Back when events were being held in person CloudFest, which used to be known as World Hosting Days, was the largest event for hosting companies in the world. Other events like HostingCon had shrunk over the years until eventually they ceased to exist.
In the domain name conference space NamesCon grew to be the “go to” event for anyone interested in the commercial aspects of the domain name business. Again the organisers managed to strike the right chord with registries, registrars, investors and others and made the events into the ones that most people wanted to be involved with. Even in the current pandemic they managed to attract positive feedback for their online only events, which is an accomplishment.
However both NamesCon and CloudFest have been owned by GoDaddy for the last few years since Host Europe was acquired. That the biggest events for both hosting and domains would be owned by a company that is anything but neutral was going to be a problem at some point. Sure, the GoDaddy involvement might have been quite “hands off” at first, but over time it became evident that GD were “the” driving force behind a lot of the events – or at least that was an impression that was hard to avoid. As Andrew noted recently, GD decided to offload the events to a German company WHD Event GmbH. That move is now official. Both events are now under “new” management. While the company might be new it’s run by the likes of Soeren von Varchmin who have been the face of CloudFest and related events for years.
CloudFest 2021 will be held online March 23 – 25th 2021.