Everybody who works at Automattic does so remotely, from all over the world. To get to know the little faces that appear on-screen in person, we all get together annually in what’s known as the ‘Grand Meetup’. This year was held in Florida, and was my fifth GM. You can see pictures and words from previous year’s here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014.
The Grand Meetup is a strange thing. It has always been an intense experience, and that is a feeling which has increased along with the size of the company. Whilst you could once know everybody by name, now there are significant numbers of folk that you might not either recognise or get the chance to speak to.
That said, the change in dynamic doesn’t mean that it has lost any of its value. Quite the opposite, actually. This year, I drank a bit less, got a bit more sleep, and wasn’t as exhausted as I have been in previous years. While the start of the week was overwhelming, by the end it felt strange to go home and not be surrounded by so many people that you have something in common with.
As always, I had my camera on hand, and felt like I didn’t manage to capture even 10% of what I would have wanted to, but as a wise friend remarked, you can’t really be 100% present at an event like this and expect to be able to document everything as well. A fair point, but I’d still have liked to do a bit more. Either way, here’s a selection of pictures. There was a lot of drinking, working, silent disco-ing, and general bemusement at the bizarre spectacle that is Disney.