Malte Zeeck, founder and co-CEO of global expat network InterNations, reports from a recent trip to Spain where he attended an event hosted by our Madrid Community.
After I enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know our InterNations communities in Athens and Rome, my next destination was yet another Southern European capital, a favorite city that’s even more familiar to me than Rome: it was time to pay a visit to our Madrid Community and attend one of the several vibrant events they offer every month.
Madrid has a special status among our InterNations Communities worldwide, as we have a local Community Manager on the ground: Christoph, a German expat, is responsible for supporting our Madrid Ambassador Team and Group Consuls, as well as organizing the official InterNations Events in town. Sometimes, this can be a bit of a challenging task — in the very best way possible.
As Christoph and I discussed during an in-depth conversation about community development, Madrid has now firmly established itself as one of our top ten InterNations Communities around the globe. With more than 24,000 members, five monthly events, and over 90 InterNations Groups for shared activities, from photography to gourmet dining to yoga, it boasts a busy and varied community life.
The special event I was invited to was a colorful party at Kerala Fusión, a lavishly decorated nightclub with an Indian-Arab theme, where our guests were welcomed with sweets upon arrival. Before I got to meet and greet our members, though, I had the chance to present InterNations to a wider audience in an interview with two journalists from the Local, the Spanish version of the English-language news website for several European capitals.
As the event started off with plenty of time for chatting and socializing for our 400 guests, I seized the opportunity to get acquainted with our three Madrid Ambassadors and a couple of local Group Consuls.
Roberto, a self-described “global nomad”, is actually both — Ambassador and Consul. An Italian expat with a multicultural background that includes Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, he has not only joined the Madrid Ambassadors Team, but he also runs the Global Nomads Group for culture and entertainment with an international focus.
His fellow Ambassador Abdul, an expatriate from Afghanistan, has supported our Madrid Community team since 2014 while that night was unfortunately one of the last local events for the third member of the Madrid team, Joy, who has moved to the UK since I met her and has hopefully settled in in London by now. I’m sure, though, that the latest addition to the Ambassador Team, Ivette from Guatemala, will be a worthy successor.
Networking is also of great importance to Alena, a Czech marketing and communications strategist, who runs the Entrepreneurs Club in the InterNations Madrid Groups section, a mutual support group for all self-employed professionals, small business owners, and purpose-driven business people with an entrepreneurial spirit.
However, not even the most purposeful and business-minded person could have resisted the chance to hit the dancefloor later on: the following morning was a bank holiday in Spain, so everyone would have the luxury of sleeping late on a Friday morning, with a relaxing three-day weekend ahead of them.
After midnight, when the dancefloor was filling up pretty quickly and the atmosphere got more and more exuberant, it was obvious to see why the Madrid Community is flourishing.
(Image credit: 1) & 3) Malte Zeeck / InterNations 2) Manuel Torres)