One More Thing: Darina Allen dishes it out to attendees
Darina Allen: serenity in the middle of lunchtime throng
Forget the billionaire tech entrepreneurs or the legions of young developers, this Web Summit was best summarised by the sight of Darina Allen herself dispensing apples and yoghurt in a huge, packed marquee in Herbert Park.
The Web Summit is growing so fast that it has restyled itself as just “The Summit”, a reflection of how eclectic and vast it has become in just a few years. This year that extended to the Food Summit, organised by Good Food Ireland and held a few minutes’ walk away in Herbert Park.
Allen was serenity itself in the middle of the lunchtime throng, as thousands of hungry attendees lined up for the fine selection of quality Irish food on offer. The sight of long queues might have recalled a particularly busy airport check-in hall, but the staff were sunny rather than surly. Allen said that the whole operation had come together in a whirlwind 10 days, and had attracted way more attendees than anticipated, with up to 7,000 meals being served on Wednesday. Overall, it represented yet another success story.
It also hinted at how Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave might try to expand the conference’s reach and appeal, with an ever-broadening focus, ultimately becoming a platform for showing off Ireland’s various strengths.