Dublin Tech Summit 2018 – Overview (Better Than Last Year?) I Don’t Think So

If you are going to tell me that the event returned better than last year, you sure gotta live up to that otherwise it makes an event poor. I’ve been at Dublin Tech Summit 2017. I’ve been at Dublin Tech Summit 2018. Will I be at Dublin Tech Summit 2019? Should you go to it? It depends. But let me tell you, the first year of the event was ten times better.

Very Poorly Organized

Imagine buying a ticket to see a talk but not being able to see it because most of the time, a place was already full.

Dublin Tech Summit 2018

That’s what happened at Dublin Tech Summit. Over and over again.

Getting into a talk of somebody relatively known but not too known was hard. Never mind trying to get to a talk of Casey Neistat who was the headline speaker. Impossible. You literally had to be sitting down for 2 and a half hours before a talk to have a place. And then you wouldn’t even be able to see right anyway. More on that later though.

Casey Neistat in Dublin at Dublin Tech Summit

Going to a conference where you can’t even get to see the talks you want to see? That’s kind of pointless, right? That’s exactly what Dublin Tech Summit in 2018 was.

Dublin Tech Summit, you either figure out a way to do it better, or you move the location of the venue as while it’s in a great place, it is completely utterly not big enough for the way you organized it. I don’t ever want to be at a conference and not be able to see more than one talk. What else am I meant to do? See startups? Actually, more on that later.

People sitting at DTS Dublin Tech Summit 2018

Last year the event started more than a few minutes late. This year, just about 3, but the introduction talk did not exist. It was just a “hi, bye” kind of introduction. Pathetic.

On a Budget

The main stage last year?

Dublin Tech Summit 2017 Matthew Luhn
Last year’s main stage.

It looked incredible, and it also hosted over 2,000. This year? It was poor and hosted less than 1,000 which is one of the main reasons I get triggered when somebody says it’s better than last year. Bear in mind the same venue was being used for this event this year as last year.

Dublin Tech Summit 2018 stage

You got a hall with a projector and a little stand that kind of made a person bigger, but from a perspective of somebody sitting 4 rows away, it was impossible to see because everybody else was on the same level as you.

Last year’s main stage was much bigger than this year. It was also taller. Therefore, everybody could see. The seats at it were more comfortable. And the seating was at an angle and had two levels. Oh, and the actual stage had fancy visuals effects and sound. Gary Vaynerchuk said that “this is a remarkable execution for a first-year event.” when he came on stage last year. This is exactly what it was not this year.


The main stage this year looked like something a somewhat decent high-school or secondary school would use.  In fact, as media, I felt bad to take pictures due to the fact that the stage was so low and so close to the seats. I felt like I would be in the way.

Oh, and while charging solutions existed last year allowing for people to charge their devices in a quick manner, that was not the case this year at all.

The Speakers Were Poor

This kind of goes back to the budget situation that I felt they had.

Now, I do not judge the quality of a talk from how many followers somebody has. I frankly don’t care. I judge based on titles and what I actually hear. And what I heard last year, it inspired me. I still remember seeing Matthew Luhn saying that he is the “guy who makes people cry.” I remember Gary Vee’s talk and how it introduces a vital few things into my life. The most important one? That 1 one of 2 of me is going to be right, regardless of how I debate it in my head, meaning that I should stop worrying about being right or wrong, and just do.

Gary Vaynerchuk regardless of how you debate it

And that’s something I have been doing ever since. And a lot of people don’t understand it. Check out the post from last year to see more about that talk.

Then there was Jen Selter who wasn’t the greatest speaker but still was there as somebody of interest. Cindy Gallop and Ben Jones also gave incredible talks on subjects that really mattered. And okay, subjects of interest differ across different people but DTS 2017 had a variety of different subjects that caught attention. Dublin Tech Summit 2018? It had too much music stuff, and I love music having interviewed rappers like Saba, but I just was really disappointed with the speakers.

While in 2017, just about every speaker fascinated me, this year, most talks could have been finished about 10 to 15 minutes earlier. Of course, Casey was great. Jordan P. Evans from NASA was also great and made me want to go to space. But apart from that and a few other speakers, it was poor.

Casey Neistat in Ireland

Honestly, if Casey Neistat wasn’t there, I don’t think there would have been 10,000 people there. It seemed like a lot of people were fans of Casey Neistat and merely came for him which probably made Dublin Tech Summit most of the money.

And the startups? I mean, startups are not controlled by DTS that much. Those who want to come and have the money, come. Some seemed good. Some were stupid. I don’t think the ideas were as great this year as in 2017 whether at DTS or at Web Summit.

The Treatment of Media Was a Joke

How am I meant to write about an event if I can’t go in? I had a media badge and was still not allowed into the full halls. Maybe some talks were great and would have resulted in me writing in a better matter about this event if I was actually allowed in.

At Web Summit, the first row was reserved for media. At Dublin Tech Summit, media was not taken into account at all. Tough for pictures. Tough for getting in. And for Casey’s talk, the first row was received by some strangers.

Oh, but my favorite part is the media room. It consisted of two small rooms with just tables. That was it. At Web Summit, media felt like kings. You had so much food. You had space. It was heaven. I felt like I could work. At DTS? None of that existed. I didn’t spend any time there at all because of that.

Is It Worth It Though?

Yes. And no. It depends on who you are.

If you are a woman or a student, you should go. You get a massive discount. But if you are a male and have to pay a full price, I reckon that you simply pay double the amount for Web Summit, it will be worth it much more. If you are a woman or a student though, the price you can get into this event for, it’s a great value.

Web Summit 2017
Web Summit 2017 stage.

This is an event on a smaller scale so technically I should not be comparing it to Web Summit, but if you took away half of everything Web Summit which would put it on the pricing level of DTS, Web Summit would still be worth it.

Dublin Tech Summit

At the same time, when it comes to Ireland, this is one of the most interesting events Ireland offered in 2018 and will offer in 2018. I just hope it’s a lot better in 2019 as they do have some work to do.

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