Hosting in the USA…not


I recently attended the fifth annual WebhostingDay in Bruehl, Germany and figured out that there is an enormous world of web hosting outside the United States. Not only does the International hosting community exist – it is doing quite well. Thomas Strohe is the creator and organizer of WebhostingDay and he explained how ”The event is sold out with about 2,500 registered top-class representatives from the hosting industry and online registration has been closed on March 6. Also both of the Phantasialand hotels as well as our backup hotel in Bruehl are sold out.” I can attest to the fact that WebhostingDay 2009 was indeed very crowded and active with International hosting professionals from across Europe and the world.

What drew so many visitors this year? Mr. Strohe speculates that, ”The reason might be the large number of famous partner companies who contribute with talks and exhibitions. Moreover, it is the great success of the previous events which made many people come back. And in Europe, there is no other event that unites so many top level executives from such great and important companies. It is an ideal opportunity for people from the hosting sector to come together, to network and to form new business relationships.” Saneetha Naik, the co-founder of outsourced technical support company Bobcares speculated that the reason that many attendees came was to step up their marketing in a difficult selling environment. First time attendee Phil Robinson from UK-based hosting company added, ”The opportunity to network with my peers in the hosting industry and to learn from true experts in the field is what attracted me to WebhostingDay this year. I find the hosting professionals to be willing to help me and the vendors are always open to sharing their latest developments as well.”

Here are a few statistics as relayed by Professor Jens Bocker, University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in his opening remarks that bear out the popularity of this year’s WebhostingDay event.

* Attendees and exhibitors were present from more than 40 different countries around the world.

* Registered attendance grew from around 1,000 attendees last year to nearly 2,500 attendees n 2009.

* WebhostingDay 2009 featured 50 speakers from a wide range of hosting-related firms and consultancies.

* There were 45 exhibitors in the exhibit hall this year.

The vast majority of attendees that I ran into were from Europe. That is exactly what you would expect, but it still took a bit of adjustment as I have a very ”USA-centric” worldview. Apparently I am not alone in this, mighty search engine Google skews USA as well. Consider the recent logo and link that Google placed onto Google New Zealand to note the arrival of Fall in that hemisphere. Pretty normal, right? Well, not exactly as the term ”Fall” which was used in the logo and the link is used almost exclusively in the USA. The correct term down under is ”Autumn” and yields distinctly different search results. You can see how this was an affront to the local audience and points out Google’s USA-centric worldview by reading this blog post on the subject.

Which brings me back to the subject of this post – Hosting in the USA…not. I will be attending HostingCon this year as well, and expect to see many of my new friends from the International hosting community in attendance. I will not, however, make the mistake of assuming that the way that we do hosting in the USA – be it marketing, operations, plans types, or operating systems – is the exact right fit for international hosting operations.

Categories : Marketing

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