Navigating the Websummit Universe: From Dublin to Rio Websummit 2023 (6/10)

  • by Peter Orban
  • Jan 27, 2024
  • 6 mins read

As long-standing attendees of Websummit, starting from our very first foray into the event in Dublin in 2014, our journey through this global tech conference has been nothing short of a saga. From Dublin to the recent Websummit Rio, the first of its kind in Latin America, we've seen the event evolve, participating as both BETA and Alpha startups.

Websummit: A Global Tech Melting Pot

Websummit, in its essence, is a dazzling affair. It’s a melting pot where technology, innovation, and big ideas converge. Having been part of several Websummits, as well as its sister events like Rise and Collision, we've had a front-row seat to the expansive and dynamic nature of this tech juggernaut.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Websummit

However, when it comes to the crunch of cost versus benefit, Websummit, in our view, struggles to justify its price tag, especially for those looking to seal real deals. Here’s why: Websummit is a general tech conference attracting numbers akin to leading industry-specific events. If your goal is to exhibit and make concrete business connections, we've found that industry-specific conferences tend to offer more targeted opportunities, often with startup-friendly packages for exhibition.

Our Numbers at Websummit

So, what did our participation yield in terms of tangible results? Here's the breakdown: We exhibited for one day as a BETA startup at Websummit and prepped intensively 48 hours prior by cold emailing and connecting with prospects on LinkedIn. The outcome? We garnered a total of 48 leads, among which 3 were high-profile, involving C-level managers from some of our top target companies. While these numbers seem impressive at first glance, it's crucial to contextualize them within the nature of Websummit. As a general tech event, not industry-focused, the quality of interactions and leads can vary. The potential partners at Websummit often share a similar broad-spectrum approach, which is an essential factor to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of our participation.

While these numbers seem impressive at first glance, it's crucial to contextualize them within the nature of Websummit. As a general tech event, not industry-focused, the quality of interactions and leads can vary.

The Rising LATAM Startup Scene

The first Websummit in Rio also opened our eyes to the burgeoning startup ecosystem in Latin America. The LATAM market is a burgeoning space, marked by a vibrant and rapidly growing tech scene. Recent data shows that venture capital investment in Latin American startups has surged, with tech hubs emerging in cities like São Paulo, Mexico City, and Bogota. This region is experiencing a tech renaissance, driven by a young, tech-savvy population, increasing internet penetration, and a growing appetite for digital solutions in sectors like fintech, e-commerce, and EdTech (it was a super great talk with Edith Yeung from Race Capital about the topic). The potential here is immense, evidenced by the rise of unicorns and innovative startups that are not just thriving locally but also making a mark on the global stage.

The Alluring Sides of Websummit

But it's not all a numbers game. The allure of Websummit lies in its electric atmosphere: The Inspiration Factor: If you're seeking a jolt of inspiration and motivation, Websummit can be a goldmine. The energy, the ideas, the sheer scale of ambition on display can be invigorating. The Diversity of Perspectives: Being amidst such a diverse crowd from all corners of the tech world is an experience in itself. It challenges your views, broadens your horizons, and can be incredibly inspiring, depending on your mindset. A Glimpse into the Future: Websummit offers a panoramic view of the tech landscape – where it is now, and where it might be heading. It's like a crystal ball into the future of technology.

Will We Return?

Despite the mixed feelings, the answer leans towards yes. The value of Websummit, for us, extends beyond just business deals. It's about staying plugged into the global tech pulse, absorbing the inspiration that comes from being part of something so vast and diverse.

Final Verdict

While Bett Connect scores a lowly 2 out of 10 in our books, Websummit Rio fares better with a 6 out of 10. It’s not perfect, but it still holds a certain charm and value that keeps us coming back.

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Peter Orban

CEO of Blcks
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