Due to phenomenal demand, our entirely crowdsourced stage of speakers from around the world is returning for another year at Web Summit 2014. Even better, we’re introducing something completely new: People’s Panels.
As you might have noticed this week, we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to continually announcing more and more speakers to join the Web Summit line-up. And we have been building on the incredible attendee experience even more since we opened applications for the People’s Stage. The names have been rolling in for this great initiative, but we are still looking for more and more people to take part in the event. The People’s Stage will make sure all of our attendees are afforded just the same opportunities as Peter Thiel, Drew Houston, and the rest of our 350+ speakers, and we want you to be a part of it. That’s right – the People’s Stage is all about providing anyone with the opportunity to speak at our event, regardless of their occupation or background. You don’t have to be an internet nerd, the founder of a successful startup, or a multimillion dollar investor. You just need to have a fascinating story to tell. Like last year, applicants have the opportunity to put themselves forward as candidates to address the masses at the event in November. All you have to do is get a friend or colleague to back up your nomination by including his/her Twitter handle. Alternatively, if you feel someone else needs the nudge of encouragement to speak at the event this year, you can nominate them. Last year applicants submitted a video to apply (see below), but this year we are all about the ideas and the stories you want to present to the audience, so all you need to do is have a brief written proposal ready when you know what you want to talk about. Apply to speak or nominate someone here. [youtube id=’2qGrnBL1DVY’] But that’s not it, there’s more! As well as the People’s Stage, there will be another exciting opportunity for the public to set the tone of the event through our new People’s Panel. This represents a new chance for the public to set the Web Summit agenda by suggesting ideas for topics that our People’s Panels can discuss and which the winning entrants will moderate. You can get the conversation rolling and kick-off the debate at this year’s event. In case you missed it last time, here is how the process will pan out between now and Web Summit. Round 1 of the People’s Stage and People’s Panels will be the nomination phase. Once all the applications have been processed, the competition will go onto the public voting phase, where you can make your vote count. This year, there will be a third round of voting, where the general public will have one final chance to pick the best ideas to feature at this years event from the top 50 contestants for the People’s Stage and the People’s Panels. So now you’re asking: what happens if I win? Well, the third round of voting really matters because the top 50 get to speak at the Web Summit People’s Stage; the top 10 get to speak and also receive an extra ticket for a friend; while the 3 best entries at the end of all the social voting get to speak, bring a friend, and get a free hotel room for the duration of their stay. Similarly for the People’s Panels, the Top 50 get to speak on one of the People’s Panel at Web Summit; the top 25 get to moderate their own discussion and get an extra ticket for a friend; and the top 3 get to moderate, receive an extra ticket for a friend, and a hotel room. But there’s more – even finalists of the public voting in both categories don’t go home empty-handed as they will receive a discount on general tickets. So, what do you have to lose? Nominate someone to speak, suggest a topic for discussion, or even put yourself forward. 20,000+ are coming to Dublin this November and they want to hear what you have to say.