After many months of preparation and several reschedulings due to the pandemic, it finally happened: Cowbell held its first company-wide event for all employees to get together and meet in person. We named it “Longhorn”, an homage to our company’s name.
Cowbell has seen massive growth during the pandemic – we are now ten times as many employees as we were when COVID-19 first hit, doubling since October alone, and many of us haven’t met more than a few Cowbellers in person since we started. Needless to say, we were excited.
The first hour after everyone’s arrival was an enthused meet and greet, with many hugs and surprised faces as people realized how tall or short their colleagues are and what their faces look like in real life, away from their Zoom window. Then, the man of the hour got on stage: Cowbell’s founder and CEO, Jack Kudale. He officially welcomed everybody and kicked off the event.
From there, we had an inspirational keynote from the New York Times best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi. He told a series of stories about what it takes to build true, human connections in a world that is becoming more and more superficial – honesty and vulnerability. He urged us to skip the small talk and be open about our life when getting to know each other, and over the next 72 hours we were asking each other about our “sweets and sours” (the good and the bad things we are currently dealing with) were in order to get deeper insights into each other’s lives.
During dinner, 160 people who mostly hadn’t met each other in person, immediately connected and talked as if they were old friends. Moments like these showcase the truly unique culture we built at Cowbell, despite the pandemic.
But of course, Longhorn wasn’t just about fun. The mantra of the event was to “Level Up”. The entire company worked together to find creative ways to scale our success and adjust our processes to reflect the immense growth it has experienced recently.
We spent an entire day learning about each other’s responsibilities and challenges and finding creative ways to overcome them as a team.
At our formal dinner on the second evening, some of our very own Cowbellers went on stage and performed their musical talents in front of the whole company. Dubbed “Cowchella,” our colleagues received standing ovations for their creativity and guts, and our awards show recognized some of our greatest talents in every department.
On the third day, after more interdepartmental workshops that led to ideas we have since started implementing, it was time to say goodbye.
Longhorn was a fantastic experience. It brought us closer together and helped us better understand each other’s challenges, experiences, and day-to-day responsibilities. Our culture was exceptional before the event – just recently Cowbell won its third award, Inc.’s Best Workplaces 2022. Now, it has truly “leveled up”.
Check out our Longhorn video for more impressions of the event. If you are interested in joining our team, consider applying – we still have many open positions and are growing very rapidly in a very exciting market.