Over the past years Web Summit has become one of the world’s most influential and widely spread tech events with an impressive line-up of speakers, attendees from Fortune 500 companies and startups from all over the world.
We are very happy to have had the opportunity to attend such a massive event. Web Summit 2018 has showcased over 1,200 speakers across 24 stages, 1,800+ worldwide startups were invited to exhibit their ideas, 1,500+ tech investors and over 70,000 attendees were present under one roof.
Lisbon to host Web Summit for 10 years. How it all started
When Web Summit was launched in Dublin in 2010, it had 400 participants. As they needed a new home for future events, the organizers started to look at various locations around Europe to support their growth and provide attendees with the best possible experience. More than 20 European cities competed to host the conference, but Lisbon was the winner thanks to the city’s strong infrastructure, the world-class venue and the thriving startup community.
In 2015, Lisbon became the first city to receive the European Entrepreneurial Region award which, shortly afterwards, turned Lisbon into a new tech ecosystem in Europe.
The original idea was for the Web Summit to stay for three years in Lisbon and then move to other European venues. But its organizers announced recently that the event will continue to be held in Lisbon for 10 more years (2028), as the Portuguese government agreed to invest 11 million euros ($12.7million) a year over the next decade in the tech conference, in a bid to make Lisbon the European capital of innovation.
This year’s Web Summit drew in 70,000+ people from 160+ countries, including 1,200+ speakers, representatives of 1,800 startups and 1,500+ investors, making the event “the biggest and the best” ever, according to the organization.
Our Web Summit impressions and recommendations
This year was our first participation at this event. We exhibited in the ALPHA industry – category Gaming, VR&AR, on Nov 6, the first day of the event.
Much of the planning process and communication with the organizing team of the summit took place via email and except for some small issues, we can say it went smoothly from start to finish. Responses to our inquiries were prompt and helpful, before and during the event. We took into account their recommendation and did our registration at the airport in order to avoid the massive queue on the day of opening night.
We had some time to visit Lisbon and revel in its diversity and beauty before the Web summit’s kick off on the 5th of November with its Opening Night Festival outside of Altice Arena, where we enjoyed good music from live performers before the first talks.
The Web Summit unfolds over the main arena and 4 big pavilions dedicated to conferences, seminars, presentations, round-tables, investors lounge, startup expos and much more.
The biggest names in tech were present at the event. An estimated number of 1,200 speakers delivering talks and debating on panels across 24 stages, among which we can mention Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee. There were presentations, panels and debates from experts across many topics like AI, blockchain, smart cities, IoT, data, sustainability, etc. and industries like banking, health, sport, music, etc.
There was a vast number of truly amazing startups from Japan, Israel, Cyprus, Taiwan, Canada, USA, Netherlands, Portugal and many more countries.
The conference was a great place to check out the rest of the industry, make appointments with investors, find strategic partners, exchange knowledge with others in the industry and also have a bit of fun.
During such a massive and overwhelming event, it is always difficult to see everything you want to see and don’t feel like you’ve miss out.
That’s why we believe it’s very important to plan in advance and have clear goals.
If you are exhibiting, our advice is to be very selective on how you spend your time. Schedule all the talks and conferences that you want to attend, as they can bring interesting insights.
Complete your profile on the Web Summit app and install the mobile app. That can help with networking and connecting you with investors and potential partners.
Another way to do networking is going to the Night Summit where people are way more relaxed and approachable. The day doesn’t end at sunset so be ready to attend some of the night events, where people connect more easily outside the conference halls.
And probably the last advice to follow while at the Web Summit is to be creative, reach out to people and share your experiences and expertise with others. It’s a great way to connect with people passionate about innovation and technology, like yourself.
The main numbers of the most recent edition of the Web Summit are impressive.
We experienced the global startup scene and the irresistible entrepreneurial atmosphere. It was extremely useful to meet like-minded people, make new friends and connections.
Considered one of the largest tech events in the world, the Web Summit is definitely the place to be for all tech enthusiasts.
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