Last week I was given the chance to go to the last Web Summit before the event moves to Lisbon by Ciara Judge (this is yo shoutout), who was presenting an ALPHA-stage startup with Gabi and Campbell and Selina from Texas.
Upon arriving in the general area of the Web Summit, before I even got inside a building, I was given a free tshirt by some company who I'd be able to promo if I hadn't immediately lost the t-shirt. The free stuff was to continue, though, fortunately.
When I finally figured out how to navigate this setup of the RDS (BTYSTE flashbacks), I was reunited with Gabi (who's Chief Ambassador Liaison and Social Media Director for the startup, Project Zilkr and also meme queen of CTY and Outbox) and met Selina and Campbell for the first time. It's crazy to think they came all the way from Texas for a few days here. I actually bumped into Campbell later that week, at my panel. They're hella cool.
I spent most of the day at the Zilkr stand (really should've gone to some talks) but did some exploring (getting free stuff, mostly) and saw people from lots of things I've done this year - Johnny from BT Business Bootcamp, Gabi and Thomas from CTYI, Niamh, Ciara, Catrina and Gabi from Outbox and some DYC people from InspireFest. It's really cool bumping into people everywhere - I can hardly go to Dublin anymore without seeing at least two people I know there out and about.
The atmosphere at Web Summit was strange - I preferred InspireFest's, then Evolve Biomed's. Maybe it was too reminiscent of Young Scientist or loud. The arena/stage part was cool though, and had wifi that actually worked.
I got a little lost heading back to the train from the RDS in the dark, ended up sprinting and missing my train by about twenty seconds (literally watched it pull away from the opposite platform). Luckily there was a train I could get three minutes later that would connect via an intermediate stop to where I wanted to go, but without much leeway (leetime?), so I improvised. Why do I feel compelled to update my blog readers on my train misadventures? Very good question.
I'm very glad I got the opportunity to go - it was a fun day and will no doubt lead to opportunities in some form or another. Hell yeah.