This content is part of the Conference Coverage: A conference guide to AWS re:Invent 2021

A preview of the AWS re:Invent 2021 agenda

With AWS re:Invent 2021 offering an in-person option this year, attendees can choose from a range of interactive session types.

It's that time of year again for cloud computing professionals: AWS re:Invent is nearly here.

The conference, being held in Las Vegas from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, will offer both in-person and virtual options. Here's a breakdown of what's new this year, the different session types and how attendees can get the most out of this experience.

How is re:Invent 2021 different?

In 2020, re:Invent followed a fully remote format. Rather than the typical weeklong conference, the virtual show was held over a few weeks. And, while the virtual model did make the event accessible to a broad range of attendees, the networking opportunities were not as expansive as they were in prior years.

With the 2021 event offering an in-person option again, popular social gatherings can resume. These include the Midnight Madness pep rally, the re:Play party and other "quirky" events that will be announced as the conference nears.

One thing that will be different this year is the added health measures. All badge-holders at re:Invent are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. All attendees must also wear masks. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the space.

What does the re:Invent 2021 agenda look like?

The agenda for re:Invent 2021 reverts to the familiar in-person format from 2019. It includes keynotes, leadership sessions and breakout events, as well as certifications and labs.


The first keynote is the Global Partner Summit on Monday, Nov. 29. Doug Yeum, head of AWS Partner Organization; Sandy Carter, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector Partners and Programs; and Stephen Orban, general manager of AWS Marketplace and Control Services will talk about current partner opportunities in the cloud computing market.

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky will address AWS product and service news.

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Amazon Machine Learning, will reveal AWS' latest database, analytics and machine learning technologies. In a second keynote later in the day, Peter DeSantis, senior vice president of Utility Computing and Apps, will share how AWS optimizes its cloud infrastructure. CTO Werner Vogels is the last keynote speaker of the conference. On Thursday, Dec. 2, he will take the stage to delve into the technical details of AWS. Vogels is also expected to share his thoughts on resilient architectures and emerging software development trends.

Leadership sessions

These sessions are given by AWS executives and explore recent product developments and roadmaps. They cover various subjects, including storage, cloud operations, containers and IoT.

Breakout sessions

In these one-hour sessions, AWS experts, users and partners will cover a range of cloud computing topics. There are more than 1,200 sessions to choose from, spanning over 50 tracks. Sessions are available for new, intermediate and advanced AWS users.

At the end of sessions, attendees typically have a chance to ask questions. In some cases, multiple sessions may happen the in the same room, and headsets enable attendees to listen to multiple presentations. For virtual attendees, recordings of breakout sessions will be available on demand beginning a week after re:Invent.


For those who want a more hands-on experience, there are workshops that run for two hours. Attendees collaborate in small groups to work through different scenarios. Bring your laptop!

Chalk talks

Chalk talks typically have small audiences and are more interactive than breakouts. AWS will conduct hundreds of these sessions, in which a main speaker and additional experts lead a technical discussion and whiteboarding sessions related to real-world IT challenges.

Builders' sessions

These sessions host up to six attendees, who sit down with an AWS expert to work in real time on a specific technical project.

Stay tuned for further updates as AWS releases more agenda information.

Next Steps

Cloud experts offer their AWS re:Invent 2021 predictions

Why re:Invent 2021 spotlighted existing AWS products

Dig Deeper on Cloud provider platforms and tools