Creating and maintaining a successful digital marketing agency can be a tough process. With the industry constantly changing and our desire to always go above and beyond for our clients, the pressure is really on. . In the past, we have enjoyed team building exercises such as Go-Karting and Coasteering which have traditionally been one day events. This year, we wanted to do more, so the whole team went away for a long weekend in sunny Devon!
We all arrived at the office on Thursday (18th June) morning with our bags packed full of clothes, towels, sun cream, swimming costumes, tennis rackets, footballs, cameras and stereos. From the size of some people’s bags you would have thought we were going for a fortnight on the Canary Islands but I supposed it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared! The office was bustling with excitement as we all anticipated the activities over the next few days. At 1pm we loaded up our cars and hit the road. With the sun beating down through our sun roofs as we gazed in awe at the beautiful countryside on the way, everyone was in high spirits and ready for some fun!
At 4pm we arrived at our accommodation, the beautiful Speccott Barton Cottages in Devon. It was an inspiring location, surrounded by large, open fields full of sheep and ponies and not another building in sight. Each of us headed to our cottages to unpack and make sure we could get first dibs on the best beds (bad luck with the bunk beds Andrew and Laura) before exploring the area further. We were delighted to find tennis courts, a swimming pool, a games room with table tennis and a pool table as well as lots of space to hang out and play football.
We started the evening with a presentation from our directors. They discussed the new internal structure of Adido and the plans for the next few days which left us all feeling very enthusiastic about the exciting things to come. After the presentation we had some spare time to enjoy the facilities. Some played tennis, football, table tennis and boules while others simply chatted while sipping on a cider in the sunshine. After a while we were all called in for dinner in the dining room where we all sat round the table like one big family, tucking in to the delicious meals which the staff at Speccott Barton so kindly provided.
After our meal we all gathered round for one of Andrew’s famous ‘Big Adido Quizzes’ which got the evening off to a great start. As one of our team members, Tom Hadley, is getting married next month we decided to combine our first nights team building with his stag do, so in-between each round of the quiz a new special item of clothing was given to Tom. By the end of the quiz Tom was dressed up as a giant carrot version of Rod Stewart. After the quiz we had a few more drinks and some laughs before heading to bed.
In the morning there was a few sore heads around the breakfast table, but after a delicious fry up we were ready to get started with the day’s events. First on the agenda was a talk from ‘Ideas Centre Group’ Founder and CEO, David Hall.
David gave a very engaging talk on how we can develop and continuously improve as an agency by unlocking the potential within the team. He told us about some interesting techniques he had used during his career, including an innovative way to brainstorm.
His idea was to try and alter peoples pre-existing perceptions and thought processes by assigning each person within the brainstorm a super hero character. Each person in the brainstorm would have to think like their assigned super hero and in some cases super hero costumes were used to really get them into character! This allows everyone in the brainstorm to think outside the box and come up with ideas so crazy, they just might work! When David finished his talk we all agreed that he had encouraged us to think in ways we had not done before; so you never know, next time you come in the office you might be greeted by Wonder Woman!
After all the idea sharing and creative thinking during the talk we were all feeling pretty hungry. We ate our lunch in the scorching sun and prepared ourselves for the afternoons activities; iPad Movie Making! We were split into three separate teams and given our brief. We had to think of one of our clients and make a creative video about that client, without revealing the client’s name throughout. At the end we would all watch the videos and decide which client the video was about and which team was the winner. The iPad Movie Making team provided us with an assortment of outfits and a camera person to film us making fools of ourselves!
We headed off in our teams and had great fun coming up with ideas and acting out our story boards. We must have been quite a sight as people were walking around the grounds dressed as gangster lions, creepy sheep people and a rather flamboyant ostrich. Once we had finished filming we edited our films ready to be viewed later on in the evening.
We were then left with a bit of relaxation time before dinner. Some went for a swim, others played ‘football tennis’ and others just sunbathed in the glorious weather we had been so lucky to get. After a couple of hours chill time, the BBQ was out and some scrumptious food was served to us. With burgers, chicken, sausages and salads devoured, we sat down to watch our videos. As expected, they were hilarious! One team decided to follow the story of Adido (Suzana should win an Oscar for her portrayal of Gary), another followed the story of Olives Et Al and the winning team filmed a wild safari, representing Yellow Zebra Safaris. We had to watch the films several times as we found them so funny and we really got to see our team’s creativity at work.
After watching our films we finished the weekend in style. A game of beer pong was set up as we relived our university years and we soon discovered some leftover champagne for a game of champagne pong! As the cheesy 80s music played, we danced, sung and put the world to rights until the exhaustion kicked in and we headed to bed.
On Saturday we awoke feeling sad that our trip was over. After a quick breakfast we hit the road for the long drive home. We had a great time and made many memories together whilst learning a little something along the way. The trip really bonded us as a team and we are all thoroughly looking forward to the next one! Vegas anyone?