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Lisbon welcomed a new edition of Web Summit

Considered the largest technology conference in the world, Web Summit returned to Lisbon, bringing along more than 70,000 attendees from 170 countries to talk tech and network.

Thousands gathered at the opening night of the Web Summit.

No conference has ever grown so large so fast such as Web Summit, which started as a simple idea in 2010: Let’s connect the technology community with all industries, both old and new. It seemed to resonate.

Thanks to its growth, it has become an unrivalled global meeting place for the world’s most disruptive technology companies and those interested in how that disruption can transform their businesses and their lives.

“Web Summit has evolved into something far more influential than just a tech conference. It is a global marketplace where decision makers and world leaders come to do business,” said Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit CEO.

As in previous years, there was certainly plenty for attendees at Web Summit to savour with 23 conferences taking place across nine main stages. An estimated 1,200 speakers attended the event, led by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee.

Other speakers included European commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager, Samsung Electronics president Young Sohn, Stripe co-founder John Collison, former British prime minister Tony Blair, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Tinder co-founder Sean Rad and United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

As if those weren’t enough, there were also the Chief Executives of Shell, Booking, TripAdvisor, Tommy Hilfiger, Western Union, the Guardian Media Group, the European Banking Federation and SurveyMonkey on stage as well.

“We have CEOs of the world’s most well established bluechip companies like Nestlé and Allianz speaking alongside the world’s most exciting new companies like Stripe and Ofo,” Cosgrave said.

Looking ahead to the future events, Lisbon will remain the host city of Web Summit for the next decade. This is under a new €110 million deal, including a large-scale venue expansion to facilitate the conference’s fast-growth.

The agreement, which includes a buyout clause to the value of €3 billion, was agreed after a tender process that involved offers from over 20 European cities. A part of the deal is to double the size of the Altice Arena and FIL venues within the next three years.