I was hoping to go to this year’s Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference, as I did last year, but no joy. Not enough press passes to go around, I was told.

But then I learned that AWS limited press and analyst passes to fewer than 30, much to the disappointment of exhibitors, who love to get coverage at such big events. Why?

Trade shows encourage legitimate press and analyst coverage because it extends the reach of the show and makes it more likely that more exhibitors and attendees will sign up for the following year. CES – which is one of the largest trade shows in the world – typically has hundreds of press from all over the world attend. Likewise with the NAB – National Association of Broadcasters – show, with its focus on professional content production.

So the AWS limitation is puzzling, not to mention foolish. AWS may be the biggest fish in the cloud pond today, but Microsoft knows a thing or two about marketing, is immensely more profitable, and has AWS in their sights. Google is also immensely profitable, but seems to be lost in a fog, but perhaps their new corporate structure will help fix that.

This is not the time to throttle back on press and analyst coverage.

The StorageMojo take
I suspect this decision was made by Andy Jassy, Amazon’s Sr. VP of AWS. Few PR people would willingly decline additional ink or pixels.

But why? It’s not as if the marginal cost of another 100 free attendees will send AWS into the red. Or that dealing with a room full of professional skeptics for an hour will derail the AWS master plan.

So maybe AWS has all the growth it can handle right now and doesn’t want more visibility. AWS may be less scalable than we’d like to believe.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.