Last week I was in Lisbon, Portugal. I was there to attend the Web Summit tech conference, which was being held for the first time in Lisbon. In previous years it had been held in Dublin.
Lisbon really rose to the occasion and there were no major problems, impressive considering there were more than 50,000 people in attendance. Dublin had started to feel cramped and I think the move to Lisbon was a great choice. Dublin now is hosting the Dublin Tech Summit instead, although this event seems like a direct copy of Web Summit.
Hopefully, the Dubliners will be able to innovate and make that event one worth attending as well. My understanding that the city of Dublin and its businesses were quite disappointed with the lost business and they will be doing their best to make up for it with Dublin Tech Summit.
Anyway, back to our experience at Web Summit. We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 days at Web Summit. There were many interesting startups and related businesses exhibiting. It was also good to meet a few people who are involved in the WordPress space. I also enjoyed some talks about Bitcoin and the blockchain. I’ve been really going deep into these two topics this year so it was good to meet some major players in the space of cryptocurrencies.
Probably my favorite talk was that of Gary Vaynerchuk. I imagine many other attendees would also say the same as he really made a hit at Web Summit. He was at his motivational best and really got the crowd going with his common sense speech and the occasional expletive thrown in for good measure. He’s got this unique persona of half comedian, half business guru which really works well on stage and on video. No wonder he is one of the most popular business personalities online.
Here are some impressive stats from this event this year.
- 53,056 people from 166 countries joined us in Lisbon for Web Summit.
- We are pleased to say that our Women in Tech initiative has meant that the female/male gender ratio at Web Summit 2016 is 42% to 58%. Nearly half of our registered attendees in Lisbon this week were female.
- Over 4 million views on Facebook Live
- Those who couldn’t join us in Lisbon for Web Summit were watching our Centre Stage talks live on our Facebook page. Our stream picked up 4,207,053 views over the course of the three days. Catch up with all of the talks here.
- 1,835,841 messages were sent on the Web Summit app.
- The average time spent on a session in the app was 12.26 minutes.
- 5,081 marathons walked by Web Summit staff
- 97,000 Pasteis de Nata consumed. That’s a lot of pastry. What was it washed down with? Coffee. And lots of it.
- 37,000km of fibre cable. Or in other words, enough to run to the peak of Mount Everest four times.
- There were 34,700 seats set out for attendees to catch talks.
- We had 17 stages for our 21 redesigned, standalone conferences.
- 1,490 startups from across the globe
- 135 joined START, our track for our most promising startups. 270 joined BETA, our growth-stage track, while 1,080 joined ALPHA, our early-stage track.
- 1,300+ of the world’s most influential tech investors from the world’s leading funds joined us.
- They took part in our Office Hours scheme, meeting Web Summit startups for pre-scheduled 15-minute meetings. Up to 30 Office Hour sessions took place at any given time.
- 650 Mentor Hour sessions took place where entrepreneurs and investors offered advice to startups.
- 677 world-class speakers
- From Facebook’s and Amazon’s CTOs to Tinder founder Sean Rad to footballing greats Luis Figo and Ronaldinho, we had an incredible group of speakers.
- Check Descendants star Shailene Woodley talking about the fallout of the US presidential election.
- Nearly half of our registered attendees in Lisbon this week were female – a 42 to 58 percent female-to-male ratio.
- One iPhone smashed by two of the NFL’s greatest ever wide receivers Terrell Owens and Greg Jennings. Two of the NFL’s greatest ever wide receivers. Throwing an iPhone 40 yards. Only at Web Summit.
- Four ALPHA startups visited by Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover
- Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover gave great talks on our PandaConf and Centre Stages. He even found time to check out some Web Summit ALPHA startups.
- 2,000 of the world’s leading media came to tell the stories coming out of Web Summit.
I’m looking forward to attending Web Summit next year again. Lisbon is one of my favourite cities and I always enjoy visiting nice cities, eating good food, and mingling with fellow entrepreneurs. So going to Web Summit is honestly better than a lazy beach vacation for me. The vibe that you get from this conference is amazing and I highly encourage those of you who have never made it yet to attend next year.