How to Plan a Noom Offsite

by | Jul 2, 2015

Planning an offsite sounds simple. Find a house, get games, get alcohol. Well, not at Noom.
An offsite is a day- or weekend-long trip for the Noom team to get out of New York City and have fun. They are meant to promote bonding and team unity. But with such a diverse group of people who come from various backgrounds and positions, priorities tend to conflict. As an intern who just began learning about the company, I’ve found accounting for everyone’s preferences as well as the company’s wellness to be a challenging task.
This summer, the Noom team is headed to the beach for our summer offsite. The Operations team spent hours browsing Airbnb and various traveling sites with the simple goal of finding a place that fits 50 people. Once these possibilities are chosen, a few things need to be accounted for: price, location, and activities in the area. Most houses are excluded after looking at the price. Large houses tend to be extremely costly, especially for a start-up company trying to save money. Many of the houses are in secluded areas with nothing around it; those options are eliminated as well. In most cases, all options are gone before looking into activities. When all of the criteria are met, a down payment is made and a house is reserved for the offsite. This is just the beginning.
We had to come up with tons of activities to make sure that everyone is able to participate. Some activities must be mandatory because the main point of having an offsite is to have people bond and get to know each other better. Multiple surveys are sent out to see what interests people. The responses are very diversified and the operations team had to choose activities based on if everyone would be able to participate while still having fun..
There are still numerous tasks that must checked off. Perhaps the most challenging is figuring out what kind of alcohol people want. As a minor, I know very little about alcohol. Everyone had very different tastes, but we did the best to meet everyone’s desires. When people asked to have a certain type of alcohol at the offsite, my usual response would be “what’s that?” I often resorted to asking people to show me a picture. Once the alcohol situation was figured out, there was a long list of drinks to buy. Luckily, being underage was an advantage in this situation. I was not the one who bought the alcohol, but I assume it was extremely heavy!
Planning the offsite alone took about 3-4 weeks in total. Next week, it’s finally happening!. As the offsite gets into gear, the operations team must make sure the schedule flows smoothly even if there are inconveniences, such as rain. There are alternative activities but everyone has to be happy with the schedule or at least accepting of it. Our work has just begun.