By the CNCF Marketing Committee + CNCF Staff
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023 is just days away, and with more than 10,000 folks attending, this event is the Cloud Native community’s largest in Europe to date. Networking is one of the most valuable aspects of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon – the hallway track and curated experiences, like the new Open Space Sessions, KubeCrawl + CloudNativefest, sponsored by GitPod, and the EmpowerUs Breakfast, sponsored by Intel, are well-known for bringing people together over coffee, chance encounters, and a shared love of all things cloud native.
While networking at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon presents plenty of opportunities, its sheer size makes it a challenge to navigate – just how do you manage to fit it all in? And where should you go to meet and network with folks who share similar interests, or work on the same projects?
Help is at hand! The CNCF Marketing Committee has pooled its collective knowledge into these hot tips to help you make the most of the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon networking experience:
- Doing things like Twitter spaces or streams in advance of the conference to “pre-network” can be a fun way to meet new people.
- Keep in mind that KubeCon venues are usually really big and when you plan your schedule have a look at WHERE things are on the map, and try not to run across the whole venue frequently because you will wear yourself out.
- Leave longer periods than you think you need to get from place to place, hallway track is the most important track and you will need longer to take care of needs like the bathroom & food because of lines. We also recommend arriving early to sessions when you can as the event is sold out and space is limited.
- Not a fan of solo networking? Take the “Buddy Challenge” – get an accountability buddy that will help you hit your networking targets.
Find the best spots to network
- If you’re working a booth for your organization, find a ‘safe space’ outside of your booth to meet and mingle. You can also direct folks there to meet you, which comes in handy when the venue is so large!
- Rejekts.io is an unofficial conference featuring talks that didn’t get into Kubecon + CloudnativeCon, which takes place April 16 – 17. For folks flying in a day or two early so they are less jetlagged for Kubecon + CloudNativeCon, this is a great opportunity to meet some people in a smaller, relaxed environment.
- The hotel bar/lobby is a great place to meet new people (and you don’t have to drink to hang out!). Plus most folks will be staying in the same area, so you’re bound to meet friendly faces, especially if you’re wearing your event badge.
- Get involved in the morning/extracurricular activities (like the morning run/biking groups, etc.) and community events outside of the conference.
- Whatever projects you contribute to, there are probably smaller events related to those projects. If there aren’t events, organize a time for folks from your project to meet in the expo hall. And don’t forget to check out the Member Mentorship Program.
Timing isn’t everything
- If you’re traveling to Amsterdam from outside of Europe, don’t be surprised if the time difference hits you hard! Try to give yourself time to get adjusted so you can tackle each day fresh, even if it’s just an early night when you arrive.
- It is OK to miss talks because you can watch them later – it’s the same with booths, you can always contact any company you truly want to talk to.
- Have a self care routine – keep yourself fresh and give yourself the grace to recharge and unwind
- Don’t be afraid to get out of the event scene and explore the city a little. Give yourself a break from the networking and get a coffee.
- Don’t forget to hydrate, people!
As many folx are traveling to Amsterdam for the first time, we also want to remind you of some basic safety tips:
- Use the buddy system when traveling outside of the hotel at night
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Keep your belonging close
We can’t wait to see you in person! If you are looking for another way to connect with the CNCF marketing team, we invite you to keep the conversation going by attending marketing office hours (details here). See you soon!