16 November 2017

Nine Wunderers in Lisbon for Web Summit - the social aspect

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At Wunder, we encourage our people to visit conferences to get inspired, learn new things, network with people from the industry and also spend time with each other, colleagues from our different locations.

Web Summit is a technology conference held annually since 2010. The idea behind the conference was simple from the start: to connect the tech community with industries, and Web Summit is now considered one of the largest technology conference in the world.

Nine Wunderers chose Web Summit as their primary conference this year and so we met up in Lisbon for the conference. When more of us travel for training or conference purposes we always try to stay together and so it’s pretty common to rent shared flats for the stay. This time was no exception and we took two flats to share for the four nights.

How is it then to spend so much time so close with your colleagues, one can ask. And that’s what this blogpost is about, the social side of a conference, the part harder to measure, what it does to the feeling of belonging and togetherness.

Team Wunder

 

Our group consisted of people in many different roles representing tech, marketing, sales and clients, operations and talent. Not only did we share rooms, beds and even blankets (which was indeed a surprise) during this time but also breakfasts, lunches, sessions, workshops, dinners, jokes, illness, late night discussions, museum visits and port wine. In the evenings we’d talk about the sessions we’d attended, the people and companies we’d met and reflect on whatever we’d found most interesting, like the different aspects of AI, the possibilities it offers for the future and how politicians seem to have woken up to this new reality and started thinking about need for new legislation.

When people spend time together in pyjamas (ok, that was only me), make each other coffee or GT’s and walk the extra mile for the sick one in the group, it usually means showing a more personal side of oneself. In the day to day hectic back at work there’s normally not much time for that and for sharing more personal thoughts. On the other hand, personal differences also become more apparent, who is disturbing whom when some go to bed early whereas others stay up late and vice versa in the mornings.

Of course we didn’t hang out in a group of nine all week but rather split up in smaller groups according to our interests. Some arrived early to spend the weekend surfing, whereas others tried to make the most of the evenings after a full conference day, seeing the city, enjoying the delicious food, visiting museums, or sipping a drink on a roof terrace. Coming back home we’ve gathered feedback from the conference, shared photos and recommended each other our favourite streamed sessions to watch and then got back to normal routines pretty quickly.

The sun is gone but the memories remain. And as Tuomas said: it was like travelling with a group of friends! And that, I think, is valuable for all of Wunder.