Envato Connect is a week for Envato employees to learn, reconnect, and have fun. Read on for the key highlights.
This month, Envatians from around Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico came together for Envato Connect – a week of connection, learning, and fun. The event enabled our global teams to reconnect beyond the screen, thanks to an agenda packed full of professional development sessions, team-building activities, and opportunities to meet and socialize with people from across the business.
“Envato Connect has been the highlight of our calendar this year,” says Claire March, Envato’s Senior People Experience Manager. “We hosted two events – one in Melbourne and one in Guadalajara, Mexico. For our ANZ event, employees from Australia and New Zealand flew to Melbourne for a week of learning, connection, and fun, finishing the week with our End of Year celebration.”
Envato Connect was an opportunity for our people to rekindle existing connections and establish new ones. Employees in both Australia and Mexico also heard from some talented speakers, both internal and external, and participated in team-building and volunteer activities.
“I really enjoyed meeting so many Envatians and hearing their experiences, insights, and feedback,” revealed Envato’s CEO, Hichame Assi. “It was great to see so many people rekindling connections and establishing new ones. A big shout-out to our speakers, volunteers, and the People team for organizing an incredible event.”
From a company games tournament and an axe throwing competition to volunteering events and a celebratory end-of-year bash, here are some of the top highlights from Envato Connect 2022.
Envato Connect allowed employees to reconnect with their teams and colleagues. With many of us working from different cities, states, and even countries, building new connections, rekindling old ones, and putting in some face time with coworkers was a key highlight.
“All the opportunities for serendipitous catch-ups meant I got to meet many people I’ve only known via screens, and a lot of others I haven’t even crossed paths with on Slack yet,” said Ben Leong, Envato’s Community Forum Manager. “Having time and space for those catch-ups, separate to projects and meetings, was priceless. Building up to the end-of-year party through a week of face-to-face events was great, too – by the time we walked in, we all knew lots of people already.”
Envato’s People Team planned and hosted a range of fun events for employees to connect – including an intimate welcome drinks evening at Envato’s office and a fabulous end-of-year party held at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum. Envatians in Mexico also attended various social activities and events to reconnect with colleagues, from team workshops and a movie night to a clothing swap and an end-of-year bash.
“Envato Connect was a mixed bag of emotions and experiences,” said Rodrigo Vega, Facilities Manager of Envato MX. “We started the week by connecting and learning through our EVP activity, then continued the good vibes in our Volunteer day and Envato Awards. Finally, we closed with an end-of-year party full of surprises. We enjoyed being part of Envato Connect – as the quote says: alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Throughout the week, various people around the business told inspiring stories and presented exciting team and company updates, leaving many with a sense of unity, excitement, and renewed motivation.
“It has been so lovely to meet so many Envatians in real life and to be able to merge the Slack avatars with real faces attached to real people,” said Kristin Brodie, Author Marketing Specialist. “I had so much fun and feel a renewed vigor and excitement about where we’re going as a team.”
One of Envato Connect’s key focuses was building solid and united teams. The Australian event was held at Melbourne’s Fortress – the country’s most prominent video games venue – so it seemed fitting to hold a company-wide games tournament! Many employees participated in the epic Pac-Man comp, which included our CEO, leadership teams, and everyone in between.
“I loved seeing everyone enjoying and participating in the gaming tournament (with so many big smiles!) and seeing our senior leaders come together. It was great to reconnect after so long apart,” said Claire.
Envato Connect was also an opportunity for individual teams to bond. Many departments and teams participated in their own team-building activities – such as escape rooms, lawn bowls, and even axe throwing.
“It was great to finally get the newly formed Author and Customer Success team together in real life,” said Brainy Kalms, Envato’s Customer Success Director. “Everyone had a blast at axe throwing. The team spirit was high, and I loved seeing everyone having fun together.”
Digital Marketing Specialist Jess Hose shared a similar sentiment: “I loved all our activities with the Envato Market team, which included discovering hidden talents for lawn bowls – our competitive spirit is alive and well!”
Envato Connect was enriched with many talented speakers and presenters – and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) session, led by the charity’s CEO, Ben Bowen, was a big highlight. The ILF is one of the Envato Foundation’s partners, alongside other groups, including Yalari, Ganbina, and Indigitek. Ben’s presentation covered the organization’s background, focus, and mission and the incredible impact they have on young people in indigenous communities.
“During his presentation, Ben from ILF said something that illustrates why we have the Envato Foundation,” says Hayley Stewart, Developer Mentor. “He said, ‘Instead of focusing on what our communities don’t have, we focus on what they can have with just a little bit of help,’ and that really resonated with me.'”
Ben also discussed the incredible initiatives the Indigenous Literary Foundation run, such as Book Supply and Book Buzz, which aim to supply books to children in indigenous communities. Both programs help young people (aged 1-14) become familiar with and engage with books and develop critical literacy and pre-literacy skills. The ILF also translates popular children’s books – such as The Hungry Caterpillar – into up to 30 indigenous languages, giving children in these communities an opportunity to read iconic stories in their own languages.
Additionally, the Foundation’s community publishing project publishes books written and illustrated by indigenous authors and artists, which are then integrated into schools and play groups. This includes the popular book No Way Yirrikipayi, written and developed in workshops led by author Alison Lester.
The Connect schedule also featured learning and development sessions, including a presentation on Building Your Career and a workshop called the Neuroscience of Success, led by our Head of Learning and Development Krista Marquardt.
One highlight was the keynote session Mastering the Art of Course Correction, with the coach and speaker Dianne Driscoll, which covered how to manage unexpected, challenging, and stressful situations professionally and personally.
“I have learned something from every single session, but I particularly loved the keynote session on Mastering the Art of Course Correction,” said Nat Firth, Talent Acquisition Specialist. “For me, the highlight was our keynote speaker Diane saying that ultimately we are responsible for managing stress and change.”
The session also covered how to manage stress and burnout while practicing mental health self-awareness and self-care – providing tools and strategies that greatly impacted many attendees.
“I found the keynote session really helpful,” said Ben. “The “best” approach to managing mental health varies, but there’s almost always something that can help to get a bit more perspective when things start spiraling out of control.”
In addition to reconnecting, learning, and having fun, Envato employees in Melbourne also contributed to making the world a better place by participating in a volunteering event with Clean Up Australia. Held at the iconic St Kilda beach and foreshore, a group of Melbourne Envato volunteers set out to gather as much rubbish as they could from the beach and surrounding areas – collecting almost 64kg of trash!
“We wanted to participate in a sustainability activity related to our whole ANZ community, and we realized our oceans and waterways connect us all,” said Claire. “We started with St Kilda beach, collecting a whopping 63.38kg of rubbish from the beach and surrounding area – go, team!”
In partnership with Clean Up Australia – a not-for-profit Australian environmental conservation organization that aims to inspire and empower communities to clean up, fix up and conserve the earth – Envato was proud to make a small but significant impact on our local environment.
Mexican employees also gave back to their community through volunteering; they traveled to Casa Mayama to host a drawing workshop with underprivileged children.
And that’s a wrap! Thanks to everyone who made Envato Connect 2022 a week to remember – we’re already looking forward to connecting again in 2023.