- Local time
- Oct 19, 2019
Firstly, a huge thanks to @Gummibeer for reassigning his free ticket to me. I owe you a beer.
Here's a quick review of Web Summit 2019 from the point of view of a developer.
Where to stay?
This is a really big event. And just like major sports events, you will find signs in stations pointing to Web Summit which makes things easy.
Day 1 - Opening Night
- Register and collect your passes at the airport. Took me less than 5 minutes. Collect your metro card at the airport also.
- Leave your bags in the hotel. Despite the fact they said backpacks were allowed, the Police decided not to allow backpacks on opening night. In fact, water bottles weren't allowed on opening night also. This will save you additional queuing for the bag drop
- From the station, it took me 2 hours before I managed to finally get a seat. This involved being redirected to bag drop, then going through a security. Despite the size of the arena, everyone goes through the same entrance which slows things down
- 70,000 attendees but only 20,000 capacity for the main arena. Get there early or you'll have it to watch it on big screen outside. The arena was full by 6:40pm.
- Better organised. Queuing times are roughly 30 minutes. Backpacks and empty water bottles are allowed
- Bag queues are almost non-existent
- Once inside, it takes 20 minutes to walk end to end. Make use of their app and plan your schedule. I spent a few minutes every day for a week to add as many things that interested me to my schedule even if it was overlapping. That way, on the day I can decide to skip something or go to another event just because it was closer or I knew I could catch up with their online videos
- That said, some talks are better experienced inside the Arena itself. Regardless of whether you agree with a speaker's opinions or not, the atmosphere inside the Arena is very cool. Highlights for me were Edward Snowden and Boston Dynamics where their Spot robot walked down the aisle and even let the public get up close 😃
- Certain workshops (AWS for instance) is first come, first served. You may want to start queuing 30 minutes earlier. Also, you can't really attend 2 consecutive workshops - everyone needs to vacate when a workshop ends (which is fair I think)
- Even if you are travelling alone, make an effort to go the night summit. As (introverted) developers, some of us find it a little hard to socialise in such large environments but it's definitely one of the highlights.
- Day 1 was inside the Arena compound and while it was nice, it felt difficult to socialise.
- Day 2 was in town (Pink Street) and had a massive foosball table which really helped to get conversations started. The street is open to public but certain venues were exclusive to us.
- Day 3 was at LX Factory - a massive warehouse rave. Outside the warehouse are several pubs - it's a like a small town in itself. So you don't have to party if you didn't want to. I didn't see many people here who were travelling solo though. By now it seems like most people found someone to go with. LX Factory was quite fantastic, and personally I would have gone alone just to check it out. It is worth visiting even if you're not planning to party hard.
- I also attended a RSVP-only event from Plaid before LX Factory. Small events like these are better for socialising and as a warm-up to the night summit afterwards. The general vibe here was much nicer and slightly easier to socialise
Feel to ask me any questions :)
Once again, thanks @Gummibeer.