Business Irish

Sunday 18 August 2019

What we'll miss, what we won't . . .

Ailish O'Hora

Adeus is Portuguese for goodbye, and yes, I admit it, I had to look it up. It has been an emotional three days - and more - for all involved.

But as the big machine, which is now the Web Summit, pulls out of town and departs for climes sunnier in Lisbon, here are some of the things we'll miss, and some we won't.

Atmosphere/personality: Bold, brash, disorganised, unforgiving and naive, the Web Summit has a personality all of its own.

Business/Economy: It brought business to Dublin and the thousands of attendees spent money here.

Technology/deals: Okay, so it is hard to fathom exactly how many deals were done here and how much they are worth, but it is true that investor Shervin Pishevar met US entrepreneur Travis Kalanick in Bruxelles pub on Dublin's Harry Street back in 2011.

Chaos: Whether it was the traffic, the logistics or simply getting around the sprawling RDS itself, there's not a hope it will be replicated in Lisbon.

Rip-off Ireland: I saw lunchtime starters cheekily advertised on a window of a mid-range Ballsbridge restaurant for €11.95 yesterday. Then there's the hotel prices - an ongoing Web Summit bugbear - and the price of food for delegates.

WiFi: Will it go down in history as the worst aspect of the Dublin Web Summit? While the system was outsourced this year to fix the problems of previous ones, it still wasn't great. But it was better.

Again, it will be interesting to see what Portugal does differently.

Irish Independent

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