Web Summit - flexible remote Digital Marketing Agency Made BY Factory
Ben Tennant
November 15, 2018

Factory @ Web Summit 2018

Screenshot 2018 11 12 At 09.44.43 1 | Factory @ Web Summit 2018
Main Stage, Altice Arena, Lisbon

Between 5-8 of November 2018, the tech extravaganza that is Web Summit rolled into Lisbon. Factory was there for the second year running, taking in all that was happening in the tech arena.

With over 69,000 people from 159 countries and 1,200 speakers across 24 stages – Web Summit is the place to be for tech. 

With so many talks sandwiched between the opening and closing remarks, there was something to whet every attendee’s tech appetite. Opened by the awesome Paddy Cosgrove, founder of Web Summit, alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee on day 1, we heard many ideas on the future of the web. Right through to closing remarks alongside Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Portugal, on day 4.

With so many great speakers, many topics fit into the four days. Topics ranged from Web & Data Security, Marketing & Content right through to AI & the Singularity. With talks from tech start-ups to tech leaders and even two humanoid robots in-between, knowledge and learning were everywhere.

Lisbon – A Great Location

Oh Yeah! 4 gigantic exhibition halls and a 20,000 capacity arena, there was space for everyone. With so many exhibits in the halls, it was great to see what the future holds. There were so many exhibitors, from Alpha businesses just starting out to giants such as Google, BMW and Microsoft. Each of them shares powerful ideas to improve our online world.

If you are involved in tech and want to know the current and future happenings, this is definitely the place. With so many volunteer staff around the complex, there is always guidance to ensure you get the best out of each day. 

The volunteers did an excellent job and were highly informative. Whether you need information on talks and timings, or you just want to know where you can get your next pastel de nata fix – they’re on hand to help.

Factory’s Web Summit Highlights?

It’s hard to have a ” highlight list ” with so many stands to visit and talks to take in; it’s hard to have a “highlight list”. However, I’ve got it down to 1 or 2 for each category, so here goes:

Main Highlight? As a digital marketing and web agency, it was awe-inspiring to see Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web founder. Without Sir Tim, the world would likely be a different place these days!

Best exhibition stand? As an ex-Googler, I loved everything Google did. The stand didn’t disappoint – they had an upstairs and a slide to get back down! TeamViewer was also great – they had a vast Scalextric set. What more can be said?

Best Main Stage talk? Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s live interview with Christopher Wylie discusses data security and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Also, Ben Goertzel’s demonstration of AI and the Singularity with Sophia & Han the Robots.

Img 20181128 163107 1 | Factory @ Web Summit 2018

Best talk away from the Main Stage? David Schneider & Joe Orton from That Lot talk about social media strategy and how to stand out from the crowd. Another great talk was with Sir Tim Berners-Lee discussing connecting the remaining 50% of the globe to online content.

Best food truck? At Factory, we love our food and drink – my favourite was Natábua – the best steak and garlic butter sandwich with seasoned fries.

Away from Web Summit highlight? EVERYTHING! What a fantastic city Lisboa / Lisbon really is! Also, the Time Out Market is not to be missed!!!

Img 20181105 143139 | Factory @ Web Summit 2018
The Time Out Market in Lisboa has something for everyone! Awesome food!!!

The most surprising highlight is the? The Lime-S electric scooters! What a great way to get around the city. After downloading the app, you can see where the nearest scooter is on a live map. You simply walk up to it, scan the QR code and ride away.

Overall, Web Summit is the place to be if you want to discover what is next for our digital world. Don’t get me wrong, you will be tired and potentially have achy feet, but you will learn a great deal about the future of our world.

Web Summit 2017

Every year, the biggest tech conference in the universe takes place in Lisbon. They call it Web Summit. I went to check it out.

Arriving in Lisbon, orientation started at the airport. Signs were up, and a team waited to point us in the right direction. With over 60,000 delegates arriving in the city, this was no surprise.

Stephen Hawking at Web Summit

I arrived at the venue in time for opening remarks on the main stage. To our absolute amazement and delight, the conference was opened by none other than the late Professor Stephen Hawking. He welcomed us and spoke about the future of AI.

It was an absolute honour and once-in-a-lifetime privilege. to be addressed by the legendary Professor Hawking.

Later, I was fortunate to be invited to the exclusive speaker dinner. There, I met many exciting people, brushed shoulders with Youtube celebrities, and ate dinner with the co-founder of ethereum. It was all a bit surreal. Is this what Silicon Valley feels like?

