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Web Summit: Where Innovations are Born. Why to Visit and What to Discover?

Web Summit is “booming”. You are standing in the middle of nowhere, trying to figure out your way to the main stage. Thousands of people are passing by with their heads in the phone, streaming the latest tech trends and sharing their insights. This year, 70 000 attendees are on the venue — that’s nothing but amazing! On the right, a startup from New York is presenting its robotic hand, while on the left, Microsoft is making its first steps in AgroTech. It seems like Web Summit united all up-and-coming companies with tech giants to begin the next technological revolution. This is the place where all the boldest ideas come alive.  

What is Web Summit? 

Web Summit can be justly called “the heart and soul of the tech world.” The New York Times admitted that Web Summit assembles “a great conclave of the tech industry’s high priests,” and that is true. Every year, thousands of CEOs and founders, market leaders and tech enthusiasts, investors and business angels come together to discover a gripping world of innovations. The event takes place in Altice Arena, Lisbon, Portugal, which is a beautiful venue to go and spend several days together with the greatest minds of the IT industry. 

Who should and should not visit Web Summit and why?

Who should visit? 

Web Summit hosts all tech specialists, managers, investors, venture capitalists, developers and everyone interested in technology. Whatever goal you have, you are likely to bump into the right person or listen to the right speech that will change the way you think and open new opportunities to you and your company.

Web Summit 2020 is definitely worth a visit if you are:

  • Startup Founder. If you have an ambitious project or bear an excellent idea for your startup in mind, Web Summit may provide you with the necessary exposure. In contrast to the majority of US events, this is the place where you will be given the floor to tell about your company to thousands of visitors, journalists and investors. 
  • Investor. Web Summit gathers all the most interesting and promising startups with innovative ideas. Passing by the booths and stalls in Altice Arena, your attention will be grabbed by the companies with futuristic products and industry-changing visions.
  • Service Company. If your primary goal at the conference is sales, Web Summit will be highly beneficial to you as well. Especially, businesses working with SME companies will meet lots of people who may become their repeat customers. Network with the audience, pitch your services, and you’ll be satisfied with the outcome. 
  • Developer or Tech Specialist. Apart from different types of startups, large corporations and big techs have their booth placed at Web Summit as well. Microsoft, Google and Amazon come here to discover new talents. So, if you are interested in job opportunities, this is the right place to come.
  • Journalist. Web Summit equips media workers with the knowledge of the latest techs and trends on the market. If you are a newbie or experienced journalist striving to keep updated on all the events, this conference is definitely for you. 
  • You are Searching for Inspiration. All the latest trends are presented at Web Summit in one place. No matter whether you are operating in e-commerce, gaming or healthtech, you will see where your competitors are heading, discover what’s next most popular tech and assess your prospects in the industry. 

Attendees at Web Summit | LITSLINK Blog

Who should not visit?

Although Web Summit is the event to benefit everyone, there are some visitors who’d better skip the conference in order not to waste their time:

  • Excel-minded businesses. Companies that do not care about innovations will get bored at the summit. They won’t find anything to implement in their businesses. So, if you are still using Excel to run calculations and don’t want to change anything, this event won’t meet your needs. 
  • Companies serving enterprises. Albeit enterprises are presented at Web Summit, real decision-makers are hard to find here. If you restrictively and exclusively work for large enterprises like Boeing, Ford, or Daimler, it will be quite ineffective for you to come here and look for new clients or advertise your services or products. 

Why should you visit Web Summit?

LITSLINK is a frequent visitor at Web Summit, and we know why so many companies from different parts of the world, like Japan and Canada, gather in Altice Arena, the venue where the event takes place and have the busiest yet the most thought-provoking days of the year. 

Are you in two minds whether to visit Web Summit in 2020? Here are the main seven reasons why Web Summit is such an appealing destination and why you should be its next guest. 

1. Everyone will hear you roar even if you are a startup 

Probably, there is no such startup-friendly place in the world as Web Summit. If you need funding, this is the right place where you can seek accelerators and business angels to invest in your company. You have a good chance to meet anyone you need to grow your business. There are plenty of pitch events where you’ll be given the floor to showcase your innovation. Just prove that your product or service has value and real potential. 

But what is the most mind-blowing thing for startups is that you can be seen from one of the Web Summit stages. Early-stage startups (including Pre-seed, Seed, and Series A companies) have a tremendous opportunity to pitch to a 15,000 audience at the event. This is not something many US-based tech conferences can boast about.

This year, dozens of startups had an excellent chance to be heard by those who will transform them into the next Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, or a new type of company that nobody has ever seen or imagined.

