Two weeks ago, we hosted our Rocket Day event. We prepared for a few weeks, got the word out there, and Rocket Day ended up being a big success. We have sold out our on-site attendance in our headquarters in Brussels and welcomed hundreds of attendees online.
Why did we do it? We wanted to give something back to our product community after growing from 0 to 20 employees in just a few months. The challenge was accepted…
This was the first event we hosted. So we got very excited. We prepared little gifts for our guests which included a t-shirt, a sticker inside a branded tote bag, and planned a killer walking dinner and drinks afterwards. Of course not everything went according to plan. Even though we have faced some challenges on the way, such as some technical issues, we did our best to make sure everyone had a good time and got the most out of our Rocket Day. Stay tuned, we might even publish an article very soon about how to avoid these tiny mistakes, so you can all be prepared in case these issues occur at an event you’re organising in the future.
The stage was set up, our streaming and camera crew was ready, the microphones were in place, and the chairs started to fill little by little. We were so happy to welcome so many faces in our offices and felt so proud to gather such a warm community of product people. It was time and we finally launched our Rocket Day. Heartbeats were increasing and we were getting goosebumps… It was finally happening!
Our day started with a warm welcome from our founder, Timoté Geimer. He opened our panel by talking about how the product world has evolved over the years. He also talked about our growth here at dualoop and how it occurred. Timoté put an emphasis on what challenges we had for our Rocket Day but what an incredible journey organising all this has been.
Timoté continued his talk by explaining what dualoop’s goals, vision and values are. How he launched our company and where he’s seeing it go. His talk was then followed by defining the concept of product management from his vision and experiences. He made sure to show how important it is for our loopers to learn, create and solve problems together.
Then, he was ready to give the microphone to the panel that we meticulously picked.
Cheqroom’s Head of Product Samia Suys kickstarted our Rocket Day remotely with a talk about diversity in product management. The first page of her presentation was a picture of a superman doll. We were hooked already!
Samia presented herself very briefly at first, but you can read a more detailed description of who she is right here. She then outlined her experience as the product manager at her current company and told us what Cheqroom is, and what they do.
Samia followed her talk by talking about the diversity in teams in terms of creating a product, collaboration and working together. Diversity in product teams regarding skills, gender and race is important. It allows teams to create better and more diverse products according to Samia. How do you build a diverse product & team? You start with yourself, then your team and then your product. In order to help our guests build more diverse teams, Samia suggested some books and to follow some successful figures in the product world that succeeded in creating that diversity.
Consuela Nicula followed Samia with a talk on how to keep on innovating while being a market leader. Consuela is the CPO of Immoweb, Belgium’s biggest real estate search engine. Her past is impressive. You can check Consuela’s introduction here. She’s fascinating!
She first introduced what her concept of innovation was: the introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something. Innovation drives teams to do the work that matters and address the customer pain points more efficiently. She wanted to introduce our guests to the concept of staying above the curve, even if you already are.
Immoweb was revolutionary in its field because it solved a massive problem that was present in the real estate industry. In the past, selling a house wasn’t as easy. Landlords had to publish an ad in a newspaper first, and that took time obviously. Then, potential buyers could only reach the sellers via telephone, which took time as well. Immoweb solved the issue by linking the buyers and sellers on one platform and by facilitating the communication in between.
A great product leadership, for Consuela, is about giving her team trust and autonomy. “Leaders need to support & initiate the creation of a culture of innovation,” she says. “As a product leader, you only have one product you should invest your time in: your people. Because people build for people and that’s how great innovative products,” she adds.
PandaPanda CEO, Sebaastian, has continued our panel by introducing us to a new approach to design system. His talk “winning by design: the power of a systematic approach” captivated our crowd. He first introduced himself and talked about his background. He founded Campr first, which is basically an airbnb for camping. If you want to know more about Sebaastian, don’t hesitate to read this article on our blog. Sebastiaan’s goal is to bring new features and toolkits to ease his and his team's work. One thing he noticed was the boring factory work that the design teams had been doing. They have an order from programmers and were just doing some monkey work. It’s time to change that. It’s time to give creativity and autonomy.
Sebastiaan explained to us how to create and shape a design system, and gave an introduction video of what he has done for Nodalview. The focus for Sebaastian was the need for consistency and systematic approach. That’s when things start to happen and that’s when you build an innovative design. For Sebastiaan, communication is key.
Sebastiaan closed his talk by showing Rocket Day attendees the new PandaPanda and dualoop joint venture, coming up with productdesignsystem.com, a service to help take product design to new heights! We’ll let you know more about this very soon!
After Sebastiaan, we welcomed Marie-Laure Cruyt on stage. She gave us a talk about her key learnings from reorganising a tech team into squads. The company she works for, AppTweak, went from 7 employees to more than 80 in just five years. That is just impressive!
Marie-Laure talked about how to prepare a tech team for high growth. This is a process most scaleups fail to do, and her experience taught her what to do and what to avoid in that regard. Apptweak chose to reorganise their team to be smaller, since they foster better communication for better results. However such a change is a huge deal for the company’s employees, and Marie-Laure wasn’t scared to tell us that everyone at AppTweak literally freaked out when they chose to change their habits.
Finally, Niels Peetermans, the founder of Qallo, closed our Rocket Day by giving us a talk about his product journey and how he went from working in tech to supplements. Qallo is a sugar-free energy supplement made out of plants. According to Niels, one of the best ways to wake and energise yourself up is by slapping your body whilst jumping. The challenge was accepted by our audience. Just before starting his talk, he asked our audience to just stand up, slap their bodies and jump. It did seem like it worked. What a great way to start a talk!
Niels talked about many things, such as how harder it is to get feedback for a physical product than a software or digital product, how the company has changed their business plan gradually, how their marketing works, how errors are unavoidable, and many other things. Niels finished his talk by offering all of us a bottle with several samples of his Qallo products.
Our panel finished their talks and the moment everyone was waiting for was finally here: The walking dinner and the party. Our team started popping the cava bottles and opening all the beer bottles our guests were craving for. The party was starting!
The kitchen was beginning to be extremely busy. A variety of Kroket burgers were being served, with a side of potatoes, to our guests. Everyone was loving them. We made sure to provide a variety for every taste.
The drinks then followed. Our guests could enjoy a large variety of Belgian beers and bubbles. We loved seeing all our guests network, talking to each other, giving us feedback about the event and getting to know people around.
We are very happy and pleased with how our event went. We can’t thank you enough about showing so much interest and supporting us in this very exciting challenge we gave ourselves. We can’t wait to see you again at an event, signed dualoop.
Until then, you can enjoy this small recap video of our event to discover or remember the excitement and fun we all had.