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Web Summit 2020 goes exclusively online

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Organization backs off on the idea of ​​sharing an event between virtual and face-to-face spheres due to the increase in covid-19 infections in Europe.

Web Summit 2020 will have no face-to-face events in Lisbon. After talks with the Government, the organization decided to back off on the idea of ​​having part of the event online and part with the participation of interested parties, because this is “the best for Portugal”. Between 2 and 4 December, the event will have a 100% digital format this year.

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“Lisbon remains the home of the Web Summit , but with the growth of infections and outbreaks of covid-19 in Europe, we have to think about what is best for the Portuguese and for our participants. The safest and most reasonable way to repeat the Web Summit is to do it completely online in 2020 ”, sums up Paddy Cosgrave, founder of the technology conference, which will have its fifth edition this year since he moved from Dublin to the Portuguese capital.

It was in June that there was news that the organization would evaluate the possibility of unfolding the 2020 edition in online programming and a component with an audience. However, four months later, the evaluation that had been promised for October is done. And, after Collision at Home’s completely online experience (a conference of its kind held annually in Canada and this time having a 100% online edition ), the decision is that the invited speakers and the public at the Web Summit will be exclusively at online platform developed by the company for this type of events.

The summit, which usually takes place in November, will thus have a smaller impact on Lisbon’s tourism. In 2019, the 100,000 participants made 55,000 purchases during the summit , according to SIBS data, with foreigners being responsible for more than 72% of payments.

The organization will offer 50,000 entries at the online summit  to the university community, including recent graduates interested in working at a Portuguese startup or opening their own.

In this fifth edition, the organization will create a new channel and dedicate it exclusively to Portugal. The country’s technological and scientific communities will also pass through there, as well as promoting the country as a tourist, cultural, history and investment opportunity destination, read in the statement released today. 

800 guest speakers are confirmed, people as diverse as scientist Jane Goodall, the founder of the Zoom platform, Eric Yuan, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, and actor Chris Evans, who embodies the character Captain America in the cinema .

In addition, there are 500 companies on the list of participants. The organization expects to establish up to 10,000 video interactions during the three days of the conference.

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