Web Summit to license conference software, UN is its first customer

Web Summit

The organisers of Europe’s largest tech conference, Web Summit, have said they would start licensing out their conference software, with the United Nations as their first customer.

Launched in Dublin in 2010 with just 400 participants and hosted in Lisbon each year since 2016, Web Summit hosted 104,000 attendees online in December and now partners with some huge names including Google and Booking.com.

The annual conference featuring speakers from leading tech companies, notable politico’s and activists was forced to move online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Its conferencing software, initially designed to complement networking at in-person events, was further developed by Web Summit’s own staff in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

It now allows attendees to network in three-minute video chats using a feature called ‘Mingle’ as well as watch hundreds of online talks.

Co-founder Paddy Cosgrave told journalists at our partner news agency Reuters earlier this year some of the world’s biggest conferences would take place on Web Summit’s platform, with one paying as much as 6.5 million euros to use it.

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On Wednesday, Web Summit said the United Nations Development Programme will use its software to host the Istanbul Innovation Day from March 23 to 25. It is unclear how much the UN will pay.

“In 2022, we hope to partner with other great events,” Cosgrave said.

In November, Web Summit is hoping to welcome 70,000 attendees to Lisbon plus up to 80,000 more online.

Virtual events have boomed during the pandemic, attracted several start-ups such as UK-based virtual events provider Hopin, which raised an impressive $400 million last week from venture capitalists in a fundraising round and has more than doubled its valuation to $5.65 billion in four months.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to a growing list of other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jonathan Landay. Editing by Steve Orlofsky.

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