For every business events like Web Summit are full of hopes and expectations and it can be very frustrating if you do not take maximum from these 4 days.
Web Summit 2019 was our first experience at the conference. We want to share a timeline and a list of to-do’s so you will avoid overpaying or missing something useful.
Get a ticket
When: as early as possible
Try to find special Early Bird or Women in Tech deals. It can save you cash enormously. Not a women or do not need 2 tickets? Try to collaborate and find someone who might benefit from the deal as well.
Useful tools to use: Slack groups, Whatsapp groups, Facebook groups
Book a hotel
When: 5-3 months in advance.
We had been choosing between AirBnb and a hotel to stay during the Web Summit in Lisbon. Our advise would be to go for a hotel if it is 1 or 2 of you and not AirBnb. Booking in advance can give you the best possible price in a central location. Pay attention to the location as Lisbon is not really prepared to host 70.000 people (next year they are planning to bring in 100.000) and you might suffer from heavy traffic.
Top hotels during the Web Summit (location/price):
If there is a whole team of yours travelling, then you should consider to book AirBnb. Pay attention on the heating system at the property (Portugal rarely uses central heating and November is quite chilly especially at night) as well as location. Top areas to chose from: Alfama, Bairro Alto.
Plan your meetings
When: 2 months in advance/ Couple of weeks in advance
It really depends what you are after, but if your main goal is fundraising, make sure you do your homework in advance. Majority of investors have their schedule finalised 1-2 months in advance. And just as a side note – they usually meet not at the venue, but in town to avoid traffic and crowds. If you are doing a business development, it is totally fine to approach people 2-3 weeks in advance and ask them for a meeting.
Make sure to join Telegram/Slack chats for networking, as they are very useful and give you a great tool for connecting with attendees.
Telegram Channels (2019):
Download event app
When: 1 month in advance
Personally, we had registered quite in advance and we noticed that majority of people start using app just prior the event itself. However, you will have plenty of time to research attendees and connect with them.
Useful tip: people do not check messages in the app prior event, so you might find it very helpful to connect and message via Linkedin.
Research side events
The event program is not only limited to events that are in the main schedule. There are plenty of external events that are going for the whole week: investor breakfasts, themed talks, sponsored socials. Make sure to research events in advance and book your slots as they will get sold out fast.
Useful tools to use: Telegram, Eventbrite, Meetup, Custom-made calendars like this one by Ideahunt.
Also, there will be invite-only events by partners and you will not be able to find them online. The best way would be to get personally invited via your network.
Plan your transport
When: 1 week in advance
It might sound like an easy one, but believe us when 70.000 people invade Lisbon, it collapses. Plan your route to and from the venue, buy a 3-day public transport ticket at the airport, or download Uber/Bolt/Cabify. And do not forget, that the journey which usually takes 10 minutes turns into a 30-minutes one during the Web Summit.
We will be building up this list prior next Web Summit 2020 in Lisbon. Hope to see you!