October 08, 2020
We’re no stranger to team building at Bolt. Last year we held a company-wide hackathon in Tallinn, half a year before that we gathered in Portugal for our annual Winter Conference. Not to mention the weekend we set 130 engineers loose in a small Estonian coastal city…
This year was always going to be different, for obvious reasons.
Getting everyone together in the same room was definitely not an option. Sure, we could have done what we usually do at our bi-weekly all-hands video calls — where speakers go live from their living rooms or home offices, updating the company on progress. But that wouldn’t have been special enough for a company summit.
So, we did something we’ve never done before. We went fully virtual, while ensuring that we kept the high-quality output that we’re known for.
We teamed up with an event management company, booked Tallinn’s best creative event centre, Kultuurikatel and set up a studio there. We had three stages — one for speakers, one for panel discussions and one for a band. Oh, and a fully kitted-out kitchen corner! We’ll come back to that soon.
The efforts that went into delivering the seamlessly produced, day-long conference were immense. We had 4 cameras rolling continuously and a production team of 40 people making sure that the camerawork, lights, sound, screen graphics and everything else could be spot-on.
The show, hosted by our forever favourite host, jokester and honorary Honey Badger, @danielleviviinalass, featured a number of different speakers and a whole range of topics from our company culture, long-term goals and team success stories from all around the globe.
During the live panel discussions, all participants had the chance to submit their questions digitally. In addition to the speakers who could be at the venue physically, six presenters joined us from five countries and two continents via live-feed.
That’s cool, but what about the kitchen?
Working at a global company like Bolt means juggling different time zones on a daily basis. To bring everyone together, we decided to host a cook-off. Estonian chef, Lauri Tomingas showed participants in 35 countries how to prep, chop and stir from the studio, step-by-step. 1,700 people simultaneously making Thai noodles from their home kitchens was a real sight to be seen!
The day ended with a live show from Daniel Levi’s band, much like it would have if we’d all been able to gather in one place.
The feedback from the team was awesome. Though being apart, everyone still felt the usual team spirit, togetherness and family-like feeling that goes with working at Bolt. Our 2020 “Dive | Thrive” summit put the seal on our flexibility, resilience and ability to work through any hardship together as a team.
We really can do whatever we set our minds to!
Want to get an invite to our next summit? We’d like that, too! Head to our Careers page and join the ride!