Photo: S. Tischer - Munich Startup

Munich Contends for Web Summit

The Web Summit brings more than 60,000 attendees to Lisbon year after year. Munich would like to organize the mega-conference starting in 2019.

Messe München submitted its application for the 2019 Web Summit. The City of Munich also supports the application, as the city council’s Commission for the Department of Labor and Economic Development unanimously decided yesterday.

With 60,000 participants from nearly 200 countries, the Web Summit is one of the world’s largest tech conferences. Previous speakers include Al Gore, U2 lead singer Bono, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, media maker Arianna Huffington, actress Eva Longoria and UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Last year, the now late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking gave a word of welcome.

The event began in 2009 in a hotel near Dublin with 400 participants and has grown each year since then. The move to Lisbon was made in 2016. The Web Summit organizers would like to continue to grow, but they’re reaching their limits in the Portuguese capital. The site was established for Expo ‘98 and is simply too small to accommodate further expansion plans. 70,000 participants are already expected for 2019.

An image boost and money for the city treasury

The tech conference would have Munich as its new home for a good seven to ten years. If the application is a success, the city plans to provide 850,000 euros each year, part of which would be spent on free MVV tickets for participants. In total, however, the Department of Labor and Economic Development expects a significant financial benefit for the city: Additional tax revenues should provide the city treasury with roughly one million euros annually. What is not included in the calculation here is the anticipated image boost for Munich as a location for startups. Deputy Mayor Josef Schmid told the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“Particularly in the startup scene, we are much better than people think.”

The adopted city council proposal also states:

“The conference will contribute to the preservation of our strong competitive position, which will have an extremely positive influence on the future viability of Munich as a center of technology.”

Whether Munich is awarded the contract or not will be revealed in November, which is when the organizers plan to announce their decision about the future of the major event.