Sortly Culture

SortlyFest 2023: Collaboration, Customer Obsession, and Camaraderie

October 10, 2023 • 3 min read

SortlyFest 2023 was a three-day company offsite that Sortly held in New York City. It was the first of its kind at our fully remote company and proved to be an amazing experience for all. SortlyFest was an opportunity for everyone at the company to get to know each other, share lots of ideas, collaborate on exciting plans for the future of the company—and have some fun along the way. 

Dhanush Balachandran

Sortly’s CEO Dhanush Balachandran kicks off SortlyFest.

About SortlyFest

SortlyFest 2023 kicked off with a welcome dinner on the first night. Everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and get to know each other better—and, of course, enjoy Italian food at Tony’s Di Napoli in the heart of New York City. The next day, the group headed to Convene, a co-working space located in midtown Manhattan, and officially kicked off SortlyFest.

SortlyFest 2023

Sortlyers engaging in discussion during an open forum.

There was a full itinerary of activities over the next two days, including:

  • Team-building exercises: These get-to-know-you exercises helped the team to bond “beyond the Zoom window” and learn to work together more effectively. This is especially important for a remote-first company, where team members don’t have the opportunity to interact with each other in person very often.
  • Brainstorming sessions: The team brainstormed new ideas for new product features, offerings, and marketing initiatives—and pitched them Shark Tank-style! It was valuable to have everyone in the company together in one place to share their ideas, collaborate, and get creative.
  • Team-specific meetings and workshops: These break-out sessions were an opportunity for specific teams to meet and discuss projects and plans for the near future.
  • Life and culture sessions: These sessions focused on how we can show up as the best possible version of ourselves by maintaining work-life balance and communicating effectively.
  • Customer discussions: We were fortunate enough to host our incredible customers Mercy University and Hudson Yards Experience at SortlyFest this year! We heard from them around how they’re transforming their inventory management with Sortly and got real-time feedback for how we can continue to improve. Exciting!
SortlyFest 2023

Sortly’s Product Operations Manager Vicky Venegas.

SortlyFest 2023

Sortlyers collaborating during a breakout session.

The event also included plenty of time for relaxation and fun. The team enjoyed eating, drinking, and exploring New York City together during off-time. There were also several social events, including a team dinner at Rosa Mexicano (did someone say bottomless margaritas?) and some spirited games of ping pong at SPIN on the final night—the perfect send-off!

Reflections on SortlyFest

Overall, the first annual SortlyFest was a great success. It was a unique opportunity for everyone at the company to come together, have fun, and make remote relationships IRL ones. The Sortly team found it valuable time to share ideas, collaborate on plans for the future, and make our product even better.

SortlyFest 2023

Sortly’s executive team following an AMA session.

“SortlyFest was a remarkable experience for me,” said Sortly’s Chief Product Officer Vivek Bedi. “It was invigorating to see teams across the company come together. Together, we solved problems, came up with future ways of working, and even spent time learning from our customers. SortlyFest got me excited about the future potential of Sortly, the culture we are building for our employees, and the value we are delivering to our customers.”

The event was particularly rewarding for the newer members of the Sortly team. Product Designer Omar Swidan said, “As a new addition to the team, SortlyFest was an incredible experience that enriched my understanding of our product, our synergy, and shared goals. From co-presenting on the value of design in our industry, to sharing laughs at dinner, I felt a very warm welcome and am eagerly looking forward to our next SortlyFest!”