Introducing the company that is redefining experiences and team building around the world

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Marco co-founder and CEO Suman Siva has created a marketplace for extraordinary virtual, hybrid and in-person experiences that keep teams connected and engaged, redefining team building. Bringing hospitality best practices to how teams connect online and offline, Marco has been used as a cultural partner by companies like Postmates, Bain & Company, Apple, Coinbase, and Uber. After participating in what Marco has to offer, participants reported that they finished the experiences feeling less stressed and invigorated, and the experience was fun, easy and rewarding.

I know the name of the company is a nod to Marco Polo, but tell me a bit about how you ended up with that name? I chose the name when I was still in my last job at SoftBank’s Vision Fund. I had worked on an investment in an experiences space company called GetYourGuide, a competitor to TripAdvisor based in Europe. I spent quite a bit of time researching experienced companies and found that not many of them sparked a sense of discovery.

I found this ironic and thought that if I started an experiences business it would help clients discover the best hosts and experiences there.

Some people don’t know that Marco Polo, besides being a childhood pool game, was a European explorer who spent 25 years on the Silk Road in modern Asia. He chronicled his trip, allowing Europeans to experience Eastern culture. We help clients discover the best experiences they could never have had otherwise, while helping creators and hosts create new audiences.

What does Marco offer that was not already available on the market? Marco provides a one-stop-shop for businesses to book virtual experiences, in-person experiences, and corporate retreats. Plus, we research what we think are the most compelling, interesting and unique experiences out there, or help hosts create them from scratch, beyond your happy hour or core team lunch.

We’ve taken on the challenge of creating an all-in-one platform that businesses can use in any way they want to bring their employees together. And, in the future, we hope to be a company’s go-to cultural partner to help engage employees.

Tell me a bit about custom solutions: how does it work and what is the typical customer journey? We often get creative with experiences … although we are a platform. We work with our clients to bring the bigger vision to life, whether it’s a one-day virtual sales launch, a corporate anniversary celebration across continents, or a multi-day welcome event for new recruits. We have people on our team who are not only tech experts and business people, but also have extensive event experience.

We usually pair clients who want personalized solutions with an expert from our team to deliver a set of experiences, or off-menu experiences (special places, famous hosts, etc.) to create something truly special. We also provide support throughout the process, from personalized pre-event RSVP landing pages to post-event engagement surveys.

How do you review and choose the experiences you offer? Through a combination of curation, drawing on experts from our network and determining new verticals we should be tackling. For example, we work with commissioners like Alex Delany, a former Enjoy your meal writer, who hosts his exclusive experiences on Marco and also helps us find the best food and drink experiences.

How has team building changed after Covid? Previously, most people came to the office to meet. Now that we’re more distributed, a new issue has arisen around how to bring people together.

What, in your mind, makes for a great team building activity? It depends on the reason for the gathering. Your team can come together to have an experience together, to relax, to connect and engage, to learn something new, or for some other purpose. But the things that stay consistent are: a thoughtful and dynamic host, a unique and compelling flow, and the personalization of every experience, all of which we check thoroughly before we put anything on the platform.

Team building can be a bit misplaced – do you think that’s changing Absolutely, especially when it’s done well. The team building often took place in the office. With most companies exploring hybrid and distributed work and employees feeling less connected than ever before, building creative and purposeful teams is now a must.

McKinsey recently released a report on The Great Resignation, noting that 19 million Americans have quit their jobs since April 2021. They found that the main reasons people left were because they didn’t feel valued or valued. did not feel a sense of belonging at work. While people often think team building has to be either the same happy hours over and over again, or more recently enforced awkward virtual events, we’re revising it all. Virtual and in-person team building, if done right, will be the reason employees stick around.

Tell me about some of the personalized events that you are really proud of? A great example of a bespoke experience we’re proud of is a fall event we produced for Melio, a fast-growing fintech company that hired more than 175 employees during the pandemic, many of whom had never left. never encountered before. We brought together hundreds of their team members for the first time, outdoors on a farm in upstate New York, with experiences ranging from apple picking and swing dancing to tasting. of cider, resulting in an incredible farm-to-table dinner.

What do you think are the most popular / booked experiences on your site and what explains this? They are varied, as we have grown into new markets and launched new products quite quickly over the past year! Among our virtual options, Kevin Blake does one of the most unique virtual magic shows you have seen. In New York City, where my co-founder and I currently reside, we love Austin Power (not to be confused with Austin Powers), which does a modern sake tasting at the Accidental Bar on the Lower East Side. And for retreat options, we highly recommend checking out AutoCamp – incredible glamping and pumping airflows in spectacular locations.


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