An Inside Look Into How a High-Growth Tech Company Embarked on a Tortuga Retreat

Hotjar is an all-in-one analytics and feedback platform helping businesses leverage online customer data to improve user experience, increase conversions and identify opportunities for growth. Headquartered on the beautiful island of Malta, Hotjar is a successful tech start-up that operates as a fully distributed company. Although team members are located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, the company operates under the belief that by integrating the best technology along with regular team meet-ups, they are able to keep productivity, creativity and morale high.

Because of Hotjar’s remote work environment, the entire team is brought together for company meet-ups twice a year. These retreats are designed to bring everyone up to speed on the current state of the business as well as build a vibrant company culture while also providing an opportunity for team members to get to know one another and enjoy some fun together.

Remote Challenges

Mid 2016 was the first of these meet-ups and, as the company founder David Darmanin quickly discovered, planning a team meet-up for more than two dozen remote individuals is no easy feat. That’s why when it came time to plan for their end-of-year retreat they decided to enlist the help of an expert.

Retreat Specialists to the Rescue

After doing some research, David Darmanin instructed his VP of Operations, Ken Weary, to contact Tortuga Retreats for assistance with Hotjar’s December retreat. They chose Tortuga, not only because they specialize in organizing company retreats for remote teams, particularly in the tech startup arena, but also because they knew they wanted a more intimate experience than traditional meeting and event planners could provide.

“Most of the other event planning companies we contacted offered cookie cutter solutions that were entirely the opposite of what we were looking for,” commented Ken. “To put it bluntly, you can’t create meaningful bonds and nurture culture in a hotel conference room. Tortuga Retreats understood exactly what we were looking for and offered to provide a customized retreat experience based on our specific needs and goals.”

The Tortuga team would handle everything from recommending the best locations and securing appropriate accommodations to setting up workspaces and organizing team-boding experiences. It was exactly what Hotjar was looking for.

After a successful retreat in Utah in December 2016, Hotjar again approach Tortuga to begin planning their summer meet-up, set for June 2017. Just as they had previously desired, Hotjar needed recommendations on locations and really wanted the same intimate co-living and co-working arrangement that had been organized for them in Utah. After considering all the destinations recommended by Tortuga Retreats,  the Hotjar team chose a small town outside of Marbella, Spain, which was conveniently situated for everyone to travel to.


Getting All the Details Right

As with the Utah trip, Tortuga Retreats handled all of the logistics from start to finish. Hotjar team members were housed in three luxurious, extra-large villas all within close proximity(in fact, two were located right next door to each other). The retreat also included a gourmet chef on-site to prepare meals, amazing team-building and group activities, a casino night on the villa’s lawn, a traditional Spanish beach dinner and much more. Most importantly, every detail was taken care of so that the Hotjar team could focus on what they came to do – connect and establish stronger working relationships with one another.

“We were really impressed with how much work the Tortuga Retreats team put in for us and how effortless they made the process seem,” comments Mariella Parascandalo, Operations  Coordinator at Hotjar.

“They helped us plan every detail, from finding the perfect location and arranging luxury accommodations to providing us with a huge list of activities to choose from. Being able to share a vision of what we want and having the Tortuga team turn that vision into reality is a huge help – especially since our company is growing rapidly. They’ve really been a life saver!”

The Hotjar team was so impressed with the Tortuga’s experience and attention to detail that they decided to begin planning their December 2017 retreat before the summer retreat had even taken place.

To learn how Tortuga Retreats can help make your next company retreat a success or to request a free, customized quote, please click here.

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