A look into Swapcard’s Marketing & Growth offsite 2023

When it comes to performance, the evidence is clear - the highest-performing teams are well-connected.  

Swapcard is all about building meaningful connections, and as an international company with many remote-working teammates, we are highly intentional when it comes to this. We offer many opportunities for our teams to connect, from fun office parties to niche Slack channels (#just_for_fun), but the biggest opportunity is at our company offsites.

At offsites, teams gather together to take part in fun activities and group working sessions. Recently, 18 teammates from the Marketing and Growth team united for a six-day adventure.

We caught up with Laura Vellozo and Grace Patricia Mime to hear all about their experience and see how these offsites contribute to the culture of collaboration and resilience that define Swapcard.

Introduce yourself!

[Grace Patricia]

Hi, I’m Grace Patricia, and I’m based in Paris, France. I am part of the Growth Team, working to develop our PLG strategy on our Free and Starter plans.

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[Laura]

Hello, I’m Laura Vellozo. I’m based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I work in the Marketing team as Head of Product Marketing. 

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Tell us about this year’s offsite.

[Grace Patricia]

The Marketing & Growth offsite theme was “BondVoyage: Teamwork Never Dies”, and it took place in Cyprus. We stayed in 2 poolside villas in Larnaca.

The organizing team was amazing! They did a great job from the preparation to the post-offsite. Before the offsite, they created a climate of commitment and collective decision-making, proposing places and activities and letting people choose. They organized a dream stay for us with brainstorming sessions, activities, and restaurant outings, perfectly synchronized.  After the offsite, they kept the memories alive with quizzes, jokes, and picture sharing.

During this offsite, I saw some of my colleagues for the first time, and it was a pleasure to meet those great people. We all shared a common spirit of togetherness, learning, and enjoyment.

 

[Laura]

As it was the first time in 2 years that we met face-to-face, you can imagine how excited we all were. And we were not disappointed! 

Once there, we spent glorious sunny days by two poolside villas in Larnaca, where we enjoyed each others' company and did some meaningful work for the year ahead. All within our official theme, “BondVoyage: Teamwork Never Dies”, which was spot on.

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You mentioned that the Marketing & Growth offsite was based in sunny Cyprus. Share your favorite picture!

[Grace Patricia]

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The photo probably didn't catch a sunny day, but it's very atmospherically lit. It was our "Bond: Swapcard Sapphire" themed party, and everyone shone like a sunray!

 

[Laura]

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My favorite shot will have to be on the day we went scuba diving for the first time. The water was crystal clear, the sun was shining, and it was such a special moment shared with the team.

16 colleagues in two poolside villas – that's a recipe for adventure! Can you share a hilarious or memorable moment from your villa stay that perfectly captures the spirit of our offsite?

[Grace Patricia]

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Big hug to Matt. This touching moment shows just how close-knit the team is and how much affection is shown for Matt, the Marketing team leader for so many years.

 

[Laura]

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Having everyone together 24/7 was quite intense but also very fun. Probably my top pick would have to be the late nights talking by the pool. Even though we were all tired from the packed schedule, there was always time to chat about our day, have some good laughs, and learn even more about each other. 

What were your top 3 activities at the offsite? 

[Grace Patricia]

  • Spa and massage: It was so good to disconnect and relax 
  • The Swapcard Sapphire party: in the shoes of a Bond spy for one night. So exciting!

[Laura]

Scuba diving for the first time, exploring the capital city of Nicosia during a treasure hunt, and enjoying the Cyprian ocean views from a private boat tour! 

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Did you discover any hidden talents or skills among your colleagues during the offsite that surprised you?

[Grace Patricia]

Julien at the top of a human pyramid, with Tui and Carlos.

They shared with us their hidden talents of balance, agility, flexibility, and strength. It was so much fun!

 

[Laura]

The human pyramid on the beach was not expected at all. I was impressed and a little concerned, but it all worked out nicely! 

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What’s something interesting you learned about someone in the team?

[Grace Patricia]

I found out that Blessing is a hyperpolyglot, as she speaks seven languages! She's just fabulous and an inspiration to learn new languages with confidence.

 

[Laura]

Surprisingly, several teammates had completely different professions than their current roles at Swapcard. Someone used to be a Zookeeper, and someone used to work as a living statue! I’ll let you get to guessing ;).

 

What snack, dish, or drink would you prepare to represent your culture at our next offsite? 

[Grace Patricia]

I am originally from the coast of Cameroon, and my village is an island. In my hometown, the diet is mainly composed of fish and seafood like oysters. So, at our next offsite, I would love to prepare grilled fish with fried plantain (a signature vegetable of sub-Saharan Africa).

 

[Laura]

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On this trip, I made some traditional Brazilian caipirinhas, which I was quite nervous about, but I was told they turned out ok. Next time, I might try something in the food department - maybe our famous cheese bread called "pão de queijo".   

Speaking of food, there was an abundance of delicious eats at the offsite. I know some people already miss the creamy garlic dip and soft pitas.

What was your favorite dish or drink at the offsite?

[Grace Patricia]

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Octopus! This was the second time I'd eaten octopus in my life (the first was at the Swapcard Sapphire party). And it was a real delight!

 

[Laura]

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I love Greek food, so I couldn't be happier with the dishes we got to eat. Picking one is tough, but the roasted lamb was just divine. 

 

Quickfire round time:

[Grace Patricia]

  • Best swimmer: Rafa
  • Most competitive: Blessing
  • Loudest laugh: Caroline
  • Best team player: Kendra
  • Funniest storyteller: Caroline
  • Most fashionable: Merima
  • Best dancer: Carlos

[Laura]

  • Best swimmer: Julien 
  • Most competitive: Blessing 
  • Loudest laugh: Tui
  • Best team player: Giulia  
  • Funniest storyteller: Caroline
  • Most fashionable: Merima 
  • Best dancer: Carlos

It wasn't all fun and games though! Each day, a professional workshop or activity was organized to help enhance our skills and teamwork.

Can you tell us more about them? Did you learn anything interesting that you’ll apply in your work moving forward?

[Grace Patricia]

We had a group-organized challenge. Each group had to create the most engaging event on our Swapcard platform. It was very stimulating because the challenge was to make the event as interactive as possible. So, we had to use all of Swapcard’s features, which allowed us to explore the platform and better understand it from a client's perspective. We could then give feedback and reports to the product team and help improve our beloved product.

 

[Laura]

We were quite ambitious in our schedule and planned working sessions every day of the trip. The themes would vary, but their goal was always geared towards putting our heads together on a shared project. I'd say the personality test was surprisingly eye-opening as we were pushed to question our traits and share them with the group. The result was a rich discussion about our contributions as well as the team's, which is incredibly helpful in our remote work environment.

What do you love most about working with your team?

[Grace Patricia]

What I loved most was the teamwork and the learning experience it offered. Working closely with my team, each of us had to dive deep into the platform's features, pushing us to think creatively and strategically. It was exhilarating to see how each Swapcardian’s unique approach and understanding of the platform contributed to our collective goal. The challenge not only brought us closer as a team but also significantly enhanced our understanding of the platform from a client's perspective. 

I think the whole offsite experience was invaluable in helping us appreciate our team, the company, and the intricacies of Swapcard as a platform.

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[Laura]

I love how resilient we all are. Working amongst such smart, kind, and adaptable people makes all the difference in how far we can go together.  

If you could sum up our offsite in one catchy slogan or tagline, what would it be?

[Both]

Teamwork never dies!

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Want to join our next offsite adventure?

Join our passionate team and revolutionize the events industry!

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