2023 is coming to an end, which means it's time to revisit what happened with the team and the project of dyrector.io in the past 12 months.
Web Summit is an intense, fast paced conference where thousands of up-and-coming innovators try to introduce their vision on how the world should look like. This year, our crew attended it for the first time, and we came to many conclusions we wish we knew before the event. In this post, we’ll summarize our experience so you can be prepared to an event you don’t want to miss out on.
Right after we arrived in Lisbon, we went on a little sightseeing. Surprisingly it was raining, and the wind was strong, but we were too excited to be there to be bothered by the conditions.
Soon as we approached the shores of the Tagus, we noticed the 25 de Abril Bridge. Our developer, Máté said, “Wow, we arrived faster to San Francisco than expected” and we couldn’t help but laugh even when it was raining cats and dogs. By the way, did you know that even James Bond drove through 25 de Abril Bridge?
Even before our glimpse at San Francisco, the first thing we noticed in Lisbon was how nice people were to each other. This includes our fellow Web Summit participants who came from all over the world to witness how a mass of individuals imagine the future. Our warmest experience was that there was a constant flow of information between the participants. Both as newcomers to Lisbon and startuppers, everybody was supportive to each other.
Over our less than a week stay at Lisbon, we had the chance to have pasteis de nata for breakfast (at least four times actually!) with some world class coffee. Even though we came for the conference we made sure that we checked out the local sites, like Belém Tower and the Sanctuary of Christ the King, as well as LxFactory which is the central creative area of the city.
We came back from Portugal with new experiences and perspectives, some of them we wish we knew earlier. In this blogpost we share them with you so you don’t have to find them out for yourself.
Before you buy your tickets to Web Summit, go check out where you’ll stay. You can find tons of great places to stay in the city, although there are some factors that might help your choice. First of all, how close are they to the subway? This is very important because thanks to the courtesy of the organizers, over the days of the Web Summit the participants can use the subway with a 5-day ticket sold specifically to people who came to the conference. This way you’ll get where you want to quicker, which is going to be important as you’ll see below.
There are different kinds of startups at the Web Summit. Not only working in different industries but also different levels of ideas are on display for 3 days. Most of the investors, however, aren’t focusing on industries, rather on your product and time is running really fast.
So, when you only have the idea, it’s important to have some sort of prototype to present how your product works. A demo is worth a thousand words.
By using a prototype, others can understand your product a lot faster than by trying to explain it to them.
You can figure out within a matter of seconds whether they’re interested or not.
Pro tip: make sure you have snacks on you, so you don’t have to leave your booth for food. Who knows who passes by your booth while you’re waiting in line for your lunch.
Some of our greatest experiences came from investors directly approaching us because they checked out dyrector.io before Web Summit. It’s something you wouldn’t expect to happen until it actually happens to you.
This makes a lot of sense. There are so many people at Web Summit and only so much time to gain information about sometimes abstract concepts that are difficult to understand. So, everybody’s trying to do their homework beforehand. Which leads to our next conclusion.
There are super interesting presenters and talks at Web Summit, all worth checking out. Unfortunately, though, if you try to stack all of the events right after each other, you won’t be able to attend them at all.
The pace of Web Summit is incredibly fast, everybody is trying to get things done as quickly as they can. For this reason, if you want to catch someone on Day 3, don’t be surprised when they’re exhausted.
To get you a better understanding of how short the time is at Web Summit, here’s an example. We took part in a Mentor Hour meeting with five startups besides us. The session was 60 minutes long which wasn’t enough to go beyond the introduction of everyone and discuss our ideas and problems. On the bright side, it was enough to make new connections but don’t expect workshops that take hours. Together with this, you won’t be able to have fireside chats with others. Your best chance for those might be Night Summit but some people tend to just blow off some steam there and don’t talk business in the evening.
Web Summit has a busy, competitive atmosphere. Therefore, you must do your best to not only get noticed but also to convince investors that you’re the real deal.
We saw some companies who came with monitors to present slide decks and demo their product at their booth. These won’t guarantee you investments but people who are curious about your product will wrap their head around your concept a lot easier.
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people at Web Summit. At the 2021 event there were more than 40 thousand people! There’ll be other companies who face similar challenges to yours. There’ll be even competitors, trying to find out what makes you different from them. And it’s all cool because competition leads to growth and learning. And what better place to learn about yourself and the world than at Web Summit.
It’s fair to say that we gained a lot of experience during our first Web Summit. We thought it’d be helpful to share our experiences so you can make the most out of the event. Attending the conference is 100% worth it because you can show the world your vision and it matters how you choose to do it. We hope this blog post is helpful for your preparation to Web Summit 2022.
This blogpost was written by the team of dyrector.io. dyrector.io is an open-source continuous delivery & deployment platform with version management.
Find the project on GitHub.