It takes a team 💪: how to plan for the ultimate company retreat.
Every year all Jamppers go on our company retreat. Currently known as Jampp Camp 🏕️
Last year, our Founders shared why and how we do our company retreats and as they’ve said, part of what makes Jampp Camp unique is that we don’t outsource and always involve our team when organizing it. So this year, we want to share the #BehindTheScenes from the backstage crew who make it all possible, a.k.a the Jampp Camp Squad 😎
If you are a cool nerd wondering what working for Jampp is like, somebody who organizes company events, or just an avid reader looking for cool content, this post is for you!
The Squad Starts Small
The Jampp Camp Squad starts small, but it thinks big.
The first challenge (as you will read in most posts about organizing events) is finding the right venue — think: location, location, location.
We knew from early on that we wanted a beach landscape (and needed a hotel that could fit almost 100 people). We also knew that to maintain the “Jampp-Camp spirit”, it wasn’t just about finding a bigger hotel with a bigger conference room. Once we had the location, we started brainstorming about the opportunities it offered… for example: Why do the dinner & party in a hotel conference room when we can do it in the middle of the woods with a bonfire? 😏
The second challenge is defining the event’s theme & branding. This isn’t just about the look and feel, but also about what you’re trying to communicate to your team.
Here is a sneak peek of what our Jampp Camp was all about…
Next, we think about what we need help with and who has the right skills. For us that means a get-things-done energy combined with an ability to work under the radar, to surprise and delight with every detail on the actual day 🤐. (We keep the location of the event secret until the day before, when we do end of the year all hands). Another thing to consider when choosing the squad, is making sure we involve Jamppers from every team.
The Squad is the backbone of what makes Jampp Camp possible: they give you feedback on what your team will value, and come up with fresh ideas that are hard to find when you are in the midst of organization chaos…
We usually assign roles like these in our squads
🎨 Branding & Decoration — Create a brand image of the event that excites and inspires, that feeds the imagination.
🧘 Activities — Think up activities that are both location and industry /company related.
📸 Art Directors — Make sure photos and videos capture the essence of the event.
✍️ Copywriters —Brand the event and inspire your team to take action.
🎸 Band Leader — We’re lucky to have several musicians in our team, so we always appoint a Jampper to rally their talents.
🌎 Global Ambassadors — Squad members in every office will help get everyone ready equally excited about the event.
💸 “Show Me the Money” Broker — Trust us: you will need someone to oversee the budget plus help with all the payments — lots of them.
So how does this all add up to make an awesome company retreat?
People like lists… or at least organizers do 😉 so below we’ve highlighted 5 things, which we think really make a difference.
#1 The Ramp Up
Jampp Camp is not just a day to celebrate the end of the year — Jampp Camp is the the “culmination” of Jampper Week. Yes: Week.
It’s the only time of the year when our global team is all together in one office. It’s both an opportunity to celebrate what we have achieved and a chance to ready ourselves for the upcoming challenges and opportunities.
In the weeks leading up to this, the Global Ambassadors start working behind the scenes to ensure every Jampper is ready for Jampp Camp.
“I love the fact that every office had its own Jampp Camp Ambassador, joining the squad meetings and doing things like filming and sharing mini clips of each office getting ready on slack” — Yuchen Zhang, Account Manager, Berlin Team
“We don’t just fly to HQ for Jampper Week, we get to actively participate in planning and getting everyone in the spirit! It’s important that everyone feels included” — Greg Wang, Sales Manager, US Team
#2 Let the games begin
At the beginning of Jampper Week, we announce the teams and their captains for the competition. Friendly competition is allowed and encouraged from the moment each team sends in the name and team flag that will represent them throughout the week. #ProTip: captains are also a big help when you’re planning an event for 100 people and need to ensure everybody is where they need to be).
We think it’s important to come up with activities that are somehow related to the event’s location (for example: this year we went to the beach and hosted a kickass sandcastle building competition).
