Startups are far from the only companies holding seminars – or rather, “offsites” in the jargon mixed with the anglicisms in vogue at French Tech. But for them, organizing this type of stay is all the more crucial as they are young and seek to create a strong internal culture, to which success and innovation are often attributed.
The pandemic certainly slowed down the seminars, but they resumed their course while reinventing themselves. Teleworking, for example, has developed at breakneck speed, which has allowed start-ups to broaden their range of recruitment, but makes team cohesion difficult.
Start-ups, which organize seminars, therefore intend to reconnect, namely by bringing together in workshops or games, employees who come to the office and those who are 100% remote. “It is important that we meet in the same place, have more informal discussions and relaunch a collective dynamic to involve those we see less often. In a few days, we reached the social side that we lost with distance”, says Fayçal Slaoui, co-founder of Monk. AI, a start-up specializing in automatic vehicle damage identification.
As awareness of climate change grows, many startups now tend to prefer seminars in France. “In the company’s early years, we went abroad by plane and we didn’t ask ourselves much about it,” admits Marie Geoffroy-Lombard, head of communications and marketing at Axionable, a start-up that accelerates the sustainable transition of companies thanks to data. and to AI.
The young company labeled B Corp has since enacted “very strict rules” and is looking for seminar openings. accessible by public transport. “You can have a very strong cohesion moment without necessarily going abroad,” insists Marie Geoffroy-Lombard. Parisian society, for example, has just returned from a short stay in the forest of Fontainebleau. On the menu: one-third work, two-thirds relaxation, including outdoor activities.
Partoo, a start-up that helps merchants improve their online visibility, chose to hold its latest seminar (internally called Partootatis) at Parc Astérix, a few dozen kilometers from the capital.
The seminars of these two start-ups were organized internally. But as they grow and are better funded, many scale-ups outsource this activity, which poses a major logistical challenge. Back Market and Contentsquare called on Emmanuel Amar, a seminar professional. Qonto used The Oasis House’s service for team seminars.
This proptech, which has just raised 7 million euros, unearths country houses that it equips with comfortable work spaces. “We identified the needs of the business. Depending on your goals, we offer activities,” explains Camille Personnat, co-founder of The Oasis House. Between two meetings, employees can take workshops on cooking, yoga, painting, etc. It costs around 250 euros per person per day.
“It is a real challenge for managers to improve employees’ sense of belonging. That’s what keeps them in the box”, insists the owner, who wants to enrich her offer with new properties (farms, houses facing the sea, chalets in the mountains, etc.)
The market for business seminars is estimated at 6 billion euros in France. The proliferation of start-ups, with specific needs, is good news for professionals in the sector. It remains to be seen whether the funding slowdown in the funding world will cause some start-ups to reduce their seminar spending in the coming months.
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