Survey results of the Lisbon Digital Nomads Meetup group + Bonus story

This is a post about the results of a survey that we conducted in March 2018 amongst everyone who attended the meetups organised by the Lisbon Digital Nomads Meetup Group. The number of members at the time of writing this is 2637. With a confidence level of 95% and Margin error of 11.85%, these are the results of our 67 respondents:

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The answers here are:

  • I’m not from portugal, I work online, but I’m based in Lisbon for longer than 6 months
  • I’m not from portugal, I travel while I work online, I’m in Lisbon for a limited time (less than 6 months)
  • I’m from Portugal and I live in Lisbon, I work online so I could be location independent
  • I haven’t been in Lisbon yet
  • I’m from Portugal and I live in Lisbon, but I am not location independent
  • Other
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Of the people who joined more than 2 times, they answered:

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Average of 8.48

Of the people who answered that they joined 1 or 2 times, they answered:

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Average is 8,8

Now, everyone’s responses are put together again:

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  • Specific get-togethers to meet people with similar interests (Crypto, Marketing, Coding, FBA, Design etc)
  • Trips outside of Lisbon (beaches and towns)
  • Hikes
  • Dinners
  • Boat trips
  • Language classes/ exchanges
  • I would only be interested in the meetups you already organise
  • Dance parties on the weekends

Observations

It’s interesting to see that the biggest portion of our group are “slowmads”, people who do tend to move around, they do work online, but they stay longer than 6 months. This group might be the “core” that keeps these events familiar, like friends coming together every week (without being cliquey) and new people encountering a nice vibe when they join.

From my own experience, Nomad meetups are often more male heavy. Gathering from our respondents however, it seems a quite even mix. Our own impression is that there are slightly more women than men at the events.

We are really happy that locals also choose to join the events. For nomads it can be surprisingly hard to meet locals and we hope more Portuguese will join the events. Aspiring nomads or not, everyone is welcome.

It looks like a lot of things are going well. From the extra comments we got it looks like a lot of our attendees are happy we organise our events.

However as the group grows, some things won’t work. We’re looking for solutions of how to help introverts and newbies integrate better into the group. If you would like to share more ideas on how to do that, get in touch with us through the meetup.com group.

Some say the group size is too big. We’ve always wanted to organise at least one meetup a week that was totally inclusive, without maximum attendees or other conditions. Something where everyone could step in, especially if they were new to town. But we’d like to organise more specific meetups. It’s amazing to see regular Marketing coworking days already being organised by other community members, and we think there are even more topics that could interest you.

Some of you have pointed out that you’d like to help us a hand. Especially with these smaller meetups (with specific topics), we’d love your help! We’ll be reaching out in the next weeks to see if you’re still available.

Thank you all for participating in the survey, for your interest in the meetups and for joining them. Without you, we’d just be 7 wifi junkies having a beer.

If you’re interested, here’s a bit of History about the Lisbon Digital Nomads Meetups

The first Digital Nomad meetup in Lisbon actually had taken place through NomadList in October 2015. I had just began my Nomadic + Freelancing Journey myself and wanted to meet more people. Next to the place I was staying, there was a hostel with a bar, and they were happy to host the meetup. I didn’t know many other people with a similar lifestyle, so I pinged Pieter from NomadList so it would reach more people. I also shared the event everywhere I thought it made sense, and even hung up some printouts of the event (QR code and all, LOL) at cafés where I’d see some other people working from their laptops. I made sure there were a few speakers at the event too, such as Brian Mossotti (an Equity Trader) and his Wife Sarah (A real estate agent), we also got Will from The Broke Backpacker to tell us how to monetise your travel blog via Google Hangout.

Surprisingly and unexpectedly, loads of people showed up.

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First meetup in 2015

This was promising! I ended up organising two other meetups during the next summer of 2016, the second meetup had quite a big turnout. Over 120 people came to see Johnny FD and Tijana Momirov speak at Fabrica de Startups Lisboa.

It was great to see that there was potential for these meetups, and being half portuguese, I found it important that people would enjoy their time in Lisbon and that there was a way to also connect the local startups and freelancers to the Nomad Community.

The Lisbon Digital Nomads meetup Group was initially started by Ioannis Papoutsis in April 2016, with the first meetup in June starting with a blast with nearly 50 attendees at Primeiro Andar (one of those rad places that unfortunately closed en became a hotel). At the time, he was co-founding Terminal 3, a Travel Program for Professionals much like commonly known RemoteYear.

Ioannis continued for a few months until he left with his group of travellers of Terminal 3. Ash and his wife Zara had decided that after 5 years of roaming around the world, Lisbon was going to be their base for a while so by January 2017, he took over the group to start organising Monthly Nomad meetups. It started out really nicely, especially for winter time.

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First meetup of 2017

Look at the amazing growth of the community since it started.

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Come May 2017, I came back to Lisbon and joined forces with Ash. By July we were organising the meetups on a weekly basis, coworkingdays, other events like dinners etc. It seemed the group of attendees just kept growing more and more over the summer.

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Summer of 2017

The summer of 2017 must have been the time that Lisbon officially became a “Nomad Hub”. The vibe was great, diverse and positive. Weekly meetups would have huge turnouts, some has around 60–80 attendees, some 110–120 people.

People started reaching out because they wanted to help organise these events and help continue the momentum. Nyah Pham, who works online as a consultant but was turning Lisbon into her base, was the first addition to the team, and others followed.

Awesome meetups were organised by Kat Stroehm and Claire Marchall too, and at the time of writing this, Louise Hendon and Olivia Bentan (and of course Ash and Nyah) are still part of the team. Our intention really is to create something cool for people, a meetup where people can connect, meet others to explore the city together, work together (and yes there are nomad couples thanks to the meetups :D ).

We initially thought that the number of attendees would go down drastically over the wintertime, but we’ve been proven otherwise. The meetup group is still growing, and even during the colder months, they’re still a noisy crowd every Thursday:

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All this illustrates how Nomad Hubs Communities can be created. I sometimes go to cities that lots of nomads visit, but no one meets or even gets to know each other. It’s interesting to see that even with a combination of “Slowmads”, Expat and Nomads who do move every 1–3 months, together can take initiative and create great excuses for people to get to meet each other and connect.

I left in September 2017 but I’ll be back in June 2018 to help the team out (if they still want me lol). We’re expecting a storm this summer :)

Thank you to everyone who helped turn the Nomad Community of Lisbon in such a fun and interesting crew. Thank you to the people who come to the events, the people who share the events, the venues, the coworkingspaces and everyone else! Thanks to the team for working so hard on creating these events in your spare time!

If you haven’t been to Lisbon yet, we hope to be able to give you a warm welcome into the Lisbon Digital Nomads community.

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