Valeriia: Hey girls! Welcome to our monthly series. I am happy to have you onboard for this video and I am very excited to recap together what happened two weeks ago and remember our legendary company event of 2022.
Alright, so all three of us are actually from completely different departments but what connects us is that we are a part of the Homelike Event Committee, so please feel free to introduce yourself first.
Yasmin: So, hi, I am Yasmin. I have been at Homelike for three and a half years, nearly four years actually and I am an Inbound Sales Manager for the B2B market GSA.
Lu: So, hi, my name is Lu. I am now almost a year at Homelike. I am working as a Business Development Manager for the DACH market. So Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Valeriia: Amazing, thank you very much! So I would like to start by discussing the importance of company events or in-person meetings in general and since Homelike is a remote-first company, why do you think it is still essential to give people an opportunity to meet face-to-face?
Yasmin: I think it is important since we are all remote, we don’t really get to see each other. So it is really nice to come together, either meet people you haven’t met yet or to just see people again you haven’t seen in a really long time.
Lu: Yeah, I agree with Yasmin. Especially since we only communicate mainly over Slack, and over Video Calls, there is this kind of friendship missing that you would like to have. So now when we finally get to talk and get to talk about things maybe outside work, it really helps to deepen the collaboration and the team spirit in the company.
Valeriia: Yes, yes. I also think so. Can you tell me about the whole preparation and planning journey of the Homelike Company event? How did you manage to arrange a whole party for seventy people without any event planning experience?
Yasmin: I don’t think it is that hard. Maybe that’s just me but we did obviously have Linda and Ann-Kathrin who were basically the heads of the project, so that did help a lot I think. But we just basically came together once a week and also divided who has to do what in order to make sure that everything gets done within time.
Lu: Yeah. We mainly focused on the strict agenda that we put, so every week we would see how far we got – what is still missing, what is still open on the agenda, and then we tried to get those different tasks off from the agenda. I think the main point was that we all had the same vision, we all knew exactly how the party should look like, and what were the main priorities, so that made it really easy in the end.
Valeriia: Yeah exactly. It wasn’t that difficult but I also don’t think it was that easy, so now you are officially the experts as well as the rest of the Event Committee. But maybe you can tell a bit more about the event itself. So the party and the agenda around it. I think people might be interested in how we managed to meet in Cologne with all the Homelikees from Spain, France, the UK, and around Germany.
Yasmin: Yes we basically flew everyone in who was able to come. Unfortunately, some people were on vacation, so those people were not able to join us for the party but we flew everyone in from Spain, the UK, and also a few people from France. And then we actually.. most people came on Wednesday, some people came on Thursday but we did spend the entire Thursday basically all of us together in the office first and then we, the Party Committee people at least, we went to the location to already set some things up and then everybody else arrived.
Lu: Yes, I think what was amazing is that everybody actually really took the time to travel there. In the end, I think almost everybody came except a few people that were on vacation. So that was really great and also the people that actually came earlier, took the time to go to the office, so in the office, we got to all work together. It was very crowded but super nice and then we had a Hangover Breakfast the next day, we were all sitting together, talking about the event and at the event itself of course, where everybody joined as well.
Valeriia: Yeah, I actually got some feedback from people, that one of the comments was that having a few days before, like with activities before the actual party really helped them to break the ice and you know really get to know people and then really have fun afterward. So I think this three-day agenda that we all organized, really you know helped people to have more fun during the party itself.
Lu: Yeah, we had a really packed agenda. So, starting with the Sustainability Quiz, to the Scavenger Hunt, that you organized, that actually went really well. Then we had the Hangover Breakfast as I already mentioned but we also had Games Night and so on. So, in the end, all of the activities really allowed us to get to know everybody. We also had for example the Lunch Roulette where we got to know people that we had never spoken with, so that was really nice. And in the end, I think the party was really fun because of that.
Yasmin: Yeah, we also had Ioannis (one of the managing directors of Homelike) famous. I call it Speed Dating because we also had a first physical Demo Day (companywide weekly meeting) after a really long time and then he was just like afterward when we were just having drinks and he was just like: “now you got to talk to somebody you have never talked to” and we just did that.
Valeriia: Yes true. I almost forgot about that. So Yasmin, what do you think was the highlight of the event? At least for you?
Yasmin: Hmm…I think I had multiple actually. I think my main highlight, I think it was the highlight for most people, was the photo booth. Like, we made many memories with that one. Like we have so many great pictures. The second was that we all dressed up, which was also. And everybody looked great. Everyone actually put in the effort and it was really cool to see that. So I guess those were my personal highlights.
Valeriia: Yeah for sure, couldn’t agree more. But I also believe it was the dancing and actually seeing real personalities of colleagues that we talk to on daily basis outside the work environment, so I think it was yeah definitely helpful, you know to feel more comfortable. I feel afterward, you know after the event and the agenda, it was, at least for me, helpful to work more productively on collaborative projects because you know I really saw the real personalities behind the people. And I think this is also something that leads me to my next question. So, Lu, I would probably address it to you. You, like everybody else, got a chance to talk to almost all your colleagues, some of whom you have never met or talked to before as you said. So, can you name a person who has inspired you the most during the three days that we were working together and getting to know each other?
Lu: I think it is hard to pick one person because then the other people are going to kill me but I think just in general I was really surprised about how well everybody connected with each other because of course, some have been for years in the company and we have not met yet. Although it´s been such a long time and once we all saw each other, it was just as if we had known each other for a very long time. So it was super fun straight away. I think though my favorite moment was, just to go to the question before, the cake. Because it was my birthday, so Sarah (Head of B2B Sales) baked a cake for me and I didn’t expect everybody to celebrate it. Actually, everybody was so motivated to celebrate my birthday. That was really sweet and so I think overall just maybe how well we all connected meeting in person.
Valeriia: Yes, yes. That’s so true. Actually, yeah it was your birthday right at midnight during the company event. Yeah, very lucky to have so many people around you on that day.
Lu: I think it is pretty hard to top that birthday. The next year we have to plan the same.
Valeriia: True true on exactly the same date yeah. Ok, wonderful. Then I think, these are all the questions for today. I had actually so much fun yeah during the event and also recording this video. I hope we really can do it again and if we are on the Committee together next year or during the next event we can have another chat and maybe compare the journeys and the outcomes.
Yasmin: Sure, I think we’d both love to.
Valeriia: Yeah that is good to hear! But thank you so much for participating and taking the time to really recap the company event of 2022.
Yasmin: Thank you for having us.
Lu: Bye Valeria, bye Yasmin.