feature set designed to be pieced together for customized solutions.”
We learned a lot in our day two sessions, and while we can’t share all the details just yet, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter to make sure you don’t miss announcements as they come out.
We broke up our sessions with a special catered lunch from Mission Catering, an organization dedicated to supporting the homeless population in Colorado Springs. Support for this organization helps to bring hours of vocational culinary experience to those who were formerly homeless in Colorado Springs.
After an eventful day of news, we ended our evening with a team dinner in a comfy, Irish pub. We took this time to relax, chat with our team, and have swag with our new logo made right before our eyes (courtesy of The Wandering Press)!
In the last year, our Formstack family has grown significantly, and there were a lot of new faces at All Hands 2019. We decided to get to know our fellow ‘Stackers the only way we know how—with a bit of fun.
We divided into teams and headed out on a scavenger hunt to learn more about Colorado Springs and each other.
After our scavenger hunt, it was time to get back to work. VP of Sales, Beau Brooks, and the sales team provided a better understanding of our customers, and we had the opportunity to hear from an actual client, Neena Weng of UC Denver, as she shared her experience using the Formstack product.
After an eventful three days, we closed out our week by sharing a final meal where we recognized and celebrated staff who have hit anniversary milestones of three, five, and seven years with Formstack.
It’s hard to believe we managed to accomplish all of these events in just three days! But, after a jam-packed week, we ‘Stackers have returned to our respective desks with a rejuvenated sense of what we are working towards as an organization. This team is ready to take on 2019 with purpose and pride!