The best of CloudFest: 2023 Debrief

BaseKit attends CloudFest 2023

BaseKit was excited to attend the world’s #1 cloud industry conference last month, as our team headed to Germany to learn about the biggest trends in cloud tech and catch up with lots of partners.

Now in his tenth year attending CloudFest – BaseKit VP of Product Gordon Plant takes a look back down memory lane at the evolution of the Cloud industry through CloudFest and the best from this year’s conference.

“Cloudfest not only offers attendees an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the industry but also provides a unique experience.” says Gordon.

“Unlike most conferences, Cloudfest is hosted at Europa Park, a theme park in Southern Germany. This offers attendees a chance to unwind and have fun after a long day of learning and networking.”

“The organisers understand the importance of a work-life balance and have incorporated this philosophy into the event. Attendees do not have to worry about searching for restaurants or bars in the evening as all meals and entertainment are included in the package. This allows attendees to relax and socialise without any added stress.”

“The conference is based on the principle of ‘work hard, play hard’. The organisers have put a lot of emphasis on making the days great for working and the evenings great for socialising. This approach has been a major draw for attendees who appreciate the opportunity to network in a relaxed environment.”

Strengthening relationships

As a business, we’ve been attending Cloudfest for over 10 years. During this time we’ve seen the event and our takeaways from the experience develop and change.

“We keep going back because Cloudfest has adapted and evolved with the changing needs of the industry. In its early years, the conference provided a platform for hosting companies to learn about site builders. However, as the industry grew and evolved, the focus of the conference shifted towards building stronger relationships with partners.” says Gordon,

“Today, Cloudfest is the key event for partners in the cloud computing, hosting and Telco industries to come together and discuss the latest trends and developments in the field. The conference provides a unique opportunity for partners to meet face-to-face with their peers from around the world and exchange ideas and experiences.”

“Cloudfest’s focus on building partnerships has helped establish it as a key event in the cloud computing industry. The conference has played a vital role in helping us maintain and strengthen our partnerships.”

From web hosting fundamentals to delivering a compelling customer experience

“Cloudfest has evolved over the years to reflect the changing needs and priorities of the web hosting industry. In its early years, the conference was heavily focused on the fundamentals of building and hosting websites.”

“However, as the industry has grown and matured, the emphasis has shifted towards delivering a compelling customer experience. This shift has been driven by the changing expectations of customers. Today’s consumers are more tech-savvy and demand more from their online experiences.”

“Web hosting companies need to be able to deliver fast, reliable, and engaging websites and e-commerce stores that meet the needs of their customers. Cloudfest has played a vital role in helping web hosting companies stay ahead of the curve by providing a forum for discussion and learning.”

Consolidation across the industry

Like most tech sectors, the web hosting industry has been through a considerable period of change over the last 10 years.

Gordon explains,

“The biggest single change is that many small hosting companies have been consolidated into a few larger groups. There have been several waves of consolidation and the process is still ongoing. This has resulted in a shift towards more sophisticated and integrated solutions that can meet the needs of larger clients.”

Talking more on how Cloudfest has changed over the years, Gordon added,

“Over the past decade, Cloudfest has undergone a significant transformation in terms of its focus and scope. In its early years, the conference was primarily focused on the hosting and domain industries.”

“However, as the industry has evolved, so too has the focus of the conference. Today, Cloudfest is a premier event for cloud computing, big data, and other emerging technologies. The shift towards cloud computing and big data has been driven by the growing demand for scalable and flexible solutions.”

“The web hosting industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with the pace of change accelerating and the appetite for new products increasing. Hosting companies are no longer content with simply offering basic hosting services, but they are now looking to sell a wider range of products to meet the evolving needs of their customers.”

Guess what everybody was talking about…

“This year it’s no surprise that ChatGPT and machine learning (ML) are the hot topics of the conference. Everyone is eager to learn how these technologies can be applied in the hosting and domain industries in a way that will add real value for customers.” says Gordon.

Indeed, our product and development teams recently explored the potential benefits of integrating AI and ML solutions into our platform as part of the annual BaseKit Hack Week.

Gordon continued, “Like most other technology businesses, we were really excited about the potential for ChatGPT and ML to improve our products and services, but we also recognise the need for careful implementation and monitoring to ensure ethical and responsible use.

“By the end of 2022 we could see many possible applications for ML but we don’t want to rush too quickly towards overdependence on this technology. We are already working on the first roadmap item that uses ML and once we get feedback from partners and their customers we expect to add many more features.”

Learning from our partners

Cloudfest gives us the opportunity to meet up with many of our partners from around the world and have some really productive conversations.

“The feedback from partners about our 2023 roadmap was overwhelmingly positive. This year we have put a lot of emphasis on how partners can use our API, Webhooks and other points of connection to better integrate our products.”

“We are very fortunate to be working with partners that are with us for the long term and are looking beyond just ‘features and fixes’ to create sustainable value for customers.”

Reflecting on his conversations at Cloudfest, Gordon said,

“For me, the most enjoyable thing is discovering if our partners share our excitement about the future products we can create for them.”
“We work hard in the months before Cloudfest to put together a great proposition but until we meet our partners face-to-face we are never sure if we’ve hit the sweet spot.”

“The face-to-face meetings with our partners allows us to gauge their level of interest and obtain valuable feedback. And this year that feedback has been really encouraging.”

Key takeaways

The top three takeaways from our discussions with partners at Cloudfest:

  1. Integrations with the other applications our partners sell, so the customers have a smooth, joined-up experience is becoming increasingly important.
  2. Package price points are always constrained, but there is still plenty of opportunity to increase revenues through better understanding of customers and their needs.
  3. Well targeted marketing and communications can help partners to deepen relationships with their customers. Our site builder, store and bookings products have lots of potential for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Are you in?

Over the last 10 years we’ve helped 100+ partners deliver millions of websites and e-commerce stores for entrepreneurs around the world.

We’re on a mission for tech democracy for small businesses – are you? Request a demo of our white label software today.

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