Written by Author Name 1/30/16 | 4 Comments

How cities benefit from international conferences

In 2018, the government of Portugal invested $128 million in the WebSummit - why?

WebSummit, the biggest technology, startup and business conference in Europe, was born in Dublin. And since it was in huge demand from various stakeholders of the tech world coming from Europe, US, Asia, after 2015, summit organizers started looking for a different location which can allocate a growing number of thousands of the event attendees.

New summit location was found in Lisbon, Portugal, and after the deal with the local government, it will remain in this city until 2028. The investment will cover establishing a better infrastructure for a bigger and bigger number of attendees coming each year for the event.

Why did Portugal decide to invest millions of dollars into a tech conference?

Because organization of the summit in Lisbon from 2016 to 2018 has proved to create enormous value for the city and the country economy in general.

As VentureBeat article states, “Lisbon has seen its startup profile increase significantly since Web Summit landed.”

On top of that, if thousands of visitors are coming each year to the city, many market players in different spheres benefit out if it:
- more flights to Lisbon;
- increase in customers numbers for local public transport and taxi services;
- all hotels are booked, and for the days of the event, more Airbnb flats are available
- the citizens can earn on renting their flats or rooms to the summit guests;
- cafes, restaurants are all full; many of them are booked for side activities organized by visiting organizations in the frames of the WebSummit;
- museums, galleries, places of interest gain extra revenue form new tourists;
- local startups meet new investors and vice versa; other to-be-entrepreneurs, seeing this, try to make their own products ready for the next year - to show it on the WebSummit to potential customers, partners and investors.

Moreover, people coming for the event get 2-5 more days to stay in this warm country, either in the capital or traveling to other cities, which positively impacts the tourism industry.

As estimated by the Portugal government, keeping WebSummit in Lisbon for the next 10 years will generate $3.5 billion for the country economy. They want to see Lisbon as “a key capital for innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent,” said Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina, in a statement. “I am confident the next few years will bring a sharp raise in IT investment and employment in Lisboa (...).”

We want Touch to become a local magnet for innovators, global companies, IT companies and investors, showcase the potential of Georgia to the world and put it on a map of the global innovation hubs.

And by doing this, we hope that other businesses and entrepreneurs will also benefit out of a growing number of country visitors, exploring this new amazing destination and spreading the word about it in all the parts of the world.

Source: VentureBeat