After a week in Lisbon at Web Summit 2016 and a week of flu, the time has come for me to rate the event and measure the pros and cons and the likelihood of attending again next year. I had the chance to catch up with a number of contacts from different industries, company sizes and countries and this feedback will also be taken into consideration.
Good mix of people: I had the chance to meet all sorts of people, from startup founders to C level executives from big corporations. There was a high number of industries present as well, and since we focus on the travel, food and fashion industries, it was a good thing.
New Business: Sociaw tries to leverage a mix of big and small clients, and in terms of Business Development for me it was worth exploring the alfa and beta startup stands which were also changing every day, so there was a lot to see.
New software solutions: One sometimes gets lost with all the software out there and having the chance to stop by, chat with the founders and get a demo is highly appreciated. Products like ROI Hunter or Social Karma will definitely end up being implemented with the right clients.
Great organization: there was a bit of an overload of people on the first day for registration but eventually it was going quite fast and there was not much waiting. They opened a Registration Desk at the airport so people could pick up their badge upon arrival, starting on Sunday night. That didn’t work for me though since I got there on Saturday morning.
Having water supply everywhere, the Women in Tech lounge with free snacks and sofas and sockets was great.
Also, good variety of food in the open spaces.
The talks need improvement: Many of the talks had quite compelling titles but then the actual content ended up being more ego based, especially with the big speakers. When Facebook’s Gary Briggs (VP, CMO) came to stage to talk about “Building a brand in a mobile world” I and most of us expected more of an interesting insights on mobile usage stats rather than listening to his previous work experiences in Pepsi Cola or IBM. Same happened with a few others, thus on the second and third days I skipped most of the talks I had planned to attend.
The concept might be too general: Some friends that work in more niche markets found the summit to be too general, like “tech general” and tech nowadays is just too much. This is not my case but an agency has a way broader interest than a company that sells a product.
Would I go again in 2017? I am definitely more inclined to the yes, rather than the no. Might be influencer by the hidden pro of visiting lovely Lisbon, but hey, it’s a valid extra argument 😉 For the rest of you, just analyze whether it makes sense for your business and objectives.