Surviving and Succeeding at the Web Summit

Posted   Productivity

It’s Day Two of the Web Summit, Europe’s largest startup technology event, for which 42,000 people have descended upon Dublin, Ireland. As promised, here is the second installment of the Teamwork.com Survival Guide (here’s Part One). Part Two of the Teamwork.com Survival Guide focuses on making the most out of the Web Summit specifically

The Teamwork.com team is here in force. We’re checking out the latest and greatest of the technology world while meeting customers and partners. Needless to say, we’re spending a fair bit of time talking about some of the cool, new features coming to Teamwork Projects, Teamwork Desk, and Teamwork Chat in the next few months.  

Events, such as Web Summit, are often huge, daunting affairs with massive amounts of noise, activity, and people being thrown at you in rapid succession. It is challenging to stay focused and maximize your time there. In our previous post, we covered detailed advice, including a timeline, on preparing for conference events. So, this post focuses in on how to make the most of the Web Summit.

Preparing to get the most out of events means that there’s a far greater return for you and your business and can help justify the associated costs.

Web Summit Features and Events

Each November, the RDS in Dublin plays host to Europe’s biggest Technology event known as the Web Summit. With more than 500 speakers, upwards of 1,000 journalists, and well over 20,000 attendees from at least 100 countries, this event not only draws attention and media, but also energy from all who attend and participate.

This Survival Guide to the Web Summit will help you prepare and plan because it will be an intense and amazing three days you’ll never forget. So, mark your calendar for November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and read our survival guide so you’ll be ready.

The Web Summit has become a beacon to the tech, entrepreneurial, and startup communities globally.  A lot of the events are worth considering if your schedule allows, but pacing yourself is key because these three days are a marathon, not a sprint. And use #websummit early and often.

Speakers

This year there are over 150 speakers at this year’s Web Summit and most are on Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media so you can read their posts and Tweets now to see if you want to make sure you hear them speak at the main event. And then if you do meet any of them in person, you are informed enough to have a relevant conversation dispensing with the awkward not knowing who they are part.

Included in the esteemed speakers are leaders from the tech, communications, and startup industries. Among the speakers are:

  • Pat Phelan, Co-Founder and CEO of Trustev, who is one of the best known serial entrepreneurs in Ireland.
  • John Collison, Co-Founder and President of Stripe, founded his current company in 2010 with backing from Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Max Levchin and Sequoia Capital.
  • Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder and CTO of HubSpot and author of the book “Inbound Marketing,” founded and writes for OnStartups.com and promotes the inspiring HubSpot Culture Code.
  • David Rowan, Editor of WIRED Magazine UK, who devotes his time and perspective to speaking engagements and writing articles that inspire and guide entrepreneurs to take a successful approach to balance in their lives.
  • Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, works on Bitcoin and strives to make it accessible to everyone.
  • Marie Kondo, author and consultant, is author of the international bestseller, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” which focuses on her own KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
  • Liv Boeree, TV presenter, has her degree in Physics with Astrophysics from University of Manchester and is known for her extraordinary poker playing skills.
  • Dave McClure, Founder of 500 Startups,
  • Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist for Edelman, is a leading expert on strategies involving traditional and emerging media for public relations and communications.

Hackathon event

Last year, this event took place for the 48 hours just prior to the Web Summit. PCH, Dublin City University’s Innovation Campus, and the Web Summit teamed up to challenge attendees to a hardware hackathon.

With resources, tools, and innovation at their fingertips, as well as mentors to help through the process, it is a wild experience. And as if participating isn’t enough, there were prizes.

Details for this year’s Hardware Hackathon have not been released yet, but if it’s anything like last year’s you’ll want to check it out.

Night time events

Once the hustle and bustle at the RDS dies down, thousands descend upon Dublin’s trendy South William Street where the city comes alive.

The night time parties are a huge part of the Web Summit and offer great networking opportunities in a more casual environment. There are lots of official Web Summit parties that sometimes are invite only, but many are open to everyone. Keep an ear to the ground during the day for the best places to go that night.

Twitter and Facebook are always awash with news of events. If you miss the night time parties, you will be missing out on some of the Web Summit experience, so be sure to get out even if it is for just one of the nights.

It may not be feasible but a 15-minute powernap before you hit the town will work wonders and remember it’s a marathon not a sprint – The Web Summit is a three-day event!

Fringe Summit

Special Fringe Summit events bridge the gap between conference Dublin, the everyday Dublin, and its locals for a unique blend of real life and Web Summit. Companies or organizations host an event that can include anything from a food tour or listening to music to panel discussions or a cultural activity.

Last year, there were hundreds of Fringe events ranging from gastronomic to economic in focus. This year’s events are not yet announced, but you can count on them being varied and enticing!

Search for Ireland’s Best Startup

Of all who apply for consideration to the Spark of Genius event, only 15 will even make it to the mid-September pre-Summit meeting to show they are the best and brightest of Irish startups. Of those, the final three will take part in the final event in November.

Hardest Working Startup Competition

Startups from around Ireland show their hard work and dedication for a chance at the Hardest Working Startup title. No big shiny gold belt for the winner, but it is educational to learn about how they got their starts and what it takes to survive in the thriving startup climate of Ireland.

It all starts with nominations and entries upwards of 700 from international startups who believe they have the most dedicated and passionate bunch ever. Then there is a round of public voting before the Web Summit takes place. Then a winner emerges and their startup tale inspires others.

Will your startup be the next to win and inspire?

Dublin sights to see

The capital city of Ireland is alive with features from a city zoo to theatres and streets lined with pubs and cafes. Some of the more popular destinations for visitors are Temple Bar, The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, The Jameson Experience, Phoenix Park, National Aquatic Centre, The Book of Kells and Trinity College’s breathtaking library, Trinity College Science Gallery, The National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, National Botanic Gardens, and Farmleigh House.

Make connections

This year, the Web Summit has a really super mobile app for iOS and Android designed to do just that. You simply log in and it provides scores of recommendations of people relevant to you that you can connect with. This can include anyone from fellow attendees to the speakers themselves!

Find the side events

Every big event has an official schedule and an unofficial schedule. Web Summit is no different. There will be many official events throughout the day (and a few in the evening), but also fringe and extra meetups, breakout meetings, and happy hours. Talk to other people and find out what events are available ahead of time as well as other last-minute or impromptu events.

Nearly every venue, pub, and restaurant within a short distance of the RDS will have something going on in the evening this week! Side events are included in the app we linked to, but also the best way to find out about these is to network, talk, and check the hashtags.

Follow the hashtags

Social media can be a great real-time source of information. There’s always an official hashtag for any event, usually set up by the event organizers, but often there’s variations of this hashtag.

At the Web Summit this year, the official hashtag is #websummit, but for whatever reason, there’s also a pretty widely used #websummit2015 hashtag being used by a large number of attendees.

 

Teamwork on tour

We’ve got two more days of #teamworkontour at the Web Summit, so make sure you follow us on Twitter or check out our posts on Facebook to see what the crew are getting up to.

Featured Photo: 3 November 2015; A general view of attendees, during Day one of the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin, Ireland.
Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit

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