Tech Show Recap: Seen and Heard at AWS re:Invent 2023
AWS re:Invent 2023, a conference and expo hosted by Amazon Web Service (AWS) for the global cloud-computing community, attracted tens of thousands customers, partners and AWS team members to Las Vegas Nov. 27-Dec. 1. AWS, producer of one of the largest U.S. corporate events of the year, generated Q3 revenues of $23.06 billion, according to a statement. The cloud unit, which CNBC calls the world’s top provider of computing and storage services, grew revenue 12% year over year for the quarter.
“Generative AI took center stage during keynotes, race cars and robots wowed at the expo, and no one will forget Major Lazer’s cover of David Bowie at re:Play any time soon,” according to the AWS re:Invent website.
The sprawling “campus” for AWS re:Invent covered 10 hotels on the Las Vegas Strip for sleeping rooms and spanned six dedicated venues, including Caesars Forum, Mandalay Bay, The Venetian, Wynn, Encore and MGM. (See the full list here.)
With full conference passes priced at $2,099, this year’s in-person event offered keynote announcements, training and certification opportunities, more than 2,000 technical sessions, a trade show floor with hundreds of partners, after-hours events and more.
Attendees were encouraged to walk or use the monorail service between MGM and Caesars Forum to get around, but free shuttles were available for venues more than a 15-minute walk from one another. Taxi and rideshare options were also available.
What can other event organizers learn from AWS re:Invent 2023? Corporate Event News curated a list of nine highlights from this year’s show.
Keynotes. The three-day event featured a host of news and announcements. Livestreamed and free to watch for those who registered, keynotes by the company’s top brass included AWS CEO Adam Selipsky, AWS VP of AWS Data Swami Sivasubramanian and Amazon.com VP and CTO Dr. Werner Vogels. One of the most talked about keynotes featured NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, who spotlighted the pivotal role of generative AI in cloud transformation and highlighted their companies’ growing partnership with AWS.
New products. AWS took center stage to introduce eight major product announcements that were covered widely in tech and mainstream media. Selipsky talked about Amazon's new AI-powered chatbot Q and how it will impact the customer experience. A complete list of new product releases can be found here.
Sessions. Over the course of five days, the event offered more than 2,000 sessions with training and certification in a variety of formats, including:
- Breakout sessions were lecture-style and ran 45-60 minutes. AWS experts, customers and partners presented these sessions, which often included 10-15 minutes of Q&A. These sessions were recorded and uploaded to the AWS Events YouTube channel.
- Builders' sessions were one-hour hands-on sessions with 10 attendees and one AWS expert per table. Each builders’ session began with a short explanation or demo of what attendees were going to build. There was no formal presentation — just 10 attendees, their laptops and the AWS expert.
- Chalk talks were interactive whiteboarding 60-minute sessions with AWS experts. Attendees engaged in a lively technical discussion centered around real-world architecture challenges with a small group of experts and peers.
- Workshops were two-hour interactive sessions where attendees worked in small teams to solve real problems using AWS services. Each workshop kicked off with a 10- to 15-minute lecture by a speaker, and the rest of the time was spent working as a group on their laptops.
Fun + fitness. A new addition to the re:Invent 2023 campus, the Rec Center at Mandalay Bay offered attendees the opportunity to test their skills on the field, on the pitch, or on the track. Attendees had the chance to watch, play and experience AWS sports collaborations with some of the major sports franchises like the NFL that partner with AWS. Check out a video of the rec center here.
Repurposing content. Listen to interviews with key figures from the world of AWS, recorded during AWS re:Invent 2023. Or watch on demand. Hear about the latest trends and breakthroughs in cloud computing — including product announcements, news about AI and machine learning and infrastructure innovations that AWS leaders shared at re:Invent 2023.
Expo. Held at The Venetian, the expo was the place to be to access a wide range of activities, including the AWS Village, the AWS Community Developer Lounge, sponsor booths and learning opportunities. On the show floor, hundreds of AWS Partners offered software, data and services that run on AWS. Sponsors included startup and major brands like accenture, deloitte, pwc, salesforce, Cisco and Capital One — to name a few. See a full list here.
Zones on the show floor. Attendees could browse the experience through four distinct zones including Data, Developer Solutions, Infrastructure Solutions, Security and AWS for Industries. At the center of each zone was an AWS pavilion that featured a cluster of AWS exhibits, demos and content to help attendees to better understand the application of AWS services.
Done deals. Bookable meeting and reception space (BMS) was available Nov. 27-30 at Encore. AWS re:Invent offered a variety of meeting and reception room capacities (for 15-400 people) and configurations (including boardroom, executive boardroom, reception, rounds and u-shape) in two-, three- or four-hour blocks of time. Each room included standard audio/visual (A/V) equipment, conference wireless internet and a digital sign outside of the room.
Giving back. Partnering with Fill it Forward, AWS made donations to its non-profit customer charity: water to assist water-insecure communities around the world, where people have to carry heavy water containers daily for cooking, bathing and drinking. For every walk completed, a donation was made toward water systems and sanitation projects for schools in Cambodia, where access to clean water continues to be a daily challenge.