Blue Magnet’s Year in Review: 2017

2017 proved to be quite the adventure, filled with challenges and victories at every turn. But before we conclude 2017’s riveting tale and embark on our new 2018 story, let’s take a minute to reflect back on some of Blue Magnet’s most prominent memories from the past year – and there’s been a lot.

In the past 12 months, we proudly welcomed four new team members to the crew, continued to partner with our favorite hotels (and some remarkable new ones), built websites on never-seen-before templates, traveled across the country for industry conferences and site visits, experienced a solar eclipse, sailed Lake Michigan on a big ‘ol yacht, and celebrated two weddings and one engagement.

With honor, we present the top highlights of 2017.


The year ignited with cause for celebration. Blue Magnet reached a huge mile marker this January, our 10th anniversary as a company. Yes the big 1-0!

Not only that, we organized the first internal Celebration Team designed to recognize birthdays and anniversaries throughout the year, and it’s been quite the success ever since.


We welcomed the one and only Natalie Connolly as our Office Manager and Human Resources Director. From her very first day, she has been the spicy, organized, talented, and funny office manager we all needed to hold down the BMI fort.

We held the Super Bowl Happy Hour this month in which we played pin-the-football-through-the-goalpost. While Karie and Don ended up comically off course, our newest member, Natalie, won the whole shebang.

Blue Magnet’s Football Party Game


The office needed a bit of a refresh, so at the start of the month we rearranged the office and seating arrangements into more creative spaces.

If you know anything about Blue Magneteers, you know we like to party, and this St. Patrick’s Day was no exception. With Irish bar music, gold coins, and Guinness flowing, we partied the Irish way through and through.

Blue Magnet’s St. Patrick’s Day Party


April marked the start of a remarkable new extension of our partnership with Fillmore Hospitality. We took on several new Cambria Hotels across the country, building new websites and managing their social media marketing.


We hosted a surprise wedding celebration party complete with cake, champagne, and trivia games for Sean & his-bride-to-be Kristin and also for Stephanie & her husband-to-be Justin. Stephanie and Justin tied the knot a week later.

Engagement Party at Blue Magnet


Speaking of weddings, Karie got engaged in June! Plan for wedding bells in 2018.

Usually kickball starts up in June, but this year we decided kickball was not our forte and switched gears to join a bi-weekly trivia group instead as our extra-curricular sport.

rippin tippers trivia team


Thrilled to expand the Design & Development Team to take on all the new projects coming in, we welcomed the talented, jack-of-all-trades Haley Carmichael to the Blue Magnet team as Project Coordinator.

Sean and Brian flew to rainy Seattle for MozCon where they attended presentations about the newest trends and yearly predictions for SEO and content marketing. Sean had quite the busy July. In addition to all the traveling, he and Kristin got married. Hurray!

moz con 2017


Hold onto your seats – August was jam-packed with events. It began with our favorite annual yacht cruise on Lake Michigan where we celebrated our many success while hoping the rain would stay away. It almost did.

Blue Magnet’s Yacht Cruise

The Digital Marketing Team welcomed its newest member, the incredible Joe Worrell, who jumped right into his role with a sort of genuine enthusiasm you cannot fake. A week later, the social media team also welcomed its newest member, the ever creative Morgan Adkins, a true social media lover who is never short on ideas.

The U.S. experienced the Great American Eclipse, and Blue Magnet was no exception. The whole Blue Magnet team watched the moon partially eclipse the sun together in Chicago, Laura visited The Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Tennessee to meet with our client and see the eclipse in its totality, and Steven watched the total eclipse as well from our Portland office.

Eclipse viewing in Chicago

Matt, Chris, and Sean travelled to Houston for the Interstate conference where Sean floored the audience with his SEO presentation.

For the second year in a row, Blue Magnet was recognized by Inc. as one of the 5000 fastest growing companies of the year!

And finally, two team members received well-deserved promotions: Don as Senior SEO Manager and Laura as Senior Digital Marketing Manager.


September was one of the daily grind months. One of our favorite end of the week activities is “Whiteboard Fridays” where team members watch Moz’s Whiteboard Friday videos and host a discussion and sometimes SEO training afterwards.

Moz White Board Friday


Nostalgic for summer’s Flex Fridays, we reinstated them again so team members could work from their home offices each Friday year round!

Matt and Chris attended the Digital Summit here in our home town of Chicago to gain more insight into the newest trends in digital marketing.

blue magnet at the digital summit

With the office decorated spook-tacularly for Halloween, we held two costume contests: 1) our annual Throwback Halloween Costume Contest online which social media maven, Brianna, won with her old Bella costume and 2) our office costume contest in which Phoebe and Laura won with their Rapunzel and Chewbacca getups.

halloween costume contest


November was a big month for learning. Sean attended Orbit Media’s Content Jam, and the Social Media Team attended Social Media Week to get the industry’s latest trends and predictions for the upcoming year.

Social Media Team at Social Media Week

Nicole flew to N’awlins to say hi to the Cambria New Orleans team and learn more about the hotel and location.


We started off December with taking corporate headshots of the team, which will be up on the Meet the Team Page in 2018!

Blue Magnet CEOs at Holiday Party

Then in a gesture to celebrate the past year and the holiday season, the entire Blue Magnet team, from all corners of the country, came together to partake in the annual Christmas party. We exchanged secret santa gifts, toured the Chicago Distillery, learned to make delicious cocktails, and dined at Quartino. Not a bad way to top off the year!

blue magnet interactive holiday party

Bring on 2018!

2018, we are ready for you. We work with some of the best clients an agency could ask for, we’re poised to build more websites, we’re prepared to test new ideas as digital leaders in the hospitality world, and we’re positioned to overcome future challenges and celebrate our future successes the Blue Magnet way.

Come on, 2018, give us all you got.

Want to keep up with Blue Magnet’s latest news, accomplishments, and hospitality marketing insights in 2018? Sign up for our newsletter and get the Blue Magnet’s inside scoop throughout the year.

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