At DMC, we Hire Smart People, but the core value that really embodies our culture is 'Have Fun'. These smart people are creative and ready to have fun whenever they get the chance. A staple in our fun culture is the Activity Fund, a monthly budget we set aside specifically to allow all of these smart people to plan events to have fun together. Summers in Chicago are always full of exciting Activity Fund Events. From Wrigleyville Rooftop Cubs Games to cruising on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. This summer we added a new event to our repertoire: the Bristol Renaissance Faire!
When it comes to planning a DMC Activity Fund Event, we do our best to add as much character as possible. It became a new DMC tradition to make the invites true to theme. When it came to the decree that DMC was going to the Renaissance Faire, a themed invite was a must.
"Good morrow fine folk of DMC,
Your presence has been requested at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. If thou art so inclined to partake in this event, thou shalt be transported back in time to when knights nobly jousted for the honor and glory. Where Cobblers and Blacksmiths peddle their wares in the village squares. And where strolling with a turkey leg in hand is no strange occurrence. I tell ye truth, tis not an event to be missed. Doth thou wish to get on a caravan (bus) with DMCers and join in the merriment??
Prithee use the voting buttons if you’d like to partake."
When we decided that we would be partaking in Renaissance merriment, it was obvious that we needed to do proper preparation for the event. The first step was to make sure everyone was familiar with what going to a Renaissance Faire would be like. A happy hour was scheduled to make sure we were properly educated. We watched some "research" videos to learn what to expect at a Ren Faire and made sure to pull up the map of the fairegrounds. We also pulled up the show schedule to note which shows were not to be missed and which had enough appeal for good group photo opportunities.
The next step was to make sure we had proper attire. A group of new hires who came to Chicago for their three weeks of training, surprisingly, did not pack Renaissance attire. We had to make sure everyone had something to wear. After doing some Pinterest research and storyboarding our characters, we headed to the thrift store. It was a mad dash to find the perfect items before the store closed, but because of our prep work, everyone knew exactly what they were looking for and we made full outfits in 45 minutes.
Our chariot arrived at the office around 9 am. After our stomachs were full with the morning bagels and coffee, we boarded the caravan. Everyone was dressed in their medieval garb and brimming with anticipation of the day's excitement. We took roll call with a "Huzzah" from each participant followed by a brief vocab lesson to ensure we spoke properly throughout the day.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire is only a short carriage ride from the office. No road trip would be complete without a soundtrack. In our extensive renaissance research, a wonderful minstrel was brought to our attention. Bardcore, or Tavernwave, is a musical genre that became popular in 2020, consisting of medieval-inspired remakes of popular songs. Our ride was serenaded with the melodies of Candy Shop and Bad Romance played on the lute and harpsichord. If you need a new soundtrack for a day, I would highly recommend trying this Bardcore Playlist.
The day was, in a word, magical. The Faire was everything that we could have wanted. We ate turkey legs and ice cream. We laughed at comedians, sang with minstrels, and watched in awe at aerial artists and acrobats. We even joined the crowd in cheering for our knight in the Royal Joust. Because we were prepared, we all had enough sunscreen and water to keep everyone comfortable in the gorgeous August heat.
We bid the Faire anon and boarded our caravan back to the office. With the day's festivities and sun weighing on us, many dosed. Lulled to sleep by harpsicord version of Eye of the Tiger and Wonderwall. T'was a great time for all involved.
For some it was within their first three weeks of working at DMC. Can you think of a better way of bonding with your coworkers? I cannot.
Learn more about DMC's company culture.