One of our favorite trade shows in the U.S. is Velocity, the annual web performance and operations show put on by O’Reilly in Santa Clara, CA, every June.
We’ve been to three straight years of Velocity and it’s the perfect mix of exhibits, keynotes, breakout sessions, impromptu discussions, lightning talks and networking time with loyal clients and future clients alike. We’ve been able to introduce marketing campaigns like “DNS is Sexy” and “Music Meets Tech” at these shows and they’ve been met with amazing fanfare. There is no more concentrated environment for us to get in front of our core audience.
When we were informed that our most enjoyed and rewarding show was hitting the road and launching Velocity Europe in Berlin, Germany, we knew we had to get involved. Coinciding with the gearing up of our European HQ in London and three new bodies (and counting!) led by Phil Akilade, we grabbed a booth, sponsored the lanyards and sent some of our heaviest hitters. Timing for us was perfect to help ensure the show was a success overseas.
Here’s four highlights and lessons that I came away with from an amazing few days.
Face time is underrated.
While at Velocity, I talked to current Berlin-based DynECT Managed DNS prospect Soundcloud and began to build a great in-person relationship. Being involved in music technology with my side project 1band 1brand, I’ve been a fan and admirer of theirs for quite some time. They’ve been getting great care from Senior Account Rep Scott Smith, but there is nothing better than some face time with two Dyn execs like our VP of Engineering Cory von Wallenstein and myself.
Things are looking positive that they’ll be signing on very soon (crossing fingers) and I’m even wearing my new favorite t-shirt right now that their VP of Engineering Alexander Grosse gave me the day after we met.
I witnessed one client connect with another and begin a vendor-client partnership.
When Incutio managing director Andy Piggott had a 20-minute CDN outage while we were in Berlin and had enough with their current provider, I introduced him to fellow DynECT Managed DNS client Artur Bergman, CEO of upstart Fastly and former CTO of Wikia. In minutes, Incutio and their salesonrails.com eCommerce platform were running on Fastly’s real-time caching CDN service. It was amazing to witness the cutover that happened…just like that. Artur also gave Dyn a wonderful shout out during his keynote about why you should “just use Dyn for GSLB (global server load balancing).”
Sometimes the best votes of confidence come from those that you don’t already have a relationship with.
YouTube’s very first operations engineer Bradley Heilbrun was giving his keynote and mentioned how YouTube built its own GSLB service when they got going to manage load and geo-route end user traffic. His advice for those trying to roll out a similar set up today? “Use a provider like these guys.” With that, he pointed to the bright Dyn yellow lanyard around his neck. You have to be a pretty big deal when your title on your business card is ‘Root’ so needless to say, we were thrilled. Yes, we DNS and Internet geeks LOVE that job title and LOVE that onstage referral. THANK YOU, Brad.
“You guys really know your audience.”
I spent some time catching up with a very respected client and one of the organizers of the show in Etsy VP of Operations John Allspaw. We got talking about the types of technologists and companies that attend Velocity and how important it is for the show’s organizers to put on an event that resonates with attendees and keeps them coming back each year. It’s all about balance. He gave us a great compliment that really meant a lot: “You guys really know your audience.”
Indeed we do and so does Velocity. As a sales and brand guy, this is what it is all about. Look for more unique integrations, campaign launches, client and prospect stories, sponsorships, speaking gigs, DynTinis and entrenched involvement with Velocity in 2012 and at many other shows we’ll be at across the globe.