Web Summit was everything I expected and then more!
I’ve been trying to write this article for a couple days now. I somehow feel speechless. It’s not easy, at all, to put down in words everything that happened last week. I had one of the most inspiring and intense weeks of my life. I knew what was coming, but I still wasn’t prepared for everything that happened.
For one reason or another, I ended up organizing 6 public events that together gathered more than 300 people. Crazy, huh?
I love bringing interesting people together around topics I care about and the Web Summit was the perfect excuse to do just that. Today, I know much more about biohacking (I’m trying to become a biohacker), about hardware (just started playing with arduino), about the music industry and about the Industry 4.0. I met incredible people like Ryan Hoover from Product Hunt or the former Prime-Minister of Greece, George Papandreou. And I had the chance to work with close friends like Liliana Castro, Hugo Volz Oliveira, Tiago T. Correia, Tiago Ferreira, André Magalhães, João Carreiro and João Barros.
Together with the Global Shapers Lisbon Hub, I also had the opportunity to launch Techfugees Portugal, an initiative that wants to gather the Portuguese tech and entrepreneurial communities around the refugee topic. For the next months, meetups, hackathons and other initiatives are being prepared. For more details, join our Private Facebook Group.
And overall I ended up meeting dozens of people: some old friends and new people with whom I hope to stay in touch.
My main take aways:
- The Web Summit is a fantastic event. Super well-organized, great content and an incredible group of people from all around the world. I don’t think that the organizers can do much better!
- Satellite events are really the place to network. It’s much easier to meet people in smaller, targeted events than in the main event. This definitely was true for me and for many that shared their opinion with me.
- UberPool is also a great place to meet people. You never know who is sitting next to you! :P
- The Startup Portugal strategy for the Web Summit was genius. I loved the billboards all around town with the statement #ThisisPortugal!
5. Preparation is 🔑. If you want to take some value from an event like this, you really have to prepare. I sent dozens of messages on the Web Summit app, dozens of intro emails, wrote blog posts, did some interviews and made sure that people knew that I was there. This required a lot of effort from my side, but in the end it was completely worth it.
6. And funny enough, I didn’t collect that many business cards. In today’s world, they don’t seem to be as important as they used to.
That was it for Web Summit 2016! Can’t wait to see how the Web Summit 2017 is going to be.