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Smooth Sailing and Continued Growth at All Things Open 2018

Between now and the opening of All Things Open 2023 on October 15, which will begin the conference’s second decade, FOSS Force is each day taking a look at an individual year in ATO’s history. In today’s article we’re looking at All Things Open 2018, which was the conference’s sixth outing.

The 2018 All Things Open T-Shirt

The 2018 ATO T-shirt had no spaceman, but was distinguished by the word 'open' being written in a disruptive style.
Where’s the spaceman? Inquiring minds want to know.

As we’ve mentioned already in this series, with Red Hat’s corporate headquarters being located just blocks away from the Raleigh Convention Center, and with both organizations having had similar views on the importance of open-source ideas, not only as a software development model but as something of a guide for living life and conducting business, it was never a surprise that the two organization ended up working well together.

In hindsight, the close relationship between All Things Open and Red Hat are all important when looking back on the conferences sixth outing in 2018, because this would be the last ATO conference in which Red Hat was a free and independent company. One week after ATO 2018 opened its doors, on the Sunday after the close of that year’s event, Red Hat announced that it had agreed to be purchased by IBM.

Year Six by the Numbers… and More

A shot of the large audience attending ATO 2018's keynotes.
For the keynotes at All Things Open 2018, organizers expanded the Raleigh Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom to include two of its thee sections, yet still played to a full house.

We would say that All Things Open 2018 was another year for the record books, but how many times can you beat your own record before that merely becomes an expectation instead of news. According to the organization’s records, there were more than 4,100 registrations for the event, meaning they were again up by 900 registrations year-over-year.

There was also a big first that year. They added a third day, mainly to accommodate a stand-alone Inclusion and Diversity event but which also served as a registration day for the main event, which took some of the pressure off of Monday morning. As an added incentive to get people to arrive a day early to take part in the stand-alone event, register, and maybe take some time to explore the uniqueness of downtown Raleigh, the event added another social at the popular Jimmy V’s watering hole located just a couple of short blocks from the convention center.

A look at the audience at All Things Open's first ever special "Inclusion" workshop held on the new special registration day on the day before the actual conference.
Starting in 2018, All Things Open added a third day, the Sunday before the conference start, for registration and for special events, such as this Special Inclusion Event (which has since been held nearly every year in which ATO has had an in-person event).
The entrance to the opening day social held at Jimmy V's in downtown Raleigh.
All Things Open always had a social on the evening of the first day held at Jimmy V’s in downtown Raleigh. The addition of a third day for special pre-conference events and registration made room for a second “Welcome Social” on the new opening day. Jimmy V’s, BTW, is named for Jimmy Valvano, a much loved NC State basketball coach who died at age 47 in 1993.
The well organized registration system required the use of several booths.
As All Things Open’s attendance increased, its registration system had to increase with it.
Table with T-Shirts, literature, and official ATO swag that people who have just registered pass by.
After registration, the helpful team at All Things Open will help you pick up a T-shirt, and offer you some official ATO swag and needed literature.
A photograph of a line of vendor booths.
Instead of having a separate “showroom floor” for vendor booths, since the beginning All Things Open has put its vendor booths in the hallways that attendees must pass through between presentations. This seems to have worked out well for everybody.
Booth for Girl Develop It organization.
Since its beginning, All Things Open has made sure that there was booth space available for tech-focused nonprofits, like this one for Girl Develop It and the one below for Women Who Code.

People at ATO 2018

At the time this picture was taken Deb Nicholson (standing) was director of community operations at Software Freedom Conservancy. Currently, she is executive director at Python Software Foundation.
Patrick Masson, then general manager of Open-Source Initiative at OSI's booth.
Patrick Masson, then general manager of Open-Source Initiative at OSI’s booth at All Things Open 2018. He is currently executive director at Apereo Foundation.
Writer Federico Lucifredi signing copies of his book "AWS System Administration" at All Things Open 2018.
Writer Federico Lucifredi signing copies of his book “AWS System Administration” at All Things Open 2018.
Writer Andreas Antonopoulos signing copies of his The Internet of Money books.
Writer Andreas Antonopoulos signing copies of his The Internet of Money books at All Things Open 2018.
Lin Sun who has been involved with the Istio project since the beginning.
Lin Sun, who has been involved with the Istio project since the beginning, giving an opening day keynote address at All Things Open 2018. At the time Sun was a senior technical staff member and master inventor at IBM. Currently, she is the senior director of open-source at
Well known open-sourcer VM Brasseur giving a presentation at All Things Open 2018.
At the time that VM Brasseur gave this talk at All Things Open 2018, she was VP at Open Source Initiative.

All Things Open 2023 Opens Sunday

All Things Open 2023 opens this Sunday at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, which it has been its home since it started in 2013. The schedule for this year’s event is available online. If you’re interested in attending, you can get information on prices (it’s extremely reasonable) and register here.

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