It’s quarter to seven on Thursday, November 9th 2016, and people are still asking questions. What is Lead Activation exactly? What type of clients do you help? When can we try ByTalk? The stage lights went off, everyone is packing up and the team is exhausted. But there’s only one feeling among us: mission accomplished.
What makes WebSummit different?
It’s not just the size of it. Some people might be tempted to say that an event with 53.056 people will generate noise rather than add value to the participants’ businesses and lives. However, it really didn’t feel that way to us.
Many conferences and business events in the marketing industry feel pointless, to be honest. There’s often a sense that everyone there is trying to sell you something you don’t need. WebSummit’s atmosphere was different. Firstly because there’s diversity among the attendees – you will find not only startups, entrepreneurs and investors, but also people from corporate businesses, SMB’s, together with students and people who are just generally curious about technology. Besides, the background in terms of area of expertise is also diverse: from engineers to marketing managers, everyone is interested in learning more.
And that’s probably the most important factor: people are genuinely interested in innovation. They have only one goal, regardless of what their jobs are – how can technology make my life easier? So yes, although it is about getting inspired, there’s also a very pragmatic, hands-on approach from attendees who are looking for new solutions to existing problems.
It’s not easy to bring together 1490 startups, 1300 investors, 663 speakers and 2000 journalists. But other than an often weak wifi signal and toilet queues at times, it turned out to be a success. And Portugal was an honourable host.
WebSummit in Lisbon – it makes sense.
Fine weather, great food, a lovely city with a vibrant nightlife and relatively cheap and abundant accommodation. These arguments make Lisbon a great choice to host any large scale event. But it doesn’t end there – Portugal has a special thirst for innovation. This might sound like a bold statement, but it’s actually quite easy to understand. With a smaller economy and industry than most of its European counterparts, Portugal relies heavily on technology and creativity to compete in a globalised world. The transformation is happening, and it needs the visibility that WebSummit is able to provide.
And now you ask: but what about funding? Sure, this is not Silicon Valley, but there’s smart money available for ideas that can actually deliver. Like the 100.000 € that Kubo Robot, the educational coding robot company, got from Portugal Ventures after winning the Pitch competition.
The Portuguese Government has also announced 200M – Co_invest with the best, a fund whose goal is to help startups in a co-investment regime with private funds.
BySide @ WebSummit
BySide’s participation was, first of all, an excellent demonstration of team work. Our engineers worked tirelessly to perfect the product – the development of ByTalk particularly, our newly launched spin-off, was only possible due to incredible agility and skill. Our sales team pitched two products in four different languages from 9 to 6 during three days, non-stop. Suddenly, the demand was so overwhelming that even our Porto office manager, Telma, started pitching – and driving even more people to the stand.
Secondly, we made many interesting contacts during the event: potential clients, partners and investors. All of them showed a genuine interest in what we were doing, with some conversations lasting a lot longer than people are used to in an event stand. There were many engaging conversations not only about technology itself, but also about how to use it in order to solve daily problems and limitations within companies.
Finally, we are now 100% sure that ByTalk, our new platform and spin-off, will be useful to a great deal of small businesses worldwide. Yes, smaller companies want to empower their marketing communications and yes, there’s an overall lack of tools that allow them to do so in a simple and unified way. There’s definitely a gap to be filled, and in this case we’re doing it with software that’s both easy and efficient. Now people just need to try it!
Images can speak louder than words, so here are some snapshots of the whole thing: