Four Questions to Help You Plan Your Annual Meeting of the Team

Last week, 19 TeamGantt’ers landed in Baltimore with one goal: to have some face-to-face time with their coworkers.
We liberated Pharaoh’s tomb. We outsmarted the serial killer. Despite a ghost trying to stop our audition, we were able to secure a spot in a troupe magicians. We saved the world through the power and magic of periodic tables, but had nightmares about high school chemistry along our way.
That was Tuesday night.
Now that the dust has settled we thought we’d share how our meetups work and why they are so important to our remote team culture. These questions will help you plan a meetup that keeps you and your team productive and healthy throughout the year.
Calculating ROI: Is it worth it to attend a meetup?
Before we get into the how, let us talk about the why. These are the three main benefits that we get from every meetup:
Team members can have fun together, which helps them build trust and deepen their friendships. This is what greases the wheels for collaboration all year.
Sitting together, whether at a conference table or at a dinner table, provides a forum for creative problem-solving as well as idea-sharing.
It is easier for new team members to integrate into the company by getting to know TeamGantt’s people and processes.

Establishing a rhythm: How often do you need to meet?
Remote teams work differently so you will need to decide how much face-time your team needs to succeed. Here’s TeamGantt’s rhythm.
Each year: The entire company
TeamGantt brings together the entire company once a year. Families are invited every other year. Family meetups are held during summer when the kids are not in school. Company meetups usually take place during the school year.
Quarterly (or as required) for individual teams
Smaller companies have smaller teams that meet more often to plan strategic projects or focus on specific projects. Our dev team holds quarterly meetings, while other teams meet less often throughout the year. Each team decides when and where they meet.
How do you choose a date?
Scheduling can be difficult when you have multiple calendars to manage. It’s crucial to set a date for your meetup early.
TeamGantt focuses on a meetup date approximately six months in advance. This gives team members plenty time to plan for it in the months ahead.
To find weeks without out-of-office hours, we consult our trusted team PTO chart. Once we have identified open weeks, we use Slack to let the team weigh in on which option is best.
How can you structure your week?
TeamGantt is serious about work-life balance. This applies to meetups as well. We adhere to a strict weekday schedule because it is difficult for families to allow team members to be with us for the week. Team members can make the most of their weekends at work by making Monday and Friday designated travel days.
That means Tuesday through Thursday are jam-packed with agendas. Don’t worry, we make sure there’s plenty of fun and food to offset all the hard work. Each day revolves around three themes: work, eat and play (not necessarily in that order).
Here’s how last week’s meetup turned out:
Travel day
Work + Eat: Office time with catered lunch
Eat (again): Team dinner outing
Play: Escape room game
Work + Eat: Office time with catered lunch
Play: Dodgeball tournament
Eat again: Get a free night
Work + Eat: Lunch out with the team at lunch
Play: MarioKart tournament or free time
Enjoy a dinner party at a local winery with live music and eat (again).
Travel day
A week or so before the meetup, we get down to the details. These decisions are made after weeks of discussion