The inaugural Web Summit conference took place in Dublin, Ireland in 2010. It was attended by about 400 representatives of the local IT community, including entrepreneurs and investors. The next year, the conference tripled in size and moved to a bigger venue. Speakers included co-founder and former CEO of YouTube Chad Hurley, co-founder and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, and developer of WordPress Matt Mullenweg.
The attendance has been growing steadily ever since, and today Web Summit is one of the biggest international tech conferences and the largest and most important technology marketplace in Europe. It draws over 50,000 attendees from more than 150 countries every year. What started as a local meet-up, has become a meeting place for a wide range of people from across the global technology industry.
Over the years, the conference has featured many notable speakers known for their contribution to the IT industry including Internet activist and computer engineer Wael Ghonim, co-founder and CEO of Russian search engine Yandex Arkady Volozh, Canadian-American entrepreneur and engineer Elon Musk (PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors), founder and CEO of Dropbox Drew Houston, co-founder of Skype Niklas Zennström and others.
During the first five years the conference took place in Dublin and was known as Dublin Web Summit. But in September 2015 it was announced that the next edition would be held in Lisbon. Problems with the Wi-Fi connection at the 2014 conference were listed among the reasons. Besides, the organizers accused the Irish government of insufficient support and issues around infrastructure in Dublin.
The program of the conference features smaller summits dedicated to different topics. Some of them are directly related to technology and business (for example, Code, Content, Data, Design, Enterprise, Machine, Marketing, Money, Security, Startup University) while others are dedicated to interaction of technology with other areas (Fashion, Health Tech, Society, Sport, Music). Of course, the program also features entertainment such as pub crawls and Night Summit where attendees can meet people and connect.
Photo by William Murphy