Last week we held our annual SAF Partner Days event in Denver, Colorado. We welcomed our partners from all across America and held a 2-day learning and sharing course. During the first day, we exchanged presentations with our partners. Our sponsors CommScope and Micronet Communications shared their considerable industry knowledge and experience with the group, as well. Last day of the event we spent enjoying the snow and the mountains.
There is no point reinventing the wheel, so we decided not to make any drastic changes to this year's event. Held on the third week of March, at the same place and more or less with the same attendees. While planning this year's event, all we had to do was look at last year’s notes, improve the things that had to be improved and get rid of stuff that wasn’t working. I believe that long-term cooperation and adherence to traditions are the main prerequisites for being effective. By effectiveness, I mean successfully achieving set goals in the predicted time. Others might object that planning everything out by the minute doesn’t leave any space for creativity and unexpected achievements. My theory is that every great invention, even though devised by a creative genius, is then gradually improved through an endless sequence of repetition and cultivation.
We have unlocked the 3 secret ingredients of a great event
Let’s start with the first one. Mountains - both physical and figurative ones. Every great learning experience requires overcoming a mountain. This year we tried the Pecha Kucha presentation style - 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide - for sharing strategies about different market verticals. One can only grasp the true size of a mountain from some distance away. That is why we stepped away from the presentation room and headed to the actual mountains to enjoy the rest of the day skiing, retrospecting back on everything that we learned during the day.
The second ingredient is sharing. We celebrate the collective effort and acknowledge the fact that sharing our experience and our vision for the future is a crucial part of success. Not to mention sharing beers and chicken wings during dinner - those are equally as important.
Last, but not least is Novuss (noun. origin: Latvian). An exciting Latvian game that can take either 5 or 55 minutes to finish, and always involves at least some boric acid. Don’t quote us on this definition, but it is basically our version of billiards, only without the posh cloth cover - our game is entirely made of wood. Boric acid is used to polish the wooden table to keep it shiny and smooth. Novuss has proved itself to be a great team-builder both in our Riga and Denver offices, so we thought it would only be fair to share this game with our partners.
To summarize, every event, whether it is business related or not, only works when you’re surrounded by the right people. For us, it is crucial to get together and remind our team and our partners about our mutual goals, and how only by working together we can achieve them.
“When was ever honey made with one bee in a hive”
- Thomas Hood