The WiredScore annual retreat – thoughts from Connect 22


6 / 6 / 2022


May 2022 – WiredScore descends upon the Woodloch Resort, Pennsylvania, for its annual working retreat, otherwise known as Connect 22.

The hotly anticipated event saw a global company of multiple departments come together under one roof for the first time in years. Since the last retreat (way back in 2019), a lot has changed at WiredScore. The company has grown significantly for a start, and WiredScore now has an office in Singapore, meaning some were traveling long distances to reach the USA.

But what are the motivations that drive a working retreat? More than an opportunity to catch up and enjoy one another’s company, retreats serve a real business purpose, a purpose that has never been more relevant than in the post-pandemic era of working.

Arie Barendrecht, WiredScore Founder & CEO, talks us through some of the motivations and learnings he found from Connect 22. Read on for Arie’s insight, and don’t miss the picture gallery at the end!

Post retreat reflections and notes from Arie:

There’s method in the madness…

When it comes to the benefits of taking the entire company away, out of office, for four days, the first thing that springs to mind is inspiration! Getting a global team of talented, driven people all together in one room empowers us to dream big and better-visualize what we can achieve.

The first ever WiredScore retreat was way back in December 2015 when William Newton, President & MD, and Tom Redmayne, Managing Director, Business Development, flew out to NYC from London. The trip was such a success that we made a commitment there and then that gathering together every 1-2 years would be core to achieving our global mission.

There’s something to be said for alignment. Connect 22 really allowed WiredScore to talk in person about WiredScore’s five year mission and vision, and then easily collaborate across different teams to chart our path to make the vision a reality. These conversations are much richer and more productive in person, allowing us to align our thoughts and really stretch our creativity when it comes to problem solving and planning.

But, at the core of it, it’s all about the connections. At WiredScore we deeply believe in in-person time, as those connections can’t quite be replicated remotely. Therefore, investing in developing face-to-face connections is a fundamental priority, and a real joy to be a part of.

Arie and William, WiredScore CEO and President & MD, soaking up the fun at Connect 22

Personal highlights:

Trying to choose a favorite memory is tough, but I have a few standout moments. One of which is dinner on the first night. Seeing 120+ people bubbling with “first day of school” excitement, chatting and bonding with one another over a shared meal is a really special memory. It spoke of our growth as a company, but also testified to the fact that WiredScore really is made up of a really wonderful bunch of people.

We also underwent a product exercise that asked a diverse cross-section of WiredScore teams to envision how we might make the world smarter and better connected in 10 years. It was like watching innovation come to life. It was fantastic. The room was alive with thoughts, creativity and collaboration. The energy within the room was really inspiring.

Most impactful moment:

For me, while our team sessions were really insightful to inform strategy and refine tactics, the most impactful thing was seeing the passion exhibited from across the team in discussing our purpose, which is to empower people and spaces through technology. There’s a strong, shared belief that we can really change the built environment for the better through our work together. That’s a powerful, world-changing purpose that unites everything we do at WiredScore.

Some sage words of advice:

If I were to give anyone one piece of core advice when it comes to pulling something like a global company retreat off, and pulling it off well, it would be to really invest time and care into planning (we had two senior leaders planning it all, and the full force of our People Ops team). Done well, an event like this can be one of the most impactful things you’ll ever do to make your team effective, aligned, and excited.

It’s also important to spread the love – don’t just have your senior team talking to large groups of people: divvy up speaking and planning responsibilities so that everyone actively contributes. And, crucially, don’t overscope. Some of the best experiences came from the parts of the day where the team was able to just relax and explore.

Was it a success?

I think the success can be best measured by the increase in energy and camaraderie that was obvious in the week following the event. The proof’s in the pudding, as they say, and it’s been great to hear reports from managers and WiredScore members alike that a general uptick in engagement and motivation has occurred since Connect 22. The power of human interaction cannot be underestimated, and Connect 22 proved that whilst we’re good at working solo, we’re great when we come together and tackle a problem as a team.

Much to discuss, plan, and innovate…

Great teamwork!

Lakeside meetings were a luxurious favourite.

Making the most of the sunshine!

Working hard, or getting lost?…

It was fun to catch up with colleagues in the beautiful surroundings.

Lots of big thinking to do…

Some creative sparks at work during a painting workshop.

WiredScore enjoyed a game of archery tag during some downtime.

Action shot!

“Seeing 120+ people bubbling with “first day of school” excitement, chatting and bonding with one another over a shared meal is a really special memory.” – Arie

Tacos for dinner? Don’t mind if I do.

There was was some hot competition during the Chef’s Challenge activity

Nice pizza?

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