AWS re:Invent 2018: Reactions And Key Takeaways

Devan Weed
Senior Digital Marketing Manager


It’s hard to believe AWS re:Invent was an event of only 2,000 attendees just six years ago. Now in 2018, we joined a crowd of over 50,000 customers, partners, and vendors in Las Vegas to discuss the latest AWS cloud innovations and embrace other emerging technologies. Our organization made up 67 of the attendees at the event spread out across seven different venues on the Las Vegas strip, all of which supported their own conference services and breakout sessions (we’re still wondering how many AWS employees it took to run and operate the massive event so seamlessly).

AWS re-Invent 2018- Reactions And Key Takeaways

“There are ways to become 100% confident in the system and I hope to gain more insight into this during the upcoming [AWS re:Invent] session about how to leverage containers to test resilience.”

The main sessions, including Global Partner Summit and keynote sessions presented by Andy Jassy and Dr. Werner Vogels, were hosted at The Venetian hotel. Each session was extremely well attended with people arriving over an hour early to claim their seat. Who could blame them?  The caliber of topics and content was extremely impressive as they introduced what’s next for AWS cloud technology. The keynote presentation led by CEO Andy Jassy was an impressive session. Not shockingly, he chose this platform to communicate dozens of significant news announcements, placing a particular emphasis on dedicating AWS to improving the lives of “builders.” As for CTO Dr. Werner Vogels’ keynote session on Thursday, he mentioned a data point that was pretty astounding–AWS has such an active user community that at this point 95 percent of AWS features and services are based on customer feedback.

A more detailed recap of the main sessions including the top announcements and key takeaways are available in the articles below:

During the show, we asked fellow attendees about their likes, dislikes during the event and what they hoped to gain from the countless sessions and networking opportunities spread throughout the week.

Here are some of the responses we received:

  • “Our goal is to create a completely resilient AWS environment with zero chance of business disruption when something breaks or a system fails. There are ways to become 100% confident in the system and I hope to gain more insight into this during the upcoming session about how to leverage containers to test resilience.“–Tristan Greaves, Group AWS Programme Manager at StepStone
  • “Conversations about the cloud are definitely more mature this year. Everyone has learned the importance of monitoring and managing AWS costs, but now the focus is on how to better optimize your cloud environment and accelerate your journey.”—Josh Pemrick, Global Account Executive, Presidio
  • "This is the biggest corporate event I have experience thus far, and one would think it would be an operational nightmare but AWS has really stepped up their game this year. So far my favorite session has been the AI summit where they focused on autonomous vehicles. It was fascinating to learn how you only need one out of fifty vehicles to be automatic in order to improve the flow of traffic. My point is, there is really something for everyone at this show." – Josh Fu, Sales Engineer, Cylance Inc.
  • “I really didn't know what to expect going into reInvent this year. The thought of it eclipsing last year's event and being spread over seven different hotels led me to believe engagement with customers, prospects, and partners may be problematic, but I could not have been more wrong. The excitement, engagement, participation, and energy of the event was fantastic. Now that the cloud is core to business transformations worldwide, you could sense the evolving demographics of the attendees from early adopters to market acceptance. New enterprise customers were in attendance and highly engaged, and members of the evolving partner ecosystem were more visible than ever. There were announcements in nearly every category including serverless, machine learning, and containers, and the advent of data and data integrity were unavoidable topics as well. It was a great re:Invent, one that highlighted the shift with regard to market maturity and innovation.”—Tom Axbey, VP and General Manager, CloudHealth by VMware

In addition to commentary on the floor, the buzz on social media and search engines is worth noting as well.

1. Tristan Greaves from Stepstone tweeted about the Andy Jassy keynote featured on livestream at the CloudHealth customer breakfast event:

2. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger tweeted about his experience at AWS re:invent 2018 and gave a shout out to his CEO-friend Andy Jassy as he joined him on stage.

3. We thought this shirt idea was pretty clever and worth including in this list. Shout out to our friend representing serverless at re:invent.

4. Okay, honest thoughts on this marketing tactic? Clever or tacky? You decide. Either way, Oracle made a big splash playing the competitive marketing game at re:Invent this year by offering free shuttle rides in an Oracle-branded vehicle that takes a jab at AWS’s high costs.

5. Of course, we had to throw in a picture of the CloudHealth crew gearing up for the show.

Reinvent is one of our biggest investments of the year, not only from a financial standpoint but from an engagement standpoint as well. This event was executed to consider every detail with precision and has raised expectations for technology events in the future.

We’d like to thank our customers and partners for taking the time to connect with us during the event. And a big thank you to the entire CloudHealth team who attended and helped make this event possible. Below we’ve included a note sent to the team by our VP of Marketing, Melodye Mueller:

“I want to thank everyone for this week's outstanding performance at re:Invent. This was an incredibly well-executed event on all fronts. I am so proud of the team and the feedback we received from our customers and partners. Thank you again, this was our best year by far!” – Melodye Mueller, VP of Marketing, CloudHealth by VMware

Want to learn more about the cloud industry trends and predictions that were circling around at AWS re:Invent this year? Make sure you sign up for our upcoming webinar featuring our CTO and founder of CloudHealth Joe Kinsella and the GM of Cloud Services at VMware Milin Desai.