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What an amazing week in Chicago!

If there’s one resounding theme to come out of Chicago, it was undeniably AI. More than 20 presentations were included on the AI/ML track, and I expect to see this rise even higher at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in Paris next March, given the foundational role Kubernetes and cloud native are playing in the AI ecosystem. In my keynote, I gave a demo on how to run an LLM and inference application on Kubernetes – check out the Cloud Native LLM Starter Pack and see what you can build too.

Security was also a key discussion in Chicago, and it was fantastic to host the Security Hub for the entire three days of the event, bringing #TeamCloudNative together to work on solutions that will continue to transform the cloud native security space. Equally, platform engineering emerged as a critical focus area, highlighting its vital role in enhancing developer experience, automation, and security. Attendees shared insights and strategies on advancing an everything-as-code philosophy, emphasizing the importance of creating efficient and secure layered abstractions on Kubernetes.

Another theme that struck a chord was sustainability and ensuring that we are working towards net zero even as we continue to evolve the cloud native ecosystem. The environmental sustainability keynote panel, moderated by co-chair Frederick Kautz, was a highlight. On the ground, we also worked hard to ensure that this event was as sustainable as possible, and I encourage you to dig into the sustainability section of this report.

There is much to unpack from this phenomenal event, and I’ve enjoyed looking back as we put this transparency report together for you. I hope you find the information valuable, and I look forward to seeing you next March in Paris for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe!

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Sharma
Executive Director, CNCF

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First-time attendees
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CFPs submitted
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Attendees thanks to
Dan Kohn Scholarship Fund
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Pieces of media coverage
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Chicago Photo Highlights

Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photos from Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023



It was fantastic to be back in the Midwest, following the 2022  KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in Detroit, and we were thrilled to see many new faces in attendance, alongside old friends.


13,666 total registered attendees

Attendee Geography

Map of attendee geography
2% of in-person attendees did not answer
In-Person %
Virtual %

Top Countries in attendance


USA Flag
Canada Flag
India Flag


USA Flag
Canada Flag
UK Flag
United Kingdom


USA Flag
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Canada Flag

Top Three Job Functions

DevOps / SRE / Sysadmin





Attendee Job Function %
Architect 16%
Business Operations 2%
Developer 21%
Data Scientist 4%
Full Stack Developer 83%
Machine Learning Specialist 4%
Web Developer 9%
Mobile Developer 1%
DevOps / SRE / SysAdmin 28%
Executive 7%
IT Operations 2%
DevOps 28%
Systems Admin 49%
Site Reliability Engineer 13%
Quality Assurance Engineer 2%
Sales / Marketing 9%
Media / Analyst 1%
Student 2%
Product Manager 4%
Professor / Academic <1%
Other 7%
Attendee Industry %
Automotive 2%
Consumer Goods 3%
Energy 1%
Financials 12%
Health Care 3%
Industrials 2%
Information Technology 67%
Materials <1%
Non-Profit Organization 3%
Professional Services 4%
Telecommunications 3%
Ticket Type 2016 Seattle 2017 Austin 2018 Seattle 2019 San Diego 2020 Virtual 2021 LA 2022 Detroit 2023 Chicago
Total 1,139 4,212 8,000 11,981 22,816 22,164 16,986 13,666
In-person Corporate 38% 64% 68% 67% N/A 5% 17% 31%
In-person Individual 23% 7% 6% 9% N/A 1% 4% 7%
Virtual All Access Pass N/A N/A N/A N/A 67% 68% 48% 28%
Virtual Keynote + Solutions Showcase Only N/A N/A N/A N/A 14% 18% 4.5% 6%
Speaker 11% 6% 5% 5% 2% 1% 3% 5%
Sponsor 17% 16% 17% 15% 17% 7% 12.5% 19%
Media 3% 1% 1% 1% <1% <1% 1% 1%
Academic N/A 2% 2% 3% N/A <1% 1% 2%

I was most impressed by the personal connections that drive innovation in this ever-expanding space. There's a deep sense of involvement and genuine warmth among contributors and end users in the CNCF community, which is borne out of a culture of knowledge sharing and acceptance one wouldn't expect from an engineering-focused trade organization.

Jason English

Silicon ANGLE 

Our Next Kubecon + CloudNativeCon



CNCF strives to ensure that everyone who participates in KubeCon + CloudNativeCon feels welcome, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or economic status. Just over 11% of attendees identified as a person of color, and more than 7% preferred not to answer. It is worth noting that these were optional questions on the registration form, therefore these data points represent only those that chose to respond.

