Chorally recently attended the 2015 Dublin Web Summit. This year the event saw a record breaking number of attendees; 42.000 according to the organizers. This is a spectacular result if we consider that the event is only a few years young. During the 3-day conference we have been asked many times if this event was worth the time, money and resources we put into it as a startup having rented a stand and sending over 4 people. So we thought, why not give our opinion about the event so that other companies can have our point of view for next year’s event.
We set out a few goals for the Web Summit, so these are the criteria that we kept in mind during the conference: Networking, Content, Serendipity and Fun.
Networking at the Websummit
During the event we had the chance to meet Prospects, Partners, Investors and other important stakeholders. From this point of view the event was certainly important and valuable. These meetings (formal and informal) were not a mere coincidence. Prior to the event we reached out to the people we wanted to speak to. We found the mobile app and the search and chat features to be very useful. We also had a superior response rate compared to our normal cold sales strategy. We assume that this is because those people attending a conference like the Web Summit are warmer leads and more likely to speak to an innovative startup.
We also had a stand at the Beta Village for an entire day and access to a seating area for Beta startups helped as well as we could bring our guests there. Our suggestion – the event is big with people from all over the world, so make sure to prepare and have a plan on who you want to meet, why and use the available tools to make it happen.
Websummit & Content
The 4 team members that attended gave a big focus to networking. There were very interesting talks at the Web Summit, but unfortunately we were not able to make the best out of them. Next time it will be better to divide certain roles so that some team members can also go to the talks instead of focusing exclusively on the networking.
In terms of content what was also very useful was to tour the various stands and stop by those startups that might be interesting to your business. With a 5 minute conversation with a founder the amount of useful content was astonishing.
Finally, also the startup pitch was great to see the good things and bad things about a pitch as well as understanding what kind of startups are out there and where the market is going.
Serendipity in Dublin
When attending these conferences it’s crucial, if not vital, to make things happen as well as being dragged into activities and conversations. While at lunch don’t sit with your team members, just go somewhere else and sit at a random table with random people and introduce yourself. At the Night Summit have a drink with the person next to you. That’s what we did and out of many random conversations we did get to know a few interesting people that might have an important impact on what we are doing.
Team and Fun!
Last but definitely not least – if you attend as a team, remember to just have fun. The Web Summit is 3 days out of the office with loads of opportunities to enjoy the city of Dublin (Lisbon next year) with your team members and new found friends. It’s an awesome break from the daily routines and therefore if you have fun it will give you loads of energy to be at your 110% on that week and give you the final boost you need to finish the year at your best.
Overall we loved the Web Summit! We met great people whom will keep on speaking to, learned some awesome things, had great conversations with startups we didn’t know existed and had fun while doing so. We also learned some Gaelic!
So see you next year as we go from Guinness and saying Sláinte to Vinho Verde and saying Saúde!