Google Cloud Next, Google Cloud’s annual conference bringing customers, partners, and Googlers together to discuss and explore the latest cloud technology developments and Google product updates, is the biggest community event in the Google Cloud ecosystem. In 2023, for the first time, the C2C team appeared onsite to bring sponsoring partners and existing and prospective customers into the Google Cloud Customer Community in real time.
For two and a half days, from August 29 to 31, C2C manned a booth right next to the conference’s main presentation space, greeting Google Cloud community members from all over the world. C2C’s Director of Communities, Alfons Muñoz (
When Alfons arrived, he was most struck by the size of the event and the organization that went into it. “Next is a summit,” Alfons explains. “It’s where you meet everyone. Every partner. Every customer.” Besides the C2C booth, where Alfons spent most of his time, he saw booths hosted by Google partners large and small, including Accenture and Deloitte, a designated space for the Google Cloud Champions, home to the Google Developer Experts, and another space for the Google Cloud startups community, where he was able to meet longtime colleagues Louis Huynh (
One of the most exciting parts of the experience for Alfons was meeting other guests who had traveled internationally to attend the conference. “We had conversations with companies from Germany, and also the Nordic countries,” he says. “I had a lot of visitors from Latin America, a lot of people from Chile, a lot of people from Brazil.”
One of Alfons’ biggest initiatives as Director of Communities has been to launch the C2C Community in the LATAM region, where C2C has already hosted several in-person events in Portuguese. Alfons was happy to be able to talk about the LATAM community with attendees based in the region, including some state government officials from El Salvador, Honduras, and his home country of Mexico. “They were just getting into the cloud space, trying to do these public projects on the cloud, and they were sharing with me because we are in the same country.”
In addition to making new connections, Alfons was able to connect face-to-face with colleagues with whom he has been in communication on the C2C platform for years. C2C’s community partners were all tabling onsite, and Alfons made a point of introducing himself to all of them, snapping photos to post on LinkedIn with representatives from Aiven, Splunk, DoiT, Deloitte, and Rackspace, as well as customer Optimizely and Google Developer Expert Maureen Barahona (
Alfons also met Canonical/Ubuntu Product Manager Hugo Huang (
After each full day of conference programming, partners hosted afterparties for attendees, but according to Alfons, they filled up so fast that hundreds of guests were stuck waiting to get in. Alfons was not surprised. While the focus of the content presented at the conference was technical, the main goal for most of the attendees was networking. Plenty of guests approached Alfons looking to connect with more customers and peers, and luckily he knew exactly what to tell them. “One person approached me on how to get more clients. ‘How can we use the community to get more clients?’” he remembers. “I said, well, use the community. Jump into the community. Talk with people. Interact with people.”