(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – The tenth anniversary edition of North America’s largest and most prestigious web hosting trade show is now in the books. Parsed out to the thousands of visitors and attendees, there were numerous parties, networking events, educational sessions, and of course the enormous HostingCon exhibit hall with hundreds of products and software services geared towards the hosting industry. The general consensus among attendees was that venue in Miami provided a well rounded, fun and convenient location for HostingCon 2014.
Among the educational sessions here are just a very few examples of the HostingCon 2014 program highlights.
Monish Sood, Sr. Marketing Manager, Microsoft Corporation– ‘What Does the Customer Say?’ – Mr. Sood covered a number of key points on how to really address customer needs. A great overview was presented in terms of communicating with customers, capturing that data, analyzing customer needs, and presenting elegant solutions and products to grow customer loyalty. After the session Mr. Sood observed, ”I was pleasantly surprised at the turn out and level of engagement from Hosting Service Providers attending HostingCon. This year seemed to be bigger and more energetic than past. It’s exciting to see that the industry is growing and healthy.”
Makiko Ara, Director of Digital Media at Total Product Marketing – ‘The Art of Selling Space’ – Ms. Ara presented a deeply researched analysis of what works in related industries (for example selling insurance) and pointed out strong tactics for repurposing those techniques to sell hosting products. Ms. Ara noted, ”Technology was the glue that brought everyone together, but I have never been amongst such an amazing group of people all so willing to share knowledge, ideas and stories of both success and failure. HostingCon successfully met their mandate in my eyes.”
Phil Shih Managing Director, Structure Research (Moderator) – ‘The Hosting and Cloud CEO Panel’ – Top executive talent from the foremost hosting providers who are succeeding in growing their companies explained their techniques and strategies for differentiation in a crowded marketplace. Included were such top companies as SoftLayer, Hosting.com and Internap.
Here are some final thoughts by notable attendees on HostingCon 2014.
Regarding the overall quality of the educational sessions, David Dunlap, Director of Marketing with SingleHop had these comments, ”This year I was particularly impressed with the level of education available in the sessions. In my mind, this was the best year for sessions in the 10 years I have been attending Hostingcon. When HostingCon first began it was used as a means to let the world know that the hosting industry is a valid and meaningful industry. We have traversed our roots as technology pathfinders and even networking hobbyists to become the foundation that the global economy is based off of. This year’s conference shows that though the hosting industry has matured we are still a little reminiscent of our past, but also looking forward to continue to push the envelope. All of us, at our core, got into the industry for the technology and the opportunity to show off what it can do.”
International attendee Daniel Foster is the co-founder of United Kingdom based WordPress web host 34SP.com. Mr. Foster echoed the value of the show in relation to the thousands of miles he traveled to attend. ”There is a certain synergy which emerges each year at HostingCon as hundreds of the top hosting providers throughout the world converge in one location. The sum of the enthusiasm, energy and innovation clearly outweighs the simple additive effect of the parts. HostingCon 2014 was no exception. Between the networking events to the one-on-one vendor meetings to the outstanding educational sessions, the hosting industry once again showed it’s vibrancy and enthusiasm for the future. I’m looking forward to taking what I have learned this year and putting it directly into practice in my business.”
Regarding the current state of the hosting industry as observed at HostingCon 2014, Erik Landness with Net Data Centers added, ”The industry is changing, no doubt about that. There is more opportunity for success than ever before for those that are innovative and focus on solving real world customer problems. Any company that can identify a problem that doesn’t have a solution and can build a niche solving that problem is going to be successful. Also, as evidenced by the keynote on Tuesday, we are all evolving into security providers more than hosting providers, as that is now something that needs to remain top of mind to everyone providing Internet based services. The number of attacks and the abundance of computing resources available to would-be attackers has made it easier than ever for attacks to be launched against anyone, so stay on your toes!”
One final note: HostingCon 2015 will be returning to San Diego (the site of HostingCon 2011) to give those on the West coast another front row seat to the event next year. Be sure to keep abreast of show details and forthcoming updates on the next North American HostingCon event. We’ll see you in San Diego in 2015!