RALEIGH — The Raleigh Convention Center was buzzing this week as All Things Open – the technology conference focused on open source – took place for the 11th time.

All Things Open is enormous. There were 17 tracks, on topics ranging from Developer content (3 tracks) to Security to Community. Last year’s event featured 195 speakers across 174 sessions. It’s come a long way since the first year of the event, which included only 500-600 attendees.

This year’s event had 4,400 registrants according to Todd Lewis, the All Things Open Creator and chair, a total that represents a move back to pre-pandemic levels.

“[In] 2019 just before the pandemic, we had about 5,000 people. That was our biggest ever,” said Lewis. “And then, COVID hit, world changed. But this is a big improvement over last year’s attendance of about  3,600. We’re super, super thankful that we’ve been able to do that. Not quite back to pre-COVID levels, but I think by next year, we will be.”

Inside All Things Open: Founder talks tech security, blockchain, AI – and why Raleigh is choice for home city

A Wealth of Options

One of the Tuesday morning keynote speakers at All Things Open 2023.

One of the Tuesday morning keynote speakers at All Things Open 2023.

The conference began Sunday with two major co-located events, the Community Leadership Summit and ATO’s own Inclusion and Diversity in Open Source. Both events are smaller – capped at about 650 attendees each – and both sold out.

Monday and Tuesday’s sessions included speakers from Amazon, Google, Cisco, Microsoft, SUSE, Github, and numerous other big names. Locals were well-represented too, with speakers from SAS, Red Hat, IBM, and Howso.

“We have such amazing speakers that travel from all over the world,” Lewis said. “And so often they’re fans of another speaker. They want to come just to meet them.”

Both days involved multiple keynotes and educational opportunities including case studies and demos. The conference also offered the opportunity for active participation, with an extended session for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to discuss “What it Means for AI to be Open Source.”

RIoT Demo Night

Monday wrapped on a tradition, the tenth annual RIoT Demo night, which features a friendly competition among hardware & IoT companies.

“RIoT Demo Night is one of my favorite nights of the year,” said RIoT Executive Director Tom Snyder. “We had an energetic mix of RIoT sponsors, venture investors, and tech enthusiasts out to support the local startup community.”

This year’s winner of the audience challenge was PhaseDock, a company that teaches electronics and prototyping through their combination of curriculum and custom equipment. PhaseDock is the first 2-time winner of the challenge. The runner-up was Intake Health, a company using technology to monitor hydration for performance athletes.

Program highlights

Among program highlights:

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Applying open source principles to accessibility design and development

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October 9, 2023

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Looking Forward

Lobby of Raleigh Convention Center for All Things Open

Vendors and attendees flood the third-floor lobby of the Raleigh Convention Center for All Things Open 2023.

For those who missed this event, which ended Tuesday, the All Things Open YouTube channel will be making videos of all sessions available in the coming weeks. Past conference sessions, plus sessions from the annual one-day “Open Source 101” conference, are also available. The ATO community also hosts meetups in RTP, Charlotte, and South Carolina.

“All Things Open is my favorite conference of the year by a wide margin,” said Snyder. “The organizers put access, inclusion, and diversity at the top of their priority list, which in turn attracts the highest quality presenters from around the world. I cannot speak more highly of the event and am thankful they’ve welcomed a partnership with RIoT for the last 10 years.”

And that partnership will continue.

“We’d love to stay here,” Lewis said. “This is one of the best locations in the world. And we’re extremely grateful to be here.”

The dates are already set. Mark your calendar: All Things Open will be back at the Raleigh Convention Center October 27-29, 2024.