Guru Gathering 2023: A look behind the scenes at our team retreat in Barcelona

The entire Resource Guru team on the rooftop.

It was that time of the year. Guru Gathering time. If you’ve been following our journey you might already know exactly what that means. But if you haven’t, it’s our annual team retreat that brings our fully remote team together to align, collaborate, and leave energized and excited for what’s to come.

This time around, the Guru Gathering was more important than ever. 


Both our team and ambitions have been growing, and as for our strategic direction? Well, it’s taking us to new and exciting places. So with all these changes, this wasn’t just an opportunity to connect in the form of a fun getaway—it was a crucial moment in our journey.

So what exactly did we get up to during our three days in Barcelona? Come along for the ride. 

But first, a reminder of the purpose of our Guru Gatherings. 👇

The purpose of Guru Gatherings

Every month, we host a virtual Guru Huddle. It’s our version of town halls where our founders and team leads share important updates.

Our Guru Gatherings, effectively, are the Super Bowl of all huddles. 🏈 But rather than competing, we work on all the things that make for a top-performing team.

That includes:

🤝 Alignment – Everyone needs to have clarity on where we are as a company and where we’re trying to get to within the next 12 months (and beyond).

💜 Getting to know each other better – As a fully remote team, there’s a limit to how well we can understand each other without meeting in person. This is our chance just to get to know each other better as human beings.

🛠️ Getting stuff done – As well as having some fun, this is also a working break where we have the opportunity to work on things together, in person.

💡 ️Want a founder’s take on our team retreat? Read it here.

Watch the video

We captured some of the best moments in Barcelona in the video below, we hope you’ll enjoy it!

Our team retreat schedule

As usual, our People Ops team (aka Meredith) had been working tirelessly and meticulously to ensure that we all had the most amazing experience in Barcelona.

Here’s what that looked like.

Day 1: Arrival day

While a few teams (including marketing and CS) decided to make use of their Unofficial Work Trip* budgets and head to Barcelona a few days early, the rest of the team started to trickle in on Tuesday, October 3rd, the official start of this year’s Guru Gathering. 

On the agenda? A rooftop champagne toast followed by a welcome dinner at La Terraza Del Claris, the innovative Mediterranean restaurant that occupies part of the rooftop at the iconic Claris Hotel & Spa.

Engineer Cristian fills up the champagne glasses.

Cristian knows what a generous pour means.

Co-founder Percy raises his glass for a toast.

Vice Guru Percy welcomes everyone with a quintessential guru toast.

After an initial low-key evening of catching up and chowing down, we migrated back to our hotel, ME Barcelona, where some ventured to their rooms for an early night, and others enjoyed a nightcap on the outdoor terrace.

*For work trips to meet with colleagues (outside of necessary or customer-related events) employees can expense all reasonable economy travel and accommodation costs up to an annual limit of £1,500.

Day 2: Founder presentations and workshops

Eager to kick off the official Guru Gathering program, the team arrived at the co-working space, Cloudworks, a stone’s throw away from our hotel.

If you got there early, you were lucky enough to bear witness to the unfolding of the Marketing team’s ever-inspiring “muse,” Nicholas Cage (in cardboard form).

Our Senior SEO Manager, Kat, and Senior Marketing Manager, Stuart, naturally, couldn’t contain their joy upon arrival.

Our Senior SEO Manager, Kat, and Senior Marketing Manager, Stuart, naturally, couldn’t contain their joy upon arrival.

Our Vice Gurus, Andrew Rogoff and Percy Stilwell, kicked off the day by providing a strategy update, followed by a look into our most important metrics and benchmarks. 

Now, I’m afraid that’s all we can share as the rest is top-secret stuff that would have the resource management industry shaking in its boots. 😨

Co-founder Andrew welcomes the team

Co-founder and Vice Guru, Andrew, welcomes the team.

Co-founder and Vice Guru, Percy, takes a moment to celebrate our growing team.

Co-founder and Vice Guru, Percy, takes a moment to celebrate our growing team.

After founder presentations, it was time for a highly anticipated design workshop run by our Product Design Lead, Mike. We were split into groups of five for an ideation session that very well might lead to features that could see our competition crumble in the near future.

That’s right, we have some very exciting features in the works, and first out the door is our brand new (and irresistibly scrollable) dashboard. ✨

To be the first to know what else is in the works, subscribe to our email newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Our Product Design Lead, Mike, gives the team the rundown of the workshop, its purpose, and goals.

Our Product Design Lead, Mike, gives the team the rundown of the workshop, its purpose, and goals.

One of the groups in the process of developing ground-breaking ideas.

One of the groups in the process of developing ground-breaking ideas.

After lunch, our engineering team got together for a vision workshop while other teams took the opportunity to align on key initiatives for Q4 and beyond.

Soon enough it was time to wrap up the day at Cloudworks and get ready for the annual team photoshoot on the hotel’s swanky rooftop (the result which you can spot in the header image up top). 

Of course, everyone had been equipped with new Resource Guru swag. This year, it features the Barcelona skyline as an ode to the Guru Gathering location.

This year’s swag, limited Barcelona edition.

