Portuguese media question benefits of Web Summit
Lisbon’s fourth Web Summit fell short of expectations according to the Portuguese media which claims that Portugal got little return on the €20 million it invested to host the event.
The opinion that the event was a ‘flop’ was put forward by the weekend newspaper ‘Sol’ which stated that after the Portuguese Government and Lisbon City Council has invested €20 million on expanding and maintaining the tech summit in the Portuguese capital, the impact overseas was “virtually ‘Nil’ with foreign TV stations and newspapers ignoring the technology conference.
On the other hand, the organisation was expecting 100,000 participants, but only 70,469 from 163 countries attended the four-day event according to official data.
The newspaper said that the State and City Council had invested around €20 million in support of the event and had expected a return of “hundreds of millions of euros” but neither the Council or Government has indicated what the actual concrete benefits have been from the summit.
Statistics reveal that participants at Web Summit spent around €64.4 million over the four days of the event, highlighting the expenses associated with accommodation which represented €125 per day according to a study by the Portuguese Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHRESP).
Regarding accommodation, 62% of visitors opted for local accommodation whole 38% stayed in hotels. During the summit the average accommodation take-up rate was 89% with Rossio (40%), Bairro Alto (20%) and Olivais (16%) highlighted.
Compared to 2018, “64% of entrepreneurs expected an increase in economic impact from the event” and “82% of companies estimated an increase in sale prices.
In turn, 74% of entrepreneurs expect an increase in revenues on the previous year while 60% of accommodation units “had expected a take-up rate similar to the previous edition.”
According to a study by Cision, between 1 October and 9 November, Lisbon was mentioned in 6,119 international online news outlets – 2,076 fewer than the same period last year. Of the 75% of news sources that mentioned Web Summit, the US, UK, Brazil, Spain and Germany led the way in media coverage about the event.
In Portugal the event was mentioned in 4,603 news sources, a fall of 1,452 articles on 2018. During the period under analysis online media accounted for the lion’s share (3,243 articles), followed by TV, press and radio (708, 413 and 239 reports respectively).
National startups Barkyn, Defined Crowd, GoParity and Sound Particles which were at the Web Summit received a lot of coverage from local and international media.