Review of the SinOficina 2023 Meeting. A very special day of a unique and inspiring community.
It has been more than three weeks since the SinOficina community held its face-to-face meeting in Madrid (March 25), after three years of absence due to the pandemic. I wanted to have written this review earlier, but better late than never. ¯ (ツ)_/¯
In this blog there is an evident predominance of reviews of WordCamps and WordPress community events, but it was time to give it more variety and what better to start with one of the coolest online communities.
Bosco Soler, without having a great strategy behind it, has created an incredible community that brings together some of the most interesting profiles in the digital world.
With a simple but powerful premise and in Bosco’s own words:
“SinOficina is an online coworking that brings together people who work (or want to work) with their own business and from anywhere, providing the tools and environment to learn, create and grow together.”Bosco Soler
The vision that Bosco had, and the inspiration that he transmits in each of his mailings, his publications, his podcasts. How could you not want to be part of this?
I just with the profile of people I saw and admired among their ranks, professionals of all kinds with ideas, dreams, projects, come on. A technology and online entrepreneurship geek’s wet dream.
But what really is an online community? It is difficult to define. When I came across SinOficina I was already part of the WordPress community so I might have had some preconceived ideas.
Is it a platform with courses? People? Friendships? events? business? Sure, it has a lot of those things, but its true value is intangible. True value is intrinsic to human nature, to that need for connection that makes us unique and special.
I joined SinOficina in 2020, right after the pandemic. I had wanted to be part of it for a long time, and I joined that massive flock of people with a fantastic promotion.
I had been following them for a long time and my participation was scarce during all these years. I found it hard to find the time to devote to the different conversations that are generated in Discord.
Something similar to the WordPress community happens to me. I adore them and keep them present on Slack, etc, but for me, the real value is when we get together.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the digital world. I’ve been working remotely for more than 7 years, I don’t think I’ve ever had an “office” in classical terms. But what I really enjoy about these communities is being able to see each other, to embrace each other. I need that personal connection of empathy, to see your gestures, to “read” your body language.
You are in front of a computer all day long, you have video conference meetings with clients that you don’t know most of them and that you will hardly meet.
So getting out of these digital spaces and really connecting with other people becomes a necessity.
I am convinced that even if you are an introvert, your mirror neurons, your genetic background takes its toll on us in that sense and invites us to relate to each other.
So I love the community, very occasionally I go through the help channel, the resources channel, the SEO channel, I connect in some live, but I am a “useless” member in the sense that I don’t have the life to be at everything and therefore, my participation is almost anecdotal.
So, as soon as I saw that the face-to-face meetings were back, and taking into account that I was NOT at the first edition, I was on Bosco’s list that Sunday, waiting like the Big Bang Theory people with their Comic com tickets refreshing the page to buy the ticket for my event.
150 tickets sold the first week if I am not mistaken with the statistics. As Bosco said, how do you achieve that level of fidelity without even having a published program?
I know that the whole Sin Oficina team: Bosco, Elena, Maria and Bohdan would do something great and inspiring, and they did it!
Travel and logistics
My good friend Carlos Longarela was encouraged to participate. So we organized the trip a day before with room for us to catch up on our battles, eating and enjoying a beautiful Friday in Madrid.
This time Carlos and I shared a more decent Hostel than on other occasions. We are getting older 😉
I knew I was going to see many people from the Galician community (Angel Cabaleiro, Paula Lamata, Pablo Roca) and many others from the community of WordPress that are part of this family (Ibon Azkoitia, Moncho, Ángel Plaza, Ángel Zinsel, Nahuai Badiola, who missed seeing you friend, finally, Leire Roldan, Sofia Calle).
Honestly? When we arrived at the meeting on Saturday I had no idea what talks we were going to see, discussions, etc. I just went for the party 😉
But the level of the round tables seemed to me to be a success. Much closer and more dynamic than a talk, there were 3 round tables with spectacular speakers who discussed: (1) content, (2) services / freelancing, (3) work-life balance and lifestyle.
I take with me good ideas and reflections that I am sure will help me a lot in content creation, in knowing how to delegate and make my freelance services more scalable.
