I’m flying to Google I/O at Shoreline Amphitheater, a place that holds many great memories of times with teams and developers.
I wanted to come in person (thanks for the invite from certain Googlers… you know who yo are 😉 and once again unite with everyone.
I was nervous about the pandemic putting a dagger into the heart of in person events. When forced to be online only, we learned a lot about how to make that experience great, embracing the positives, such as crazy high production values and not having the constraints of:
- “the person on stage” and often in one location (other than when we did Google Developer Day around the world on the same “day”)
- The phenomenal reach and accessibility
- The ability to measure
- The reduction in cost.
Yup, events cost a lot of money, however if you consider the entire cost, such as everyone getting ready and building content, it isn’t like online events are free! Far from it, I have seen online event budgets that surpass those of in person!
One of the problems with in person events is that it kinda is hard to measure their value fully. It is my believe though, that a great event, with the right people there, can have a massive impact.
Reach is online, but deep connection and trust building can be 10x in real life. I remember my early days of JavaOne and rushing back to the hotel to try something out and bring the learning and opportunity back to the company and community. I felt an incredibly tight community, with information sharing going a mile a minute.
It’s great to find new developers and bringing them in to your community, and that first time at a conference may do that for you. I was just speaking to a founder that went to their first conference and even did the “old fashioned” booth thing. They were incredibly skeptical that there would be a positive ROI, but when all was said and done they left with new developers excited about their offering, which they saw in a large increase in traffic to their website, and actual adoption of their product.
Bringing in new developers, making sure their onboarding is frictionless, and getting them ramped up, is important. But, it’s hard to overstate the importance of feeding the inner circle of your ecosystem. These developers are your external advocates. They are shipping and growing today. They deeply know how your platform works, often more-so than many of your internal hires!
Even in the pre-pandemic days, magnitudes more people would watch the content online than in person. It’s not about having huge numbers at the event, it’s about having the right folks there new and old.
Getting together to maintain a full trust battery all around is very much worth it.
I’m looking forward to filling mine up at Google I/O. See some of you there!