Social Media Week (Lagos) is my favourite conference so far, and if you have doubts about that, then read my Top 5 moments from the maiden edition. However, moving to Dublin has its perks. Aside from the tourist attractions, diversity, and breweries, the tech scene here is amazing, and one way to get a good view was from the terrace at the Web Summit.
The third edition of the Web Summit saw over 10,000 people converge in the city of Dublin for 2 days of conference, workshops, pitch, competitions, hackathon, and keynotes, as well as 3 nights of parties. Not to get ahead of myself in what is meant to be an introduction, here are my Top 5 highlights from the event, where I had the opportunity to be a member of the Live Team.
1. People: Garyvee, Elon Musk, Levie, Sarah Lacy and More
The calibre of people at the Web Summit cannot be exaggerated, as individuals considered champions in their ventures came together to rub shoulders and share minds. From investors and founders, to media gurus and public officials, every stakeholder in the business of web were well represented.
Just to mention a few names, especially my favourites – Gary Vernychuck, Sarah Lacy, Baratunde Thurston, Robert Scoble, and Lori Cheek, all of which are in the business of social, and many other notable attendees like Drew Houston, Aaron Levie, Cindy Gallop, and Elon Musk who drove the Irish Prime Minister to the stage in a Tesla Model S.
2. NASDAQ in Europe
This didn’t make any sense but it did happen. The opening bell for the NASDAQ trading was rung at the Web Summit. Just in case you still don’t get it, people started trading in the United States, after the bell was rung at the Web Summit here in Dublin – that’s a city in Ireland on the continent of Europe.
NASDAQ happened to be a sponsor of the conference and must have been cajoled into pulling this stunt which did stun so many of the attendees.
3. Nigerian Startups Reppin’
With over 90 Beta and 110 Alpha startups from all over the world, it was exciting to see two from Nigeria pitch at the Web Summit. More impressive was the fact that after chatting with over 50 startups at random, the teams from Nigeria – MyMusic – a mobile and web service looking to crack the code of music distribution, and Insidify – a social recruiting platform, are both world class as regards to quality of team and product/service offering.
Definitely an indication that the local tech scene is one of a bright future.
4. Live Team (my cape) and Summit Team
I briefly mentioned being part of the Live Team at this year’s Web Summit. This meant not only was the 900 Euros ticket fee waived, but I also got to work with a brilliant team of people to share moments from the conference on social media. We had a diverse team using different tools including: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and blogs to capture moments and then share with the rest of the world.
5. Night Summit: #WeCodeHard and #WePartyHarder
Big new for Web Summit is branding The Summit as it now looks to explore other areas that are connected to the web in one way or the other including: music, art, fashion, food, and more, making the organizer expect a 20,000 attendees next year.
However, this year saw the activation of some of these new verticals including Wet Summit – a weather center providing up-to-date information, Food Summit – feeding and proving nutritional information to attendees, and last but not the least Pub and Night Summit – that saw 10,000 attendees takeover the night life venues across the Dublin city center. Let’s just say techies like to code hard, and love to party harder.
Those are my top 5 highlights from the 2-day event, and sure looking forward to the October 2014 edition, after the Social Media Week 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria.