Unless a miracle arrives, the largest tech conference of the year will be coming “from home,” as Portugal is still fighting the pandemic.
Last year, the Portuguese government agreed to pay Web Summit €11 million a year to expand Lisbon’s conference facilities, anticipating that the number of participants would eventually increase from 70,000 to 100,000. The government made the commitment based on estimates that the conference itself generates 300 million euros ($330 million) for the city during the week it takes place in November. That won’t happen in 2020.
Collision, the Toronto-based companion event of Lisbon’s Web Summit, was renamed Collision From Home. Organizers announced that attracted over 30,000 people online, paying $79 for over 100 hours of talks.
The organization behind Web Summit still hopes to host some talks in Lisbon. They are, however, already preparing for a hybrid approach and an online-only event.
“Web Summit will host up to 100,000 founders, partners and speakers on its proprietary online conference platform. This will be Web Summit’s second online conference hosted on its own platform following the 30,000+ attendee Collision from Home event (June 23-25), which is bringing people from more than 140 countries around the world together.” says their press release.
“The format of Web Summit in Lisbon will likely be decided in early October. At that point, whatever decision is made on the format of Web Summit in Lisbon will strictly adhere to Portugal’s health protocols for events at that time. That decision will thereafter be reviewed weekly and subject to health protocol changes until the opening day of Web Summit in Lisbon on December 2.” the note adds.