Web Summit 2017 is just around the corner. From prepping beforehand to having a great time while you’re there, here’s how you can make most of it!

Tech conferences are essential for entrepreneurs who are looking for new contacts, business and learning opportunities. Web Summit, the largest tech conference in Europe, is no different, offering a great opportunity to gain know-how, network with professionals, and stay ahead of emerging trends in certain markets.

But it takes some serious planning to really get the most out of attending a conference. Without the preparation, you will miss out the opportunities that make Web Summit a valuable investment for yourself and your business.

To make sure you are in a tip-top shape for Web Summit, we’ve created this checklist for you. Follow along to make sure you’re prepared for the best conference of 2017.


1. Get Your Game Plan Ready


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If you don’t have a game plan yet, you need one! First and foremost, you need to articulate (and measure) the results you want from your exhibit. Maybe you want:

* Generate leads for your sales team

* Extend brand awareness

* Demonstrate new services or products

* Launch a new campaign

Whatever it is, make sure it is in alignment with your overall business goals. Once you’ve identified your company’s goals for the conference, you need to communicate it to your team, and that’s when your strategy comes together.


2. Create Networking Strategy


You’re probably very good at finding out about people before actually meeting them, right? How else would you prepare for client meetings or potential interviews?

Have a look at the Web Summit attendee list and do your research – make a list of partners you would like to meet, potentially collaborate, or network with. Learn about their business and the work they do. Identify what you can do to them and how a potential relationship with them could grow your business.

While doing this you’ll quickly find that focusing your networking efforts will lead to more impactful interaction with other attendees of Web Summit. Here are some things to consider when developing your networking strategy for Web Summit:


* Meet with partners that specialize in the same area as you: you’ll easily be able to discuss the current challenges, industry opportunities, and create contacts based on this commonality.


* Some businesses are looking to expand: businesses are often searching for new workforce or contributors, so make sure you’ve positioned yourself and your skills correctly before attending.


* Get fully involved with the programme: Make sure you’ll look through the Web Summit side-events calendar because these events and meetups provide some proper networking opportunities outside of the actual exhibition. 


Remember, networking is a valuable tactic for developing your business and professional strategy. Did you know that among the tales of Night Summit, Uber founder Travis Kalanick famously secured a round of funding during a pub crawl?

3. Review the Speakers’ Sessions


Have you defined your goals for Web Summit? Not just your social goals, but your learning goals, as well? Because as valuable as networking can be for your business, taking key learnings and applying them to your projects and growth strategies can make all the difference as well.

Also, how often will you have an opportunity like this to learn from some of the most influential voices in the tech industry?

If you plan out which speaking sessions you’re going to attend in advance of the conference, you’ll have much better idea of your learning outcomes. We recommend you to customize your Web Summit experience to your learning goals, by creating a personalized Speaker schedule for yourself.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s an example of few sessions that you do not want to miss this year:

7th-november9:45 am: Opening Remarks by Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit.

13.50 pm: Blake Irving in conversation. The head of GoDaddy talks frankly about how the company has evolved over his tenure and why he feels that companies, now more than ever, need to do the right thing.

14.55 pm: The evolution of conversation: Facebook’s Stan Chudnovsky.To what extent will AI and chatbots replace humans in messaging communications?

7th-november-210.30 am:Uber’s flying cars, Jeff Holden CPO of Uber. How long will it be before you your Uber arrives by air rather than on the road?

12:35 pm: Redesigning Reddit, Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit and Karen Tso, Anchor, Squawk Box, CNBC. How do you redesign something that many people love?

16.05 pm: Making sense of TV and film, Liam Cunningham, Actor of Game of Thrones; Rosario Dawson, Actress and Founder of Studio 189 and Ed Guiney, Founder of Element Pictures. If you watch your favorite show on your phone, is that still Television?Join these leading creatives, producers, and analysts in TV and Cinema for an in-depth conversation.

7th-november-410:35 am: Tech against terrorism, Robert Wainwright, Director, Europol, Adam Hadley, Director of Tech Against Terrorism Project. Acts of terrorism are happening more and more often in the world today. Will technology help put a stop to them?

12.50 pm: Platforms with purpose, David Karp, Founder of Tumblr and Lara O’Reilly, Reporter at Wall Street Journal. This session will discuss the role of business as a force for good and the crucial initiative to activate the next generation of allies, activists and – even more – accomplices.

14:00 pm: Who defines gender? Caitlyn Jenner, Olympian and Advocate of Transgender Rights. The world’s most famous transgender woman asks: Can we really define gender?

16.25 pm: PITCH winner revealed. The winner of the greatest startup competition on the planet PITCH 2017 is revealed.

16.30 pm: The innovation community’s role in solving the climate crisis, Al Gore, Chairman of Generation Investment Management. The former United States Vice President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, a subject of the Academy Award-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth” and Chairman of Generation Investment Management, challenges the tech and innovation community to help solve the planet’s biggest problems.


These are just a few of the great sessions at Web Summit. Make sure to check out the whole programme, and make your own preferences!


4. Curate and Create Content


You’ll be able to churn out some really fantastic content after attending Web Summit. So don’t forget to think about how you can leverage your conference experience to create new content for your company blog, articles, or process documentation. 

For example, keynotes provide loads of great takeaways and inspiration, and sessions can lead to great “how-to” posts. Conversations are another great spot for content ideas. Here’s what you should keep in mind when preparing your content creation strategy:


* Come up with a plan what you want to write about, so you can meet and learn from the right people and sessions.


* Connect with attendees you want to learn from on social media and set up a time for a meeting. Twitter is a great source. 


* Remember to exchange business cards! These will help you to stay connected after the conversation! For social conversations use #WebSummit


* Don’t forget to take written or digital notes!


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Web Summit is coming up fast, but there’s still time to prepare. Keep all of the above in mind before you get to the MEO Arena and FIL on 6th of November, and we guarantee you’ll make most of your time at Web Summit 2017!

P.S.: We really love to meet our clients and anyone who is curious about Startup Creator. If you are attending the Web Summit and would like to meet with us in Lisbon, shoot us an email at contact@startup-creator.com. Hope to see you there and get an opportunity to meet!


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