The world’s largest tech and startup conference, Web Summit, will stay in Lisbon for another 10 years through 2028, in a new €110 million deal.
The event, which was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Lisbon in 2016, will remain in the Portuguese capital until 2028, as confirmed by the Portuguese government and Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave on Wednesday.
As part of the deal, Web Summit will receive €11 million per year from Portugal. 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, which has grown in attendence from 400 to a whopping 60,000 attendees from over 170 countries.
“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,” said Cosgrave.
“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,” he added.
— Web Summit (@WebSummit) October 3, 2018
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 billion buyout clause. The buyout clause is the minimum expected economic impact of Web Summit to Portugal over the duration of it’s contract, and provides security to Portugal that Web Summit will remain in it’s capital for the 10 year period.
“This 10 year agreement with Web Summit will decisively make Lisbon a key capital for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent,” said Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina.
“I am confident the next few years will bring a sharp raise in IT investment and employment in Lisbon. We are thrilled to continue to write this story together with Web Summit,” the mayor added.
The Government of Portugal estimates that Web Summit has generated more than €300 million in economic impact for the country. 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.”
Earlier this year, Cosgrave removed the controversial French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen from the list of speakers for the 2018 event in Lisbon after strong international protest, he announced on Twitter.
According to Portugal Startups, the decision to disinvite Marine Le Pen came as a surprise, after Cosgrave had less than 24 hours before issuing a statement defending his invitation to the French politician.
The world’s largest tech conference will be held from November 5-8 in Lisbon.