HostingCon is a convention/trade show that brings together people from all over the world who are either in the web hosting business or vendors to the business. In conjunction with the trade show are dozens of talks and panels spread out over three days, grouped under various categories; Marketing/Sales, Emerging Trends, Technology and Operations and Business Development. This year there were more than 50 talks in those categories, as well as three keynote speeches and a handful of unscheduled or impromptu gatherings.
It’s a lot to digest in 72 hours.
Four of us from DiscountASP.NET attended, and between us we couldn’t cover everything. But we covered most of it, and hearing what others are saying is valuable. It gives us insight into where our upcoming projects are going to fit into the landscape and what the competition is going to be up to.
And while this is a very competitive business, it is very interesting to sit down with some of those competitors over meals or drinks or in the convention center between talks and get a feel for who they are. Because business is business, but we’re all people after all, and I have to say that 99% of the people I meet in the hosting industry are friendly and open and just generally cool. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the technology attracts creative and inventive types. I’m quite sure that people like Ben Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison would have been all over gatherings like HostingCon or TED if they were alive today.
I can imagine that they would get themselves lost in the exhibit hall and have to be forcibly 86ed like drunks, long after last call. The exhibit hall was more than 130 booths demonstrating and touting virtually everything related to the hosting business; domain registrars, hardware and software vendors, server management, network management, tech support providers, control panel providers, cloud, cloud, cloud and more cloud (I’m surprised it didn’t rain in there – more on that in upcoming articles), magazines, lawyers, labs, Lycanthropy – you name it, it was represented at HostingCon.
Oh, and yes, you may have heard that there were one or two parties every evening. Indeed there were. Microsoft, OpenSRS, cPanel and others sponsored some great get-togethers, where you could observe Captains of Industry and hundreds of otherwise rational people in all of their, um, relaxed glory. But seriously, the parties are another great opportunity to get to know other people in the industry who you may never have the chance to speak with face to face under any other circumstances. So my (virtual) hat is off to all the companies that ponied up the dough for those soirees.
If it sounds a bit like Disneyland for nerds and geeks, well, that’s exactly what it was.
We’ll be posting some articles that deal with specific ideas and trends that we observed at HostingCon starting today and continuing on through the week.