Love it or hate it, despite all the controversy around Web Summit in recent months (and indeed years!), it never fails to disappoint!

Our CEO, Jill Lush, recently ventured to soak up the atmosphere and attend talks to see and learn more about the world of digital, AI, technology and everything in between.  This is what she says!

Here are just some of my highlights from my short trip to Lisbon:

It’s HUGE!

Arriving tired on the Tuesday (kind of the first official day), I collected my registration lanyard and wrist band.  I took a wander into the Altice Arena and the five pavilions.  If you haven’t attended the Web Summit in Lisbon before and you’re from Ireland, be warned!  Nothing can prepare you for the HUGE size of this summit.  Think the size of a university.  Think the size of the whole area of the RDS and grounds and multiply that by 100! You can easily get in your 10,000 steps a day just wandering around!

Irish Business Networking

On Wednesday, after a great sleep (!), I woke up refreshed and ready for a busy day of networking and learning ahead.  I knew of two fantastic Irish businesses and their owners that were playing a part in the Web Summit, so that was my priority.  I met with the two and supported their endeavours on the day.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the topic of choice for many of the talks and presentations that I attended.  However, what captured my attention again and again was the mention of being a “believer” or indeed a “true believer”.  Having watched many a movie with my daughter, this struck a chord.  Not only is it belief in the festive season ahead they were discussing.  As businesses and business owners, it is about belief in what we are doing.  This really resonated.

Great talks

On the AI front, there are changes afoot everywhere around us.  The stand out talks for me were from Melanie Nakagawa, the Chief Sustainability Officer at Microsoft.  She presented so well on the main stage and brought us on the journey with a story of a hike.  She is a very formidable character and I could have listened to her speak for so much longer than the short 20 minutes that she had on stage.  Her story was powerful and touched on her subject matter expertise of Sustainability.

The other stand out talk for me was from co-founder of Whyzzer, Benjamin Buthmann.  He was joined on stage by Kelly Rutherford, actress of Gossip Girl and co-founder also of Whyzzer.  Their talk was animated and resonated on many levels also.  Whyzzer is a social media platform for sharing of knowledge  for purposeful content, educational content and a new form of consumption.

Video and short form video is at the heart of this particular platform.  It is at such a point that the content is as verified as possible to keep it as a safe place.  Whyzzer filters out fake news, which is welcome! They predict that the future is around more purpose in content.  The future is about heightened quality and expansiveness.  Watch this space!

The Branding

Well done to the Web Summit marketing team.  The place is HEAVILY branded everywhere!  It is a marketers dream.  I admired just how clever, as every photo and video you take from every angle is branded with Web Summit collateral!  It has got to be admired!

Last but not least, I enjoyed the open Q&A session with Katherine Maher, the new CEO of Web Summit.  She is clearly passionate about business and technology.  Katherine also referred to belief and true belief.  This brought me back to the sentiment in the movies, but in life and business too.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend the Web Summit I would highly recommend the experience.  I’m still digesting the learnings and following up on so much of what was discussed.

Always happy to discuss your business’ marketing needs.  We offer a 15 minute complimentary meeting.