The AdPlayer.Pro team members have visited Web Summit 2021 and are ready to share their insights and key takeaways from the event.

This year’s Web Summit has, undoubtedly, been an exceptional event! First, it’s been one of the world’s largest in-person tech industry conferences since the start of the pandemic, gathering over 40 000 people at the Altice Arena & Fil, Lisbon.

Second, it’s been held offline right amidst the pandemic (following all health & safety guidelines, of course), hence enabling us to have a glimpse at what the future of online advertising / tech conferences may actually look like. 

And third, it has become a perfect setting for in-person exchange of ideas and insights on what the digital world will live and breathe in 2022 and beyond. Namely, the scope of topics discussed included AI, digitization of society, metaverse, data-driven strategies (including data security and privacy), the “flawed” duopoly, future trends in marketing & advertising, activism, sustainability and going back to the new normal in the post-pandemic realities. 

Well, now that the four days of Web Summit 2021 are over, it’s time to share some of the key takeaways from it.

Everything is Coming Forward, to the New Normal

The majority of experts speaking at the event agreed on one thing: nothing will ever be the same in a post-pandemic world, neither the digital advertising market itself, nor the ways a community of people, driving it forward, is working. 

As for the digital advertising industry as a whole, while its accelerating evolution could not be more obvious, the market boom can grow even more tremendous in 2022, but may be followed by a slight slow-down closer to 2023. 

Now, diving into the team workflow specs, the idea of a hybrid office model is coming to life as one of the potentially effective solutions, but what exactly this hybrid office be like, and how the team members will be communicating and engaging with each other in the offline mode – that’s the challenge yet to overcome (or better to say, the task to resolve), which will probably require a new position in the company, with relevant responsibilities. 

More importantly, as some experts predict, a part of our future offices will be in a metaverse.

Metaverse Is a Real Deal, Isn’t It?

Even though Facebook’s recent rebranding move to Meta was, obviously, due to the company’s ongoing PR crisis, at least to a certain extent, the prospects of metaverse are huge, according to the majority of speakers at the Web Summit 2021.

The amount of investment flooded in the niche, as well as the high-rank competition simply leave little room for doubts in this respect. 

More importantly,  even though the real golden age of metaverse is yet to begin, the industry is already buzzing about the forecasts and trends of the metaverse advertising market, and how to get ahead of one’s competitors in it. 

For now, one thing is clear: the key to success lies in the mix of VR/AR/voice tech and the exceptional brands’ storytelling, but we’ll have to wait and see for more details.


The AdPlayer.Pro team would like to say a Huge Thank You to Web Summit 2021 organizers and everyone we met and spoke with in person during the conference.

A special Thank You also goes to the Shutterstock team for letting us be a part of its engaging Happy Hour event – it was a real blast!