In November I had the opportunity to represent Drupal at Web Summit 2023, a conference with 70 000 or so attendees. It was our first time along with others from Acquia, the Drupal Association, 1xINTERNET, FFW and Phase2. As part of the Drupal Association's move to do more marketing, this group of companies got together to represent Drupal itself. It was a unique experience for sure both to get together with various companies and also to "sell" the open source Drupal software directly as opposed to services on top of it.
Although our booth was a bit tucked away, the interest was amazing and quite varied. Some came looking for developers to help fix their Drupal integration, but many more came to introduce their startup and talk about potential collaboration. We highlighted how they could create a Drupal module and make themselves available on our "marketplace".
Various people came to discuss mentoring and how we get new people on board for potentially working together on that in the future. Employees of a financial institution came to say their Drupal site is about to launch and they are super happy with it. University students came up to ask about potential career opportunities. But many former Drupal users also visited the booth intrigued about new features and solutions.
Outgoing Drupal Association chair Badd Sonja Breidert also had the opportunity to present Drupal's unique open source story on the Full Stack Stage. She not only highlighted the flexible nature of the system that users love but also the global collaboration behind it from thousands of organizations.
While Web Summit was great with lots of companies and countries represented, Drupal needs to participate in more places. Next up we are planning our return to FOSDEM in 2024, an event focused on free and open source software with 8000+ hackers attending.