Updated: February 26, 2021
Web Summit, the largest tech conference in the world, would remain in Lisbon, Portugal, until 2028 under a new $128 million deal, Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit and Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal announced on Wednesday.
The new deal also includes a large-scale venue expansion to facilitate the conference’s fast-growth.
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“We’re incredibly excited to be staying in Portugal. Without a larger venue this would not be possible. Even until a few months ago, we never believed it would be possible. The plans are incredible and we’re very thankful to all those who have worked on them,” Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, said.
“This deal gives certainty to our many attendees from over 170 countries around the world, and our thousands of partners and exhibitors. It also gives certainty to our host country, and to our team of more than 200. Together we’re looking forward to doing incredible things.
“Finally, I should add that we are grateful for the support and encouragement we received from other cities who also placed bids to host the event. We very much recognise their efforts and definitely appreciate all they have done.”
The selection of Lisbon came after a robust and competitive tender process involving offers from over 20 cities across Europe.
As part of the deal, Web Summit will receive $12.8 million (€11 million) per year from the country.
Additionally, a part of the deal is to double the size of the Altice Arena and FIL (Feira Internacional de Lisboa) within the next three years, to fit Web Summit’s growth forecasts. Commencement of the first phase of the expansion project will start in the coming months and will be completed for Web Summit 2019.
Web Summit has also agreed to a $3.5 billion (€3 billion) buyout clause. The buyout clause is the minimum expected economic impact of Web Summit to Portugal over the duration of its contract, and provides security to Portugal that Web Summit will remain in it’s capital for the 10 year period.
Web Summit has also helped elevate Portugal and Portuguese companies on the global stage. Portugal was described recently by The Wall Street Journal as “one of Europe’s hottest stars, with tech startups mushrooming and investment pouring in”.
According to the Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, “This 10 year agreement with Web Summit will decisively make Lisboa a key capital for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent. I am confident the next few years will bring a sharp raise in IT investment and employment in Lisboa. We are thrilled to continue to write this story together with Web Summit”
*Figures are calculated from EUR to USD at 1.165833. This rate is the monthly average taken for September 2018, sourced from the European Central Bank.