Our Technology Correspondent has arrived in the city ahead of the conference, which starts tomorrow
Web Summit ruffled a few feathers last year, but as I sit here, in a gorgeous little café in Lisbon preparing for Web Summit 2016, I can’t help but tip my cap to the organisers.
It was around this time last year, that Web Summit announced it was leaving Dublin for Lisbon and a rather unfortuante spat was ongoing between Paddy Cosgrave and the government. It’s unclear if there’s bad blood between the two bodies now, but in a way, it doesn’t really matter as Web Summit has a new home for the foreseeable.
I’m writing this at 10.42am on Sunday morning. There’s no time difference, which is an amazing help to those of us who struggle with that sort of thing. I landed into the country just over an hour ago and managed to disembark my Ryanair flight, collect my bags, register for the conference, buy a special-rate travel card and get to my hotel. All within 60 minutes. That’s not bad going!
I wasn’t long off the plane before I spotted a pink t-shirt-wearing Web Summit volunteer helping some of my fellow passengers. I saw signs around the airport of the conference and was able to collect my press pass there. This means I can walk straight into the conference tomorrow morning. This is the done thing for many big events around the world and I was delighted to see Web Summit managed to pull it off.
Remember food-gate last year - people were up in arms because they were charged €20 for a burger and bottle of water? Well, value doesn’t appear to be a big issue here. I purchased a Web Summit travel pass for €25. This gives me unlimited use of the Metro and busses for the duration of my stay.
The Metro system is slick. I managed to get from the airport to my hotel in 20 minutes, pretty much door-to-door.
The lady on reception at my hotel gave out to me for being 4 hours too early for check-in, so I’ve ditched my bags and walked around to a beautiful café to get my caffine hit.
The conference kicks off tomorrow morning and, from what I've seen so far, I have high hopes for Web Summit 2016. The line up is solid, the venue looks great and fingers crossed there will be super-powerful Wifi.