In the space of eight years, Web Summit has established itself as the most important tech conference on the planet. Dubbed ‘Glasto for geeks’ by the Guardian, it brings together leaders from tech and beyond to discuss ‘answers to the questions posed by the tech revolution we’re all living through.’
It was this promise of insightful debate that lured us there for the first time – and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s now held in Lisbon. Anyway, here are five things we learned from our maiden visit.
It’s a bit much (in a good way)
Social impact features more than social media
Some people haven’t given up on humans
We kind of respect Trump’s digital campaign director
Hustling is more important than helping
Investors are given special badges at the Summit and we saw some turn theirs around so they could attend pitches incognito – which makes sense. Then there were the volunteers: they were hiding their name tags too, so they could focus on pitching their app or website rather than giving directions to the food area. Who can blame them really? The whole sector preaches the power of entrepreneurialism and seizing every opportunity you get – and we guess that’s what they were doing. Inspiring, yes. Helpful, absolutely not.
All in all, it was a fascinating and frenetic few days. We’ll be there again next year.