In short: make the most of the location, be creative and also… flexible
“We started planning months ahead of the event: the beach venue, the outdoor activities, the beach branding… and then you get closer to the date and the forecast says rain 😱 Well… The rain came and went and Jampp Camp was still a success. If you’ve obsessively worked on the details, pinned down the essentials, and fostered the right spirit, you’re set. #LetItRain” — Lucia Oddonetto, Internal Comms
#2 We’ve said it once, we’ll say it twice: details matter
Every year we come up with an awesome Swag Kit — sometimes we think this is the stuff that only organizers obsess over… but, every year we get great feedback from the team so…
“This is the third Jampp Camp I’ve been to, so I’ve seen the level of attention that goes into everything. I did my research, looking for inspiration in different types of events from weddings to festivals. I was psyched to make the squad and think up details, like original light decorations and Jampp branded candy that would set the event apart.” — Maite Barrenche, Product Team
We take the branding for Jampp Camp very seriously, from the t-shirts to the brochures and everything in between: The banners with bold phrases to decorate the space, the gift beach mats, the stickers everyone stuck on their laptops. Every branded element counts when you are trying to make the event memorable. — Nathalie Rosengarten, Designer
“I love photography, so I was really happy when they asked me to join the Jampp Squad to help with “Art Direction”. Even though it was my first time attending, it was clear that it was a different type of company retreat, and I really enjoyed helping to find ways of capturing it.” — Santiago Redondo, Tech Team
#3 Hire rockstars (or at least have good music)
We are not saying the success of your company retreat relies on your team’s musical talent… but if you have a live band made up of your talented team mates kicking off the party… well, it’s pretty awesome 🎸💥.
“Putting the band together was quite a challenge because we hadn’t played together before, and we really wanted to choose songs that would appeal to everyone. But it was totally worth it, we had a blast playing together and seeing everyone dancing and cheering us on was pretty incredible. A great first gig” — Rodrigo Suaya, Strategic Account Manager (and band leader!)
If you don’t have a band, invest a little time in the music selection, so you have a repertoire that makes everyone join the dance floor (it’s possible!)
#4 And the Jampp Award goes to… 🥁
Our founders give out the “Jampp Awards”; recognizing the people who have truly embodied our company values throughout the year.
No one (except for our founders, who review the nominations) knows who the winners are until the announcement — kind of like the oscars… but much cooler (?) as this year, the trophy for each award was a mini surfboard 🏄 (in-line with the beach theme, remember?) and a book 📚
Even if no one in the Squad knows who the winners are until showtime, they do help set the stage/mood: from the presentation to the prizes and music… The squad is on top of every detail.
“The awards were really exciting, I was genuinely impressed with all the little jokes and surprises for the team (from including a fun video with internal jokes to the music selection and everything in between). The atmosphere was electric as we waited for the nominations and winners! And it’s a really nice thing to celebrate your teammates’ efforts and wins” — Carol Zaccaro, Sales Manager, Brazil Team
#5 Never lose sight of why you’re doing this
The most important thing for us, is to have a theme that represents who we are and where we’re at. What do we want to communicate to the team?
This year’s messaging was all about daring to… build, think big, delight… because in order to grow and take things to the next level, the first thing you need is to embrace your values and dare to take the leap.
We hope you found this post interesting and, ultimately, inspiring. To make a long story short, here’s the TL; DR version:
When organizing your next company retreat start small but think BIG:
- 4 months before the event: You’re a (small) team of people locking location and outlining the basics.
- Choose a theme that represents who you are and your values.
- 2 months into planning: Put together a squad with people from different teams to figure out the details — decor, photographers, swag etc (your team will love to feel involved and it will certainly help you take the retreat to the next level).
Jampp has a lot of unique ways of doing things, our culture and our offsites are a reflection of that. To learn more about what it’s like to work at Jampp, follow us on Instagram at @gojampp and if you share our values, visit our Jobs page: we are always looking for amazing people to join our team 😉
Happy Thank You More Please
Liked this? Keen for more? Read last years post for our founders’ take on the end of year company retreat.
Big thanks to our kickass squad 💥 and Lucia Oddonetto from our Internal Comms team who helped piece this post together.