At the start of November it was time once again for Outfield to come together for our twice annual team meetup. In a very rainy Cambridge, the team gathered together for a week of planning sessions, workshops and fun activities.

This was Outfield’s third all team meetup, and as always it was a great opportunity to get to know the new team members that have joined our team over the last 6 months. During the week we revisited some usual Outfield meetup activities, such as the traditional escape room visit and working from the Cambridge Judge Business School, but we also tried our hand at some new pursuits, including a visit to the National Fruit Show, candle making and a trip to an outdoor spa.

The meetup is always a good time for the different teams within Outfield to catch up and work through some planning. This meetup, the commercial team focused much of their week on planning sales and customer success strategies for next year’s northern hemisphere fruit growing season. Meanwhile the development team discussed projects such as measuring fruit size from drone imagery and vineyard yield mapping, as well as more mundane topics like how to better organise our code repositories.

In the middle of the week, the team travelled down to the Detling Showground in Kent for the National Fruit Show. As one of the largest fruit industry events in the UK, it’s a great place to see the latest in orchard technology, speak to growers, try new apple varieties and of course see the amazing displays of fruit waiting to be judged as part of the show. Several of the team got involved in the NFS education outreach stand, using virtual reality headsets to show groups of school children what life is like in a commercial orchard.

A real highlight of the week for me was the team outing to play crazy golf at Puttshack in London. Mostly it’s a highlight because out of the whole Outfield team I came first… twice. Thursday evening was a visit to the PAUS outdoor spa near Cambridge, with hot tubs, sauna hut and a cold plunge pool, all followed up with pizzas. And of course we had to try our hand at an escape room.

It was a really fun week, and another fantastic team meetup. I’m already looking forward to the next one in 6 months’ time!

Outfield’s November meetup in three charts:

As Outfield’s headcount grows, so does the number of team members at each meetup.
As we hold more meetups they are becoming more structured, with more time allocated to specific events. There is also a clear increase in the amount of time we are spending on team building activities.
The Outfield operations team seem to be most effective in escaping from locked rooms, followed by the commercial team. Slightly worryingly, the development team seem to be the slowest!
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