Web Summit 2022 Takeaways: Even When Things Are Bad, They’re Good

Web Summit 2022 Takeaways: Even When Things Are Bad, They’re Good
17 Nov 2022

For me personally, Web Summit 2022 was the biggest event I have ever been to. And I went there to explore why 70,000 people come there every year.

And what’s going on there is a complete mess, in the good sense of the word 🙂 On the one hand, organizing the event for such a number of people, building five pavilions, inviting speakers from 30 countries, and coming up with the program for all the conference sessions – is a titanic task. But, on the other hand, why do they sell three times more tickets than the main arena can accommodate? Why do they “sell” the reports and invite speakers who are frankly not interesting to anyone in the hall? 

Why? Because it’s not about networking anymore, it’s mostly about business. 

In a nutshell, what was going on: 

  • More than half of the attendees with tickets couldn’t be at the Web summit opening. Why didn’t anyone tell them about it? Even if you had a ticket, you couldn’t be sure you would get to the opening. First come, first served? 
  • At the opening, the camera fell from the ceiling as well as the speaker weighing 100 kg almost fell. Thank God, no one was hurt. But it added fire to the audience. The organizers pretended that nothing had happened and continued the conference.
  • Every day there were huge lines at the entrance.
  • Pro-Russian speakers were given prime time for speaking (WTF?).
  • A huge number of dissatisfied visitors complained about almost everything – the organization, the food, the bad sound in the halls, too many visitors, etc.

As an organizer, I understand that all these processes are unreal to manage perfectly and smoothly, but this is not the first year of the conference. Nevertheless, the experience should teach us something.

From the good news – Ukrainian visitors were second in number after Brazil at the conference, so we saw almost all our acquaintances, colleagues, and friends. There were a lot of Ukrainian parties and dinners, which made us feel at home somewhere in Podol in Kyiv 🙂 

Concerning the parties! It so happened that after the Web Summit, there was a week of blockchain conferences. Thus, so many Ukrainian afterparties were formed that it was impossible to visit them all! However, it was nice to see their scale! Afterparties from large crypto projects, like in the best of times, were held with the participation of David Guetta & Armin van Buuren, ordered a huge venue for 1000 people or more, invited the best catering, and fed the guests with oysters.

Awesome case study of The Moment! It was the best free party in my life, and I will probably always remember it, thanks to Project Rapyd. Despite this, as an event planner and marketer in one person, I did not really get the motives 🙂 Although even if I now write about this project with links and words of gratitude, it means that the goal was achieved, the project became known, and it speaks!

The organizers must have spent about $2 million on everything: the venue, the DJs, and advertising all over Lisbon during the Web Summit. That is, a lot of money, effort, and time was invested in making this party happen. The goal was precisely to draw attention to ourselves and increase recognition. However,  there is a “but” – the number of their Twitter followers increased by as much as ten before and after the party. By the way, I didn’t subscribe either. So perhaps the goal was to gather the core of Web Summit visitors. (Remember, the tickets were free, but apparently, they were sent randomly to all those who registered at Web Summit, and there were about 70,000 visitors!)

Anyway, whatever the motivations of the organizers, they made a great Web Summit party, and it was a success, in my opinion:) 

Summing up the results of 2 weeks in Lisbon, I want to say that on the wave of the global crisis, the war in Ukraine, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants in Europe – the world balances out pretty well, making parties, launching new projects, raising funds for projects, working and continuing to live its life, which is already a success!