In six short years, Web Summit has become one of the largest meeting place for the world’s most disruptive technology companies. As well as leaders from the largest companies in the world and founders from the most exciting companies, among this year’s 53,000 attendees are actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, footballer Ronaldinho and and Tinder chief executive Sean Rad.
So how do you network with the tens of thousands of people, comprising of 15,000 companies, 7,000 CEOs and 2,000 journalists, who are descending on Lisbon for Web Summit?
Here are some of my top tips on how to network like a pro to make the most of this year’s event:
- Download the Web Summit app
Whether it’s to discover, connect or build your own personalised schedule based on the talks and workshops that are going on, the app is the one-stop shop to maximise your time at the event. By importing your existing social media accounts and adding in your interest areas, a nifty algorithm makes recommendations on who you might benefit from speaking to at the Web Summit. The chat feature on the app then enables you to set up meetings with them.
- QR code scanning vs business cards
It almost feels old school to have a stack of business cards to hand for a large conference like Web Summit (though this hasn’t stopped me from bringing mine just in case…)
For a technology conference like Web Summit, QR codes are the order of the day. Printed on the attendee’s name badge is a unique QR code, which you can scan to add them to your contacts. After the event, the organisers will even send you a list of your contacts.
- Join the Night Summit pub crawl
Among the tales of Night Summit, Uber founder, Travis Kalanick, famously secured a round of funding during a pub crawl with Menlo Ventures.
An annual ritual at Web Summit, the Night Summit has been described as where the real magic happens after the day’s conference is over. Bono, Elon Musk and the Game of Thrones’ King Joffrey are just some of the famous faces that have led the charge.
This year the Night Summit will take to the streets of Lisbon from Rua Nova de Carvalho, the city’s famous pink-painted pathway, to the cobbled lanes of Barrio Alto. Here’s to a chance meet with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
- Don’t just stick to the Centre stage
Lisbon Web Summit will take over the MEO Arena for the four day affair. As well as the Centre stage, talks and machine demos will be taking place across the three other pavilions ranging from Startup university to the intriguing sounding, PandaConf.
The next couple of days will be undoubtedly hectic. Here are some of the talks I’m hoping to drop by:
- The state of play in fintech
- From science fiction to real-world moonshots
- I now pronounce you, Social Media and Finance
- The heroic power of brands
- The rise of geek culture and what it means for brands
- Love and tech in the time of Tinder