As part of our deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity, we hosted a number of workshops and networking opportunities to help connect individuals to opportunities within tech.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Events and Mentoring

Diversity Lunch participants 115
EmpowerUs participants 102
Peer Group Mentoring + Career Networking mentors - in-person 9
Peer Group Mentoring + Career Networking mentees - in-person 40


Gold CHAOSS D&I Event Badge

Awarded to events in the open source community that foster healthy D&I practices.

Gold CHAOSS D&I Event Badge
Group shot of people at a conference



Co-located events feature industry experts covering topics like AI, app development, edge, observability, web assembly, and more.


Attendees by Gender


Icon Male



Icon Woman


Non binary
/ other

Icon Non-Gender Specific


40% prefer not to answer

Top Three Countries Represented


Icon USA



Icon Canada


United Kingdom

Icon United Kingdom


Top Three Job Functions

DevOps / SRE /







Total Onsite Leads


Average Onsite Leads
Per Sponsor


(119% increase from 2022)

4,769 people Registered for Co-Located Events - the largest audience ever
Speaker at a colocated event

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to position your thought-leadership to an engaged audience at the CNCF-hosted co-located events. Secure your sponsorship for CNCF-hosted co-located events in Europe 2024 today!


Stats for ArgoCon co-located event Stats for appdevelopercon co-located event Stats for backstagecon co-located event Stats for cloud native startupfest co-located event Stats for cloud-native telco day co-located event Stats for CiliumCon co-located event Stats for dok dok co-located event Stats for dbaas co-located event Stats for wasm-day co-located event Stats for istio-day co-located event Stats for kubernetes ai co-located event Stats for multi-tenancycon co-located event Stats for Observability Day co-located event Stats for envoycon co-located event Stats for Kubernetes on Edge Day co-located event



KubeCon 2023 presented a vibrant tapestry of an evolving cloud native ecosystem, grappling with its growth pains while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of innovation and inclusivity.

Roy Chua


We enjoyed 359 sessions in Chicago, including 98 maintainer sessions and more than 270 breakouts.

Sessions Total In-person Virtual
Keynotes (includes sponsored keynotes) 20 20 0
Total sessions (CFP & Maintainer) 359 351 8
- Breakouts 271 266 5
- Maintainer sessions 88 85 3

Captioning Usage

240 hours

Using Wordly Captioning on Accelevents virtual platform

Top languages

English -> Portuguese -> German -> Spanish -> French

334 hrs

Using in-room Wordly Captioning on personal mobile device

Top languages

Japanese -> English -> Chinese -> Spanish -> Korean

Thank you to our fabulous KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023 co-chairs Aparna Subramanian, Frederick Kautz, and Nikhita Raghunath.

Aparna Subramanian

Aparna Subramanian Shopify
Director of Production Engineering

Frederick Kautz

Frederick Kautz Computing Engineer Infra and
Security Enterprise Architect

Nikhita Raghunath

Nikhita Raghunath VMware
Software Engineer

Woman at a conference

It was refreshing to see end users openly share information in keynotes and sessions about how they are addressing security. In the spirit of openness and community contribution, they shared their successes but also discussed challenges, breaches that they experienced, mistakes they made and lessons learned.

Melinda Marks

Tech Target


The schedule was curated by conference co-chairs, Aparna Subramanian, Director of Production Engineering, Shopify; Frederick Kautz, Cloud Native Infra and Security Enterprise Architect; and Nikhita Raghunath, Software Engineer, VMware; who led a program committee of 120 experts and 22 track chairs, comprised of project maintainers and CNCF Ambassadors.

Talks are selected by the program committee through a rigorous, non-bias process where they are randomly assigned submissions to review within their area of expertise. You can read the details in our Submission Reviewer Guidelines, and specifically about the North America selection process.

Key Stats

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CFP Submissions
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program committee members

Speaker Diversity

CNCF enforces guidelines on gender and diversity equality among our speakers, including not accepting all-male panels.

Diversity Percent
Women + gender non-conforming (keynotes) 45%
Men (keynotes) 55%
Women + gender non-conforming (breakouts) 24%
Men (breakouts) 76%
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More than 1,940 people joined us for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America thanks to the Dan Kohn Scholarship Fund

Scholarships Total
Travel Funding Scholarships 226
Registration Scholarships 815
Speaker Scholarships 85

Sponsored by

Apply for a scholarship to join us at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024
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Security Hub

The Security Hub provided a dedicated space for attendees to learn, share, and collaborate on the latest Cloud Native security practices across all three days of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. Covering a range of security-related topics, from securing software supply chains to implementing zero-trust security, managing security for cloud native infrastructure and applications, or building a security-first culture, it also featured a two-day unconference.

