We kicked off the first day with a hilarious game of The Great Debate. The topics really helped warm everybody up with questions like ‘do aliens exist?’ and where would you invest $500k to grow Socium?”. At a high level, the team answers touched on crop circles, France (?), Macbook pros, influencers, the Kardashians, and more…
With spirits high, we rolled into our Quarterly Business Review, where we heard from division leads and our co-founders, Sam and Owen, regarding Socium’s Q3 progress and Q4 projections.
We finished the day strong with a cocktail social at the Upstairs Room and an incredible Mediterranean dinner at Avec River North! For some, the night continued with an impromptu Karaoke session down the street!
After a lively breakfast at Miss Ricky’s, we started day two by taking over the streets of Chicago with a group walk to Chicago Architecture Center’s dock for a boat tour! We learned about the history of Chicago, its famous buildings and the architects behind them, and the massive role that the Chicago River played (and still plays to this day).
We worked up quite the appetite, so it was good that our lunch consisted of all of Chicago’s (oh so healthy) culinary delights: deep dish pizzas, cheese fries, Italian beef rolls, polish sausages, and hot dogs… Safe to say, there were no leftovers.
Team planning session
After a brief break, we came back together to listen and learn from our peers with a Black Friday planning session. We dove deep into specific ways to stay a thoughtful step ahead for client deliverables, how to be 1% better when creating and implementing client campaigns, and more. Our brand new division, Performance Creative, shared an in-depth presentation on its goals and plans for the upcoming year. All in all, our planning session was filled with many new insights and helpful reminders to ensure we’re on our A game for our busiest quarter!
Before bringing everyone together for dinner, we split into 5 teams and locked each group in its own Escape Room for some good ol’ fashion team building! We assured everyone that having fun was guaranteed, but escaping was not, which resulted in a healthy level of competition. The first-place winners were those in the Gold Rush room!
The night ended at Chicago’s most unique, vibrant, and colorful restaurant—Carnivale. From aerial dancers to retro neon signs, the speakeasy vibes and Latin-inspired cuisine was the perfect way to reflect on the day’s fun. Oh, and did we mention there was cotton candy?
On the third and final day, we started bright and early with breakfast (and an optional Soul Cycle session led by George)! We then divided into Pods and set out for a scavenger hunt throughout the Windy City. With custom questions created by Kaelyn and team members, we realized just how differently pods interpreted various prompts. One of our favorites was the question, ‘Using items you can find along the way, recreate Socium Media’s logo and take a picture.’ The ‘Podless’ pod’s answer was very… unique!
We ended the final day of the retreat with, you guessed it, more deep-dish pizza (and celebratory ‘Muysken Mules’ for Paige’s birthday!) at Lou Malnati’s.
All in all, our retreat in the Windy City was perfectly balanced. We learned, laughed, created new relationships, further enriched existing ones, and reinforced the incredible (and award-winning!) company culture we’ve built thus far.
If you’re on the hunt for a new role at a company that not only values its team but puts them first, too—we would love to connect. You can view all our open positions here!