We hosted our first 1-day event: here is what worked well

On May 10th, 2019 we hosted our first 1-day event AI & ML Developer Summit with over 150 in attendance. As this was IBM Developer SF first full-day event, I want to share a few things we did that worked well and made the event successful. You can also view pictures from the event.

One-page web site

We created a one-page web site to make the event standout from our regular meetups; however, developers still had to go to our meetup page to register for the event. This resulted in a high number of new members in our meetup.

Diverse speaker lineup

We had 11 speakers and a diverse speaker lineup (5 women, 6 men).


Speakers from six different companies

Having speakers from six companies and not just IBM.

  • Twilio
    • Create an automated customer service experience across different communication platforms with Twilio
  • Uber
    • Optimizing Machine Learning at Uber
  • Optimizely
    • Machine Learning at Optimizely
  • Bose
    • Bose Audio AR Wearables and AI
  • Antilips
    • Avoiding biased data for ethical AI: How diverse do we need to be?
  • IBM
    • Ready to use Deep Learning Models
    • Supercharge your bots with AI
    • Computing on the Edge: Leveraging AI in the Cloud

Cross-promoting the event to other meetups

We have good and close relationships with a number of other meetups in the Bay Area. We cross-promoted the event in the following meetups, which resulted in high number of RSVPs and attendees:

  • Women Who Code (Silicon Valley)
  • SF Big Data meetup
  • IBM Watson and Cognitive Computing meetup
  • SF Big Analytics meetup

30-second promotional video

Some speakers created a 30-second video to promote the event.

Here is one from the Twilio team:

From Upkar Lidder (IBM):

And Dan Zeitman (Bose):

Promoting on social media

We promoted on social media, in particular on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Interesting topics

Interesting topics around AI and Machine Learning. For example, Andreea Danielescu, spoke about “Avoiding biased data for ethical AI: How diverse do we need to be?”.

What we can do better

You are probably wondering what didn’t work. To our surprise we didn’t have many of these (this time!). We will try to do boxed lunches instead of buffet type lunch as this created long lines. With a boxed lunch, you grab your lunch and that’s it.

This is not necessarily falls under what didn’t work as we didn’t try it, we would like to record all the sessions and make them available to anyone who could attend or who is not in the Bay Area.

Would love to hear your tips on how to run full-day events!

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2 responses to “We hosted our first 1-day event: here is what worked well”

  1. […] We hosted a 1-day AI/ML Developer Summit in early May and it was a huge success. You can read more about it here and here. […]

  2. […] hosted another 1-day developer education event: Blockchain Developer Summit (our previous event is here and here). The event was a huge success with over 140 technologists in attendance. Here are 10 […]

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