Luck of the Irish…? The rise and rise of Web Summit
A few weeks ago I made the annual pilgrimage to ExCel for IP Expo 2015. After missing it last year – and hearing a few negative reviews about 2014’s show – my expectations were moderate. I was therefore pleasantly surprised about the number of delegates, quality of speakers and general buzz of the show. It felt like a conference which had found its groove. This week Pete Hendrick and I are going a little further afield and will be attending another European IT conference – Web Summit 2015 in Dublin. Now here’s a tech trade show that’s hasn’t so much ‘found its groove’ as written a whole new song book and cranked the volume up to 11! Five years ago Web Summit was an intimate gathering of 500 local tech entrepreneurs and investors. This year the event will host 20,000 global delegates. These include big name speakers, new start-ups, VCs, C-level execs and a who’s who of enterprise IT exhibitors. With a week to go all tickets – including the access-all-areas swanky ones, which were not cheap – were sold out. So is it luck of the Irish…? Far from it. Web Summit has worked hard and cannily to establish itself as a major date in the tech calendar. It has spectacularly tapped into the start-up and fast-growth tech community and the zeitgeist which surrounds it, but at the same time managed to bring large enterprise organisations along with them. It has something for everyone. So time to dig out my passport (do I need a passport for Ireland?!), dust off my business cards (actually, I’ll be using the excellent app which Web Summit has developed to connect with other delegates) and brace myself for some Irish hospitality. Déan mianach a Guinness!