It was a fantastic experience attending Web Summit this year. The Lisbon event featured a spectacular 748 speakers with 1,333 talks. The event took place over 4 days, and it was an honor to feature API Suite amongst 1,518 other startups. It’s hard to describe the feeling of attending events again, but one thing’s for certain, it has been missed!

While I didn’t get the chance to see any speakers because I was “manning the fort” by minding our booth, some of us were fortunate to go around and listen to a wide variety of interesting speakers. We don’t like to pick favorites but some of the key highlights were Jen Wong, Reddit COO, Peter Moore, Unity SVP and GM of Sports and Entertainment, and Bozena Rezab, CEO and Co-founder of GAMEE. But we’ll get more into that later.  

One of the key takeaways from this event was the overall ambience. We found it to be the most balanced Web Summit we’ve ever been to! There were many things to see, and you still felt the usual "overwhelming" factor of the event, but somehow (probably due to covid) it wasn't as crowded as previous sessions, while still being busy looking. This was a huge plus as you'd get more time to talk to other booths and our excellent customers.

We got to meet awesome teams and very interesting new products that we can't wait to work with. We’d like to give a big shout out to DataVillage, the founders have been at API Suite’s side from day 0, and it’s an honor to stand by their side at Web Summit! Allow us to also plug the amazing team Recovr and say “cheers” to even more fellow Belgians who will be attending next year's event.

A major highlight (for me especially) was “Booth Day”. It was amazing and we were so proud of how our booth looked. We weren't expecting that much attention and pitch potential. It's fair to say we weren't the only booth in the area buzzing but we felt like our pitch touched a nerve in the SAAS community. The event gave us the opportunity to physically meet a lot of Cloudoki clients and partners, which is always great. However, the most interesting thing (besides people walking around and being hooked on our one-liner), was companies that knew of both Cloudoki and API Suite but weren't expecting to see us there. They were literally approaching us saying: "Aren't you the guys from Belgium?"

As far as the other days went, we focused on visiting other booths and the occasional ad-hoc meeting/conversation with random people while getting coffee or on the WC queue. It really helps a lot to have a pitch ready that is tailor made for most SaaS and to help them scale, in an event made almost exclusively to help SaaS gain visibility, partnerships and scale.

While I’m not sure if there was an overall theme like other events, there were a couple of visible trends being discussed. Two of which we paid more attention were NFTs and, of course, the Metaverse. Blockchain now is giving room to the NFT motto, and the whole "Metaverse" topic kept buzzing around the venue, in multiple places. Being from speakers to random booth talks, you could hear people mentioning it more and more.

Some ‘key quotes’ from the speakers that we thought were worth including were:

Jen Wong, COO of Reddit, spoke about how some platforms say lofty words, and how others put their money where their mouth is. “Reddit’s future is about empowerment and community-driven decentralization of institutions.”

“The next disruptive game platform, the next Minecraft or Fortnite will probably be built by a 14y old. The new generation of creative gamers are adopting blockchain distributed content and … yes … the metaverse as natural concepts. Content creation as part of the global gaming experience.”- Bozena Rezab, CEO and Co-Founder of Gamee  

“Electric cars are changing vehicles in big, powerful tablets with a 5G connection. With different user behavior (e.g. a power charge of 15min) and tons of metadata, media providers have unprecedented opportunities to tailor one-on-one experiences to users. Imagine a game or selected podcast, fitted with mood, environment and available timespan for the consumer or consumers. The opposite of the FM radio legacy.” - Richard Stern, TuneIn CEO

Once again, it was an honor to attend Web Summit 2021 and we are eagerly counting down the days to next year's event! Can’t wait to see you there...

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