Last year’s annual team retreat was already off the charts, but this year’s Worldwide Kickoff exceeded our wildest expectations. First off, this commencement was double the size of last year’s (580 people!), coalescing workers old and new, including those from our vitalizing acquisition of 2019.
Our lively lot metaphorically set sail to the company’s country of origin: France. After briefly staying at the very first Contentsquare office (in Paris), we sojourned on the Lac d’Ailette, in the heart of the French countryside to the northeast of Paris.
Secondly, we stayed true to our work ethic of working hard and playing hard, with jam-packed days of games and parties, balanced by meetings and workshops. Lastly, WWKO 2020 was a memorable event; for some, it was a fresh dive into the world of Contentsquare, for others, it was a chance to reconnect with the growing force that is our team.
We spoke with our team members from across the globe to get their perspective on this year’s kickoff.
Worldwide Kickoff 2020: Best Moments & Other Reflections
“The 2020 WWKO was amazing, the atmosphere of our close to 600 employees arriving from all countries was outstanding! I am sure we managed to provide them with the full update on where the company is, how we ended 2019 and our plans for 2020 and the years ahead.”
– Shlomi Hagai, Global CFO, Israel
“Kickoff was a really cool opportunity to get the US, French, and Israeli support team members together in the same room for the first time.”
– Steven Rayl, Support Engineer, Customer Support, US West Coast
“This was my first year at the Contentsquare WWKO and it was insane, very well organised you can tell how much hard work had been put in to get it put together. I have never experienced anything like the hype and camaraderie on the first day. It makes you very proud to work for a company that is doing great things but still cares and looks after the employees.” –
– Daniella Sykes, Sales Development Representative, UK
“My favorite moment was when we saw the brand video about the teams during the keynote presentation. It was so impressive, it gave me thrills. You really feel you’re part of one family. It’s so important because it’s part of our DNA.”
– Julien Crevel, Customer Success Manager, Paris
“WWKO 2020 was a great way to connect with team members that you Slack every day but don’t get to see in person. The same way that I love meeting clients in person so that they feel understood and heard, I really enjoyed meeting and seeing the rest of the global team during our team breakouts.”
– Monique Fan, Product Experience Manager, New York
“WWKO 2020 was a great opportunity to finally meet in person a lot of the people I’ve been interacting with from the different teams and locales.
– Sergei Shenderovich, Senior Technical Solution Architect in Sales Excellence, Israel
“My favorite moment in WWKO 2020 has got to be riding the inflatable unicorn in the ball pit… my 6-year-old self came back out and had a blast! On a more serious note, it was great to hear about the company’s vision and where we’re headed, especially sinceI’m new to the business.
– Louise Duseigneur, Customer Success Manager, UK
“WWKO 2020 is, with Hackathon, definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. It somehow managed to keep a small startup atmosphere while constantly improving the level and quality of the event throughout the years.
– Antoine Auffret, Lead Customer Success Manager, Paris
“This WWKO 2020 was definitely one of my top three kickoffs. I’m so glad to see that after 8 years at Contentsquare, we are able to go beyond ourselves and make it even better!
– Fanny Pourcenoux, Head of Global Design, Paris
“My first WWKO at Contentsquare, and I am blown away! I’ve been to kickoff events with some of the biggest SaaS companies in the US, and they don’t even come close to capturing the energy and connection at the Contentsquare WWKO.”
– Derek Webb, VP New Business East Coast in Sales North America, New York
“On the heels of what we’ve done last year with the two acquisitions and amazing growth, I think this WWKO 2020 contributed to building trust, the vision of the company, sharing enthusiasm, encouraging communication, and increasing collaboration.”
– Joaquim De Sa Alves, Chief Financial Officer, Paris
“Overall it was a very fulfilling experience interacting with teams across the organization and “visualizing” who is who and the organizational structure. Another would be the Customer panel sharing insights into how they are using and benefiting from Contentsquare.”
– Jace Dicker, Sales Director in Sales North America, US East Coast, New Business North America – West
“This was my 3rd WWKO and easily the best one yet. We upped the ante in every aspect; the content, the strategy, the presenters, the client involvement, the location, the atmosphere, the parties, the food…?!”
– Gareth Drabble, Head of Customer Success, Northern Europe, UK
“This WWKO has been just great! It truly embraced our values of team-building and enthusiasm, bringing together people from around the world, who have worked hard and proven their value to the business for an entire year, to have fun and build memories together during these wild 3 days.”
