Dublin is always in our hearts says Cosgrave
But Lisbon’s ‘sun, sea, light and hospitality’ is ready to welcome next year’s 50,000 attendees
The Web Summit is leaving Ireland but Dublin will always be in its heart, its founder Paddy Cosgrave has said.
While the tech conference will now move to Lisbon, Cosgrave insists it will continue to be an Irish company with its headquarters remaining on our shores.
Cosgrave told attendees on the final day of the Web Summit that he loves Ireland, his home country.
“It is where I will grow old and where I will some day raise a family,” he said.
“Dublin will always be in our hearts,” Cosgrave said.
Holding out some hope for a future return, saying: “Maybe one day the Web Summit will come back to this fantastic city.
“To the community of Dublin, I salute you,” he said.
“We’re leaving but we hope to come back in the future.”
However, Portugal’s deputy prime minister Paulo Portas promised delegates that there will be plenty of ‘sun, sea, light and hospitality’ awaiting them at next year’s event which will take place in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.
And in almost a nod to his comments, the rain lashed down on Dublin’s RDS for what will be the last Irish Web Summit for the foreseeable future.
The Portuguese Government is paying €1.3m to host the Web Summit for the next three years.
As the event bows out of the capital, co-founder and chief executive Paddy Cosgrave has been openly critical of the lack of support from the Government for the event and the logistics surrounding it, with the rhetoric moving up a gear in recent weeks.
However, these were not the sentiments echoed by the chief executive of the equivalent of Portugal’s IDA, Miguel Frasquilho, who paid tribute to Dublin’s hosting skills and the organisation of the Summit event, where about 40,000 passed through the doors of the RDS this week over three days.
Appearing on centre stage alongside the deputy PM, Mr Cosgrave and a host of representatives, he said members of his delegation were taking notes on how to replicate the event.
“Notes are being taken on how we can replicate the event in Lisbon,” Mr Frasquilho said.
He added that he had been
impressed with the logistics surrounding the event, including travel, while a task force is on the ground in Dublin to “ensure a smooth transition to Lisbon”.
He told the Irish Independent he hoped to attract 50,000 delegates next year.
A somewhat less energetic event than previous years, one of the criticisms of the Web Summit was the cost of food, with €20 vouchers covering the price of a meal.
However, the conference organisers defended the food at the Summit, saying they were running that leg of the event at a loss.