The Emamo Show: Event Planner Conversations

Global Events Manager Mélanie Pereira of DevBreak - Get Speakers and Attendees Excited With a Clear Vision

Episode Summary

Mélanie Pereira, Global Events Manager and DevBreak Producer at Talent.io, talks with us about the process of launching a brand new event series and how those lessons informed their second year. Mélanie shares how her clear vision for DevBreak helped book incredible speakers, a dream location, and grow a new community.

Episode Notes

Mélanie Pereira, Global Events Manager and DevBreak Producer at Talent.io, talks with us about the process of launching a brand new event series and how those lessons informed their second year. Mélanie shares how her clear vision for DevBreak helped book incredible speakers, a dream location, and grow a new community.

Learn more about DevBreak:
Website: https://devbreak.io/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DevBreak20
Facebook: https://facebook.com/devbreak20

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Intro & Outro music: "Funk Game Loop" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com/)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode Transcription

Michelle Lee: Hey guys, welcome to The Emamo Show, where we have open and frank chats with event producers to uncover lessons about bringing people together. I’m your host, Michelle Lee. Today we chat with Mélanie Pereira, the global events manager and DevBreak producer at Talent.io. We talk about the process of launching a brand-new event, and how those lessons inform their second year. This is The Emamo Show. 

We’ve got Mélanie Pereira here, the global events manager and DevBreak producer at Talent.io. Awesome, thanks for hopping on having a chat. 

Mélanie Pereira: Thank you, Michelle. Thank you for having me. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah, of course. So, just kind of wanting to kick off our conversation, can you talk a little bit of what Talent.io is, and then also DevBreak, and kind of the events you guys throw at Talent.io. 

Mélanie Pereira: Okay, so Talent.io is a recruitment platform that we have created over four years ago now, and our aim is to help developers finding a better job. So, we know that there are lots of companies looking for amazing developers and profiles, and we’re trying to make sure that the best profiles can be in touch directly with clients, and that’s what we do, actually. And I joined Talent.io two years ago to start creating events, because Talent.io is a company like… It’s an internet business and platform, but we are super human there, and we believe that events are about human beings, and we like to do some kind of networking.

Michelle Lee: Awesome. Very cool. So, obviously you guys, that makes sense like having real-world events, where people can meet in person and have some face-to-face, but also DevBreak is sort of its own thing. Can you talk a little bit about what DevBreak is? I know I think last year was your first year. Like how you came up with the idea of that, yeah. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah, definitely. Actually, so I joined Talent.io with one goal, was to create super big events for developers in Europe, so I’ve started to think about different kind of concepts and what we could do, and actually that was my first experience in tech. I was in event management before, but not in tech, and my challenge was to be able to combine tech, and the experience, and an amazing experience that I wanted people to feel and to enjoy. So, we created DevBreak last year. Actually no, this year in June. Yeah, and the idea was to make sure that 400 developers could come, be able to disconnect from their job, and from their current day-to-day life, and being able to do a step back, and just think a little bit about the impact that their job can have on the society and to all of us. 

So, the idea was to bring these people together, and being able to make them learn with amazing profiles, and speakers, international speakers that joined us, but also enjoying an experience. So, that’s why we do these events outdoor in the countryside and in a castle. 

Michelle Lee: Amazing. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah, so it’s kind of a challenge, I would say, to create these, because we do create a tech event for developers in a specific area where there is no Wi-Fi even. 

Michelle Lee: Right. Yeah, I was about to say a castle sounds amazing, but probably not a lot of internet. 

Mélanie Pereira: No, no, no. Nothing. Nothing. No internet. No infrastructure for these kind of events, so it’s a big job to do, but it’s also super nice when we see all these people on site during the day, having fun, and being able to learn, and to have this experience, I would say. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. So, you touched on this a little bit, kind of the goal of DevBreak is to get people kind of to step back from the work and reconnect with each other. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yes. 

Michelle Lee: How do you guys know, like DevBreak this past year, of 2019, the first one, how did you know it was successful, or what is your guys’ metric of success for the first event?

