Hear from Ali Brown on all things team culture, building relationships, and more.
Here at Marco, we often talk about culture and why it matters for teams — culture has evolved beyond ping pong tables and pizza lunches, and experiences are at the forefront. So, it goes without saying that building a strong culture internally at Marco is always high on our priority list. We’re proud to have such a talented group of individuals working to bring extraordinary experiences to teams.
In this Culture Curators blog, we’re chatting with Ali Brown — Marco’s Special Events and Partnerships Manager.
Introducing Ali Brown
New York-based Ali Brown leads Special Events & Partnerships at Marco, but her role has truly expanded and her expertise lies in anything and everything to do with creating meaningful, personalized experiences for teams.
At Marco, Ali works with Members to build out their corporate events calendar, creating truly bespoke and customized events, spearheading retreats, and more. Her work focuses on everything curated and personalized, and her talent lies in dreaming up the perfect experiences to fit a team.
How did you first learn about Marco?
This is an awesome story. My friend Morgan works for Ramp, and at the start of the pandemic, she booked a virtual experience through Marco—a brand new company at the time. She told me how cool Marco seemed and recommended that I check the company out. I ended up meeting Chris and Suman, and the connection was instant. I joined as a contractor focused on building supply in partnerships, and just a few short months in, they brought me on full time.
Morgan and I had worked together previously — we both come from events backgrounds. So, I really trusted her that Marco was worth checking out. In particular, I thought it was super cool that Marco was able to give creatives a platform to shine during the pandemic, a time that was hard on entertainers and hospitality workers. Working at Marco, I fell in love with the company and the concept because I was able to help so many people. We’ve been able to give creatives and facilitators a really beautiful home, stage, and family. They can do what they love to do, and impact people while making a living doing it. Win, win.
What's special about Marco?
For me, relationships are what’s most important in my personal and professional life. I think we do a really great job at Marco of having amazing relationships on our internal team — we’re like a family. That connection and passion shines through to our clients, too. We also do a great job of harnessing super strong relationships with the companies we work with at Marco, to the point where they think of us as an extension of their team. Based on the experiences we’ve planned for our clients, they know that we’re serious about creating culture and bringing people together, and I think we do this in a really sincere, honest way.
What's your vision for the future of culture?
I don’t think there is a future of work culture without intentionally planned experiences being a major part of it. Instead of building offices, we’re starting to see companies using that budget to invest in retreats to bring their people together. Companies now want to bring their employees together in unique, more meaningful ways. And that’s exactly what excites me about Marco. We’re facilitating the next chapter of distributed work.
The way we work is fundamentally changing. For example — I recently heard from a friend who got a new job at a finance firm, and the company has an industrial kitchen in their office so people can take cooking classes! Without having experiential components like this, people just won’t be fulfilled. We’re over the traditional happy hour. Instead, why not do something that’s actually creative, fun, and brings everyone together in a different kind of way?
Is there anything about culture you think is misunderstood?
Culture isn’t about how awesome your office is, what perks you're able to give your team, how much you can pay them, or what fancy events you host. Instead, it’s letting your team know that you genuinely care about them. It’s important to make it clear that the relationships between everyone at the company and how people feel on a day to day basis matters.
What's your quick tip for teams looking to create better culture?
Let your guard down and be open to new experiences. In order to grow, you can’t be afraid to try something new. At Marco, when we do encourage our customers to try something outside of the box, we get the most positive response about how impactful it was. We’ve heard amazing feedback — people have said an experience or event has been the best day of their entire career (that's a real quote!). Also, be willing to spend quality time together and put yourself out there, because at the end of the day it’s going to make your culture stronger, your relationships stronger, and your job way more fun.