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Strategy & Impact: DevRel at Conferences

In a recent LinkedIn Live Radio conversation, I had the pleasure of joining an insightful discussion centered around the strategic importance of speaking at conferences within the Developer Relations (DevRel) domain.

The session was organized and led by Matty Stratton, the founder and co-host of the popular Arrested DevOps podcast and the global chair of the DevOpsDays set of conferences.

In my role as CMO of Unfair Mindshare, understanding and leveraging the nuanced dynamics of conference engagement has been pivotal. Conferences aren't just about showcasing technology or sharing expertise; they're strategic platforms for cultivating relationships, enhancing brand visibility, and ultimately driving measurable business outcomes.

I joined Matty along with four other DevRel pros for the conversation. As it unfolded, we delved into various strategies for maximizing the impact of conference participation.


The dialogue wasn't just a panel discussion type of discussion. It was an open forum, inviting audience members to share their experiences and strategies. This collaborative approach underscored the essence of DevRel: community engagement and knowledge exchange.

Here are some of the key pieces of advice offered throughout the conversation:

  1. Collaborate with Product Teams for Feedback Loop Efficiency: Engage closely with product teams to create a feedback loop where insights from the developer community directly influence product development and improvement. This collaboration ensures that DevRel activities are not only about outward communication but also about bringing valuable insights back into the organization to enhance product offerings.

  2. Adopt Marketing Metrics for Some DevRel Activities: Work with marketing to understand and adopt metrics that can be applied to DevRel efforts, such as engagement rates and lead generation from developer-focused content and events. This alignment helps quantify DevRel's impact in terms familiar to the broader organization.

  3. Align DevRel Goals with Customer Success Objectives: Partner with Customer Success to ensure that DevRel activities support customer retention and success metrics. This can involve creating developer content that aids in customer onboarding, education, and support, thereby reducing churn and enhancing customer satisfaction.

  4. Leverage Internal Advocacy for Cross-departmental Support: Foster internal advocacy within your organization by showcasing the value and impact of DevRel activities across departments. This involves communicating success stories, sharing developer feedback, and highlighting the role of DevRel in achieving company-wide objectives. For example, understand what the leader of your department presents to the Board of Directors about business impact; work with that leader to understand how to connect DevRel with those types of metrics.

  5. Utilize Marketing Tools and Techniques for Broader Reach: Integrate select marketing tools and techniques to extend the reach of DevRel activities. This can include using UTM tracking codes, QR codes embedded in presentations, social media analytics for community engagement, and adopting email marketing strategies for developer newsletters.

  6. Establish DevRel as a Bridge Between Developers and the Organization: Position DevRel as a key interface between external developers and internal teams (such as engineering, product management, and marketing). By doing so, DevRel can facilitate a two-way exchange of knowledge and insights that benefits both the developer community and the organization.

Thanks again to Matty for spearheading this session and to all participants who shared their insights. Conversations like these are invaluable in shaping the future of DevRel and ensuring our strategies are both impactful and aligned with broader business objectives.

To explore our discussion's strategies and insights further, listen to the session recording at