Joining Gibe in July last year was an exciting chapter in my professional journey. While I missed the opportunity to connect in person during the Porto trip last October, the prospect of meeting everyone face-to-face at the Gibe Christmas Party was an invitation I eagerly embraced. This event not only marked my first encounter with my colleagues but also served as an opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Bristol.
My day kicked off with an early drive from Kent to Bristol, allowing me to tune in to the end-of-year meeting hosted by Pete. Despite being on the road, I absorbed the positive news of the company's successful year and its ambitious plans for expansion. Arriving at my hotel around 11 am, the excitement built as I prepared to meet my colleagues for the first time. Though nerves tingled, the familiarity from our conversations on Slack and daily stand-ups eased the transition to in-person interactions.
Afternoon Delights at the Bristol Artist Residence:
Venturing into the stylish setting of the Bristol Artist Residence, I was welcomed by the buzz of animated conversations and laughter in the blue room. Months of virtual exchanges finally materialized into real-life connections, confirming that the Gibe team was every bit as friendly and engaging as I had imagined.
Amidst a three-course family-style dinner at an impressively large table, we exchanged Secret Santa gifts, creating moments of joy and camaraderie. Despite a minor mishap with a lost gift tag (Sorry Cat my bad), the festive spirit prevailed, with everyone enjoying the thoughtful presents, including wine from Pete and Laura and homemade jams from Hugh.
Evening Entertainment at Roxy Lanes:
Post-dinner, the festivities continued at Roxy Lanes for pool and bowling. Admittedly, my bowling skills left room for improvement, but the shared lanes and friendly competition added to the enjoyment. Amidst a few drinks and laughs, we bonded further, creating lasting memories. As the night progressed, a smaller group of us extended the celebration with cocktails, bringing a delightful end to the evening.
The Gibe Christmas Party not only bridged the gap between virtual colleagues but also provided a memorable experience in Bristol. From lively conversations and festive dinners to bowling competitions and cocktails, the event highlighted the close-knit and welcoming culture that defines Gibe. As we bid farewell, I left with a sense of belonging to a work family that extends beyond the digital realm, solidifying my enthusiasm for the exciting projects and growth that lie ahead.