To misquote Douglas Adams, “The Web Summit is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is”, so to help you get the most from the event, here’s our survivor’s guide.
Don’t spend all your time at the stages
As usual, the Web Summit has gathered together some huge names, and representatives from some of the most powerful companies in the tech sector. But it’s a mistake to spend your time running from stage to stage trying to catch that nugget of wisdom from the biggest and brightest.
Don’t pick the speakers because of their profile, instead select the speakers you want to listen to based on what their topic. You’ll learn more from a well informed speaker discussing an interesting topic, than you will by just running from big name to big name.
Do visit the stands, and talk to the entrepreneurs
The Web Summit doesn’t just attract high quality speakers from established companies, it attracts some of the most promising start-ups and entrepreneurs. You’ll regret not visiting them. Attendees from last year’s Summit, such as Tawkon and Chirp.io, have gone on to win plaudits, awards, and some considerable funding.
If you have a schedule, you’re doing it wrong
Having a rough plan is a good idea, but be prepared (and willing) to throw it away. You’ll get more out of networking and checking out the start-up stands than sticking to an unforgiving schedule. You’ll also have a far less stressful day, trust us on this one.
For some people this comes easily, for others it’s a challenge but it’s worth a try. If you see someone from your industry, say hi; see someone you don’t know, say hi; see a speaker you want to talk to, say hi.
Don’t spend all day glaring into your smartphone
We’ll admit to doing this on occasion, but don’t spend all day looking into your smartphone.
Above all, don’t be that guy who suddenly stops, mid stride, to send a tweet. If you have to check out your phone, find a corner away from the crowds
Grab your freebies
There are plenty of freebies on offer throughout the day, be sure yo pick up yours (Mallzee has Whisky). Also be sure to pick up those business cards and Twitter handles, so you can contact those you met later on.
Don’t forget to eat
Pro tip, if you see food, eat it.