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websummit 2022
7 Key Learnings from Web Summit
Rami El-Hajjar
November 10, 2022
Rami is the resident content generator, consumer, and reviewer at Hovi Digital Lab. He has a lot of passion for creating content and that is where he sees himself producing the most. “He’s super duper, totally amazingly awesome” that’s what he told us to write when we asked for his input. And he actually has a point.

Here’s a quick recap of the event and 7 key takeaways from Web Summit that Hovers had to share with you!

There are many ways to measure the success of a conference. You can look at the number of attendees. Count down the speaker list and see who got the most applause. But if you ask us, a good conference is one where we meet incredible people and learn something new. And at this year’s Web Summit in Lisbon, we met many cool people (maybe even too many) — and we learned much more than ever! 

What You Missed at Web Summit (We don’t want you to!)

This year, Web Summit hosted over 70,000 attendees and over 2,000 startups from over 160 countries! Each one dedicated to cutting-edge technology across industries. There were tech startups for finance, tech startups for HR, content creation, sustainable manufacturing, health, education, fashion, software development, tech startups for digital marketing (that’s us!), and so much more! There were startups working on the revival of travel tech too! (take that covid.)

The event venue was split between 5 massive pavilions and a sizeable center stage. Did I mention the stages within each pavilion that had their own massive firesides and talks? All the space helped with the massive foot traffic the venue saw, and the diversity across the event was incredible!

You couldn’t go more than 4 steps without meeting someone, networking, sharing or overhearing amazing ideas, and getting the viewpoints of leading members in their respective industries.

This is all without mentioning the side events that Web Summit held every night. Aptly named Night Summit, these nightly events allowed everyone to connect and network with fellow attendees. Also, they provided much-needed release after long days at the exhibition.

But let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here are 7 key learnings from Web Summit that we need to share with you:

7 Key Learnings from Web Summit

Get ready! Let’s dive right into the key learnings from Web Summit:

  1. A key learning from Web Summit about branding is ensuring you have a clear idea of your product. Then make sure your brand expresses that idea to your target market. Uniphore’s CMO, Annie Weckesser, put it best when she said, “I believe what made us boom was having a crystal clear product with a crystal clear brand; this helps with creating trust.“ Moreover, LaunchDarky’s CEO, Edith Harbaugh, added that personalizing your brand messaging to ensure it accounts for and aligns with “what [your] target market looks into” is also crucial.

  1. Marketing is still, and will always be, very much about people and building relationships with the people behind any business. Mohamad Ballot, CEO of Kitopi, stressed the need to “create an emotional connection to [your] product.”

  1. Here’s a takeaway from Web Summit for anyone selling: “A story is a substance. It’s something you always remember.” These words from Demostack’s CEO, Jonathan Friedman, stress the importance of using storytelling to create that connection with your prospects. Your prospect’s your hero, so build an authentic story around them. Standardize and scale it next. That’s how you can “evoke emotions and show that you are human.”

  1. Of course, we can’t be talking about Web Summit and not mention AI. (I just wanted to wait a bit before smacking you with it.) Businesses can now leverage AI to recruit and retain top talent in the global economy. Traditional recruiting is too slow and limited. With the evolution of work towards remote, businesses can now leverage not a local, not a regional, but a global pool of talents.

  1. A key takeaway from Web Summit for content creators is to believe in your ideas if you want to create and leverage your data to figure out the best way to say it.
    When it comes to content creation, it can be difficult to create something that really sticks. Everyone says, ‘hey, make a viral video for me.’ But any content creator will tell you that’s not how the internet works.

    What really sticks is authenticity and the form of your content. (Kinda like the authenticity within these parentheses. It really is me talking to you. OR IS IT AI?! No, it’s just me.)

    When talking about how to make lol-worthy content, Jolyon Rubinstein, Co-Host at The New Conspiracist and 2-time BAFTA award-winner, powerfully stated that it’s important to “have faith in your ideas.” Maddi B Webb, a Content Creator with a TikTok following of 2.3million, intelligently added that you “can use the analytics to figure out how to put [your content out.]”

  1. The future of social media will be smaller, niche communities on social platforms built around and for that community.
    When looking at social media, we see a large monopolization of the most popular brands under a few select companies. “91% of the social networking market in the US is owned by one company,” says Francesca Gargaglia, Co-founder and COO of Amity. Francesca emphasizes this split towards smaller communities due to our tech. After all, it’s “easier now [than ever] to build a platform for your social network in your niche.” We already see how companies are working on building their own communities and influencers publishing their own apps for their networks.

  1. When looking at the top trends for 2023, we will continue seeing massive digital evolutions. These evolutions will focus on leveraging data, especially regarding ROI Measurement, Brand Activations, and Business Performance.
    Therefore, the key learning from Web Summit here is to make sure that you’re connecting well with your audience & engage with personalization at scale. Digital is all about how you’re able to connect with your audience(s).


Overall, we took a lot of key learnings from Web Summit, and hope these helped you out! It’s difficult to distill everything into a single article, like what we learned from the Mentor Hours offered at Web Summit, where our Hovers were able to sit down with experienced business leaders & investors to hear their tips from the top for challenges startups face. (Keep an eye on Elsa’s LinkedIn.)

We hope to meet you at the next Web Summit! 
And if you want to sit down and chat about how Hovi can help you earlier than in Rio (GET READY FOR IT), book some time with our SMarketing experts!

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