Web Summit 2023: What to Expect from the Tech Extravaganza

BRIDGE IN
6 min readOct 24, 2023

The Web Summit probably is the leading global technology conference in the world. As time passes, it continues to be a key event for tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators — and for the curious of heart, too.

The Web Summit has gained immense popularity over the years. It’s a hub for sharing ideas, generating partnerships, and exploring the future of technology. The event happened again in Lisbon — one of the most exciting startup ecosystems — before heading to Qatar and Brazil in 2024.

Though the situation’s not ideal, after Paddy Cosgrave resigned, the event is still happening. The new CEO, Katherine Maher (former Wikimedia Foundation’s leader), has just been announced — so there may be a few surprises ahead.

Keep reading if you want to know everything about the 2023 event, how to get there, the talks and speakers not to miss, and how you can benefit from such an environment.

Web Summit 2023: The Basics

Though the event has been held in Lisbon for the last few years, this can be your first time attending (or thinking to, but still not sure). Get to know the basics about the Web Summit 2023 to make your decision easier (yes, tickets are still available).

What is the Web Summit?

Web Summit belongs to Web Summit Limited, which runs the world’s largest technology events.

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, the company started organizing this tech event in 2009 in the same city. As the company states, the Web Summit’s mission has been to create moments that enable “meaningful connections between the CEOs, founders, investors, media, politicians, and cultural figureheads who are reshaping the world.”

Web Summit was co-founded by Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly, and Daire Hickey.

Where is the Web Summit in Lisbon 2023?

The Web Summit will happen in Lisbon, Portugal, from November 13 to 16.

The Portuguese capital has become a major host city for the Web Summit. And it has everything to do with its vibrant tech community, superb infrastructure, and welcoming atmosphere for attendees and speakers worldwide.

The main event happens in the Altice Arena and FIL. Both buildings are located side by side, so you should find it easy to identify them. For other scheduled initiatives, locations vary. For instance, the Night Summit happens between Hub Criativo do Beato, Pink Street, and Pavilhão Carlos Lopes.

So, before heading your way, check the official schedule.

Why is Web Summit in Lisbon?

Lisbon, often called the new San Francisco, has proven to be an ideal location for the Web Summit. The city offers a unique blend of a rich history, a buzzing tech scene, an attractive climate — and let’s not mention the delicious food everywhere.

Moreover, Portugal’s supportive policies for startups and the local community’s enthusiasm have made Lisbon a strategic choice for hosting this global tech event. The first Web Summit in Lisbon happened in 2016 (with breaks in between because of COVID-19, when the event happened online).

Where is the Web Summit in 2024?

The Web Summit will remain in Lisbon (at least until 2028), but other events will happen worldwide. The event will visit the city of Samba: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But here’s the twist: there will also be one in Doha, Qatar. The official venues remain unknown, but the dates are public already:

Let’s see what the future holds for this giant event.

Web Summit 2023: Is it Worth it? Meet the Main Speakers, Topics and Decide if It’s the Right Event for You

Let’s face it: there’s a bit of everything happening at the Web Summit — across multiple stages and locations. You can attend panel discussions, keynote speeches, workshops, startup exhibitions, and more. It’s the ideal environment for networking, addressing potential deals, and meeting new customers and partners.

As no surprise, in 2023, there’ll be a lot of AI talking. But that’s not all.

Main Speakers at the Web Summit 2023

The speakers’ list goes on and on, so here’s a short one with some of the loudest personalities:

  • Amy Poehler
  • Aidan Gomez
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Andrey Khusid
  • Kuo Zhang
  • Roberto Carlos
  • Marshmello
  • Mitchell Baker
  • Markus Villig
  • LL Cool J
  • Caspar Lee
  • Joana Vasconcelos
  • Neil Patel
  • Susan Li

Yes, there’s more. An exquisite panel of entrepreneurs (many are relocating to Portugal), tech giants, musicians, journalists, CEOs, actors, and comedians. You can expect significant focus on marketing and content areas, AI, gaming, data & analytics, energy, HR, wellness, fintech, Web3, and so much more.

Top 10 Unmissable Talks at the Web Summit 2023

Let’s face it: it’s impossible to attend every single thing — but there are some talks you need to have your eye on. Here’s our top 10:

Speakers: Vishal Sharma, Amazon Artificial General Intelligence’s VP, and Ryan Heath, Global Technology Correspondent at Axios.

Speakers: Drew Glover, General Partner at Fiat Ventures; Maya Noël, Managing Director at France Digitale; Jaidev Janardana, CEO at Zopa Bank.

Speakers: Robert Opp, Chief Digital Officer at the United Nations Development Programme, and Calum Macdonald, Presenter at Times Radio.

Speaker: Bradley Kam, Co-founder at Unstoppable Domains.

Speaker: Sage Lenier, Climate Activist and Founder at Sustainable & Just Future.

Speaker: Kuo Zhang, CEO at Alibaba.com

Speakers: Maliha Abidi, Founder/Author at Women Rise NFT/Story of Mental Health; Sarojini McKenna, Co-founder & CEO at Dacoco; Bradley Kam, Co-founder at Unstoppable Domains; Stewart Rogers, Editor-at-Large at Dataconomy.

Speakers: Kathleen Breitman, Co-founder & CEO at Tezos; Björn Wagner, Co-founder & CEO at Parity Technologies; Lorien Gabel, Co-founder & CEO at Figment; Leo Schwartz, Reporter at Fortune.

Speakers: Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Former Prime Minister of Denmark, and Jillian Deutsch, Tech Reporter at Bloomberg.

Speaker: Bryony Cole, Founder & CEO/Podcaster at Sextech School/Future of Sex.

Who Attends the Web Summit?

The Web Summit attracts a diverse audience, including startup founders, investors, marketers, corporate executives, developers, designers, and media representatives. This diversity allows a thriving environment for networking, collaboration, and learning.

It truly is an event for everyone.

How do I get to Web Summit Lisbon?

Various transportation options are available: flights, buses, metros, trains, and taxis (Ubers included). Lisbon’s International Airport serves the majority of international attendees and speakers. But you can also arrive from Porto or Algarve — if you want to explore a bit first.

Then, it’s up to you. Transportation options to get to the Web Summit come a bit from everywhere.

Side Events to Have an Eye On

While the Web Summit is happening, many others can catch your interest (before or after this tech event). Some happen in Lisbon, too, while others spread across other Portuguese cities (like Porto and Guimaraes). Some happen online. Here’s a short list of the most interesting out there:

So… Should I Attend the Web Summit? Is it Worth It?

It depends. On who you are, your goals, aspirations, and professional life.

It also depends (a lot) on your interests. The Web Summit provides unparalleled networking opportunities, exposure to cutting-edge technologies, and access to industry leaders — making it a fantastic experience for many professionals in the tech world.

However, before deciding, weighing the costs, travel implications, and alignment with your goals is essential. For many, the knowledge gained and connections made at the Web Summit can be decisive in their career and ventures.

The Web Summit continues offering a platform for collaboration, innovation, and ideas exchange. Its impact on the tech ecosystem is undeniable and attending can be a rewarding experience for individuals seeking to immerse themselves in the latest advancements and trends shaping the future.

Originally published at https://www.bridgein.pt on October 24, 2023.

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