Blog Post

A Global Team Meeting


The last few years at Redgate we’ve had the entire (or most) of the marketing department come to Cambridge in the UK for a week. A few weeks ago was my third time attending, and I once again had a good time and enjoyed the week.

While a lot of marketing works in an office, there are quite a few of us that are remote, and many people in different offices don’t regularly see or work with each other. This is a chance for us to cross normal boundaries and get together to bond, brainstorm, and better understand each other.

Not everyone came (I missed Louis Davidson Sad smile ), but there were a lot of us. Our team picture is below.


A few years ago the week was packed with different activities. It was a bit much, and we’ve left more open time for business as usual (BAU) during the week so people can still have meetings with other departments or get things done. Some people do a bunch work, some socialize with others. For me, it’s a mix. While I get to Cambridge a few times a year, I never see enough people, so I do a mix of socializing and normal work, though I get relatively little done during the week.


We kick off the week with an opening brunch. In our new office, we don’t have a place to eat, so a few people bring in various fruits, pastries, etc. It’s a good time to chat with people in our large open space. Our CMO (Chief Marking Officer) reminded us in a short opening to meet new people and welcome the few newest people who had been here only a few months, so I chatted with someone I’d never met.

I also had a couple other meetings, and then headed out to a group social event. We met at a local park, carpooling over there, and split into some teams for a scavenger hunt.


One of the items was get a drink from a pub, so Grant and I did that.


I had to race back to the office after this for a weekly standing meeting, which is normally in the am for me, but this time it was at the end of a long day.


I had to arrive early, as I had a meeting with a couple people from the Summit team. We brainstormed on a few things cooking for November, and it was a nice quiet way to start the day.

We opened the day with some RedTalks, which were short presentations from various people on the status of some of their initiatives. It was nice to see these in person, with many of them having 2-3 people sharing the presentations. These covered some marketing process things as well as how some of our initiatives were working.

As I listened, I browsed the snack table. We do this every year, asking people to bring snacks from their home area. Anyone can try them, and there is a donation request for a charity. As of late Wed, I was the only one who donated, so I hope that changed.


One of the interesting ones for me was on the takeaways from a Gartner conference on how marketing succeeds or fails in a company. A good reminder on coordinating with others, as well as the note that more doesn’t necessarily mean things are better. A good takeaway was tackling a new thing should mean we let some other thing go. I do this, but I know a lot of others don’t.

Lunch was again catered, and this time we were split into 5-6 groups in different rooms with one of our execs in our room. I didn’t get a chance to talk with our Chief Product Officer, though he and I had chatted a few weeks earlier, so I wasn’t too concerned.

Afterwards we had our expo, where each marketing team created a small board of things they do and challenges they face. We use some whiteboards and some paper pads. I have to say I was trying to get a couple things done and chat with others, so I didn’t do any prep here. Or any explanations.

Once the boards are done (we get an hour) the expo area is open to the whole company. Execs, other managers and some workers come by and check out what marketing does. I managed to get up there for a few minutes, but ended up chatting with a couple other managers and taking a call from my wife, so I missed most of this.


I arrived early. I had an 8a meeting, but with the trains, I got there about 730a. I took a few minutes below here to sip coffee and play guitar. We have a couple in this atrium and I try to steal 5-10 minutes at least once a day and relax.


Another morning Summit meeting. For a crew that’s an hour behind me in Vancouver, they schedule early meetings in Cambridge. Here we reviewed the sessions selected (should be out now) to be sure we had the coverage we wanted in various areas.

We did suggest a couple changes were we were missing something and had some overlap in others. We left notes, though I don’t know as I write this if our suggestions were taken.

Then we had a recording sessions. Grant, Ryan, Louis, and I were asked to start a new podcast since the other Redgate ones had fallen away. There is a dedicated recording room in the office, so we spent a few hours on a couple episodes. No idea when they drop.


The afternoon was our annual social. We all made our way over to a local bar where we had a few activities and lunch. I was late as I had a meeting about my AI chatbot (more on that in another post), with a few action items for me given.

The social was pizza to start, then a quiz where we broke into teams and had a presentation where we were given 5-7 questions at a time in different areas. My team was semi-competitive, and I wasn’t competitive at all. Also, my back was a bit sore and I struggled to concentrate, but it was a lot of fun. It also helped that the bar wasn’t open until after the quiz to keep people focused. I learned a few interesting things, like red gate came from Italy and  one of our founders built and released a video game. I know there were other things, but as I said, I was tired, hurting and unfocused.

I did enjoy sitting on the open rooftop and chatting with friends. Ones I’ve known, not new ones, but time is short and I try to balance time with new and current friends.


The Marketing Innovation Day, which I’ve had mixed feelings about. We’ve tried this in a few incarnations, but essentially we try to improve marketing at Redgate. This year we split into some groups, or were split into groups, and tackled the day in 5 sessions. The first was the creation of what an incredible year at Redgate would look like next year. This was from the perspective of a magazine cover, and it was fun to hear others’ ideas and thoughts on what success would look like.

Then we did sessions on:

  • challenges and opportunities
  • analysis of others’ ideas
  • a plan to tackle a new thing
  • presentations of the ideas

This was interesting. Each group was assigned either a challenge or an opportunity and we used lots of post-it notes to jot down ideas. We were on the positive, opportunity side, which I liked. Each session was about an hour, and the first one had us write down a dozen or so notes.

During the second, we walked around, trying to decide what we liked and what didn’t from others. That helped us decide on what we might tackle in the fourth session. Here was one I saw and one of my teammates liked.


The fourth session had us picking something. My group picked building an AI bot to help customers, and while I wasn’t sure about the idea, I warmed up a bit. We had to debate some of what we’d propose, the costs, upsides, downsides, etc. One of my teammates built the presentation, and they picked me to deliver it. That’s fine, but they wouldn’t show it to me, so I went in blind.

I had a nice crowd for the session, and I went last.


My group won the online voting 26-20-5-3 in the positive ideas. Both Grant and I delivered our group’s ideas. He got 20, so I guess that means I win in two ways? Winking smile

Afterwards we had another meetup at a bar for a few drinks, which was nice. I got to chat with our CMO, which is always good. We never get much time together, so that was good. I also hung out with some US marketers who I rarely see.


Another early morning for me. Some coffee guitar, and another meeting. Then we had a final Summit brainstorm looking at things we might do for the welcome reception. I’m not sure we have consensus, but it did get me a bit excited for November.

We also had our final farewell at lunch with some early cocktails and goodbyes. Many of us won’t see each other until next June, so it’s both happy and sad.

I forewent the prosecco for a little lemonade and some of bottle I’d left behind pre-pandemic. Can you guess which is mine?


Years ago I realized I don’t like the regular Fri afternoon gin happy hour or the prosecco celebrations, so I bought my own bottle and left it there. This is the first time I’ve touched it since last year.

Closing Out the Week

It was a semi-quite close out. After drinks, I had to do a few SSC things and then walked around saying goodbye to people. My wife had flown over from the US, and I left a bit early to see her and start our holiday.

Each year we’ve slightly changed how our Global Marketing Week works, and I think it is a neat experience. I don’t know if we are better at running the event, but it is a good chance to get our department together and think about how we do things and what we do. There are lots of random conversations about past and future, which don’t quite happen over Zoom.

For most of the companies I know are almost all remote, with people working at home most every day, they provide some opportunities to get together at least once a year. I don’t know who is 100% remote and never meets anyone, but I think something is lost if you never meet coworkers. That being said, once a year is nice for the entire department and I’m grateful Redgate does this.

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