Last month I had the pleasure of being the Social Media Coordinator for DeveloperWeek San Francisco, a tech exhibition produced by DevNetwork and it was suuuper fun.
If you ever have the opportunity to produce an event that’s not you or your gf’s wedding, do it. Event producing is riveting on all levels… the good kind of stress if you will.
I arrived in San Francisco during the first leg of DeveloperWeek’s Hackathon where coders from the bay area get into teams to build an application or service
using an open source platform from a specific company. The companies sponsor a prize (usually money) for the best use of their platform. It’s intense but the creativity and individuality that perseveres through the challenge is impressive.
The most fun took place at the following Tuesday at DeveloperWeek on San Francisco’s Embarcadero at PIER 27. It is possibly one of the best venues to throw an event, especially with this kind of crowd. It’s on the water, lots of room to walk around and more than a fair amount of power outlets. The coastal ambience combined with tech savvy professionals gave way to tons of positive exchanges at DeveloperWeek. Interacting with data companies like SmartBear, AeroSpike, Dice Tech Jobs, Cloud Elements, Built.io, Sabre, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft’s powered OneNoteDev, and IBM’s BlueMix crew, was genuinely an honor and a pleasure. Each company’s representative was more than willing to showcase and explain in ‘layman’s’ terms what their unique service offers to the dataverse, not to mention they also hooked me up with tons of tech swag!
While I loved stocking up on t-shirts, glasses cleaning cloths, sunglasses, USB ports and even hot sauce, the interactive Robotics Expo was a big highlight.
Aldebaran designed Nao, a robot that’s be fun to be around (Gangnam’ Style), responds to basic commands, and helps kids learn how to code. And don’t worry, if Nao falls over, which happened in the process of fist bumping of a 7 year-old, Nao gets back up without any assistance. I mean, what is this new friend living amongst us? Whoever he is, he’s smart and can dance, that’s for sure. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=7G5Q0iwPZWw&w=420&h=315
Also in the Robotics Expo was this really cool interactive 3-D video game looking thing called a haptic device from Force Motion. It’s a joystick setup that allows you to physically feel through a computer. For example the joystick was “a ball” bouncing on surface (or material) similar to a 3-inch layer of jelly grout sealant. You moved the joystick up and down as weighted vibrations pulse on your hand. Taking it a step further, the rep, François, instructed me to push the ball through this surface. Timid and reluctant, I had to apply more force to the ball through the layer. It felt weird bro, but it was really intriguing. –Imagine sitting at a computer, looking at a big latex birthday balloon and squeezing an arcade style joystick until POOF the balloon pops! No loud noise, no latex pieces, just the sensation in your hands. Super creepy but accurate.
The DeveloperWeek conference had a lot of highlights, especially with Hackathon and the inclusion of @GirlDevOrg. From a PR perspective, the companies that were active on social were even more pleasant in person and for an amateur tech lover there were tons of engaging activities. For the advanced level techie, coder, data evangelist, API engineer, the talks and workshops with the industry’s most innovative companies, I’m surewas equally rewarding.
Overall, being the social media manager for a San Francisco’s largest tech event series was completely unforgettable and remarkably engaging.
As always, I have PR advice that is applicable to any business. Whether you are a corporate giant or new startup, make sure your social media coordinator is present at your events. Having your PR rep or social media manager take the time to talk to exhibitors and try the gadgets, or software creates a much more personal and credible experience with your digital audience. Your rep shouldn’t be intimidated to look silly wearing VR goggles or playing the raffle games. Relying solely on preloaded content on scheduling platforms, isn’t going to create an optimizing experience for all of the stakeholders. Your rep should be knowledgeable about industry trends and topics, and be open to following your online community back. Boost social strategy with face-to-face conversations.
Fleishman Hillard attended San Francisco DeveloperWeek and ranked its tweets in order of hashtag popularity. Take a look!