We try to get together every 9 months or so to get face-time, build community, and get some work done! Since our team is scattered all over the globe, we try to plan a different location for each Summit.
The goal of our Summits is to get to know each other.
By October 2017 we had 200 team members and 65 significant others getting together in Greece to enjoy the beautiful islands of Crete and Santorini.
Summit in Cancun, Mexico
In January 2017 we met in Cancun, Mexico, where roughly 150 team members and 50 significant others flew in from 35 different countries.
Summit in Austin, TX, the USA
In May 2016, our team of 85 met up in Austin, TX to see if they were (still) as awesome as seen on Google Hangout.
Here's some footage our team put together to show how much fun we had.
Summit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Here are some impressions from our first Summit in October 2015.
Leisure time around the Summit
The GitLab Summit is a work trip, not an incentive travel
If you want to enjoy the resort facilities or the area around it, feel free to book an extra day or more before or after the summit
The Summit organization will "plan" free time for you to do regular work suchs as handling emails
When you sign up for the activities we plan for the non-work days, you agree to show up.
If you don't show up for the activity, you will be responsible for the costs involved for the seat you give up after the RSVP deadline has passed.
When you replied "Maybe" or didn't reply at all, you understand that there will not be a ticket booked for you and you won't be able to join the activitie(s).
Bring your significant other
Significant Others (SO) are very welcome to attend
One SO per team member
You are responsible for the SO you invite
Your SOs presence should not distract you from engaging with other team members and actively participating in Summit activities
SOs should do their best to get to know many people
SOs are welcome at all presentations, events, and meetings that are open to all team members
If you're having a meal with your SO, pick a table with more than two seats so you can invite others to join you
Having your children join you
Children are strongly discouraged from attending. We have observed from past summits that contributors who have chosen to bring children spend significantly less time collaborating with GitLab coworkers. Accordingly, we are requesting that if you must travel with family members you fully engage in as many group activities as you are physically able, invite team members to join you during meals, attend all company meetings, and recognize that the Summit is an investment in the continued growth of the organization.
Attending the summit is optional but recommended. Most people report it is great to get to know each-other better and the schedule is fun, about 90% of the team is able to attend.
The executive team is required to attend for the full duration of the summit.
Wear your name-tag when you're outside your room, including during excursions, meals, and on departure day.
Try to join different people every time we sit down for a meal
Try to form a personal bond with team members of other teams.
The summit is great for informal meetings and brainstorming, like User Generated Content discussions. People already know their team, so try to make UGC sessions cross functional.
Don't plan meetings and 1-1's with your own team at the summit, we already do these when we're not at the summit. It is OK to organize one dinner with the team.
Health and safety
Every year about a third of us have come kind of flu after the summit, so please take infection prevention seriously.
Be respectful of other hotel guests (e.g. don't talk on your floor when returning to your room at night & keep your volume down at restaurants/bars)
Ensure there is great WiFi – we need more serious tech for the main room (5GHz, one access point for every 40 people attending in the main room)
Ensure there are large meeting rooms for team members to join work hours and presentations
Tip: Label your charger with your name for easy return to owner in case you lose it
The following should be assigned and/or arranged a month before the Summit:
All interviews, presentations and content production
Who will be presenting and when & where they will be presenting
Projectors, wireless (non-hand-held) microphones, and any other (audio) needs
Recording equipment such as stage cam, audience cam, presentation feed etc.
An audio feed that goes directly from microphone into the recording
A program and manager for live streaming
The blog text for the presentation, including relevant materials shared after the presentation, as well as approval and a plan to publish the blog 24 hours after the presentation is given
User Generated Content sessions
User Generated Content sessions are 50 minute discussions on a topic that is important to you. Topics can be on business, markets, investing, problems, opportunities, life, parenting, etc. Whatever is interesting to our team or the community. Here's an overview of how this works during our summits.
We request everyone to send in topics to discuss during the sessions at the summit a few weeks out.
If you're suggesting a topic, we ask you to be the topic leader. This means the following:
You start the session with a short 3 minute introduction, no preparation or presentation needed.
During the discussion you facilitate the conversation, meaning keeping it on topic, making sure everyone is heard, and asking relevant questions.
After all topics are received, we send a survey to all attendees asking them to vote on the topics most interesting to them.
Once we've received all votes, after the deadline, we select the topics for the sessions and schedule everyone in according to their preferences.
We schedule 2, 4 hour blocks on separate days to have the sessions.
Within each 4 hour block we schedule 4 session blocks (with multiple topics in different locations during each block) with a short break of ~10 minutes in between for a quick drink/snack or bathroom break.
During the summit we'll have a live stream that is interactive (viewers ask questions).
The live stream is a way to generate tangible hiring and marketing benefits, this will help to sustain the large discretionary expense of the summit.
There will be only one mobile camera crew and it will be easy to recognize.
With the mobile camera crew will be two GitLab team members, a moderator for the chat and a facilitator that will interact with other team members.
We want the viewers (our team members that couldn't make it, the wider community, friends and family) to feel like participants instead of an audience. From time to time the facilitator will seek interaction by talking with team members.
You can always decline to enter in a conversation with the facilitator, just like you can decline a conversation with another team member.
If you don't want to be approached by the facilitator under any circumstances you can ask for an identifier from the organization.
The facilitator will avoid taking to team members wearing the identifier, significant others, and children. Significant others that want to interact are very welcome to approach the facilitator themselves.
Team members wearing the identifier and significant others might be visible in the shot as passers-by's. The camera crew try to avoid children passers-by's. As said elsewhere on this page we strongly discourage children from attending.