Buzzwords and trends: Increased emphasis on human factors, hiring, automation, and scale. The word 'platform' saw a significant rise in use, while 'cost' became more critical in decision processes.
Booth content: The average number of words per booth was 20.3, with a range from 0 to 131 words.
Retention and participation: Of the 626 companies that attended at least one of the three recent major events, 47 attended all three, 109 attended two, and 470 attended just one. KubeCon had a retention rate of 40%.
International presence: Non-US companies were twice as common at KubeCon Amsterdam compared to Detroit. Bay Area still dominating.
Another fantastic KubeCon event has come and gone, this time taking place in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. As I did for KubeCon North America in Detroit (click here for the full Detroit article) I've once again meticulously analyzed the vendor booths to uncover the latest trends and buzzwords in the DevOps world.
But this time, I'm adding an extra layer of depth by comparing the findings from Amsterdam with those from Detroit just six months prior. Were there any noticeable differences between the two events? Did regional nuances affect the trends I observed? Or have we witnessed any significant shifts within this relatively short timeframe?
I'll also shed light on the digital buzz surrounding the event and showcase some of the most intriguing booth setups. In particular I will highlight some of the companies that were at both KubeCons and re:Invent Las Vegas 2022 and how their booths evolved.
Let’s dive in.
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Here are some of the startup booths (don't get stuck, it's a looping gif, you can see all the booths here):
And here are some of the bigger sponsors (click here for the entire library of images):
What are the up-and-coming tools, best practices and philosophies? Let’s start with a simple word cloud of all the text elements of every booth at KubeCon Europe 2023:
Trends from KubeCon Amsterdam:
Three companies used mental health / soft factors as the key branding of their booths: humanitec with 'DevOps burnout is real', lightlytics with 'K8s minus the stress' and Mirantis with 'Treat your devs better'. Not sure if the world is changing or these companies adjusted to Europe.
More booths were just there for hiring (Adyen, booking.com, ING).
'Automation' and 'automate' are used a bit more often than in Detroit - but still not in the top 15. How is that possible?
Last time I mentioned that 'scale' was mentioned 16 times. Well, that went up to 29 🚀
I was also able to make a more in-depth comparison to Detroit. Below you see that:
In Amsterdam there were 1516 unique words used on booths while in Detroit there were 1641. Almost the same. But in Amsterdam 34% more unique words were used on the booths and vendors picked more unique ones more often (hence 'cloud' and 'kubernetes' have lower counts).
Most interesting, but expected change: 'cost' is on the rise.
'Platform' is the only word that has even seen a strong net gain in mentions.
It seems that 2023 will be a direct continuation of 2022 focusing on security, scaling and Kubernetes day 2 operations management - after all that's the biggest challenge since adoption has plateaued and or is growing only slowly (According to CNCF’s 2021 Annual Survey, 96% of organizations are either using or evaluating Kubernetes). Compared to 6 months ago, "cost" has moved to play a more central role in decision processes.
KubeCon 2023 was a hybrid event. So, here are some stats around the digital buzz accompanying this year’s event and the 4613 twitter users who tweeted about it.
credits @EMA Research
Going through all these booths, I noticed that some truly stood out, so I made a few rankings. These are the booths you would’ve stopped by, had you had more time to explore the solutions showcase (even if you had no clue what the company is offering):
Cutest logo (that wasn't on the list last time, sorry, Snyk)
Most memorable statement
Avoid cluster sprawl with a unique multi-tenant architecture and operate Kubernetes as a hyperscaler
Doubling down on the "cluster buster" design from Detroit - and Dario wearing a ghost buster outfit
Dutch cloud-native IT Services company that helps both start-ups and enterprises realize their Kubernetes ambitions.
Huge VR experience zone
Partner Passport: Go visit 8 other booths to collect stickers and redeem them for a two factor authorization key at the Google Cloud booth
A funny photo wall (and a dancing robot; and probably the only company that brought swag that was banned - if you know, you know)