blog by OSO

Kafka Summit London [OSO’s 7-Step Prep Guide] 

Sion Smith 14 May 2023

How to Make the Most of Kafka Summit London 2023

This upcoming May 16 and 17, it’s Kafka Summit London, the user conference for our Apache Kafka® community.

Kafka Summit is the premier event to upgrade your network, learn from other DevOps professionals, and discuss the future of scalable, modern platforms for streaming data—but only if you deliberately approach these two days with a strategic system and agenda. 

We’ve put together a brief guide to help you manage your time, host a well-attended demo stand, and maximise Kafka Summit London!

Pre-Register for 2023

Your pass should directly relate to your goals for the conference. You may have already registered for the summit. If so, congratulations! If not, register now

(The premier version is the In-Person Kafka Summit pass, but the Confluent Data in Motion training can be added on top of the existing In-Person Conference pass so that you spend an extra two days upskilling following the speakers and main conference.)


Envision Your End Game

Kafka Summit London can be anything you make of it. 

So from the second you register, start to consider your overarching goals for the Summit. Do you want to…

  • Learn about streaming data and event-driven architecture? 
  • Connect with other developers, data architects, and DevOps professionals? 
  • Scope out potential tech companies and attendees who might need your services? 
  • Acquire Apache Kafka certifications and training? 
  • Gain hands-on experience with event streaming platforms? 

Picture yourself the day after you attend the summit. What will make you feel accomplished and like you got everything you wanted out of the conference?

Craft SMART Goals

Great, you’ve envisioned a perfect endgame. Now translate each big goal into a concrete, measurable, and easy-to-track step.

For example, let’s say you’ve chosen to focus on certifications, networking, and hands-on experience. Your goals might look like this: 

Acquire Apache Kafka certifications and training

  • Complete Confluent Certified Developer (CCDAK) or Confluent Certified Administrator (CCAAK) for Apache Kafka® training.

Connect with other developers, data architects, and DevOps professionals

  • Gather at least 50 business cards and give out at least 100.
  • Engage in 5-10 conversations about their services and projects before and after event sessions. 

Gain hands-on experience with event streaming platforms

  • Attend at least 1 lab, gamified learning event, or demo. 

Circle these goals. Write them down. Commit them to memory. You won’t have a lot of time to strategise at the conference itself—and your goals will give you direction and purpose.

Plan Your Breakout Sessions

At this point, you can head to the Kafka Summit London conference agenda and start to pick out your unique breakout events. You want to have a strategy from the minute you arrive and start to talk to people. 

Your breakout and session plan should directly link back to the SMART goals you’ve set yourself. Want to attend a technical workshop on configuring and deploying Kafka? Pencil in the 8:30 am -10:00 am Fundamentals of Apache Kafka® (Training) into your schedule and don’t let anything touch it. 

A sampling of the types of sessions at Kafka Summit London 2023:

GoalRelated Sessions
Certifications and TrainingFundamentals of Apache Kafka® (Training)
Implementing Real-Time Data Analytics with Kafka Streams 
Designing a Data Mesh with Kafka 
Confluent Certified Developer for Apache Kafka®
Certification (CCDAK)
Networking and ConnectingCocktail Hour (Expo Hall) 
Kafka Summit Party
Sharing Best Practices and TroubleshootingExactly-once Stream Processing Done Right 
Eliminating the Double Write Problem in Apache Kafka Using the Outbox Pattern
Hands-On TrainingData in Motion GameDay
Fundamental Skills and LearningA Beginner’s Guide to Realtime Data With Kafka 
A Beginner’s Guide to Kafka Performance in Cloud Environments
The Future of DevOps and KafkaPushing Apache Kafka to the Limit (Panel) 
Apache Kafka: A Year in Review and a Look Forward (Panel)

Meet Specific Kafka Leaders

These breakouts are also a time to connect with people shaping the future of Kafka and event-driven architecture. 

Maybe you’ve always admired a certain company for its systems, culture, or strategy. This is the time to learn from, connect with, and exchange information with speakers and conference attendees from that particular company or organisation. 

Because the Kafka Summit London agenda page lists its speakers for keynotes, breakouts, and lightning talks, you can select people of interest by their company or by their specific role. Maybe you’re just getting involved in the field and want to explore different job functions. Maybe you want to connect with a peer in another company. 

Whatever your goals and motivation, make a list of 3-5 people who, if you met no one else during this conference, you would consider these two days a success. For instance, if you’re curious about Confluent and Amazon…


  • Shaun Clowes (Chief Product Officer)
  • Adam Bellemare (Staff Technologist) 
  • Alieh Saeedi (Software Engineer) 
  • Anna McDonald (Principal Customer Success Technical Architect) 


  • Divij Vaidya (Sr. Software Development Engineer) 
  • Christo Lolov (SDE III) 
  • Ali Alemi (Streaming Specialist Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services)

Network and Connect with Other Participants

Beyond these event leaders, build relationships with your fellow conference participants. 

  • Learn about why they came to Kafka Summit London 2023: Are they trying to solve a specific business problem? Do they want to acquire additional training? 
  • Ask questions about their life, work, and career: Are they satisfied in their current role? What do they see themselves doing in 3-5 years? Do they run, bike, or swim? How do they unwind after work? 
  • Chat about their favourite projects: When have they felt the greatest feeling of satisfaction? How have they applied data streaming and Kafka in the past? What types of projects do they want to work on next? 
  • Share what you know about Kafka: Do you have any advice for a specific problem they’ve told you about? Did you learn any useful information at a session you went to but they didn’t? Would they like any newsletters, blogs, or social accounts that you like, follow, or admire? 

Some events naturally lend themselves to this type of conversation, like Kafka Summit Party, collaborative sessions like Data in Motion GameDay, and Expo Hall demo events. If building your network is one of your main goals for this conference, sign up for these options. 

Go Beyond the Conference 

Congratulations on investing in yourself and your professional network. You’ve opened yourself up to new opportunities, insights, relationships, business partners, and collaborators. 

Now, keep your support and endorsement for the Apache Kafka community going by following up with your new network: 

  • Connect with them on LinkedIn or Twitter.
  • Continue your conference conversations via email or LinkedIn. 
  • Forward useful articles their way. 
  • Share updates and best practices that you think they’ll find relevant.
  • Arrange a technical or networking meetup for Kafka professionals in your area.

If you’ve followed the steps so far, you’ll fly home with a variety of business cards, LinkedIn connections, and technical knowledge, ready to bring your career and Kafka projects to the next level. 


Need some Kafka help or advice?

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