I spent the past few days in Las Vegas for the Cisco Live 2017 C-Scape industry analysts meetup. I had two days (thankfully in air conditioned rooms and buses) of meetings with executives, leaders of product groups, and customers in general sessions, round table discussions and one on one meetings. I also attended the opening keynote with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and had the pleasure to witness his sit down conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook. There is plenty of news about Cisco’s announcements, products, and technologies in the news, so I won’t repeat those sorts of things here. This DevRelate blog post is focused on how Developer Relations outreach can be multiply integrated into a company’s in-person conference.
Best Practices for an Integrated Developer/User Event
At most technology company conferences, you already have most of your executives, product managers, marketing specialists, and technology gurus. Combining partner, analyst, partner, ecosystem and press meetings into the same location makes a lot of sense. Cisco did a great job of bringing us into the middle of their conference including meetings with customers who talked about their success stories. We had plenty of time to ask questions during the meetings as well as during informal conversations during dinners later in the evening.
I got to hear from customers during some of the general sessions and round table discussions. While it is always good to talk with members of the teams, it is a special pleasure to be able to listen to and ask questions of customers and their experiences.
I really enjoyed the discussions with Michael Giresi, CIO of Royal Caribbean about how extended teams work closely together to enhance their customer’s experiences with project teams that include IT, DevOps, Business, Product, and Developer members. From my notes he said “it is about the team being accountable for the complete solution – embedding accountability for the complete experience versus just the application experience. Assign ownership for the performance of the whole solution – assign the right people to the ‘whole team’. The concept of applications and infrastructure being separate is nuts! The old way doesn’t work anymore.”
I also got to talk with Michael Sherwood, Director of the Department of Information Technologies for the City of Las Vegas about the implementation of their Smart City plans to include IoT, Open Data and Developer APIs. Michael even sent me a follow up email yesterday with additional information and links.
It was very clear that software, developers and APIs were front and center in just about every hardware and software product presentation and demonstration. Integrating a very active Cisco DevNet Zone in the convention center with class rooms, hands on workshops, and cool developer solutions also reinforced the theme of developers at the center of everything. While developers often think of APIs for platforms, frameworks and services, Cisco also demonstrated the openness of programming at the ASIC level.
When you are planning your conference, you can leverage your company and team members investments to the maximum by integrating your whole “extended” ecosystem – technology, marketing, research, partners, analysts, experts, authors, consultants, developers, thought leaders, trainers, educators, and others to orchestrate a complete event. For those technology and software companies that integrate and add value, you can also be a part of the larger story during the event. I am probably already preaching to the choir, but piggy-backing on an event to reach out to a larger developer audience is always a good thing.
Just before I left the Cisco DevNet Zone and the convention center, I stopped by the Cisco DevNet Opportunity Project pod. Cisco DevNet is encouraging developers, companies and others to get involved to “unleash the power of data and technology to expand economic opportunity in communities nationwide. To create solutions that help families, local leaders, and businesses access information about the resources they need to succeed.” Find out more about the US Department of Commerce Opportunity Project at https://opportunity.census.gov/
While it was extremely hot outside in Las Vegas this week (glad to be home in the cool environment of Monterey Bay), it was also extremely beneficial to see the awesome team at Cisco and the wide array of tech companies and developers working together to move our industry forward. I hope that you all have success in your future events whether they be small, medium, large, extra large or XXXXL.
What are your Best Practices for a Completely Integrated Developer Event Experience?
If you have your own best practices where you integrate multiple audiences, partners, press, analysts, users, developers and others in your events, send me an email with what works best for you.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation