I’ll admit that I was a bit pessimistic about this year’s annual Go-To-Market kickoff, especially since last year, I really didn’t enjoy almost any of the sessions at all, I really hated our partners being there and knowing inside out what that fiscal year’s strategy was going to be, and I absolutely hated the homework we had to do to prepare for individual “quiz” like presentations on day 2 of the three-day event. The whole purpose of GTM kick-off is to 1) highlight the accomplishments of the previous year and 2) establish the new fiscal year’s strategy for how to move forward and what we need to do to accomplish our goals. This year, we got a rough schedule of when sessions would happen, but there was zero description of what the sessions entailed or what we had to prepare for, if anything. I was irritated last week about this and thinking the worst.
But now that day 1 has completed, I can say that a lot of things have changed for the better. The sessions were actually engaging and interactive, information was shared that actually made sense that I could agree with, and we even had a trivia piece that added an element of competition to the day, which added to the fun. We also had customer panels, which everyone seems to enjoy, as opposed to having our partners on stage.
We ended the evening with team dinners at various restaurant around the Napa/Yountville area, and our team ate at Redd Wood, which was delicious; California produce and local ingredients at its finest. It made me miss having easy access to such fresh local produce here. One team tradition we have is at kick off team dinners, we do a go-around where everyone has to stand up and thank someone for something they have done for them. One of my colleagues stood up and thanked me for being the “New York office social chair,” for always being positive and lending an ear. “You really bring people together,” she said. My heart almost melted. It always feels good to be recognized, but public recognition is not something I have experienced a lot of, so it felt very strange… but in a positive way.