This year’s swag, limited Barcelona edition.

We gathered on the hotel rooftop, prepared to release our inner Tyra Banks in front of the camera. But of course, what’s a Resource Guru photoshoot without some extra magic?

Cue the gift bags. 

Meredith, James, and Michelle (in the background) deliver the goods.

Meredith, James, and Michelle (in the background) deliver the goods.

The gift bags contained beautiful ceramics and candles from local designer, Anna Fonoll. (Check out her Etsy shop!) Said ceramics (either a mug or a pitcher) now serve as the go-to mug for a morning brew, house the weekly flowers, or perform the important duty as a decoration to remain untouched, similar to an imperial Ming vase.

Once the photoshoot wrapped, we jumped into taxis to Can Cortada, an authentic castle that’s part of Barcelona’s Artistic Heritage and is home to a restaurant offering Catalan cuisine and specializing in meat.

That’s why it’s only appropriate that this evening was memorialized as #meatgate. 

How did this come about, you ask? No, it wasn’t because of an outcry from  vegans on the team, but because of the look of the seemingly raw Tomahawk steak once cut.

This, of course, was before we realized we were supposed to cook them at the table, Korean BBQ style. 😅

Two huge Tomahawk steaks.

#Meatgate to be.

After #meatgate had been resolved, all was well and we ended the night on a high with Limoncello shots before making our way back to the hotel.

Day 3: Team presentations and keyword workshop

On the third and last day, it was time for the founders to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

That’s right–it was time for team presentations. 

Back at Cloudworks, one team lead after the other stepped into the spotlight and talked the rest of us through what they’ve been working on and what’s in store.

Here are a few highlights from each team:

  • Marketing kicked things off and shared the results of increased content output, and paid efforts, along with a sneak preview of some of their key initiatives going into Q4. (All of which had been signed off by Nick Cage, naturally.)
  • People Ops took the opportunity to (again) welcome some new starters in person, share some of the results from our Q2 employee survey, and address improvements we can make as a collective to improve our cross-collaboration.
  • Customer Success talked about customer trends and shared more context around issues they’re facing. But of course, they also took the time to celebrate the effort that has gone into landing some huge accounts this year! 🚀
  • Product then stepped up and talked about how they’ve formalized the product process, improving visibility and structure, followed by a look into how they’ve increased our design maturity.
  • Engineering looked back at the features we’ve released this year, what’s to come, and then tackled a topic we’re all excited about: Continuous Integration.
  • QA took to the stage last (but not least) and shared what they’ve achieved since the last Guru Gathering in Cape Town, how things work in the background, and how it’s all coming together in an official QA playbook. ✨
Our CTO, Kevin, shares the result from the engineering workshop.

Our CTO, Kevin, shares the result from the engineering workshop.

When team presentations had wrapped and people were sufficiently caffeinated, some caught up with work while a lucky few took part in Kat’s keyword workshop on the rooftop. 

Unfortunately, once again revealing too much would put me in a sticky situation, but any untamed curiosity can be settled by subscribing to our blog (bottom of page).

Around noon, all the brain work was officially over and it was time for another Honest Greens powered lunch. This time, back on the Cloudworks rooftop enjoying the view of Mount Tibidabo and Sagrada Familia.

After all, we needed a good refuel before the afternoon activities kicked off.

After a quick rest, we split into groups of wanderers and keen cyclists, ready to learn more about the city that hosted our visit.

The walking group was spotted near Casa Mila.

The walking group was spotted near Casa Mila.

The bike gang in front of Neptú.

The bike gang in front of Neptú.

Full of new impressions and loaded with local intel, we returned to the hotel, some to freshen up and some to refuel–this time in Espresso Martinis. 🍸

All fuelled up it was time to head to the shore and the moment everyone had been waiting for: the boat trip

As we set sail from the marina, the clouds, as if they’d been ordered to, broke away and served up a sun filled sea. 

With our very own Flamenco band playing rhythmic tunes (Despacito, anyone?), we indulged in both Cava and conversation.

A very excited (and on-brand) Jan, boards the vessel.

A very excited (and on-brand) Jan, boards the vessel.

Captain Kat is ready to take on the seven seas.

Captain Kat is ready to take on Customer Success on the seven seas.

After a couple of hours out at sea, we stepped back onto land reporting zero casualties and full to the brim with moments worth remembering.

Energized from the fresh Mediterranean sea and the spectacular sunset, we jumped in our taxis and headed to Ohla–because it would only be right to finish our Guru Gathering on a high, aka another rooftop. 

At Ohla, the sangria was flowing, food was ordered (shoutout to Djamel for his impeccable menu choices), and we let our hair down–if we hadn’t done so already. 🥳

Moving forward with momentum 

While we’ve all returned to our distributed zip codes, we did so with a deeper understanding of our collective purpose and a renewed commitment to our strategic goals. 

And let’s not forget the moments of bonding, learning, and reflection that we shared during our time together. Because not only did they strengthen our team—but they also ignited a fire. 🔥

So what’s next? Moving forward with incredible energy, enthusiasm, and momentum—ready to propel us to new heights in the months and years to come.

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