It was the middle of November, only six days later after WebSummit 2019 ended, when I saw the new promotion for their 10th-year conference. Pretty fast, right? Not quite. For one of the biggest (and most popular) conference in the world, actually the bigger European technology conference and the largest tech innovation global marketplace in the world, the key is to promote consistently. The best part of the year.
The world’s leading founders, CEOs, industry leaders, investors, inspiring speakers, entrepreneurs and so many more joined in last year – and, I admit, I couldn’t be more excited to be one of the attendees. But this WebSummit is different. We are not going to book flights to Lisbon in November. We are not going to search for three-days accommodation. We are not going to take the subway to the Altice Arena and Lisbon Exhibition & Congress Centre. But we are going to stay online and watch every speaker, listen to everything, and have virtual parties. No more obrigado, no more selfies among 70,000 people, and, definitely, no more boa Lisboa.
I confess that I will miss the vibe – WebSummmit 2019 was their biggest – but the good part is that online is quicker and more comfortable. 150 speakers have just been announced for WebSummit 2020 – only a delicate presence since it is just the beginning of September – and tickets already promise access to over 100 hours of live streamed content and meet more than 100,000 attendees. And while I like this conference, it can be simply summarised with some good highlights from last year WebSummit agenda and some numbers – pretty impressive I may add:
- 70,469 attendees
- 1,206 speakers
- 2,150 startups
- 1,221 investors
- 163 countries
Global trends: Throwback to WebSummit 2019
I know that no one would be bothered to go through the WebSummit 2019 presentations in the unusual run of things from 2020, but thought if I select the ones I love, briefly describe them, and link to their videos, you might consider it. And please do: they are just a few and they are inspiring to watch.
Mega – trend for developers & data: data protection
The only way to protect anyone is to protect everyone.
President of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Edward Snowden, spoke about data protection and security on Opening Night. Full talk here:
Mega – trend for society: digital storytelling
When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive. If it looks like an ad, smells like an ad and sounds like an ad, it’s not a good ad.
When it comes to content, people love stories – and brands use innovative storytellers to turn complex subjects into digestible narratives. This means a fruitful story combines excellent design with strong storytelling. Creative Director of The New York Times, Graham McDonnell showed how images, animations, 3D elements, AR, VR, interactive maps, music, and graphic design together with storytelling successfully bring stories to life.
This modern mix is very visual – apart from being gloriously visible – even when it is used to present benefits, products and B2B actions. And I imagine it is a very satisfying work, too. I must add – as I am a content lover – their advertorials are by far the best I’ve seen. Here is the entire presentation:
Mega – trend for marketing & media: creativity
Creativity has the power to bend reality.
Burger King CMO Fernando Machado discussed the relationships between brand and people, the advertising that’s not advertising and told us how to use creativity to competitive advantage. That’s the thing really: the burger is something that just provides flavor – and there is no need to mention that almost everyone prefers flame-grilled not fried. Watch the full keynote:
Mega – trend for brands: insanely great branding
A brand is a promise performed consistently over-time. But the promise is less important than performance, and the story is less important than experience.
Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, Brian Collins talked about why brands are no longer in competition with each other, but with the future—and why imagination will be the lifeblood of a better tomorrow. He mentioned three of their projects, MailChimp, Spotify, EOS, and he even did something ladies loved: he shared with us free lip balms during his presentation. Watch all about it:
Mega – trend for business development: innovator & disruptive business model
Because to disrupt and innovate, if you don’t do that, your business will not exist in the future.
CEO of Tommy Hilfiger, Daniel Grieder on designing a brand to disrupt: they changed the classic way of fashion design with digital fashion design – which actually means to produce faster, to inform all the staff, to implement new procedures in fabrics, to cover all critical steps. See the entire discussion:
Mega – trend for lifestyle: Immersive Entertainment
Today it’s not enough just to watch people want to record and share. People now want to be in their own stories.
People no longer just buy products, they engage. To offer a memorable experience people will want to share on Social Media one must mixt AR, VR, MR – all the Rs, obviously – with the four pillars of content: Creation, Experience, Distribution, and Insights. Mike McGee, Framestore’s co-founder and creative director, about their latest technologies and projects, showed how brands and IP owners can unlock exciting new possibilities for audience engagement through immersive entertainment. Such as bringing heroes to life for a selfie, making dinosaurs walk in a museum, or going on a trip to Mars – without even leaving the Earth. Watch all about it:
WebSummit returns in December! Yey! And they say they’ve got the biggest event they’ve ever produced in-store. If you don’t want to miss this year’s WebSummit agenda – and for some reason you can’t afford to miss it, really – add WebSummit to your 2020 calendar – at least, how much is left of it. Sign up on their official website and remember this, as most big conferences, offer the best experience if you join briskly, vigorously meet new people, then repeat the next year.