Over the last few months, we got the chance to slow down a little bit and take the time to think about the value of our events. 2016 was an exciting year for us, and especially for Lisbon. We met a lot of new people, from all over the world, including some really interesting figures who made us rethink the way we work. We took advantage of the end of the year to take a step back and reflect on what we really want to achieve in 2017.

We had a few things in mind: to better envision what to create, decide on what to focus and how to make it work.

Getting out of the building 

To better understand what is required from our events, how we can improve and what’s missing in the Lisbon startup scene, we talked to a lot of people. We spoke to many different entrepreneurs such as Gil Belford from Hole19, Bárbara Fernandes from Aptoide or Matthew Carrozo from Unbabel, to understand their goals and how we could support the growth of their business. We talked to the organisers of events such as SXSW, Pirates Summit, South Summit, Vivatech, Factory, Web Summit and many others to dive deeper into the value events can deliver.  We looked at different kinds of tech events and attended some of them, such as Leade.rs in Paris, which is experimenting new formats to ensure high quality content and connections.

Looking in the mirror and practicing what we preach

As everyone was wrapping up the 2016 and planning for 2017, we had lots of internal discussions to fully understand the direction we were taking. With so many new projects and we felt the need to think things through. Our goal was to define how our events would fit in the overall strategy and how they could support everything else.

Above all, it was about applying what we preach to startups, but this time to our own products. From lean startup to customer development, from user testing to design thinking. We made a plan to listen to our community and core partners, to identify the needs, to (re)design the value proposition, to test new features, to adjust our dynamics and raise the bar on content, to measure what’s relevant and to ensure that we deliver a valuable experience. That is our strategy for 2017.

Turning the lights off and looking forward

But, what triggered all of this? Well, this whole thing started back in December 2016. As some of you might know, Ricardo Marvão, the co-founder of Beta-i directly involved with the events’ team, took a month off to think things through and wrote this blog-post to explain it: “Turning the light off”.

Well, as I was processing the information from all the projects and our own events, I got a phone call from Ricardo:

“Ines, I was thinking about our events roadmap for 2017. We have it wrong. We can do more. We need to redesign the whole thing. Let’s think about this. Keep talking to more people from our team and community, and in January we’ll come up with a new strategy for events, more ambitious and focused.”

What’s the best we can deliver? We want to answer this question in a leaner way, understanding better what’s needed, what’s missing, how to focus and how to test and learn. That’s our mission for 2017. We will need you, your feedback, your requests, your inputs and much more, to make sure that we are on the right track.

We will soon let you know what we are up to. One thing we know for sure, #LIS – Lisbon Investment Summit will still be here. Better than ever.

Have feedback or suggestions? Feel free to drop me an email at ines.dartiguenave@beta-i.pt