My head exploded with everything else. Maria Sajin, whom I had the honor of presenting at WordCamp Pontevedra in 2022, in an excellent talk about communities, devised some dynamics that left me amazed.
In the accreditations we had two codes. They were for two activities, the first one, a mastermind that, by chance, the groups had much more in common than it seemed.
I was lucky, I loved my group (thank you Maria). The idea of the activity was to get to know each other, express what difficulties we were facing at that moment, receive feedback from the rest of the group and have this feedback again after two weeks.
In my group I was able to meet: Ana Sitta, Jesús Pérez Santiago (I already knew him from our WordCamp in Pontevedra), María Polaina Bustos, Jaime Mesa (the crack of eCommPills) and Xisco Acuñas Ferrer (works in marketing at Don Dominio).
I felt very identified on an emotional level with Ana’s situation. I was delighted to put a face to Jaime, who I follow through his newsletter; I was fascinated by the reflections of María Polaina, a very lucid, creative and funny mind.
I really enjoyed learning more about Jesús‘ project, and getting to know Xisco, who I believe can bring incredible things to his company.
We all had VERY different profiles, but in some ways we shared much more than we seemed to. This SinOficina team is brilliant. It was one of the activities I enjoyed the most at the event.
They created a question and answer contest using AhaSlides to see who was the person who best knew the ins and outs of the projects and people that are part of SinOficina.
The dynamic was fun to no end. A standing desk from Tablakala, one of the sponsors, was raffled.
The points and the speed of the contest was very nice and the fact that Juanma won it was a highlight. He lived the whole contest with such emotion that it was a pleasure to see him in the final stretch. I was delighted. We got a lot of play out of his role later in the evening as we followed him around the Madrid party at the end of the event. But these are things I will leave out of this review 😉
The coffee, the food, everything was delicious. Talking and meeting people was the norm. It was a very cordial environment to interact with other people.
I have met incredible projects. I wish I could mention everyone, but I know my memory will play tricks on me.
To Elena Madrigal, a true inspiration and whom I was finally able to meet again. And Álvaro García, architect, designer, a freak of nature. Impressive all of your projects and your journey on the internet.
I had a great time talking with Álvaro, Alberto and Leire. I loved the good vibes at the afterparty and post hamburger.
Escape the Office
It wasn’t enough with the Mastermind, the contest, the debates… They also explode our heads with a contest: “Escape the Office”.
That’s what the second part of our accreditation code was for. We got together in groups to solve puzzles, develop a product, make an impact on networks and take selfies.
So if you check the hashtag: #EASinOffice23, you will see some very curious photos of all the participants.
I laughed my head off. It was a fun, relaxed, carefree dynamic, but once again, it was an incentive to get to know the people who are part of this family in an agile way.
I refer to the photos to get an idea. I was also lucky in my escape group, besides meeting two good friends: Ángel Cabaleiro and Paula Lamata, I was excited to meet Laura Folgado, who I have been following for a long time and I love her project: Didactic Code, Sonia, and Alberto de Lara.
The genuine afterparty, like few others and the ideal way to meet so many people.
SinOficina is a fascinating community. They have created something out of nothing, with incalculable value.
I want to congratulate Bosco and Maria because they did something that few people are willing to do. They have gone above and beyond, they have been detailed, dedicated and have left me with a desire to continue growing and evolving with this very special family.
The love and dedication they put into each of the activities was very noticeable and I want to thank them for it. I know that organizing events is not easy, it involves many challenges and a great deal of personal effort.
But being a not very active participant in the community, and not knowing many people, I felt at home from the first moment.
I have enjoyed this weekend and it encourages me to participate more, to create more bonds in a community that is not afraid to evolve, and that allows the growth and support of its members.
In the WordPress community we are lucky to meet very special people and projects. This SinOficina community is somewhat similar. Possibly more open (by its nature) to other profiles of digital entrepreneurs.
Thanks to all the SinOficina team, and especially to Bosco and Maria ❤️ It has been lovely to meet the group in this way, and I will definitely be there the next meeting. Because being out of the office and remote is cool, but nothing ever replaces a hug and connecting with the positive energy that I found in this special family.
I leave the official video of the meeting that I think summarizes well the energy experienced that day: