TIPS: Hosting a developer conference

August 29, 2011

Conf

Be unique

  • You need useful speakers and valuable content for the attendees. 
  • As a developer conference, providing access to real people that know code is essential to making the attendee experience really valuable.
  • Put thought into the sessions and create valuable workshops. Attendees go to learn “hands-on” so they can get instant feedback. 
  • You could let attendees hire rooms to host their own sessions.
  • Create opportunities for attendees to demo & share their work with other attendees using a demo-zone and kiosks. 
  • Surprise attendees with new ideas that you haven’t let them know about to keep everything fresh.

Get sponsors

  • A recent event with the Lone Star Ruby Conference had just under 20 great sponsors. Thats smart!
  • Work with existing partners to create an event that they want to be involved in. It’s a smart move to start working with partners early, focus on exciting content and make them an important part of the event. You can even integrate them into sessions, Q&A’s and workshops instead of them donating things.

Use social media

  • Use social media to connect attendees and get buzz. 
  • Set up a Twitter account and a Facebook event page. We have posts about how to promote with Facebook and Twitter.
  • If possible, speak to great bloggers so that you can create great content for them for them to want to write posts.
  • Social media is great to spread your news, which is important for reaching potential attendees. 
  • Use a smartphone to create videos about the conference build up, so that people have something to share and get excited about.
  • Stream the Twitter feed so that everyone can see the buzz and chatter in real-time.

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