Our First Year in #AgencyLife
There are plenty of memes going around about how awful 2016 has been, but here at Graydient Creative, we’ve always seen things a little bit differently. Without further ado, here are 16 things that made 2016 pretty freaking GRAYT:
1. ] Graydient Creative Becomes a Reality
On January 1, 2016, Graydient Creative, LLC was officially launched as its own entity. Having served for more than 8 years as the in-house web team for Marcus Hotels & Resorts, the team was finally able to share its talent and skills with the world!
2. ] Team Expanded
As our services expanded, not only in breadth but also to external clients, so did our team! This year added the following members to the Graydient Team:
- Megan Frahm; Strategic Marketing Consultant*
- Meg Heller; Email & Design Coordinator*
- Beth Pieper; Content Writing Intern
- Blake John; Content Writer & SEO Strategist
- Quangdao Nguyen; Web Coordinator (RETURNS!!)
- Lanre Olaniyan; Mobile & Web Software Developer
- Otto Wichmann; iOS Developer
*TECHNICALLY these two started at the end of December 2015, but… close enough!
PST! “Meet the [ Whole ] Team” now!
3. ] Projects Launched
We wouldn’t be able to do what we love, without amazing clients to work on projects with. 2016 saw the launch of more than 20 new projects. From responsive websites, to interactive on-site elements, for those in entertainment, restaurants, eCommerce and more – check out all of full spectrum of digital solutions in our portfolio!
4. ] Mobile Apps Make a Splash
That’s right, with the addition of Lanre and Otto to the team, we’ve been able to extend our mobile magic. Users on property at Grand Geneva can now track the on-site trolleys and request a pick up, while SafeHouse spies from around the world can take their own #spelfie and share it with their most trusted agent friends.
5. ] Client Visits
The only thing we love more than our clients is getting to see them do what they do on a daily basis. While we try and visit with local clients on their site whenever possible, one of the most memorable for the team this year has to be the trip to Meats by Linz and the Linz Heritage Angus farm. The project team got to see the full operation with their own eyes, leading up to what will be one mem-moooo-rable web experience in 2017.
6. ] Awards Won
And the Award goes to… Graydient Creative! In 2016, we racked up more than 30 awards for the work we’ve done. Receiving acclaim from groups such as HSMAI, Summit International, W3, WebAwards, the Communicator Awards, and American Business Awards’s “Stevie.” Graydient Creative, LLC was also recognized with the Distinguished Agency Award from Horizon Interactive Awards for having more than 5 award winning projects! Not bad for our “first year” as an agency!
7. ] Trade Shows Attended
Megan and the team have been on the move. Kicking off January with the IT United CIO Forum in Milwaukee, and then it was off to CinemaCon in Las Vegas, HITEC in New Orleans, and various Wisconsin destinations in between like the Wisconsin Tourism Conference and Wisconsin Lodging Conference and Trade Show. Find out everywhere we’ve been and where we plan to be – coming soon to the Graydient website!
8. ] Promo Items
Where there’s trade shows, there are promo items! With creativity at full force, the designers came up with a couple super stellar designs to represent our full spectrum of digital solutions. We then put these on stickers, window clings, mouse pads, mugs, dry erase boards, YOU NAME IT! When it comes to the Graydient name, we’ve got a swag bag® with your name on it.
9. ] Served our Community
Giving back moves the industry forward, and our Director of Creative, Development & Operations leads by example. As individuals, the team serves on more than four academic advisory boards on the high school and collegiate level, volunteers to help teach coding to elementary aged school children, serves as mock-interviewers for high school students, and spends time helping the homeless. We know that a company is only as strong as it’s community, and we work each day to ensure the strength of ours.
10. ] We Got Our Learn On
In the world of digital, the only constant is change. That means all creatives on the Graydient team are encouraged to not only work hard but learn lots. Members of the front-end team attended Smashing Conference, while back-end developers headed to THAT Conference and Microsoft’s Build. The content team upped their social game, earning HootSuite Certification in Social Media Marketing, while leadership worked with uGurus on building our business. For everyone on the team, our love of Lynda.com and area MeetUps help us stay on top of our A-Game.
11. ] Upped our Communication Game
Open communication can be a struggle within any office walls, and even more so when you have a growing team with a finite amount of office space. In order to up our communication game, we turned to the experts at Atlassian and Slack to make sure our team can always be in touch.
Using Atlassian’s Confluence program, we ensure proper documentation of all our working projects, along with team meeting notes and how-to documentation, which can easily be searched in its entirety with the single click of a button.
When it comes to more casual conversation, we’ve made the switch to Slack and haven’t looked back. Whether it’s sharing the latest tech news in our “Random” room, or coming together for a quick virtual brainstorming session around an existing project, Slack’s multi-device platform allows us to stay connected no matter where we are.
12. ] Our Website Became our Playground
We LOVE building things for clients, and found out firsthand why it’s so awesome to work with us. 😉 We let our team go wild when it came to our own website, and came up with some crafty solutions to help showcase all that we are. From the mountains rising to meet you on the homepage, to the fill in the blank contact form, we take web seriously – and have some serious fun with it.
13. ] In a Single Word: Tacos
It’s no secret that tacos have been a major trend in 2016 – and we have not escaped the fandom. Be it our use of HeyTaco – the Slack integrated application that allows users to give each other virtual tacos for a job well done – or group celebrations with a taco theme, the team can’t get enough of these delicious delights. We got to share in one team member’s first trip to Taco Bell, celebrated #NationalTacoDay as a team at Botanas, and tasted the wonderful tacos around town from the some of our favorite Milwaukee staples like BelAir Cantina, Vagabond, El Beso, Conejito’s Place and more!
14. ] Winter Fun League
Teamwork makes the dream work – it’s one of the many mottos. While many people think that spending 40 hours a week with your co-workers is more than enough, at Graydient, our family extends past business hours. In addition to year-round team building activities, this year we kicked off the Winter Fun League [ WFL ] where teammates get together outside of work hours to hang out and have fun, including awesome stops like 42 Ale House and ComedySportz.
15. ] A New President was Named
We’re not talking about Washington, but we ARE talking about Mr. Joseph Khairallah who was named President of Marcus Hotels & Resorts after having served as Chief Operating Office since September of 2013. Mr. Khairallah has been a supporter of Graydient from the start, and we look forward to working with him in his new role. Congrats, Joe!
16. ] We got to serve all of you!
Your dreams allow ours to come true, as we get to come to work each day and make amazing digital solutions a reality. We strive to optimize the web experience to serve your teams and customers, maximizing fun and efficiency for all. It’s because of you that we take such pride in what we do, and we appreciate you allowing us to join you in your journey. We wish all of our #BFFs (Business Friends Forever) the best in 2017, and thank you for helping make 2016 GRAYT.
As the sun sets on 2016, we know there will be additional summits to scale in 2017, and we’d love for you to be a part of it. Contact us today, and let your digital sherpas lead the way.