Last updated on November 20, 2022, 9:04 PM
As a Noobie at Web Summit 2022, I set out to note down all the fails and don’ts to avoid and not repeat. So here is my little guide to Web Summit four you.
Brief facts: Web Summit is the largest web and tech conference in Europe and this year had over 71,000 attendees and more than 1000 speakers. The Web Summit has been held in Lisbon since 2016 and was based in Dublin from 2009 to 2016. From digital marketing to branding to web and tech innovations and developments, all kinds of interesting topics are blended together here.
Web Summit Tips & Tricks
Arrival & Departure:
A top tip is to arrive 1-2 days before the start of the conference. Since Lisbon has about 500,000 inhabitants, the airport is quite small. Therefore, the capacity of handling about 70,000 people arriving for the Web Summit is maxed out quite fast. The same problem occurs again at the departure. On Thursday, the penultimate day of the Web Summit, there is already a lot of congestion at the airport and flight delays are not uncommon. Friday and Saturday the whole thing increases again and only on Sunday it gets a bit calmer at the airport.
You should get your badge/entrance ticket right at the airport at the Web Summit booth, because here the queues and waiting times are manageable to get your “real” entrance ticket to the site. At the Web Summit site itself, the waiting times for the ticket exchange are quite crazy, especially on the opening day (1 hour and more).
Ticket for the public transport:
Again, buy the public transport ticket right at the airport after arriving. There are special offers from the Web Summit itself with 1, 3, 5 day tickets that are very cheap. You can get these right next to the “ticket exchange” tent. The 5 day ticket for all public transport (incl. ferries and train ) costs about 30€. If you don’t have already a public transport ticket, you have to wait forever at the ticket machines at the Web Summit subway station Oriente when you are leaving after day 1, because suddenly everyone wants to buy one.
Entrances to the Web Summit area:
Especially on day 1 and at the beginning of each day, there is a lot of congestion at the main entrance. Here are also very long queues and it can take over 1 hour until you are really inside. But cleverly there is also a second entrance, which is further away from the subway / train station Oriente (Estação Oriente), but is also always less busy. This means a maximum of 5-10 minutes waiting time until you are inside.
Events / side events at the Web Summit:
In addition to the Web Summit as a day conference, daily for 3 days approximately from 10:00 – 17:00 (18:00), there are also the Night Summit events. These official night events take place on the first 3 days of the Web Summit. So Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. However, these are usually extremely crowded and somewhat poorly organized because there are often (hours long) queues.
Therefore, it is best to visit only the small side events in the evening, as here networking is really informal and easier. The extra tip: Already 1-2 weeks before the Web Summit browse the websites with the lists of the (unofficial) evening events and register everywhere where it looks interesting and not too big (<100 participants). For example in 2022 this page made a nice list of all side events: https://innovationscene.pt/websummit/events/
Best of Web Summit 2022 Talks:
My favorite talks from the Main Stage (of which there are also always all talks available in full on YouTube).