Case Study

Aprio Cloud's Tennessee Retreat


Nashville, Tennessee

May 2019

Our team had the best time and are already working closer together, thanks to Happily.

Ambra Wellbeloved

Ambra Wellbeloved

COO, Aprio Cloud
Aprio Cloud Retreat, Nashville 2019

The Challenge

Aprio Cloud allows customers to outsource accounting solutions. They provide accounting, tax planning, business advisory, bookkeeping and consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses.

The purpose of the Aprio Cloud Team Retreat 2019 was to amplify the accomplishments and special connections made by its distributed team with an inspiring three day in-person experience in Nashville, Tennessee. The direct goals included team development, instilling greater ownership of the company success, deepening team culture, and actionable ideas for improving the Aprio Cloud client and/or team experience. The keywords of the retreat were: discovery, fun, connection, recognition, and innovation.

Aprio Cloud had recently gone through a merger and had experienced a rapid 75% growth. As they anticipated to continue to double in size over the following years, a team retreat allowed Aprio Cloud to establish a strong work culture foundation to encourage employee retention as the company scaled up.

Aprio Cloud, who were trail-blazers for remote-first workplaces, partnered with Happily for the production of their Aprio Cloud Team Retreat 2019. As a company who has also proudly been a remote-first workplace before it was mainstream, Happily knew we had the expertise to design an in-person team retreat experience to bring a remote team together.

Aprio Cloud Retreat, Nashville 2019

Image: The first day at Johnny Cash's estate, the Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum.

The Solution

Our Experiential Team began planning by identifying the participants and some basic stats about them such as gender, roles, ages, and if this would be their first retreat experience. This information would then be used to inform the agenda and planning of the retreat for a more personalized experience.

We developed guest journeys for each role, which were team, HQ and partner. The experiential journey for the general team was the priority as they made up the overwhelming majority of the participants. The journey for the team was stategrized to be:

  • Excite; fueling the excitement
  • Experience; bring online culture to IRL
  • Engage; learning by doing
  • Evolve: team building and lasting connections
Aprio Cloud Team Guest Journey

Day 0 The Aprio Cloud Team Retreat 2019 kicked-off on a Sunday with guests arriving in Nashville throughout the afternoon. Upon arriving there was a hangout spot for check-in at the hotel with the welcome team to give tours, answer questions, take selfies and greet each other. In their rooms guests found a collection of local drinks, snacks, team hoodies, a directory, and a handwritten note from the welcome team. The goal for the first evening was simply to have a little fun and kick start building personal relationships and a sense of community between the team. This included friendly group competitions with some casual bowling, bocce and ping pong.

Day 1 The first official day of the team retreat was set at Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum, an estate that once belonged to Johnny Cash nestled just 45 minutes through the rolling hills of Tennessee. The Aprio Cloud team enjoyed an exclusive property tour of the estate upon arrival and it was a tranquil setting for a day of team sessions and workshops. The afternoon included a creative songwriting session with Nashville Royalty, Ashley Campbell, daughter of Glen Campbell, and a private concert at Cash’s house with some local Nashville artists.

Aprio Cloud, Johnny Cash, Storytellers, 2019

Day 2 The following day saw a morning filled with Lightning Talk sessions that enabled new employees to get a quick, yet solid context for the past, present and future of Aprio Cloud. In the afternoon, there was a menu of options for local activities guests could enjoy. They included goat yoga, a tour of The Country Music Hall of Fame, an VR Arcade, an axe throwing range and more. For the evening, dinner was southern-inspired at The Southern Steak & Oyster, with personalized place settings that included an anonymous compliment conversation starter from another team member. The evening was filled with line dancing and live music with the ‘The Nashville Experience’ at the Florida Georgia Line House.

Aprio Cloud, Goat Yoga, 2019

Day 3 The final day of the retreat was a morning for the team to come together and reflect on the experience of the previous days. During a Closing Circle session each team member shared a word or two that encapsulated their retreat experience.

The Results

Aprio Cloud’s 2019 team retreat in Nashville was a wonderful experience rooted in the charm and culture of the Music City and the state of Tennessee. The team absolutely loved Johnny Cash’s Hideaway Farm, and the songwriting session with Ashley Campbell was the highlight of the trip.

Aprio Cloud Retreat, Nashville 2019
Aprio Cloud, Sessions, 2019
Aprio Cloud, Johnny Cash, Storytellers Concert, 2019
Aprio Cloud, Nashville, 2019
Aprio Cloud, Closing Circle, 2019

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