3 days. 2 hotels. 70 people. 1 boat. 1 amazing trip…
On Friday 21st June, Team Cognism decamped from their respective offices in the UK, Croatia and Macedonia, and travelled to Hvar, an island off the coast of Croatia. A popular tourist destination, and one that is often listed in the top 10 islands in the world, it was the perfect location for Cognism’s hard-working employees to network, unwind and have fun.
Here’s our round-up of this incredible trip, which will hopefully demonstrate why Cognism deserves to be known as one of the top SaaS companies to work for!
Before the fun, however, it was time for a little work! On arrival in Hvar, the company was told to report to the Hotel Amfora, a 4-star premier beach resort situated in its own private bay. It was here that Cognism’s CEO and founder, James Isilay, delivered a presentation to the company.
James’s talk was a summary of Cognism’s journey to date, a chance for us all to look back and take stock of our astonishing success and growth over the last year. After all, in 2018, 30 Cognism employees met in Hvar - this year, that number had increased to 70!
James also looked into his crystal ball and gave us a glimpse into Cognism’s future, including details of our revenue growth targets for the next year and our expansion into the US and Asian markets. The company has big plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
With James’s talk concluded, each employee was presented with their own Cognism Hvar t-shirt (more on them later), in colours of either pink or blue. Then, it was time to leave the hotel and make the short walk into Hvar’s old town, where a meal had been arranged at the charming Restaurant Mizarola.
Once the all-you-can-eat buffet was devoured, Cognism’s employees were given leave to either return to the hotel, or sample the many bars located around Hvar’s harbourside. The first day was over - but the main event was yet to come!
It was an early start for Team Cognism! At 9am, the company’s employees assembled in the hotel lobby, where a big adventure was about to begin. Dressed in their branded t-shirts, the team went back into Hvar port, where they were greeted by a most extraordinary sight: our own private boat, chartered for the whole day! With a bar, kitchen, and a DJ on the top deck, for many this was going to be the highlight of the trip!
Once the gang was all aboard, the boat set sail, taking us across the stunning Adriatic Sea. Our first port of call was the Blue Cave on Biševo island. Hired speedboats took us inside the cave, whose ethereal, luminescent appearance makes it one of the world’s most breathtaking natural phenomena.
From there it was back to the boat and out again into the open sea. Our next destination was the abandoned submarine pen on Brač island. Built by the Yugoslav Army during World War Two, here we could drop anchor and take the plunge into Croatia’s dazzling blue sea.
By now it was the best part of the day. The sun was shining and the sea was cool and clear. A further trip on the boat took us to a beautiful bay close to Hvar, renowned as one of the most magnificent in all Croatia. Here, Team Cognism had more opportunities to dive and swim, before it was back to the boat and the journey home.
At this point, the party was in full swing. The DJ’s music was loud and pumping, and it was to the strains of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” that the boat rolled back into Hvar port, at the end of an awesome day!
But it wasn’t the end, not quite! Team Cognism disembarked and returned to the hotel. While some took the time to have a much-needed siesta, others refreshed themselves in the hotel pool. There were no plans until midnight, when the rest of the day’s fun would commence…
Midnight, Hvar port. Having swam, ate and sunbathed their way through the day, Team Cognism met once again at the harbourside. Another boat was to take them across the ocean to another island, where one of Croatia’s most notorious nightclubs was waiting…
Carpe Diem, Stipanska island. Under the light of a full moon, Team Cognism enjoyed a night of fun, music and dancing. A chance to celebrate our incredible success as a company - from $0 to $4 million ARR in under 2 years - with the last of us not leaving the island until the first boat left at sunrise!
Check out our video of our amazing Hvar trip!
For many, Sunday was a day to pack up and catch flights back to their homelands. But for the lucky ones who still had a few days left in Croatia, it was time to relax and soak up the rays by the pool.
But whatever time people left, one thing is for certain. We’ll be back - and who knows how many more people will be there when we do!
Interested in Cognism?
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And if you would like to play a part in Cognism’s journey, and join us on incredible experiences like this offsite, keep your eye on our Careers page, where we post our latest vacancies. We look forward to hearing from you!