Bringing the Web Summit to Lisbon with Ship

When founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave of Web Summit decided it was time to find a new home for his international startup conference, the residents of Lisbon did not sit quiet. 

Along with Ship-mates Maria Almeida and Tiago dos Santos Carlos, we created a digital pressure lobby called Bring the Web Summit to Lisbon and the associated hashtag #LXWebSummit16 to prove that the Portuguese capital should be their next home. 

Ship - the Lisbon Startup Scene

Ship - the Lisbon Startup Scene

Behind the scenes we orchestrated for posts to be published on the blogs of companies and organisations like Uniplaces and Beta-i to tap into their established networks with the message.

We set up a dedicated Facebook Group, becoming a focal point for amplifying the message and coordinating others to do the same in their networks.

Within 36 hours we had come close to 5,000 people, keeping up a steady beat of new content. My specialty? Memes: 

And you know what? It worked.

International publications like the Financial Times obviously carried the news... 

...but it was in an interview with Ana Pimentel of the Observador that Paddy Cosgrave gave his thanks for what we'd helped to achieve: 

There are maybe 15 cities in Europe that could possibly host our event. And we went to them all.

The list kept getting shorter and shorter, and then we saw something almost magical happening in Lisbon...

A surprising grass-roots campaign on Facebook and the fact that every time I opened up Twitter, I’d have hundreds of @ replies saying “come to Lisbon!”

I can’t thank you guys enough; it really did make a difference, because you made us feel so welcome. Because it was the hardest decision we ever had to make, leaving our home in Dublin. Thank you!
— Paddy Cosgrave