The Guardian newspaper describes the 2016 Web Summit in this manner (It) ‘defines the eco-system’, while Bloomberg says it as ‘Davos for Greeks’! Neither of these descriptions are helpful in negotiating the true nature of the all-encompassing technological conference, which has been held annually since 2009. This conference is Mecca for all technophobes, start-up business’s and anyone who wants to rub shoulders with successful bright young things. The Web Summit originated in Dublin and brought an influx of hotel bookings and beautiful people to the city for six years before announcing their controversial relocation to Lisbon Portugal. The 2016 Web Summit conference takes place there from the 7th to the 10th November.
It is impossible to define the focus of this mega occasion, except to say that it is gathering of everyone and anyone who has a significant presence online. If that seems too vague for you to start booking flights, think of those 21 separate conferences and over 50,000 attendees which make this an event that most tech companies will be afraid to miss. The topics to be discussed centre broadly on internet technology and participants range from Fortune 500 to smaller tech companies. There is a mix of CEO’s and founders of tech start-ups, together with a range of people from across the global technology industry and related industries. In other words, every business which you can think of that trades in some way, large or small, on the internet is here. Add to this all the companies aspiring to success online, and you have a heady mix of go-getters in one place.
This year’s speakers include Sean Rad, Co- founder of Tinder, The artist and musician, Tiny Tempeh, The President of Estonia and Rich Williams of Groupon, along with 596 other well known, and not so well known, business people. The topics to be discussed are every bit as diverse as the list of lecturers. You can hear Mike Kreiger, the dynamic Instagram co-Founder, discuss the’360* VR selfie ‘as a thing of the future or hear the Chief scientist of the Bitcoin Federation explain how handy small Bitcoin computers will be the way of payment for the whole world in the future. Ronalindho, Brazilian footballer and investor is there to pass on tips on his success or listen to ustwo owner, Marcus Woxneryd tells us that ‘Becoming a VIP to a WIP is the most important skill we need to have’! In fact, there are symposiums and lectures on any number of subjects, internet related.
It’s not all work and no play at the Summit ! Included in the 21 conferences and exhibitions, there is a Surf summit, where attendees can take to the ocean waves and surf in the original and exciting offline way. While the pub crawl summit is exactly that. A pub crawl for which you must purchase tickets. That’s a novel idea for Irish people but no doubt the whole purpose of the Web Summit is in making contacts, in networking and in the explosion of creativity when similarly wired minds come together. The Web Summit smells of success and bubbles with possibilities and the promise of exciting collaborations. Don’t miss it!