Fireside Chats and Full Sends: Summer Offsite 2019

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Fireside Chats and Full Sends: Summer Offsite 2019

FASTG8 is set apart as a digital marketing agency by our multi-tiered programmatic approach, in house marketing software, extensive attribution modeling and of course, our home in the Rocky Mountains. Our commitment to serving the outdoor industry is best symbolized by our commitment to sending—whether it be down the Monarch Crest trail, through the Silver Bullet on the Arkansas river, or during a midnight game of all-terrain light up bocce ball. 

Our summer offsite, a summit of sends if you will, had a twofold mission. First, our team nearly doubled in the past 6 months, so bonding and camaraderie were high on the list. Second, with internal growth comes client growth, making discussions on culture, structure, and performance a top priority.  

Hammocks and tents were setup quickly at camp!

Hammocks and tents were setup quickly at camp!

We arrived in Buena Vista around 5 o'clock, and before setting up camp we took a ride on the trails in town, building up an appetite for dinner at the Surf Hotel, a local favorite. At dinner we shared pizzas, salads, and delightful Spanish sparkling rosé while getting to know each better and discussing how we can make FASTG8 even better. 

We each tried the “chambong” at the Surf Hotel!

We each tried the “chambong” at the Surf Hotel!

Conversations about increased communication, cross-training, and onboarding continued over the campfire back at camp. We discussed what culture means to us, a few said trust, a few said shared values and interests, others pointed to transparency and, finally, the comment that “everyone here is someone I’d be happy to hang out with on the weekend,” kicked off a light-up frisbee game. 

The next morning the team woke to fresh coffee and headed into town to fuel up on breakfast burritos before a ducky kayak trip down the Arkansas river. This is certainly a crew that hoots with the owls and soars with the eagles! The initial rapids seemed daunting, but like anything at FASTG8, we simply sent it! The crescendo of the float was the Silver Bullet, a narrow rapid squeezed between the river bank and an old dam.  The team took a look and, after some trepidation, one by one we paddled through the class IV rapid.

A serene stretch of the Arkansas River

A serene stretch of the Arkansas River

In the afternoon, some opted for another bike ride in town while others fished, and we reconvened at the campfire to expound on some of the conversations had the night before. We agreed to monthly departmental meetings, and planned our next offsite to preserve the stoke. Concepts became action items and, as a technically minded team, we recognized our progress would be iterative. 

On our final night the team invented a new game. Sort of a combination of between frisbee golf and bocce but, in true FASTG8 style, the game was made extreme by the blinking bocce balls and, you guessed it, long throws of the pallina (target ball). We didn’t stay up quite as late, as the Monarch Crest awaited in the morning.

Views from the Monarch Crest Trail

Views from the Monarch Crest Trail

The team caught the shuttle to the iconic trail, and crushed the 36 mile ride, capping off the offsite with a sense of great accomplishment, not only in our outdoor adventures, but in our satisfaction with the conversations about the company. When you’re staring down a scree field on your bike or a class IV rapid on a ducky kayak, sharing what you think will make your company perform better suddenly seems less intimidating.

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Work Hard, Play Hard. Winter Offsite 2019 Polar Star Inn.

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Work Hard, Play Hard. Winter Offsite 2019 Polar Star Inn.

New year, new strategic initiatives. For FASTG8’s 2019 winter offsite, the team enjoyed their 5th annual hut trip to the Polar Star Inn, known as the ‘sunset watcher’s paradise.’ The ski tour in was a beautiful and rewarding 6 miles; coming from someone who had never previously been on a hut trip and only ski toured once before, it was a trek to remember! Kudos to Bobo’s Oat Bars, hard boiled eggs, and the cold beers awaiting our arrival.

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If you've never been on a hut trip before, there is a lot of teamwork involved to create the ideal experience. From fetching water, firing up the wood burning stove, to feeding a group of eight carb-hungry teammates, everyone pitches in. When we arrived, we took time to settle in and dove straight into our first working session.

The FASTG8 team bowing their heads in prayer, in hopes that the powder gods would soon be there.

The FASTG8 team bowing their heads in prayer, in hopes that the powder gods would soon be there.

We got to work immediately because we wanted our second day dedicated to skiing the foot of snow projected to fall overnight. During our first work session, we revisited and redefined our values and roles as they relate to our core competencies. We also touched on the importance of preserving FASTG8’s unique company culture, especially as we grow, and to continuously live our motto of ‘Work Smarter, Play Harder.’ We wrapped up the day with Colorado craft beers, a chili con carne competition (you’ll get ‘em next time Hailey), and an intense game of cribbage between E squared (the two Emily’s) and Tyler.

 

The next morning, we cooked stacks of powder pancakes and knocked out our second work session. We focused on how to position ourselves in the rapidly evolving world of ad tech, mapped out our competitive landscape, and defined our 2019 strategic initiatives.

 

Then…finally…it was go time. Time to strap on those brain buckets and shred some pow. At 11,040’, we were ready for an afternoon full of touring and adventuring around the area. We enjoyed the mellow grade and epic tree skiing on The Polar Line of the lower slopes of New York Mountain.

