Talk about a challenging year! 2020 was no piece of cake for community managers. It was not easy for anyone, really, but we thrive on making connections and meeting people. This was a year where we had to rethink, reconfigure and reshape the way we engage with our communities.

Fortunately, we survived — and, why not say it, we thrived. CMX Connect Portugal faced 2020 as a year of opportunity to reframe our focus and look beyond what we can do in face-to-face scenarios. It allowed us to reach out to amazing professionals who would have not been able to attend our events in normal times.

We were able to connect with other chapters to share best practices, invite speakers from Portugal to engage communities based in other countries, and, last but definitely not least, recap CMX Summit 2020 and host some of its most interesting speakers.

Let’s crunch it down by the numbers. We hosted nine events. Two of those were still in the in-person (and warmer) format — and one of those opened doors to reach out from Lisbon to Porto and add a nationwide scale to our chapter with a new Connect Host! Of those events, three were co-organized with other chapters, to which we would like to extend our most heartfelt “thank you.” Chapters from São Paulo, Campinas, Austin and Istanbul, we see you and we appreciate you!

Online, but still connected

Most importantly, we could not have done this without our speakers. We do it with, for, and thanks to their efforts, and we grow together with their experiences. So, our warm thank you to Ana Gaspar, Nuno Moreno, Bárbara Martins, Bruno Erlinger, Danilo Picucci, Thaissa Candela, Liz Schmidt, Gus Martin, Nádia Vieira, Ricardo López Páramo, Ann-Marie Pawlicki, Shana Sumers, Vanessa Mason, and Carolyn Quinlan! Also, thank you Volkswagen, Startup Lisboa, Startup Portugal, Farfetch, Cubo Itaú, STATE, ImpulsoNetwork, Adobe, LinkedIn, NEXT Music, Institute For the Future, and Web Summit for lending us your brilliant community professionals.

We cannot wait to get this pandemic over and get back out there, connecting and engaging with our communities, growing with them and bringing them together for our chapter events. We are looking forward to 2021 in excitement, but 2020 wasn’t half bad for the Portuguese chapter of CMX Connect. Also, we won a CMX Connectie Award for best video for the celebratory recording we made for our 1 year anniversary, so all this positivity might be the fresh silver speaking on our behalf.

The CMX Connect Portugal community

As exciting as our work with CMX Connect Portugal was, seeing Portuguese communities holding down their efforts despite the times was wondrous. As community professionals, being able to take part in some of these initiatives was special. Portugal in general went “out there” in a digital and hands-on fashion. So we cannot go into 2021 without giving a proper shoutout to these community champions who hacked the hell out of a community to engage virtually with their peers.

Here is a list of relevant initiatives that took place in Portugal throughout 2020, making things exciting despite us being locked at home most of the time:

Tech4Covid19

A community effort to tackle the pandemic born in the Portuguese tech scene. It now has more than 5,000 volunteers working on over 40 solutions.

Stay Home Keep Growing

A series of free webinars to share digital skills with SMEs based in Portugal. Thanks to the 30 partners who pitched in with content and promotion, it reached over 30 000 people in three months.

Digitaliza Já

An initiative to connect SMEs with corporations in order to accelerate digitalization of small businesses in Portugal amidst the pandemic.

Semana do Empreendedorismo de Lisboa

The most important tech event of the entrepreneurial year in Lisbon. This year, Made of Lisboa opened up the event to onboard content from other communities, having reached new levels of attendance and relevance.

OutSystems’ NextStep

OutSystems is one of the Portuguese-founded unicorns — and the only one whose operations are mostly based in Portugal. Apart from all the pride we feel with them reaching new heights, this year’s NextStep, their annual event, was huge and reached worldwide audiences.

Portuguese Women in Tech

Portuguese Women in Tech is relevant all year, every year, promoting women based in Portugal working in a still male-dominated industry. This year is no exception. And this is why they always deserve a shout out.

It was a challenging year, but socially we have not seen a more progressive one, where intersectional movements played a key role for community managers. Black Lives Matter was (finally) part of the national conversation, along with other underrepresented minorities: people of color, Indigenous peoples, transgender people. We could not be more excited by this: A more inclusive approach to community means we will be able to engage with more people, from different backgrounds, and grow together.

Bring it on, 2021. After the crash course of 2020, we are ready for whatever you send our way. We are back on lockdown now, but the year is young and we are still very much hopeful. Having said that, if Portugal is on your shortlist of communities to engage with or locations to visit, do give us shout. CMX Connect Portugal team (Andreia Tulcidás, André Forte, Fernando Jardim, and Isabella de Brito) would be pleased to help you.

Have a wonderful 2021!

Andre Forte

André Forte is a Communications and Community Manager at Startup Portugal. André has been working in marketing and communications for over 10 years, and soon understood how key communities are for t...

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