The eleventh annual instalment of Web Summit is kicking off today. The global conference, which was due to take place in Lisbon, is being held virtually for the first time, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It brings together high-ranking executives from leading companies, founders of growing startups, influential investors and plenty of international journalists, for three days of learning and knowledge-sharing.
This year, headline speakers include Zoom Founder Eric Yuan, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, tennis player and investor Serena Williams, and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
More than 500 companies have already confirmed they will exhibit online at Web Summit, including Cisco Systems, Siemens, UBS, Twilio and Cloudflare.
Last year, more than 70,000 people were in attendance, marking a 20% increase compared to 2018. With the move to an online-only event, organisers are expecting in excess of 100,000 participants.
Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave said in a statement: “Lisbon is still Web Summit’s home, but with growing Covid-19 outbreaks across Europe, we have to think of what’s best for the people of Portugal and our attendees.
“The safest and most reasonable answer is to host Web Summit fully online in 2020. We look forward to welcoming attendees back to Lisbon in 2021.”
Visit the Web Summit website here.