Now that we have caught up on the lack of sleep and are firmly back on our familiar Scottish ground, I have had time to reflect upon my experiences at Web Summit 2015, Dublin. Overall, I have nothing but positives in that it was a fantastic experience and a great opportunity to dive in at the deep end and with the support of the DI team (as well as a last minute addition of the invaluable Danni, from Material) learn to swim in unknown waters.
I must admit that I held slight reservations about the event in the weeks leading up to Web Summit as its fair to say their mobile app and website were not as informative or as easy to navigate as you would have expected for a tech summit. However credit where credit is due, from arriving at the airport and being able to register within a matter of minutes to the free shuttle bus back to the airport at the end of the week the event was organised and run with expert proficiency. With over 40,000 attendees it was never going to be an easy task but overnight the Web Summit organisers were able to completely strip back and rebrand the exhibition halls in time for the next round of companies to pitch the following day.
On Tuesday morning we arrived at our stand (albeit the m² space for all 4 of us to base ourselves, was cosy) prepped and ready for a full day of pitching! The overwhelming size of the venue and sheer volume of people however made for an intimidating start to the day, thankfully after watching and listening to my more senior colleagues pitch to potential clients/ investors/ partners it didn’t take long for me to settle into my stride. Branded t-shirts and badges donned, we were able to attract, capture the interest of, and gather contact details for a great number of potential business leads. Over the following two days we were able to build upon this growing directory, networking our way between Web Summit venues in between talks by the likes of Michael Dell, Facebook, Deloitte and the BBC.
Whilst away we were conscious of ensuring our own social media feeds were ripe with content and we kept our followers informed as to what we were getting up to. Have a look at the DI Instagram & Twitter accounts for pictures from the day and a video snippet of our pitch – excuse how exceptionally close the camera is to my face.
As the saying goes “work hard play harder” and Dublin was a great means of getting to know my fellow colleagues outside of the office setting. Many laughs were had, as well as heated debates held, as we put the world to rights over a pint or two of Dublin’s infamous Guinness.
So in summary, Web Summit 2016 come at us! We are more than ready for the challenge and hopefully next year we will be returning as a Beta business!