Now that the AWS Summit season is coming to an end, with the teams focusing on delivering re:Invent in a few months, I wanted to do a recap and refresh on why you should add one to your list of must attend events for next year, especially if you are a cloud or tech enthusiast! In short, AWS Summits are a series of free online and in-person events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Session speakers include AWS experts, partners, customers and community members!
There are a few reasons why AWS Summits have quickly become my favourite cloud events, yes, I attended re:Invent in 2022, and yes, I still prefer the summit format! Here's the short version of why you should add AWS Summits to your conference list, we'll go into each in the rest of the post:
2. 🛋 Community vibe and presence, including an awesome community lounge where you have talks from AWS Community Builders speakers
4. 🗺 Smaller than re:Invent, easier to navigate, no booking needed for sessions and usually lasts 1 day only.
5. 🌱 Increased collaboration and networking opportunities you can grow and nurture more easily post-event.
Tickets are free and you'll spend less on travel and accommodation compared to Las Vegas and re:Invent. There will be one closer to you than LV could ever be, AWS organises them across all regions globally, they are a day usually and that means less money and CO2 on transport, accommodation and time spent getting there and back. That's a winning combo in my book! It took me only 3 hours to travel from home to the London AWS Summit, whilst it took me 20+ hours to get to re:Invent!
Network with AWS experts and professionals and the amazing AWS Community Builders and Heroes at the community lounge and beyond in the Expo and sessions. The Community lounge is my favourite spot and people at any AWS event, you can drop by to learn about the programs for all expertise levels that AWS offers, the User Groups near you that you can join and to network with AWS experts and professionals. This is a great way to learn from others, share your own experiences, and build relationships that will last and help you in your career.
At the summits you can learn about the latest AWS services and features. You'll have the opportunity to hear from AWS experts, partners, and customers about how they're using AWS to solve real-world problems in your region and globally. The sessions are more tailored to your location and the customers represent the region. The AWS Summits offer a variety of technical breakout sessions, workshops, and labs where you can learn new skills and earn AWS certifications. Just like re:Invent, but at a smaller scale! This is a great way to boost your cloud skills and make yourself more marketable.
I loved re:Invent, I really did, but for me it won't be an event I go to every year. The ticket and travel costs are high, the weather almost killed my voice before my talk and the intensity of the week I spent there has made it more of a once a few years conference for myself. The AWS Summit in London this year on the other hand has been the perfect balance of intensity, knowledge, community, networking and reduced costs and travel times, perfect blend for myself! My team also attended with me and my US team went to the NYC Summit where they had a blast! The other thing I love about the summits is that you don't need to book sessions, yes that means you might not get in to all the ones you want but realistically neither will you at re:Invent mostly!
Get inspired by cloud success stories and connect with like-minded cloud enthusiasts to to hear inspiring stories from folks that have successfully used the cloud to transform their work. These stories can motivate you to achieve your own cloud goals and don't forget to nurture and grow the relationships you make at the events. Considering the local feel and attendees at the summits, they are amazing opportunities to build relationships and future partnerships with folks you meet there! It's not over when the summit ends, make sure you have a strategy to collect info and reach out to folks you met that had common interests with you!
Overall, attending AWS Summits is a great way to learn about the latest AWS services and features, gain new skills and certifications, network with AWS experts and cloud professionals, get energized in the community spaces and get inspired by cloud success stories.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy it! AWS Summits are a great way to learn and grow. So relax, enjoy yourself, and make the most of the experience!