Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Web Summit will take place, all over the country, on "stages" that will work simultaneously. The objective is to make the country better known, explains the event's CEO.

Paddy Cosgrave sees the online and offline edition of the Web Summit, announced this Wednesday, as an opportunity to make Portugal better known beyond Lisbon. In an online press conference, from the platform created by the company to carry out Collision from home – which should take place, at this time, in Canada – the CEO of the largest technology and entrepreneurship conference in the world said that this year’s edition will have a stage dedicated to Portugal and the national entrepreneurial ecosystem and stressed that the event will take place simultaneously from several parts of the country.


“We don’t want to just set up a studio in Lisbon, but go to Porto, Coimbra, Faro, and do something at the same time. The world has to know that there’s more Portugal beyond Lisbon, and so we’re thinking about how to do it,” the Irishman pointed out, underlining that “whatever the limitations, I want this year’s edition to go around Portugal. In December, it will be incredible for the world to see and get to know more about the country.”


The organization of the Web Summit announced this morning in a statement that the event will take place this year in an offline version, from Portugal, and online. The company that owns the Web Summit also announced the postponement of the conference to December 2-4.


As for the number of people expected in Lisbon, Paddy Cosgrave pointed out that only in October can the capacity be estimated “recommended by the health authorities” and that “it can change every week” until the event.


Online: the new model

Since Tuesday, the Web Summit team has been conducting its first online conference, ‘Collision from home’, which was to take place in Toronto, Canada. The conference organization has built the software that allows the online broadcast of the event over the past eight weeks, with two screens: smartphone (app) and desktop (streaming platform, where this press conference also took place).


“Our biggest challenge is that in our case, our assistants always stress the opportunity for people to meet. We wondered how we could replicate some of that magic offline in an online environment. This (Collision) is our demo day of an online platform for events,” said the Irishman. “We hope that this platform we started, now can be used by some of our partners, institutions and NGOs around the world,” he said.


According to Paddy Cosgrave, one of the new features brought by the ‘Collision from home’ edition is a change in the profile of the attendees, mainly due to the reduced need for investment. “The pattern of participation is different since it does not require geographical displacement or lodging expenses,” said the Web Summit CEO. Another “surprise” was the use of one-to-one videos, through the online platform. For Paddy Cosgrave, “the future of conferences is a hybrid.”