2. It’s your annual dose of inspiration 

People come to Web Summit to get inspired as the event has so much to offer that everyone will find something to his or her liking. You can encounter a myriad of interesting companies and get to know what they are doing, learn from them, and ask tons of questions you are interested in.

Founders and entrepreneurs can roam around startup booths and tech giants’ stalls to look for fresh thought, ideas, and to find out about new technological trends that will dominate the technological industry. 

All the keynote speakers are at your fingertips: Brad Smith (The President of Microsoft), Devin Wenig (eBay’s CEO), Werner Vogel (Amazon’s CTO), Marc Raibert (Boston Dynamics’ CEO) with his robot Spot and much more. They present inspirational and impassioned speeches on various technology-related topics. There are multiple stages to reach a diverse audience, so if you come unprepared, you may easily get lost. Our advice here for you would be next — learn in advance which speaker you want to listen to and book it into your schedule. Otherwise, with the torrents of information you get and people you meet, you won’t have time to visit the speech-maker you want to see.

3. Europe’s technology industry, inside and out, or why should Americans see this event

If US startups are all about vision, pitching, discovering value proposition and raising-raising-raising money, in Europe it is quite the opposite. You would be amazed how difficult the question “How much have you already raised?” to be answered by EU startups. This issue is pretty hard to clarify not because European companies didn’t raise money but because they just rarely speak about funds and can’t provide a clear answer to such questions. They want to speak about their products and building cash-positive business.

European startups have a pretty vague idea on how to pitch to investors. They enjoy speaking about products, features and technology. However, they are not prepared to talk about value proposition, numbers and their upcoming plans on raising new funds. You will learn that they are perfect at making great products, but not “venture-stories”.

If you are not yet intrigued and convinced to visit the event, think about this: most of the EU startups have their products launched and their first customers acquired (often Fortune-100 enterprises!). They are cash-positive in many cases and interested in expanding to the US market, often with co-founders prepared to relocate. Their valuation is frequently relatively low comparing to US competitors of similar size, and they are eager to raise “smart money” from the US. Thus, you have all the chances of finding a gold mine there.

4. Let’s partner together

Many entrepreneurs can find business partners at Web Summit. No matter what size your company is — small, medium, or enterprise, you can acquire a suitable product or service for reasonable pricing. Thus, businesses here can cut costs and made quite a lot of money.

5. Plenty of selling opportunities

You won’t be surprised to find out that selling is also a good reason why people come to Web Summit. If you provide really valuable products or efficient services, you have strong possibilities to find potential clients. If you are a small startup, you can sell to medium or enterprise business, and vice versa, if you are a corporate giant, you can find the right match either. 

6. Headhunting & job searching 

Web Summit is a perfect place to look for your ideal employer or employee. If you are a developer, you can visit stands of various companies and see if they are hiring. There is a pretty good chance they have a lucrative offer for you. So, prepare your CV and search for the best jobs across all domains. 

7. Catch Positive Vibes

Web Summit continues long after all the speeches and presentations are ended. Night Summit brings all discussions to streets, where all the fun takes place. You can be lucky enough to meet a representative of a large company and get invited to a private party. Enjoy your drinks, network in a close community, and get the necessary contacts. 

Night Summit at Pink Street | LITSLINK Blog

How to Prepare for Web Summit? 

Altice Arena turns into a bustling place when Web Summit comes. Follow these three steps to get the most out of the conference:

  • Study agenda and select the events you want to attend. In order not to be swamped by the craze of the summit, develop a plan and follow it. Equipped with a step-by-step guide, you won’t miss anything important. 
  • Network in Web Summit app and appoint meetings. The value of communication is hard to overestimate. Find like-minded people, meet with them and discuss opportunities. Get the most out of the conference with thorough preparation. 
  • Book an apartment and a flight beforehandThere are 70 000 attendees from different parts of the world. Can you imagine the passengers’ flow coming to and from the Web Summit? Take care of your bookings in advance to make your stay comfortable. 
  • Study the Conference Map. Altice Arena is the place where all the prominent events take place. The venue cost 54.87 million to build a 51 000 square feet construction. This place can host thousands of attendees coming from all over the world. With such a crowd, it might take nearly 40-50 minutes to move from one stage to another. In contrast to the majority of US-based conferences, Web Summit does not have guided tours. So, you have to study the map yourself in order not to miss the presentations and events you want to visit.

Summary

Web Summit has definitely become the place where the whole tech world meets. Every year, the conference is held to showcase cutting-edge technologies, generate insights and trigger discussions around technology issues. Apart from that, it provides startups and market leaders with a chance to speak up, exchange experiences and network in a friendly environment. Come and enjoy the atmosphere of fun and innovation together with thousands of attendees!





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