Tyler in his natural habitat.

Tyler in his natural habitat.

Peeeekabooo!

Peeeekabooo!

After a few hot laps, we ended our epic day with a state-of-the-art cheese board (thanks to Will), beers n’ fajitas and an occasional sauna showdown.

 

Our final day was an early wake up call to pack in a few laps before heading out. We left Polar Star feeling refreshed and strategically aligned - ready to hit the ground running in 2019.

Onward and Upward!

Onward and Upward!

2019 here we come!

2019 here we come!

Quote from The Polar Star Inn: “Hut visitors share a special spirit; especially their pursuit of excellence, self-reliance, and love of the outdoors.” I believe this quote perfectly embodies the FASTG8 team and everything we stand for as a company and as individuals.

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Surf and Turf: Summer Offsite 2018

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Surf and Turf: Summer Offsite 2018

As the newest member of the FastG8 team, I was excited to attend our summer offsite in Buena Vista, CO to camp and enjoy some of Colorado’s classic recreation. Building a team that can support one another out of the office is a crucial part of having a successful organization. During my first month and a half at FastG8 I have seen this reflected in the group’s daily work.



The first agenda item for the trip was a surf day on the Arkansas River, an activity that was foreign to most of the group. Towns across Colorado are building artificial waves in their rivers which attract kayakers and, more recently, surfers who live in the mountains and need their ocean fix. In FastG8 fashion, we jumped feet first into the water with our boards and no hesitation. We worked meticulously on our surfing skills, tweaking our form with each attempt.

James focusing hard on standing up on his board after catching the wave.

James focusing hard on standing up on his board after catching the wave.

Peter’s technique was to jump in the wave and land on his board feet first. He was often successful.

Peter’s technique was to jump in the wave and land on his board feet first. He was often successful.



Fletcher is all smiles after taking his kayak for a spin on the wave.

Fletcher is all smiles after taking his kayak for a spin on the wave.

After fighting the current and flailing around for hours, we were exhausted and wound down at camp to tune up our bikes and grab a few beers.

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The next morning we had an early wake up call in order to catch a shuttle. We loaded into the shuttle vans and headed up a road to mountain bike the Monarch Crest Trail. This classic ride consists of 36 miles of epic Colorado singletrack where you start high, bike even higher and end up back in the town of Poncha Springs.

The team looking good in our matching kits and taking in the views on the Monarch Crest Trail.

The team looking good in our matching kits and taking in the views on the Monarch Crest Trail.

The first couple hours of the ride we started by cycling up 2,000 feet where we were rewarded with 360 degrees of views across the state. Like clockwork, we all fell into our places, organizing ourselves in the most efficient order and rooting on one another up the mountain. Once we crested the top of the trail, the fun really began. We cruised through flowy high alpine single track down to rocky terrain, hooting and hollering the entire way down.

Celebration beers and nachos at the end of the ride!

Celebration beers and nachos at the end of the ride!

After the two days at the offsite, it was clear to me that the FastG8 culture is a special one. The team they have cultivated is diligent and thoughtful, whether they are attempting to stand up in a river wave or increase top-line growth for a client. A great foundation for a true active lifestyle ad tech company

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Skin, Ski, Strategize

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Skin, Ski, Strategize

With a historically slow start to winter, we thought that a 3-day hut trip in the backcountry would be a perfect opportunity to buckle down and focus on strategy planning for the upcoming year. While we did have a number of very productive work sessions, we managed to find plenty of adventure as well. 

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Unplug to Plug In- Part Deux

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Unplug to Plug In- Part Deux

The journey in...

The journey in...

A night in the Braun Huts requires plenty of supplies, luckily Peter and Tyler have strong backs.

A night in the Braun Huts requires plenty of supplies, luckily Peter and Tyler have strong backs.

Brain food.

Brain food.

Knocking out the hut chores

Knocking out the hut chores

Emily reveling in a twilight skin.

Emily reveling in a twilight skin.

Mike perfecting his kick turn, the icy skin track was not forgiving.

Mike perfecting his kick turn, the icy skin track was not forgiving.

An informal Avy class for the team.

Up early for a pre-work session tour!

Up early for a pre-work session tour!

Peter Sheds to Shred!

Peter Sheds to Shred!

We found great snow up high.

We found great snow up high.

Tyler is hoppy about it.

Tyler is hoppy about it.

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Unplug To Plug In

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Unplug To Plug In

FASTG8's first annual company off-site took place 20 miles from civilization at the Green-Wilson hut. Sometimes you have to unplug to truly plug in.

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Retail and eCommerce: Can't We all Just Get Along?

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Retail and eCommerce: Can't We all Just Get Along?

Brands throughout the outdoor industry are trying to strike a balance between supporting their retail partners and growing their direct to consumer business. At Outdoor Retailer's Winter Market 2015, we assembled leaders from industry titans Patagonia, Outdoor Research and Massey's Outfitters to discuss how a multi-channel approach to sales and marketing supports everyone's goals.


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