Unconference topics included:

  • The Active Observer of a Zero Trust Architecture
  • Seccomp policy usage: why is there no adoption?
  • STRIDE threat model for the vSphere CSI Driver
  • gittuf: A Security Layer for Git Repositories
  • Don't Sign your Containers!
  • TAG Security Supply Chain WG

AI Hub

The first ever AI Hub explored AI topics impacting the cloud native community through a lively and well-attended unconference. The unconference opened with a keynote from CERN’s Ricardo Rocha, and featured a demo by Guillaume Salou of Hugging Face.

Man writing on a white board

The resounding theme at KubeCon was clear — everyone wants more AI

Chad Wilson

Silicon ANGLE

Unconference topics included:

  • Dynamic Resource Allocation + SLURMS vs K8's
  • How Can Cloud Native Be Relevant to AI Developers
  • Unconference Session - Autoscaling LLM's on K8's and From Zero
  • AI/LLM Training + Interference Across Locations
  • FastTrack ML Experiment Tracking
  • Multi-Tenant AI Inference Clusters Weighing Security Against Resource Sharing
Man writing on a white board

On Sunday, November 5, we hosted a complimentary Kid’s Day in Chicago, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools. The event was attended by 61 participants, and featured four workshops:

  1. Minecraft Modding
  2. Phippy and Friends Raspberry Pi Zoo Rescue
  3. Stories and Games with Scratch
  4. Sonic Pi workshop for kids — Unleashing the magic of music through code



We're committed to sustainability at our events and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America was no exception.

Our venue, McCormick Place, proudly leads the way in hosting environmentally conscious meetings and events. They have pioneered innovative strategies to minimize their carbon footprint, earning recognition from third-party, independent validations like LEED, APEX, Green Seal, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You can read more about their Sustainability Program here. In addition to selecting an environmentally conscious venue, we also implemented the following practices at this year’s event:

  • Conference lanyards were made from 100% Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate. Our lanyard sponsor, Portworx by Pure Storage, collected all remaining lanyards to be used at a future event.
  • Materials left by the event and sponsors were donated to the local Salvation Army.
  • Food that was not served was donated to Fight2Feed, a local charitable organization that stocks soup kitchens and shelters. More than 4,800 pounds of food was donated from the event!
  • All food and beverage disposable service ware was compostable and we were an active participant in the venue’s composting program. More than 11,000 pounds of product from the event was composted.
  • Participation in McCormick Place’s campus-wide carpet and cardboard recycling programs.
  • 90% of exhibitor floor carpet was repurposed.
  • The venue was accessible from all conference hotels via the CTA train system.
People getting food Man talking to woman

health & safety
on-site overview

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon implemented the following health and safety measures:

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Hand sanitizing stations were available throughout the venue
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Face masks were available upon request at registration
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Wearable indicators denoting social distance comfort levels

Incident Transparency Report:

  • Four Code of Conduct reports received onsite (involving an offsite incident and security response)
  • Four attendees utilized on-site EMT services during the event.
  • We received notification of two COVID-19 cases.

Media & Analyst


Key Stats

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Mentions of Kubecon
+ Cloudnativecon
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50%  Up arrow
Increase from 2022
North America event
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@CloudNativeFdn Twitter
handle impressions

Online Reach + Traffic

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EVENT SESSION VIEWS As of December 8, event session videos have garnered more than 9,036 views

Media + Analyst Results

mentions in media articles, press
releases, and blogs.
Kubernetes Logo
mentions in media articles, press
releases, and blogs.
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Logo
mentions in media articles, press
releases, and blogs.

Coverage Overview

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America was attended both in person and virtually by 158 media and industry analysts. The coverage they generated has been immense, with a 50% increase since the Detroit event in 2022, hitting over 5,700 articles and press releases. The CNCF PR and AR team hosted two media and analyst roundtables at the event focusing on developer experience, and what’s next in cloud native, in addition to an end user panel at the press and analyst conference. The team also put on a stand-alone analyst event, which included an additional end user panel geared toward an analyst audience.

Media Coverage Quote Highlights

There’s a growing recognition of the need for better collaboration across teams and leveraging community-driven patterns to avoid redundant efforts. A significant gap identified was the need to make infrastructure more invisible to developers, allowing them to focus more on strategic aspects of their work. This gap drives the popularity of CNCF projects like Backstage

Roy Chua


Operators have arrived at KubeCon, signaling Kubernetes’ transition to a mature and important platform for organizations that make money.

