Blocknative identifies Marco as a long-term partner based on a deep sense of trust, a joint understanding of strong culture, and top tier service and execution.
Blocknative wanted to reduce the amount of time and complexity associated with planning a retreat by identifying the right long-term partner. Read about why Marco was that partner for them.
Blocknative is a provider of real-time blockchain transaction management and monitoring solutions for public blockchain networks. They are a fully remote company with employees spanning across 9 countries and 7 time zones, and they strongly believe in the power of semi-annual in-person retreats to get aligned—personally and professionally.
Sean O’Connor, Blocknative Chief of Staff & retreat planning co-lead, planned their prior Retreat back when they were 16 people fully in-house. For this one, he realized he needed to outsource a big portion of the planning—from logistics to concept to design—to a partner he could trust.
“It was a complete time sink and not sustainable—especially now that we’re more than double the size. I realized bringing someone on to do all the coordination, manage the contracts, etc. was a no-brainer.”
Blocknative wanted to reduce the amount of time and complexity associated with planning a retreat by identifying the right long-term partner.
As a fully remote company, they are continuously evolving and improving their “operating rhythm.” Their CEO shared this fascinating twitter thread with the whole company prior to the retreat, on the topic of operating rhythm as a fully remote company. Blocknative strongly believes that getting everyone in the same room, on the same page, every six months, is the right solution for them in this new way of work.
Since they do two full-company retreats per year, the repeatability of the partner was key. Sean and his team didn’t want to have to onboard a new partner each time. To them—this meant trust, a deep understanding of their culture and needs, and a high level of service and organization.
Blocknative was able to find exactly what they were looking for in a partner with Marco: comprehensive execution, an understanding of their culture, and a long-term relationship.
To co-planner Christine Egger, VP of people success, the ethos and feeling of the retreat was of the utmost importance, and she was keen to partner with someone she felt aligned with.
“Marco really understood who we are—our DNA as a group. They knew the vibes we were looking for, how we wanted to experience this retreat. It made it so easy for us. They were highly organized and there was little back and forth. They just got it.”
And Sean added:
“Marco was able to execute so well. And having done this event with you, the second one should be even simpler because we’ve already gotten to know each other. The vibe check was exactly right—so if all we do is meet this bar again, we’ll have a great second offsite.”
The whole team in San Diego
Ali Brown, Marco Retreat Specialist, presented them with various options, but ultimately nudged them towards Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa in San Diego. This option ended up being a fantastic solution for their needs.
“Multiple employees told us it was the best corporate event they’d ever been to. I’d highly recommend the Catamaran Resort — they were great to work with onsite, highly collaborative, and went above and beyond, helping us out in ways in which they were not contractually obligated.”
Meeting each other in-person for the first time!
And not having to worry about logistics, meals, hotels, etc., allowed them to focus on the actual programming and content of the retreat—something you really can’t outsource.
“I would have spent 10x the time if I was planning this myself. From coordinating all of the venues, restaurants, activities to even just finding the venue itself. Having just one point of contact—Marco—and not having to call dozens of places, coordinate with dozens of contacts, reduced the amount of time dramatically.
When asked about what they thought the ROI of the Retreat was (perhaps anecdotally, or qualitatively), Sean and Christine responded with:
“You can’t put a dollar value on getting everyone in the company aligned around a shared mission, vision, and strategy. And from a CapEx perspective, if all this does is help us retain one engineer for one more year—worth every dollar 🙂”
And the results truly speak for themselves in the responses gathered from a survey Sean and Christine sent out the week after the retreat:
Given that the team is in hyper-growth, a primary goal of their semi-annual retreats is to ensure that employees feel connected and work well together. This is something that Blocknative is more than willing to invest in—over and over again.
“Spending a week together—being able to put a face to a name and really get to know someone, is such an advantage. It creates a strong sense of collaboration and respect. It’s expensive, but it’s imperative—and something we want to invest in and continue to invest it. - Christine Egger, VP of people success
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