– Alessandro Boschi, Inside Sales Executive – Italian Market, Paris
“The first day of WWKO 2020 was also my first day at Contentsquare. To me, it was incredible to see how the company is sticking together, how each individual is following the same goal (to make Contentsquare great) and how transparent and honest the management team is with regards to the current situation and vision of Contentsquare.”
– Benjamin Gruber, Sales Executive in Sales Europe + ROW, Denmark
“Those three days of kickoff were awesome. Lots of great announcements and reflections to celebrate our common successes and ambitions. The parties were just crazy, with a ton of epic costumes and people full of energy and enthusiasm. It was impressive to see so many people from different cultures and countries, often meeting for the first time, working, chilling and having fun as one.”
– Fanny Rousell, Innovation Project Manager in Product, Paris
“This Kickoff was an amazing experience which started from booking half of the plane, and flying all together – the journey to the venue itself was an exciting experience since our drive from the office took 3.5 hours. The venue looked great, with stunning views, a cool countryside atmosphere and stunning sunsets.”
– Daniel Kanevsky, DevOps Engineer in R&D, Israel
“I joined the company back in June 2019, so this was my first WWKO. It was a great experience for many reasons. It gave me the chance to get to know my London colleagues better, but also connect with people across the organization, especially the people in SDR from different regions. I really found the presentations interesting and motivational — to see how the company is doing, and what to look forward to in the future!”
– Gabriel Andersson, Inside Sales Intern Nordics, UK
“ The WWKO was a brilliant and rare opportunity to spend time with employees from all around the world, build relationships that cross oceans and help us work together as one giant team — we are incredibly fortunate to be part of such a global and diverse organization and that deserves to be celebrated!”
– Kirsty Champion, Customer Success Manager, UK
“I’ve been attending kickoffs in 5 different companies almost every year for 20 years. The 2020 WWKO at Contentsquare was, without any doubt, the best I’ve ever attended. I’m a newbie and I really felt that I’m part of an awesome team in an amazing company. I loved Jon’s presentation about our history and where we come from.”
– Pierre Bancelin, Product Marketing Manager in Product, Paris
“The music, the words, the pictures have strengthened the sense of belonging to the Contentsquare family. We are big, unique, professional and the presentations were very clear at the same time. Best kickoff ever.”
– Frederic Kingue Johnson, VP Sales Western Europe, Paris
“The 2020 Kickoff was my first at Contentsquare but definitely not my last. Kickoff is not just a word. It’s a statement. It’s the embodiment of team building, team spirit and of course, lots of fun. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Contentsquare family to get together, share ideas, philosophies and opinions. It’s unique. it’s us.”
– Kristian Kramp, Business Development Representative in Sales Europe + ROW, UK
“My first day was January 13th, so being super new to the company I was pretty nervous and shy to meet not only my London office but the whole global team. Everybody I met made me feel incredibly welcomed from the beginning, and going to WWKO was a special way to feel a part of the team, very early on.”
– Matt Christie, UX/UI Designer in Product, UK
“It was my first kickoff and it was a big pleasure for me to be there. I was impatient to meet my colleagues from other countries. My favorite moments were when we were all reunited in the big room for the presentation of 2019 by Jonathan Cherki.”
– Sonia Ghodbane Lamraoui, Senior Accountant in Finance, Paris
“It’s so mind-blowing to see that Contentsquare has doubled its size, while still keeping the on-fire spirit as usual.I loved the strategy presentation most showing realistically where we are at in the market, and the huge opportunities ahead in different continents. Love to contribute to that! Parties are always so crazy, and they were during our WWKO 2020.”
– Yefei Mao, Senior Product Manager, Paris
“I love attending the WWKO each year, as it’s an opportunity to meet people I regularly work with around the world, and reconnect with friends I made last year. My favorite moments were the unexpected ones – impromptu games sessions in our cottage. WWKO was also an important week to strengthen existing bonds and form new ones – talking face to face is much more natural then virtually, and can often uncover hidden opportunities to collaborate and help each other out.”
– Georgiana Hunter Cozens, CEM, UK
Charity Week 2019: The Paris Team Takes On Community Farming
On Thursday sixty people from our Paris-based team headed out to La Prairie du Canal — an urban farm northeast of Paris run by the French environmental nonprofit La Sauge.
This day of urban farming was part of Contentsquare’s first-ever week of giving back — a global set of events that saw different teams volunteering for their chosen charity.
After a day of getting their hands dirty for a good cause, the team spent the evening playing mölkky (yep — we had to look that up too), pétanque (the French version of the lawn game bocce) and perfecting the art of the apéritif.
We caught up with Fanny Pourcenoux, our Head of UX/UI Design who helped organize the Paris Charity Week outing, to find out whether our French colleagues really do have a green thumb.
