At the end of summer it was time for the annual Dept weekend. Late August 750 Dept employees from different countries enjoyed this weekend dubbed the ‘Dept Weekender’. During the weekend they had the chance to -get to know the company, customers and each other in a fun way. Also it’s proven to be the ideal place to network.

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According to CFO Robbert Visser, it’s a weekend to connect. “It’s good to bring together employees from all different countries. They work together in an online environment on a daily basis, but face-to-face contact is often missing. Once a year during the Dept Weekender everyone comes together. This is the perfect opportunity to better get to know each other in an enjoyable way.”

Two of the Dept colleagues who were part of the team which organized the weekend are Sharon Martens and Joelle Oorschot. Van Oorschot talks about planning the weekend: “We took upon us the responsibility to organize the whole weekend. The weekend started on Friday. We had a festival with music, food and 25 speakers for different talks. In total there were over 2000 people present. Amongst them 750 colleagues and invited customers. On Saturday the colleagues started out sporty. That’s also where the teams for the bike challenge were formed. The day ended with a dinner and on Sunday everyone went back home. “

Bike challenge
Saturday afternoon was all about a bike challenge through Gouda. For this challenge Dept used the Caught-platform to develop a private ‘ Dept Weekender app ‘. The participants downloaded the app for the bike challenge on their mobile phone. Then they went with their teams on bike across the city. Visser on the bike challenge: “It was very nice and fascinating! The game had questions about Dept. During the cycling through Gouda everyone had a chance to talk in a mellow way. Using the app helped people to keep motivated during the activity. It’s a perfect fit to the digital nature of our company. “

That was also the idea behind the bike challenge. Martens and Oorschot saw a lot of enthusiasm on the central post. Oorschot: “All afternoon we saw posts on social media by people we know about the challenge. That really shows people were enjoying it and having fun while biking around Gouda. As Robbert said already, we got back from colleagues that it’s typical for an agency like Dept to be able to have such a challenge via an app. They thought it was a really nice perk. “

Live interaction
Caught was on location during the bike challenge to support the ladies with whatever technicalities that came up. Oorschot about the help: “If you have so many people that use the app and who perform tasks, you’ll need plenty of hands to help giving people feedback and points. And also to help them if they don’t know where to go or if a bike breaks down.”

Also Visser liked the live interaction, to him it was a big plus. “Great to see the progression of all participants in real-time on the leaderboard. Just before the climax of the challenge the leaderboard disappeared. This was a brilliant way to make the last part of the bike challenge as exiting as possible. Also the live interaction with the Dept staff on the central post was good. They were in charge. So they accepted the pictures and movies (or not) and commented on them. Via chat there was a lot of back and forth about the points (not) giving. I’m very impressed that the app really worked without any problems with this large of a group of people. Fast & Smooth. A really fun activity! “


Some pictures taken during the event with the app: