KCD post by the KCD Denmark Organizing Team

In the dynamic realm of cloud-native technologies, a unique collaboration was sparked among three chapters of Cloud Native Nordics – Cloud Native Copenhagen, Cloud Native Aarhus, and Cloud Native Aalborg. Each of us, hailing from a technical background, found ourselves embarking on an uncharted journey. Our shared dream to escalate our regular meetups into an extraordinary one-day Kubernetes Community Day (KCD) in Denmark, aiming to unify and energize our community.

This initiative was driven not only by our desire to challenge ourselves beyond our technical expertise but also to bridge a gap in the global cloud-native community. We recognized that not everyone has the opportunity to attend large-scale events like KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. By bringing a slice of this global community to Denmark, we aimed to give local enthusiasts a taste of the larger cloud-native landscape, making the experience accessible and inclusive.

Camilla Larsen (Lunar), reflects, “Bringing a visual identity to our event was crucial. Every logo, every social media post was crafted to capture the spirit of our community.” This sentiment echoed among us all, as we ventured beyond our technical comfort zones, embracing the thrilling challenge of building a conference from the ground up. This endeavor was not just about sharing knowledge, but also about developing new skills and expanding our horizons.

Overcoming Challenges

The path to KCD Denmark was paved with unique challenges. Organizing an event for 400-500 attendees was a significant step up from our usual small-scale gatherings. We faced financial constraints, with high costs for the venue and catering, and the struggle to attract sponsorships due to our newcomer status in organizing large-scale events.

A turning point in our journey was finding our host venue at JYSK. It was, as we often say, a match made in heaven. JYSK’s team shared our enthusiasm and provided an invaluable foundation for us to build upon. Their willingness to support our event without the immediate need for venue fees was a pivotal moment that allowed us to focus our resources and efforts on other aspects of the event. Their eagerness to help and the collaboration that ensued gave us the much-needed boost to kickstart our preparations with confidence.

Another significant concern was the typical issue of no-shows at our past meetups, which raised doubts about the potential waste of resources. Additionally, the necessity of establishing a legal entity in Denmark for financial transactions added complexity to our organizational tasks.

The Turning Point

Our partnership with the non-profit organization Coding Pirates marked another pivotal moment. This alliance enabled us to manage financial transactions without an independent bank account and introduce a ticket fee to ensure committed attendance. This strategic move not only fostered a high turnout but also resonated positively, simplifying our sponsorship pursuits.

Jinhong Brejnholt (Saxo), focusing on sponsor relations, shared, “Ensuring our sponsors received the recognition they deserved was essential. We meticulously planned our social media and marketing communications to highlight their support.”

The Event’s Resounding Success

KCD Denmark was a huge success that delivered a diverse array of talks from both national and international speakers, captivating our audience. The event’s attendance rate was an impressive 93%, and the feedback we received from attendees, partners, and sponsors was overwhelmingly positive. Our social media presence and website traffic mirrored this success, drawing significant attention. Best yet, the conference generated a substantial donation of 280,000 DKK (~$41,150) for Coding Pirates, contributing to the community’s philanthropic efforts.

Ryan Gough (JYSK), one of the event’s organizers responsible for venue logistics and event planning, expressed his delight at the high level of participant engagement. ‘I was truly amazed to see so many people eager to participate, connect, and engage in conversations throughout the event,’ he remarked. The audience interaction was notably engaging. Attendees actively participated, asking numerous pertinent questions and demonstrating genuine interest in the content of the talks. This interactive element not only enriched the experience but also highlighted the relevance and impact of our discussions.

Reflections and Learnings

The journey was enlightening. Our collaboration with Coding Pirates was a key strategic decision, although it introduced some dependencies in financial processes. These experiences have equipped us with invaluable insights for our future endeavors.

The Road Ahead

With the success of our first KCD Denmark, we are now more experienced and prepared. Our next steps include establishing our own legal non-profit entity to streamline our operations. Our commitment to supporting charitable causes remains unwavering, as we continue to contribute to the community.

KCD Denmark was more than just an event; it was a testament to the power of community, collaboration, and innovation. As we look back on this remarkable journey, we are filled with gratitude and excitement for what the future holds. We invite you to join us as we continue to explore, learn, and grow in the cloud-native landscape.

Relive KCD Denmark: https://youtu.be/F8NsTzFnQSM?si=RIutq6pqOkT4q8XN 

Talk recordings

Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjB3AN4

Website: https://kcddenmark.dk/ 

KCD Denmark Organizers

Kasper Borg Nissen

Camilla Larsen

Jinhong Brejnholt

Thor Anker Kvisgård Lange

Per Hedeggard Christiansen

Robert Jensen

Nikita Hald Sørensen

Ryan Gough

Thomas Vitale

Ophelia Zhang Dalsgaard

Henrik Høegh