The idea of gathering the team wasn’t just about the stress of the new normal. Team building is crucial to a highly functional, communicative, and productive operation. Connecting with coworkers can be fun, but it’s also the source of motivation, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking.
The challenge was getting everyone together, as our distributed team operates across North America, with a few members residing overseas. The final number came to just under 30 people, a third of us in Calgary, Alberta – WS’s hometown.
The planning team accounted for everything: our diverse cultural backgrounds, dietary and lifestyle preferences, availability and transportation demands, and of course, the fluctuating Alberta weather.
After a logistical analysis, we decided on a venue an hour’s drive away from Calgary. The Crossing at Ghost River was just the right combination of scenic vistas and inviting indoor spaces for team activities. The location itself inspired us to create an experience where we could disconnect from our routines and connect with each other, surrounded by the magnetic beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
A great time of year, mountain nature, a group of people coming from different places – the perfect formula for a camp!
The creative process that brought us Camp QWST (Quality WS Time) was driven by the electrifying yet comforting and familiar energy of camping trips, mountain hikes, and fireside hangouts. The three-day agenda featured slots for resting, engaging, and grabbing delicious bites.
Throughout the trip, QWST campers also got the chance to earn badges.
“We follow the same process for the internal projects as we do for our client work. This way, we know we are leveraging our skills to their fullest potential and can confidently forecast a positive outcome. Plus, everyone on the team is always clear on their input and influence – from the initial brainstorming to post-execution analytics,” – Maggie Ostler, Creative Director.
To bring the Camp QWST vision to life, the creative team got together to develop several traditional campaign elements:
Camp QWST was full of memorable moments and newly discovered bonds which significantly contributed to WS’s culture. Every camper on the team continues to carry the experience through daily communications and projects, capitalizing on a better understanding of each other and the company dynamics.
As this was an internal project, most of our metric tactics were not applicable – though we did keep track of a few: 6 family-style meals savoured, 6 games played with competitive spirit, 20+ brains expanded by 4 speakers and 1 workshop, countless memories made – you get the idea.
Here’s what our campers had to say:
“Camp QWST was really fun! A good opportunity to meet everyone at WS who I wouldn’t otherwise have met working in my home office in Ontario. It was the first time I got a sense of the culture, and it’s where I started building a lot of good friendships,” – Elley Geddes, Client Partner.
“I was impressed with being surrounded with so many amazing, creative, caring, and smart people,” – Mahsa Qadimzadeh, Data Analyst.
“It was a great experience. I was able to tour the WS headquarters office, which gave me a great outlook on the pre-pandemic work environment. All the activities were well-planned, engaging, and helpful for both internal and external work. Even though it rained that weekend, I had plenty of opportunities to connect with everyone and have many conversations that might not always be possible over video calls,” – Jayden Vernon, Digital Media Buyer.