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Web Summit - CHECK! An experience & an opportunity: why to go and how to prepare

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

For me the Web Summit is like The Glastonbury for tech geeks. Forget the music - give me the business talks, the entrepreneurs and the breakthrough innovations.

The place is massive full of similar minded folk

I never felt so at home going to an event as I did to Web Summit 2018 - it was my first time and I didn't know what to expect from a Goliath event with over 70,000 attendees, spread over four humongous exhibition halls and the stadium. Thanks to my client Spotahome I had chance to attend this year, and thanks to my business family at Guiajando I had somewhere to lay my head.

The Schedule:

This is packed with an array of specialist subjects from Content, SaaS, Growth, Start-ups, Business Discussions and in the main stadium were the big boys talking about their rise to fame which included the likes of Twitter, Slack, Pinterest, the President of Portugal all hosted by the most influential global business journalists.

The Exhibit Halls

These are split into interest areas including Content, SaaS, Health, Growth, Start-up and so here you can find the niches that you are most interested in. This all very much depends on the role you play in the tech world - for me I spent most my time in Growth, Start-up and Content.

The Food

There are food stands between each of the halls with an array of options for pretty good prices. There is free coffee and water access throughout and with the encouragement of using reusable waterbottles. The important thing is to keep yourself hydrated.

The Night Summit

From 5pm every evening is the Sunset Summit which is on the grounds of the Altice Arena - there were live bands, experiential tourism exhibit by Portugal and a good dance area with mojitos. This is followed by the Night Summit which is in different neighbourhoods of Lisbon, it doesn't start til 8pm but goes til midnight or 2am.

Top Tips for preparing for Web Summit:

  1. Download the app and become familiar with it, it will be your best friend

  2. Schedule - Check this out before you even arrive, know what talks you want to go to and add them to your diary

  3. Map - Get familiar with the layout so you can get from A - B quickly, it can take 30 minutes to walk from one end to the other end

  4. Connect - find people who maybe relevant to your needs; it might be investors or new businesses or people with the same skillset, you can arrange to meet them there

  5. Arrive early - get there for 10am and then you have a full 6 hours at the event

  6. Talk - don't be afraid to speak to people, everyone is in the same boat as you

  7. Engage with new businesses and listen to what they are doing, they need a bit of belief

The big thing is to understand the difference between Alpha, Beta and Growth businesses - Alpha are those incubating and developing, Beta are working on their model and improving, while Growth are looking to scale.

If you're interested to know more or how I can leverage your business at industry leading events, please do get in contact,

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