So you’re putting on an event. You’ve got your speakers in pocket, swag is sorted and catering is all taken care of. Now you just need to invite some developers. Should be the easy bit, right?
Not so fast. There are some key things you should consider before picking up the phone to developers, which can really help when it comes to getting that all important sign up.
1: Better the dev you know
If you want to reach out to new developers, then it makes sense to give the task of finding them to people who specialise. There obviously is no such thing as a typical developer. Where they work, who they work for, what stack they work with, and what they are working on are all varied. Better knowledge of context = better conversations, better chances of persuasion.
2: Know your onions
Not only should you know who you’re speaking to, you should have a pretty good idea of the tech they work with. This often helps you to articulate an event’s relevance to a software engineer more effectively. For example, if your event is about cloud solutions, it helps for the caller to know about the tech, from containers to NVF.
3: Respond in real time
Many developers communicate internally with instant messaging. With that speed of response as a standard to match, it’s important to follow up on your call quickly.
It’s often the case that an email event invite will have been swept up by spam filters, or just lost through sheer volume. When you’re on the phone, you’re often going to get asked to re-send the invitation: don’t wait!
4: Be a human
Like most busy people, many developers I speak with are allergic to sales and marketing calls. If you sound like a robot, they won’t stay on the line for long. They spend enough time speaking to machines as it is!
In that respect, how you introduce yourself is the most important part of the call. This is way more difficult than it sounds sometimes. When you’ve been repeating your ‘lines’ over and over it can be hard to really talk with a person, rather than just go through the motions.
The key to avoiding this problem is making the call about them, not you.
“The conference is all about migrating data to the cloud. Is that something you’re involved with?”
5: Solutions, not sales
How does your event help the dev you’re reaching out to? Make sure whoever makes the call knows the answer to this one. Developers are by and large extremely pragmatic. If you can’t illustrate the benefit for them, they are unlikely to make time for you. Showing them the benefits is often dependent on understanding what their role entails.
When organising a developer event, you and your team might not have the time to make every single call. This is why it pays to have the right people getting in touch with your potential attendees.
If you need to outsource outreach, don’t settle for a team without experience in the area. Capitalise on the hard work you’ve put into your event, and make sure you put outreach in the hands of someone who specialises in speaking to developers!
Submitted by Thomas Summers