Arguably no technology conference in history has grown faster. Somehow we’ve achieved that growth with no background in the conference industry and no resources to speak of, and all from a pretty peripheral location called Dublin.
In a post on the Web Summit Blog, founder Paddy Cosgrave explains that this growth has been largely propelled by data science, or in his view, network science.
While conference companies hire event managers, he hired physicists with PHDs in areas like complex systems and network analysis. They were asked to create and optimise social networks.
As Paddy explains it, if you make good connections at Web Summit, it’s not by accident.
While traditional conference companies fret over manually curating seating plans, compiling speaker lists and handpicking invites for networking events, we approach the challenge from a technical and mathematical point of view. We build algorithms that take into account who you are and who you might benefit from being on a pub crawl with or at a table with or in a meeting with.
He calls this approach “engineering serendipity”, and he believes it’s the secret to their success.
… what we lacked in experience, funding and location, we’ve made up for by building software and using data
Read his story here