First of all, I have to admit this is nothing new under the sun – or, in our case, under the broken lamp – in the developer cave. Usually, companies have a limited budget for these occasions, and so did we. It restrained us and we didn’t like it. It was not our way of doing things and we wanted to change it.
With an unlimited budget, we believe comes unlimited learning.
Also, an unlimited budget for events would bankrupt us sooner or later. So there’s that. Clearly, we needed to think about what we wanted to gain from these events. The first idea was that since we can’t fit every employee in the same plane, the next best thing was to encourage knowledge sharing. We started from that!
We explored possibilities for quite some time before we found a suitable model for us. Some of the models we reviewed had limited but totally equal budget for everyone, and some had no budget or even process whatsoever – which of both we considered not optimal.
The limited & equal model would prevent people from attending more expensive events – or at least you would have to radically limit your event participation during a year. And the idea of no budget at all really appealed to us. Minus side could be the same as with the other models: how to make sure we think about our people and our customers at the same time? Total riot can be a fun thing, but we wanted to list things that we want to achieve with event participation – and then think further.