We all crave a vacay every now and then, don’t we? A chance to kick back, explore the destination, and just soak in the vibes of local culture and fellow explorers. And with some company, the picture gets all the rosier and chill.
Now, imagine if you could do this as part of work – everything figured out by experienced folks, all sanctioned and expenses paid, and with your team members in the mix as your travel companions.
Well, we, the hybrid team of SocialPilot, can testify to the awesomeness quotient of that.
I am here to share the experience of the brilliant offsite (honestly, it was more of a vacation!) we took together in late October 2023 – a great team bonding experience, a much-needed break, and a well-deserved incentive for all of us. And to Phuket of all the fantastic destinations possible!
Day 1: Synchronized Landing and a Journey Through History
So, can you imagine the detailing and the logistics that go behind getting 70-odd pan-India (and one global) travelers to one destination pretty much around the same time?
We had nearly half a dozen groups flying in from that many cities across India and worldwide – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Dubai being just a few of them. (Of course, as all of those were red-eye trips, it meant everyone wished for more gray clouds to shield us from the sun!)
There were a few delayed flights, but those groups made the most of the various layover airports. Shopping can be the best cure at least half the time, right?
Our first destination: The serene and plush resort of Fishermen’s Harbour, with a pit stop for lunch at a cozy Indian restaurant nearby. This was our first opportunity to sit across at tables with our teammates and colleagues to interact and catch up.
Then, to Fishermen’s Harbour it was to find our well-fitted comfortable rooms and catch some shuteye.
Our agenda for the evening: The popular FantaSea theme park, where a trip through Thailand’s history awaited us.
Our second meal of the day was quite the experience, a multi-cuisine buffet spread in a vast hall with tons of other visitors to the center, making for a steady hum of conversation. We weren’t to be thwarted. This was our first proper tête-à-tête as teams, as lunch had been too brief!
After dinner, it was the main set of the evening: an absorbing show that took us through Thailand’s culture and legends with picture-perfect colorful tableaus. The acrobats, music, and synchronized movements brought together a complete visual treat. (No phones, no pictures, though!)
And then, back to the resort it was to catch some much-needed sleep.
Day 2: Taking to The Waters Together
An early (enough) start to a balmy morning and a hearty breakfast, and we hit Phuket’s docks to get to the Phi-Phi islands.
(Some of us decided to stay in and explore Phuket leisurely – beaches, markets, lunch, and a walkaround; they had a pretty great day, too!)
A 1.5-hour-long scenic journey in speedboats got us to one of the main islands. Here, we got to choose between a spot of scuba diving and lunch.
For those of us hungry folks who chose lunch, the afternoon afforded a bit of time to explore the island with its winding paths and inviting cafes.
The boat ride back in the oncoming dusk was bracing indeed. A bunch of us explored the multi-hued water with some snorkeling while the rest of us nodded off to the soothing surf, the rising humidity, and the strong breeze.
Back to Fishermen’s Harbour, from where the evening was open for us to explore. Most of us hit the markets for dinner amid a light shower or soaked in the nightlife vibes at Thailand’s popular spots. Too many stories to tell!
Day 3: Work and Play, Poolside
It was a busy Sunday for all SocialPilotians at Phuket.
The morning’s agenda: a city tour for those interested, covering the popular temple sites, markets, and beaches. Everyone else headed out for a spot of retail/massage/water (pool) therapy or simply chilled until noon.
Then, it was on to lunch and, soon after, the much-touted spot of business. (Of course, we had to put our heads together over a bit of work.)
Our conference kicked off in a relaxed atmosphere with an introduction of all the teams. Apart from finally putting all the names to faces, our attention was caught by the large screen, too. Team leaders fronted engrossing, incisive presentations of annual performance across product, marketing, customer support, HR, and other key functions.
Some high tea and a bit of chatter later came the big ticket of the afternoon: the co-founders’ speech.
Jimit and Tejas had all our attention with their look back at the year that was and then setting their vision for the months to come. Their ace-in-the-hole announcement: SocialPilot is now set to supercharge and expand its product suite with a range of marketing solutions for SMBs and agencies. Exciting news, indeed!
There was something in store for all of us too that afternoon: special awards for individual team members. The Rising Stars, Team Players, and Extra Milers took the spotlight, and then it was time to huddle up and capture all the smiles and memories. Is there any conference made without that group snap?
Soon after, we took a quick stroll to the big wrap-up of the trip: a poolside gala dinner, where everyone got to let their hair down.
The late evening saw some extended party time or visits to the market as all of us got ready to say farewell.
Day 4: Until Next Time!
And so, it was time to jet-set off again, for Team SocialPilot to disband for the moment and get back to work in full swing, all prepared with our roadmap to build our favorite social media platform bigger and better.
Monday late morning saw us all setting off after breakfast in groups to the serene Phuket International Airport.
A spot of shopping and a bit of lunch later, the last flight of us took off from the rain-swept island amid vistas of patchwork jade fields and aquamarine shores.
So long, Phuket!
As we landed back in our respective places of work and life, our little, fun session of team bonding had left us with some solid connections and the best of memories – of sun-soaked smiles, looking out for each other, understanding each other’s roles in the larger picture, and dancing to the tunes together.
And now we are playing at ‘Where to next?’ and waiting already for the next enriching sesh of Team SocialPilot, reunited!
Want to be a part of the exciting journey at SocialPilot? We are hiring across functions right now! Check out our open positions here.
Athirupa Geetha Manichandar is a Senior Content Editor at SocialPilot. With over 10 years of experience in editing and writing across journalism & communication, she brings a deep understanding of crafting highly engaging, deeply researched content. Athirupa’s passion for language, understanding of social media marketing principles, UX writing, and creativity helps her explain technical concepts in simple terms.
You can find Athirupa on LinkedIn