Great sessions which were interesting and fun, awesome speakers, an excellent local organization and parties all night: if you missed the Network Meeting in Santander you really missed a highlight event. “I am super happy with the results”, says Network Commissioner Melissa Carreres, who organized the NWM, which took place from the 7th till 10th of April.

Melissa Carreres (on the left) was the coordinator of the NWM.

GT: How many participants attended the Network Meeting in Santander?
Melissa Carreres: We had 40 participants. Most of them were Spanish, besides one participant from AEGEE-Kraków and two participants from AEGEE-Toulouse. Members of 14 different antennae were present, especially from the North of Spain – AEGEE-León alone had 8 participants. Some of them were really newbies but board member was the most common profile.

GT: The programme was very intense. What did the participants like best?
Melissa: We tried to have the most useful sessions in the programme. As we had four days instead of three, we tried not to overload the daily programme, the sessions never lasted more than 90 minutes. Also having three coffee breaks per day helped a lot to make it easier. Regarding favourite sessions, I think the “AEGEE Quiz” was one of the funniest activities; we made a competition on different challenges, in which they had to put in practice their knowledge about AEGEE. All participants were super actively involved and enthusiastic here, and they said it was really funny.

40 participants attended the NWM.

GT: Did the NWM have a thematic focus or was it just a mixture of all kind of topics?
Melissa: At the first session we presented the aim and objectives of the NWM which were to strengthen local and regional cooperation. We also studied the needs of the locals and we asked them about their preferences. We used all this info to design the programme.

GT: Who were the trainers and speakers?
Melissa: We had Jorge Miguel as a trainer, he is in the AEGEE-Academy and the Civic Education Working Group. He delivered interesting sessions about topics such as human resources and conflict management and we also had a session about civic education. The CD assistant Andrea Ferrara was also present and talked about OPIN, a project of digital democracy in which AEGEE-Europe is collaborating with. We had Pablo Hernández as Comité Directeur member, who talked about communication channels in AEGEE and the new Intranet system My AEGEE. He supported me all the time, and his feedback in all sessions was super enriching for all participants.

NWM14 Pablo CD
CD member Pablo was one of the speakers.

GT: Sounds good.
Melissa: Furthermore, before the NWM we launched an open call to give the participants the opportunity to deliver a workshop, and two sessions were given by them. The rest of the sessions were delivered by me and my Subcom team. So, we can say that many people collaborated in the content part of the NWM.

GT: Were the participants still in party mood after such intensive sessions?
Melissa: Well, that’s not a problem when you are talking about AEGEE. The participants were super active at the parties and although they spent all the night dancing, they didn’t miss the content part – at least not all of them. It was absolutely a non-stop weekend.

The organisers and participants did not only work hard, but also parties hard.

GT: What were the parties about?
Melissa: Like always, first night’s topic was “Suit up”, because of the opening ceremony. On the second day we had the European Night, in which lots of participants brought something typical from their city; besides we wore also typical clothes, and even mascots costumes, which were the most popular ones. The last night was the “S” party, which means that we should dress up as something that started with the first letter of the word Santander. English and Spanish words were both valid here, and some costumes were super fun. People were so creative!

GT: Talking about Santander, how was the local organisation?
Melissa: It was really great. We had everything so close, the place was perfect for this kind of events. The local organisers were so kind all the time, and they were super attentive so that we wouldn’t miss anything. From my side I just can congratulate them.

The programme was very rich…

GT: How satisfied are you personally with the NWM?
Melissa: Quite a lot. Not just because everything we planned went well, but also because of the satisfaction of the participants. Their feedback was really great and they told us they saw something different from the previous Network Meetings. I am super happy with the results and to see that they learned a lot and they had fun too. I truly believe our aim and objectives were reached.

…and the participants attended very actively.

GT: Anything you would like to add?
Melissa: I would say it was also good for me and my team to organise this NWM and be present there. Besides our online weekly meeting it was the first time that we were all together in the same place. We managed to have almost all the team there, just one person was missing, and the participants were also thankful for that. Sometimes it is not common for the Subcommies to be present in NWMs. I believe this event has made some changes, now it is up to all of us to keep working and to put in practice everything that we learned there. See you somewhere in Europe and be ready for next NWM, we will rock again!

Pictures of the event: