When I joined the AgileBits family last March, everyone had just returned from AGConf, the most recent annual company gathering. Throughout the year, I’d see things in Slack (the chat application we use) like, “Last one to join the call owes us all Labadoozies!” But it rang hollow for me because I had never tasted a Labadoozie. A couple of weeks ago, I finally had my chance (and it lives up to the hype)!
Biding my time was well worth it, not only for the Labadoozie, but also to meet the smiling faces behind those avatars I know and love. To accommodate our biggest team yet (along with several of our family members and guests), the conference took place on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest passenger ship!
As soon as we got to the ship, it was all about meeting, greeting, and hugging. What a treat to finally chat with my teammates face to face, and to meet their spouses, kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, and other loved ones.
I certainly wasn’t the only one embarking on my first-ever AGConf. We’ve been fortunate to welcome several marvelous new team members over the last year.
What makes AGConf special is the chance to meet (most of) the entire company at once – but can you imagine being invited along for your interview?!? Talk about pressure! It takes a brave soul to pounce on that kind of opportunity, and that’s one of the many reasons we knew that Sonya would be a great fit. It was announced over dinner one night that she had accepted our invitation to join the AgileBits crew, giving new meaning to our customary “Welcome aboard!”
Keeping our priorities straight, we all knew we wouldn’t be on this cruise without our wonderful 1Password customers, so we began each morning with all hands on deck for customer support. It was so refreshing to be able to just sit next to a developer to talk about a bug instead of having to type a message!
We also had some excellent presentations on the progress we’ve made with each of our apps over the last year, where we’re headed, and what we’re focusing on now. We even had the pleasure of getting some tips from Dene Cohen of DCODE Communications Inc about how we can make 1Password better for everyone.
The fun is just beginning
On top of helping customers and making 1Password better, another great reason we have AGConf is to spend time bonding with everyone. We made some time each day to relax and have fun together—and eat a lot of frozen yogurt. Dinners together in the main dining room were a highlight for everyone. The food was top-notch, and the company even better. Following dinner with dessert and some awesome games made for wonderful evenings!
Meanwhile, on land
We also had three lovely ports of call; we enjoyed beaches and adventures in Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and of course, our favorite: Labadee, Haiti, namesake of our beloved Labadoozie.
It ain’t over til…
Singing karaoke is one of my most favorite things to do, so I wound up at On Air, the ship’s karaoke bar, just about every night. And there were contests! On the final night, Khad and I competed with eight of our fellow passengers in the Karaoke Superstar Championship finals, for which we had each qualified earlier in the week. Dozens of our teammates packed into On Air to cheer us on. Khad’s incredible performance of Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” brought the house down, and somehow my rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele won me a gold medal, a swag bag and a bottle of bubbly. But better than all that was the room full of hugs and high fives from our fellow ‘Bits. :D
Working from home certainly has its perks, but there’s something really special about having the whole team in the same room (especially if that room is on a ship). The fact that it only happens once a year means we all make the most of our time together, and I know I’m still cruising on the positive energy and inspiration I took home from our tropical meeting of the minds.