Our Highlights + Takeaways from Web Summit 2018

 

There’s no denying that Web Summit is the largest technology conference in Europe: Taking place over three days in four full Pavilions and a packed arena with hundreds of speakers, panels, and sessions — and over 70,000 attendees — there is a lot to see and do at Web Summit.

Admittedly, that was a little bit overwhelming — even before we arrived! — and in-person, we sometimes scrambled to see everything we wanted to see, meet everyone we wanted to meet, and just generally make the most of our time, energy, and investment in the conference.

But while we may not have been able to take part in every single thing Web Summit had to offer, there were plenty of valuable takeaways from our experience. We’ve already shared why we chose to go to Web Summit this year; today, we’re going to share more about how it all went.

Lisbon is the perfect location. Lisbon was absolutely beautiful — and really easy to travel around. When we weren’t working, we enjoyed sightseeing at São Jorge Castle, Alfama, and Belém Tower, and delicious meals everywhere we went in the city. It’s clear to see why it’s the chosen home for Web Summit year after year, and we can’t wait to visit Portugal again!

Startups were well-selected: Not to inadvertently toot our own horn, but Web Summit did an excellent job selecting the startups who exhibited this year. On the days we weren’t exhibiting, we met with and learned from so many interesting companies and people from different locations around the world.

Higher quantity than quality content: There were some incredible speakers, topics of discussion, workshops, and exhibitions at Web Summit, but they weren’t always so easy to find. Quality content can be lost when the quantity of content is too high, and with so much content to choose from, it was hard to know where to start and every single piece of content was in competition with the others for audience attention.

Exhibiting facilitates feedback: After exhibiting for a full day of the conference, we walked away from the experience with some helpful feedback. Visitors to our booth asked insightful questions and offered observations on BetaCrash product features and the overall user experience. In the weeks since we’ve been home, we’ve reviewed that feedback and used it to retool some of our current features — and consider adding a few new ones, too!

There were a lot of people: When Web Summit said they had over 70,000 people attending, they weren’t kidding. The Pavilions and stages were often crowded and hard to traverse. That being said, there were a lot of opportunities to connect with smaller groups of people after the days’ events, too. Web Summit hosted several parties, as did many other attendees — including our partner, Digital Ocean. We really enjoyed attending their rooftop party, and the shark slippers (inspired by their brand “mascot”) that they gave away in goody-bags!

Connection matters most: One of the speakers shared this on-stage, and it resonated with our experience both at Web Summit and in our business. Everyone is in search of a personal, emotional connection. That’s probably why the large number of attendees felt a little overwhelming. But whether it’s in your content, while networking at a conference, or when marketing your product, you’ll make the most impact if you identify the audience you’re trying to reach and try to make a personal connection over trying to reach everyone.

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Overall, we had a great time at Web Summit! Exhibiting BetaCrash at the conference allowed us to gain new users, gather important feedback, and meet a lot of interesting people in our industry.

We’re grateful that BetaCrash was selected as an ALPHA Startup at Web Summit this year: Everything about our experience — the good and the not-as-good — helped us learn, encouraged us to have fun, and ultimately gave us more resources to make BetaCrash better than ever!