Justin Warren


The road ahead is challenging but undeniably exciting, with Kubernetes still the helm of this transformative journey.

Roy Chua


Kubernetes is no longer just a science experiment used by giddy developers testing out new ideas, most of which fail. It now supports successful initiatives that make real money for businesses large and small. With revenue and profits on the line, the people tasked with keeping infrastructure alive—the operators—have well and truly arrived at KubeCon.

Justin Warren


Media Coverage

Business Insider Logo
ComputerWeekly Logo
Container Journal Logo
Forbes Logo
IDG Connect Logo
InfoQ Logo
InformationWeek Logo
Lemonde Logo
Protocol Logo
SDX Central Logo
SiliconAngle Logo
TechCrunch Logo
TechTarget Logo
The New Stack Logo
The Register Logo
VM Blog Logo
ZD Net Logo

Media Coverage Highlights

Over 5,700 articles and press release reposts published from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America in leading outlets (as of November 21)

Industry Analyst Coverage Highlights

Analyst reports, blogs and articles published on topics related to Cloud Native ecosystem by attending KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America analysts (as of November 10, 2022).

KubeCon Katchup: Managing Sprawl, Observability, And Cost

CHICAGO – KubeCon – A few things stuck out here at the KubeCon conference for cloud tech pros. Cloud-native technology has clearly taken the world by storm – but the explosion of cloud native tools, technologies, and gizmos is a bit overwhelming, and we have probably entered a digestion phase.

R. Scott Raynovich


Back from #KubeCon in Chicago. My notes

Software supply chain security is big. The CNCF has conducted audits on Argo and Prometheus. Good to hear about the work of the Open Source Security Foundation at KubeCon.

Mark O’Neill


KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2023 cloud-native vendor highlights

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023 attendees were left with a lasting impression of the cloud native innovative advancements for today and in the future. The event served as a hub for new ideas, collaborations, and advancements in cloud native technologies, highlighting the collective dedication to shaping the future of the industry.

Paul Nashawaty


Insights from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2023

Paul Nashawaty, Melinda Marks, and Jon Brown


Emergent observability topics at KubeCon 2023

New use cases like cost management, sustainability and scalability will lead observability discussions in the North American KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2023 conference.

Jon Brown


At KubeCon NA 2023, finding cloud independence on the edges of Kubernetes

At KubeCon/CloudNativeCon North America 2023 this past week in Chicago, discussion turned from the ubiquity of the software container orchestrator Kubernetes as the heart of cloud native development to addressing a vast ecosystem of projects and vendors, which in turn are enabling applications and data to become more distributed and independent from any particular underlying cloud or on-premises infrastructure.

Jason English


eBPF and OpenTelemetry Rule At KubeCon 2023 in Chicago: Observability Is King

While the Kubernetes platform constituted the overall ‘backdrop’ for KubeCon 2023, OpenTelemetry and eBPF (extended Berkeley Packet Filter) were the most discussed topics of the show. Both technologies aim to standardize, simplify, and automate observability, visibility, and monitoring of cloud native applications across data centers, private clouds, public clouds, and edge locations.

Torsten Volk


Three insights you might have missed from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA

CNCF is known for providing open source and bringing this massive developer base into helping things out with the cloud, which they did a really good job [with]. If you look at all the projects that graduated, Kubernetes is right at the top.

Andy Thurai

Constellation Research, Inc


A huge thank you to our Sponsors!

YOY SPONSORSHIP 2016 Seattle 2017 Austin 2018 Seattle 2019 San Diego 2020 Virtual 2021 LA 2022 Detroit 2023 Chicago
Diamond 8 5 6* 6* 6* 6* 6* 7*
Platinum 3 17 20 35 8 20 28 27
Gold 10 23 20 19 21 26 32 34
Silver 13 30 87 100 63 91 135 124
Start-up N/A 30 50 73 38 76 93 81
End User N/A N/A 5 10 2 7 6 2
Marketing Opportunities 13 26 27 34 29 35 65 50
Total Unique 39 107 193 246 143 228 303 277
* Capped Maximum
Booth Traffic Total
Onsite leads total 90,975
Onsite leads average/booth 342

Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Thank You

We hope you enjoyed reflecting on a great event in Chicago - let's do it again in Paris!

Your comments and feedback are welcome at

Check out our calendar for community events near you and don't forget to register for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe in Paris, March, 2024.

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