Give us a bit of background on Charity Week.
Fanny: Our various culture crews had been wanting to work on a global project for quite some time. We explored several ideas but everyone agreed that to schedule a week in which each office could volunteer for a group and give back to the community would be a great initiative.
Why did you choose to volunteer for La Sauge, in particular?
Fanny: There are so many great organizations out there to choose from. We worked on this project with Wenabi, a group that pairs companies with nonprofits, and helps facilitate these sort of team-wide volunteer initiatives. They were the ones who suggested we partner with La Sauge and spend a day helping out on the farm. It’s interesting to see that our friends in New York also went with an organization with a mission around sustainability — raising environmental awareness has been a big focus at Contentsquare recently.
So what happens when 60 Contentsquare team members spend a half-day on a farm?
Fanny: We worked hard! We did some gardening, of course, but we also learned how to make eco-friendly, plant-based products like shampoo and deodorant. All in all we planted more than 80 bean plants, learned about mushroom farming, prepared a plot of land for new crops, constructed 6 planters, and made over 40 of our own, completely sustainable cosmetics. But as well as improving our gardening and building skills, we also learned a lot about how to reduce our ecological footprint and make better everyday decisions as consumers.
Any other highlights?
Fanny: The team had a great time, and no summer Contentsquare outing is complete without an evening pétanque tournament (at least not in France!). We do a lot of team building activities in this company, and it was really nice to change the focus and work together on something completely unrelated to analytics while helping raise awareness about such a terrific organization and cause.
Worldwide Kickoff 2019: An Interview About Our Biggest Team Trip
With the dawning of each new year, Contentsquare hosts its annual Worldwide Kickoff, our foremost, company-wide trip abroad. This grand event spans three days, in an undertaking to bring together the 300+ employees of the company from around the world.
This year’s Kickoff panned out in the company’s native France, where the team was settled in the woodland commune of Louan-Villegruis-Fontaine for three days of workshops, presentations, games, parties and interdepartmental banter, all in the name of team-building. What can we say? We at Contentsquare do things differently.
But the excursion was not all fun and games — and business — especially if you were the one in charge of arranging the trip, sojourn and activities of a team of over 300 (323 to be precise). But Oana Migeon, our Executive Assistant in Operations managed to do it successfully, having provided a purposeful experience to start the year strong.
We sat down with her to hear her side of the story.
1. First things first. How were you able to manage a four-day company congregation from five offices across the globe?
Clearly this was a HUGE challenge, and stressful. The WWKO is Contentsquare’s biggest internal event. Preparations started in July 2018 and there has been a lot of planning and decisions taken at every step! First, we had to take a massive decision: finding the right location. France or Abroad?
Once the location was found, an organizational team was created. Weekly meetings were scheduled in order to answer typical questions, such as: how can we personalize the location,, the theme of the kick off, the team building activities, the decoration, logistics and travel, as much as possible — and all this had to be done within the allocated budget.
2. What were you looking to achieve with the Kickoff? How does the event fit in with the wider ethos of Contentsquare and what it stands for?
With each year, the impact of the WWKO on the company’s culture has gotten stronger and stronger. I try to reinforce it for those who have been with us for some time, to make it a real and lived experience for the new joiners.
The purpose of 2019’s WWKO was threefold: culture, i.e., to make everybody aware of this culture; bonding, i.e., to strengthen the international links in an offsite location and integrate the new joiners, and alignment, i.e, to have a better understanding of our vision and goals as a company.
3. What would you say were the highlights of the Kickoff?
Seeing the results of a couple of month’s intense work was such a cool personal achievement. Jonathan’s (Cherki, the founder and CEO) inspirational keynote preceded by a rock anthem was definitely a highlight. I also heard that the two parties ended with a great after-party in Bungalow 72 with Nico (Chief Operations Officer) and Pierre (Global Chief Revenue Officer of Sales).
4. Did anything from any of the events surprise you in any way? What surprised you the most?
I was surprised by the good vibes everybody was sending. The Super Hero Party was such a blast! We even had the sun shining bright right before the Color Battle! How cool was that!
5. How do you see the company transforming after a trip like this? Is it because of Contentsquare’s particular growth or the SaaS industry as a whole?
This type of event is definitely transforming the company as a whole. One should not forget our motto “work hard, play hard.” We definitely worked hard this year in order to be able to have such a precious time together for four days in a row.
The KickOff has this outstanding ability of empowering our team, engraving in our heads why we do what we do and where Contentsquare will be in the next couple of years. I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to manage such an important project.