Railbookers is a company where all employees work remotely.
So you can only imagine how big a deal it was for staff to finally get together in person for the company’s inaugural global summit last week in Phoenix, AZ.
For the first time in company history, Railbookers Group (RBG) staff from all over the world came together, joined by dozens of vendors and partners, for three days of fun and learning at the Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.
“We wanted to bring together some of our global staff from every department in the company, along with our invitation-only vendors and partners to meet, learn and grow our relationships – all while celebrating the growth and future of our company,” said Railbookers Group President and CEO Frank Marini in a statement.
“As a fully-remote company, this was the first time many of our staff had the chance to actually meet in person vs. just digitally, which made it an emotional, out-of-body, unique experience. Of course, as all who has worked with us or attended could tell you, we had a lot of fun too.”
According to a news release, the event lived up to its “Heavy Metal/VIP Rock Star” theme with a welcome reception under the palm trees, giving a chance to meet, interact and network.
The relationship between vendors and RBG staff grew with a panel discussion featuring four of RBG’s key rail partners in Amtrak, Rocky Mountaineer, Swiss Travel System and VIA Rail Canada.
That day also included a trade show, in which vendors and partners had the chance to actively meet and engage with staff.
Embracing artificial intelligence
One of the areas of emphasis throughout the week was the company’s ongoing use and advances with artificial intelligence, putting AI at the forefront of every aspect of the business.
Sessions also focused on professional development as well as company goals and achievements, including updates featuring new destinations and technologies.
RBG also hosted a “Fishbowl Session” where staff from each department was able to work side-by-side together with some of their colleagues while vendor partners were able to observe first-hand.
There, they sat shoulder-to-shoulder with each team to see how they work with technology, which allows the RBG team to grow while in a remote environment. Staff also participated in focused professional development sessions throughout.
At the black-tie gala, RBG presented its donation and pledge to its corporate charity, Make-A-Wish, including the announcement of a child’s wish to be granted later this year.
The event’s keynote address was delivered by best-selling author and former Amazon executive John Rossman.
“Our first Railbookers Group Global Summit was an undeniable success, and we look forward to announcing the next summit dates and location soon,” Marini said. “Most companies are still trying to figure out how to operate in a hybrid model, let alone a remote model; our consistent focus on our customers, travel advisors and staff allows us to continue our record growth.”
“Being a 100 per cent remote company, the emotion, excitement, engagement and pure joy and family feel of being together was something out of this earth.”