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Web Summit Portugal: A journey through the tech world

Web Summit Portugal in Lisbon
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Back pains and sore legs, but a head full of new ideas and with the future in sight. This is how many of the 71 thousand people who attended Web Summit 2022 ended the four days of the fair. That’s how I, at least, felt.

The Web Summit, the largest tech summit in the world, returned to Portugal in a face-to-face event after some entirely virtual editions due to the pandemic.

I was there to understand the most significant trends and how they can affect us at the level of travel, the environment or how we produce and interact with digital content.

Dream, Build and Transform

Why Web Summit?

This is a blog dedicated to travel, and I know you’re here, reading this article, because you may like to travel. So, “what the heck does travel have to do with Web Summit?” you’ll be asking… actually, more than you think.

Raise your hand if you use the internet to search for the cheapest flights

Raise your hand if you use Waze or Google Maps to find your way around…

Raise your hand if you use the Booking.com app to search for the best hotels to stay in…

Raise your hand if you have ever taken an online virtual tour of a museum or monument…

Well, you get my point.

The truth is that technology is increasingly present in our lives as travelers and even in the places we visit. For example, recently, on my trip to El Salvador, I saw several stores with signs saying they accept Bitcoins.

At the Web Summit, we talk about the evolution of technology and where we are heading. And who doesn’t like to be up to date with the latest news?

What’s new

In reality, from what I could watch of the Web Summit – yes, it’s impossible to see everything – I can’t say that there was one or another novelty that I had never seen or heard of. Instead, this Web Summit was a consolidation of concepts that are still so unknown to me but that the world already seems to embrace and take as normal.

Tokens, NFTs, cryptocurrencies… AI, VR, Metaverse, Web3…

The community assumes a significant role in the virtual world when, in fact, it sometimes seems unnoticed in the real world. Technology wants to be humanized and online experiences more and more personalized.

On the other hand, I was glad to know that this same real world, the one we “really” live in, is not entirely obliterated by the online.

One of the new things in this edition was a set of talks on a stage called “Book Summit”. Here, the value of the printed book vs the ebook and how they coexist was debated. Also, the approach to storytelling on paper or on the web.

On the other hand, on the Panda Conf stage, it was concluded that when it comes to e-commerce, customers are looking for a unified shopping experience. They want to connect both offline and online.

Book Summit
The Book Summit stage

The best Web Summit speakers

One of the benefits of the Web Summit is that we can see and hear some of the best speakers connected to the tech industry, but not only. Experts in marketing, social media, film, television or music, etc., take the stage.

This year, politicians also took a leading role, with the first lady of Ukraine taking center stage, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister of that country, as a result of the unfortunate conflict with Russia.

Here are some of the speakers I most enjoyed listening to and a few thought-provoking soundbites:

Neil Patel (Neil Patel Digital): “You need to make your marketing stand out.”
Neal Petersen (No Barriers): “We know so little about our oceans. If we cannot take care of this planet, what life can we have? Let’s focus on Mother Earth.”
Gail Arnon (Fiverr): “Community is the new driving force. Talk to your community, and they will talk back.”
Eva Longoria (Eva Longoria Foundation): “What happens in the world affects all of us, and we have to start thinking as a community.”
Naomi Gleit (Meta): “The Metaverse won’t replace being together in person.”
Noam Chomsky: “Sometimes engineering achievements may contribute to science. But science has a different concern.”

A showcase of the countries

As I mentioned, the Web Summit gathered more than 70,000 participants in Lisbon from the four corners of the planet, and that geographic diversity was also seen in the Summit’s stands.

Great Britain, Spain, Qatar, Egypt, Brazil… several countries stand out as a place for incubating startups or as the ideal destination for companies operating in the technological area.

Next: Web Summit Rio!

And speaking of countries, Brazil was in the spotlight at this year’s edition, not only because it was represented by the largest number of attendees ever but also because it will be the host country for the next event… Welcome to Web Summit Rio!

The Web Summit will be held in Portugal at the end of the year, but in March 2023, it will invade Rio de Janeiro.

Tell me in the comments: did you like to know more about Web Summit 2022? What is your relationship with technology, and how do you use it in your travels?

I’d love to hear your opinion!


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Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.

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