The Barcelona Summit 2010 Review

This was my second time attending The Barcelona Summit and I will be returning for future events. I have to give much credit to Andreas, for not only organizing a very business orientated event, but for his willingness to listen to his sponsors and those that are making the journey to Spain to attend. When he first announced the dates of this show, there was a lot of noise on the boards because the dates conflicted with Webmaster Access Amsterdam, even though the dates had not been formally announced at the time. After careful consideration, he decided to change the dates so that people could attend both events. Personally, I thought this was a great concession and I did not have to make a decision between the two events and I was able to make one flight across the Atlantic.

The Barcelona Summit was held September 21-24, 2010 at the Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa in El Vendrell, which is about 40 minutes outside of Barcelona, on the coast of the Mediterranean. This B2B adult webmaster event was loaded with many activities including go-kart racing, a Paella cook off, a wine tasting and tour, speed networking and probably a dozen seminars covering many topics of concern in today’s marketplace.

The Venue

Since Le Meridien was full the night I arrived, I spent the first night about a mile down the strand from the host hotel. Since I did not arrive until after midnight, it did not really matter to me that the room was small and the guy at the desk spoke zero English. The next morning we packed up our stuff and walked up to the Le Meridien. When I walked into my room, my immediate response was, “wow.” This hotel is probably the nicest I have ever stayed at, even though the rates were about half of what it would cost to stay at The W or the Hilton in New York City. I am afraid that future hotels I stay at have their work cut out for them as far as elegance is concerned.

Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa

View From Our Room

While I really enjoyed the hotel itself, there were a couple of things I did not particularly care for. The first was the way we had to buy drinks and food with their voucher system. Instead of just paying with cash, your credit card or charging it to your room, we had to buy $20 Euro worth or vouchers any time you wanted something. I am sure they had their reasons, but it reminded me of being at a school fair or something. The second thing was the location. It was pretty isolated. While I do travel to these shows to do business, I also like to take in the sights around town. The first time I came to Barcelona, there was a lot to see and do because it was in the city. El Vendrell is in the middle of nowhere. Granted, it is on the beach of the Mediterranean, but it might as well be a lake with the lack of surf. Of course, since there were fewer distractions, which left more time for business, so it evens out in the end.

The Food

When I think of food and Spain, the first thing that comes to my mind is tapas. Since we were staying literally on the shore of the Mediterranean, it was not too surprising that every restaurant I encountered within walking distance specialized in seafood. This would not be an entirely bad thing, but my girlfriend does not really do seafood, so it made dining a challenge. Combined with the fact that we hit El Vendrell in the off season, which meant the restaurants in the area were not really prepared for the additional traffic, and this resulted in many items being unavailable. Fortunately, there was usually plenty of sangria around. Le Meridien had a very nice lunch buffet prepared and I discovered on my last morning there that they had a very nice breakfast as well. The only problem was waking up in time for it. My fault, not theirs. As far as the tapas were concerned, there were plenty of them provided after we finished racing in the YNOT Grand Prix.

tapas break

Time For Tapas

The Seminars

The one consistent thing about The Barcelona Summit is that there has never been any confusion as to whether this show is for business or pleasure. If you come to this show for business and education, you will not be disappointed. In fact, if I had any complaints about the seminars was that they seemed to be running non-stop. It seemed like there were two seminars running at all times. Most of the seminars I attended had a pretty nice audience and the topics were wide ranging from web hosting, to design, to discussions regarding the possibility of adult and gaming working their traffic between the niches.

The YNOT Grand Prix

All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy, especially if he is a webmaster. The first day of the show, YNOT Europe and 2000Charge sponsored the YNOT Grand Prix. Some kids never grow up and when it comes to any kind of racing or go-karts I am a total kid. Judging by the turnout, I am not the only one. There is just something about zipping around a race course, in the open in, in Spain that really builds the adrenaline. The fact is that prior to arriving at the track I was in pretty significant pain. Once I got seated in the kart, all was well. I would like to thank YNOT and 2000Charge once again for a great time. I did talk to Connor Young, from YNOT, and he said they are planning on making this a regular event at different shows, so if you have the need for speed keep your eyes and ears open.

go-karting in Spain

YNOT Grand Prix


While The Barcelona Summit is a relatively new event added to the adult webmaster show circuit, it has definitely made an impression on me. The wisdom of adding a new show at a time when other shows are showing lower attendance levels and people are shouting from the rooftops to have fewer shows might be questionable, Andreas seems to be making this work. I believe that the fact that the show is in Europe as opposed to the US plays a part in it, I think Andreas’ willingness to listen to his sponsors as well as the show attendees is what makes the difference. I recall attending the first Summit and the huge issue we had with getting a reliable Internet connection in our rooms. It just was not happening. Andreas worked with the Mi Hotel and got a room set up that had a connection so people could work. This time, special high bandwidth lines were provided in each room at no cost. I was extremely impressed by this and I feel that efforts like this are what will ensure that The Barcelona Summit will continue to grow and be one of the shows that an effort must be made to attend.

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