The next day Web Summit began in earnest. With over twenty-five individual conferences and stages taking place overall, four huge exhibition spaces, workshops, and mastermind sessions, the hard decision was choosing what to attend and giving up.

While I spent most of my time in content creation and digital marketing, Danny, who was with me, spent a great deal of time listening to the keynote speeches on the main stage.

Summit 1 | Factory @ Web Summit 2018
Nasdaq opens at Web Summit.

Web Summit Highlights

Some of my personal highlights was a short workshop by a BBC comedian and writer who explained timing and humour in social media. Full of memes, it was currently engaging and funny.

Moz founder Rand Fishkin also talked about the future of SEO in 2018, which was highly relevant and full of great tips.

We were on the main stage for the official opening of the NASDAQ trading, with a live link to Times Square.

Overall we came back from Web Summit armed with new information, future technology and current best practices, and it’s an event that will stay in our minds for a long time. Well, until the next one blows it out of the water.

Factory signs the Contract for the Web

Image 2 | Factory @ Web Summit 2018
Christopher Wylie, Web Summit Main Stage 2018
“Your privacy is compromised. What are you going to do about it?”

“The web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available”

The Contract For The Web – World Wide Web Foundation

Announced at Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Contract for the Web serves one fundamental purpose – to ensure that the Web serves humanity. The web is something to benefit the world, not destroy it.

From the opening speech delivered by the awesome Sir Tim Berners-Lee, there was a clear indication that, as expected, web security and ethics would be high on the Web Summit topic list. Sir Tim’s vision is to sign and shape the “Contract for the Web” for everybody involved in digital activities. This is a move to rebuild trust on a global scale. 

Sir Tim re-iterated his desire on the Forum stage at Web Summit the following day. Clear on his thoughts for a new contract for the web to rebuild the world’s trust in the web and online activity in general – Governments, Companies and Citizens worldwide are signing up to make this happen.


We have all seen many issues in the news, from the abuse of personal data, political manipulation, and online hate content to the monopolisation of power shared amongst a few major tech firms – now is the time to change the digital landscape.

What is the Contract for the Web?

To ensure we have a web that serves humanity, the Contract for the web will be shaped to ensure trust plays a crucial role in our future. The 9 main principles of the Contract for the web to follow are broken down between Governments, Companies and Citizens:

Governments will

“Ensure everyone can connect to the internet
So that anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can participate actively online.”

“Keep all of the internet available all of the time
So that no one is denied their right to full internet access.”

“Respect people’s fundamental right to privacy
So everyone can use the internet freely, safely and without fear.”

Companies will

“Make the Internet affordable and accessible to everyone
So that no one is excluded from using and shaping the web.”

“Respect consumers’ privacy and personal data
So people are in control of their lives online.”

“Develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst.
So the web really is a public good that puts people first.”

Citizens will

“Be creators and collaborators on the web
So the web has rich and relevant content for everyone.”

“Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity
So that everyone feels safe and welcome online.”

“Fight for the web
So the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future.”


Factory sign-up!

As a digital web and marketing agency, we are very passionate about the online safety of our clients and their customers.  

Factory is proud to announce that we have signed the Contract For The Web, and we commit to upholding these principles. We continue to ensure all our clients are secure and that their customers can trust that using a website is safe. We will undoubtedly play our part in ensuring people feel safe and welcome online.

Christopher Wylie & Data Regulation

The falling trust in the security of digital online data was echoed throughout WebSummit and was also discussed by Christopher Wylie during an interview on stage with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower covered everything – from a distinct lack of data security and industry regulation to the lack of web knowledge held by top government officials.

“If we can regulate nuclear power, why can’t we regulate some code?”

Christopher Wylie, Web Summit 2018

If the world’s governments don’t understand the web, how can they regulate it? The obvious answer is for everyone to work together to create a safer, more trustworthy World Wide Web that can be accessed worldwide. This is what the Contract For The Web is all about.

Time for positive focus and change

With so much focus on the security of individual and company data across the globe, now is the time to force a change. The more governments, companies and citizens who sign up to the Contract for the Web, the more voices will be heard in shaping the future of our online world. Let’s make digital accessible and safe for all!

Made By Factory is an award-winning digital agency in Manchester. We are also builders of high-quality websites and web applications, marketers of business, designers and creators of beautiful brands.

Ben Tennant

Ben Tennant is a former Googler and an authority on Pay Per Click. He has developed and implemented campaigns for small business up to blue chip FTSE 100 companies.