Alexia is in charge of managing the events at Stanley Robotics. She recently organised our business seminar and decided to give us some insight into the benefits of such an event.

A.S. Seminars are quite widespread in the professional world because they’re reputed for their positive impacts in companies.

They are presented as a real management tool with clear strategic objectives, such as:

  •        Spreading corporate culture
  •        Promoting employee motivation
  •        Perfecting communication between the different actors (teams/employees/founders/etc.)
  •        Reducing stress

These are all the more beneficial as they reinforce cohesion, encourage productivity and develop creativity. It’s also an excellent opportunity to put forth the values of the organisation as well as challenges and objectives, all while taking advantage of an unusual and out-of-the-ordinary framework.

Building links in a fast-growing start-up

At Stanley Robotics we think that seminars are essential because, in the start-up realm, we often encounter problems linked to the fast growth of the workforce. It becomes necessary then to create links and cohesion.

In fact, a successful start-up can see its teams grow very quickly, which can be destabilising. Tensions and misunderstandings resulting from an internal communication problem can occur.

It is essential, then, to have powerful moments such as through seminars, because links with other departments can be difficult to make under the stress and fast-paced nature of daily working life.

Organising a seminar at least once a year also allows you to look back on the year just gone, dealing with different areas that may be difficult to address, for lack of time or opportunity, such as:

  • Measuring the success of set objectives
  • A refresh of what’s happened for newcomers
  • Short, medium and long-term vision

Another significant advantage: getting everyone in the same place at the same time, which is not necessarily a daily occurrence. This allows you to witness directly how the number of employees evolves.

The importance of an innovative format

The second Stanley Robotics seminar took place at the end of June, and several months were needed to develop this important annual event.

An important aspect to consider is the evolution of the seminar concept in recent years, mainly for start-ups.

The format changes; we’re not referring here to an old-fashioned business seminar but a much more modern event, with much more positive feedback from employees!

Goodbye, boring and unproductive meetings!

Welcome, team cohesion, engagement within the company, the importance of being united. We now focus on well-being and on the human aspect to create a vehicle for motivation.

Work sessions don’t disappear – on the contrary, they are remodelled, and above all added to by other, more playful moments, like team building sessions, which help promote dialogue between several people who are not used to working together.

Several other factors should also be taken into account to organize a seminar in the spirit of timeliness and efficiency. One of the priorities is to establish a balanced schedule between work sessions, team activities and free time. It is also necessary to take into account the geographical location, as well as the meals, the type of accommodation and the distribution of employees involved.

In order for the seminar to be a success, we faced several dilemmas:

  • The date: it is always challenging to find the right compromise between organizing the event on a weekend during people’s free time, or during the week during work hours;
  • The number of days: How to find the right balance between too short and too long;
  • The location: finding a place that everyone likes, both geographically and in terms of options on the site.

This long reflection is fundamental and will define whether or not the event is successful.

A seminar at Stanley Robotics

This year, for Stanley Robotics, a balanced and well-timed seminar is taking the following format:

We added to this schedule the option for everyone to stay an extra night and day if they wish. To be adapted in accordance with their framework and desires/needs.

After the event, we sent an anonymous survey to the whole team to get their feedback on these different aspects:

  • Overall score
  • location
  • accommodation
  • organisation
  • activities
  • working session
  • meals

Out of the 26 people present at the seminar, 24 responded to the survey.

Some figures:

  • Overall score = 4.71 / 5
  • Accommodation = 4.83 / 5
  • Location = 4.46 / 5

Over the last two years now, Stanley Robotics has been organising annual seminars, but also team building sessions throughout the year in order to create and maintain bonds, and even friendships, between colleagues.

We are strongly convinced that these same bonds play a very positive role because they will be able to help in overcoming difficult situations within the company as well as reinvigorating the teams if necessary.

Additionally, a healthy working environment is one with a light and relaxed atmosphere, and internal events contribute strongly to this.

Alexia Schnell, Event Manager


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