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah. Actually, it’s a really good question. It’s true that when we create the first edition, first it’s a new concept. No one knows it, so you don’t know how to attract these people, and to make sure they will really enjoy the experience. So, we tried to be really close to our audience, so on site we were asking a lot of feedback, but we also send a lot of feedback forms, and we ask people to come to us and tell us if something went wrong, because we really want to evolve and to do better next time. So, it was a lot of exchange, I would say, even on site, and then after the event, but actually, I was even checking a few hours ago, and we still have people writing articles about the event, and we didn’t ask anything. So, I think that’s the best recognition that we can have, like teams, and from the UK, from Lithuania, from Paris, sending us articles that they wrote, and Twitters, saying that it’s weird, a day without DevBreak. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah! That’s amazing. Yeah, I mean that’s kind of the ultimate, right? Is like of course you want to get that feedback for your team so you can improve and iterate, but also just especially as a first year, to hear that kind of feedback from the audience organically, that’s amazing. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, it’s really good, and it’s a great feeling. A lot of people came to us, and to our team, saying that we did a good job, and they really liked it, so we’ve officially launched the next edition a few months ago, and a lot of… We call them DevBreakers, the ones who came to the first edition, they’re already coming and joining and buying their tickets for the next one, so we have a lot of engagement now. We have a lot of people and companies contacting us, and asking to bring their whole team, like 200 people to the event, which is amazing. Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: Wow! That’s phenomenal. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah, it’s lining up the metrics we use. It’s organic, as you’re saying. Yep. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. That’s amazing. And so, for, like you mentioned a little bit, who’ s your audience for DevBreak? As attendees? 

Mélanie Pereira: So yeah, our audience at DevBreak is a really tech audience. Really techie, techie profiles. I would say software engineers, they can be front and backend, full stack developers, they are the main audience. And we have some project managers coming, some UX designers, but yeah, essentially really specific tech people. But it’s actually great, because when I talk to the companies, I talk to the HR professionals who want to bring their tech teams, and not to the CTO guy who [inaudible 0:07:01.8]-

Michelle Lee: Oh, cool, so do you find that it has been a lot of people like that, like a tech lead who wants to bring their team as a team building, or is it like a workshop? Is it kind of a mix?

Mélanie Pereira: Yes, we do have both, so actually people take the opportunity to come to DevBreak to do their team building, their retreat, their tech retreat with their teammates, because they also want to nurture the relationships with their teams, but also to come and see our amazing speakers, because we have great people joining us and coming from all over for these two days. So, it’s really a mix of learning and having fun together. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. Awesome. So, obviously you guys are sort of already in the planning, started to plan. I saw you guys have some speakers announced. Tickets are on sale. What is the first step, either at DevBreak 19 or for DevBreak 20, like what is the first step you and your team, what is the first step to planning the event? Is it announcement of dates? Is it we need our first sponsor? What does that look like what you guys? 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah. Actually, for me, it really looks like having the venue, so that’s the most important thing before announcing anything, before having dates or whatever. For me it’s really important, and as we discussed, to create an experience to people, and the experience starts with the venue and where you take people. I’m not really a fan of having events and running events between four walls and having people indoor. I really like people to be able to breathe, and to really enjoy the content, but if they are overwhelmed, they can also go outside and enjoy the sun, and just chill a little bit. 

So, for me, the first thing is, yeah, getting the venue, and then I adopt the event to the venue and not the opposite. 

Michelle Lee: Interesting. 

Mélanie Pereira: That’s the way I see event management, as well, so especially when you do these kind of events in castles, you can’t adapt a castle, you can’t change it, you can’t do anything. So, build a story, but start with that, so that’s one of the foundations of the event, and that’s why we also promote a lot the venue where we… Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: I mean, it’s amazing. It’s just… I saw the picture and I could not believe that people get to hang out here for two days and see speakers and things like that. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly, so we also do a lot of effort to make sure that the speakers get a great experience. So, they can speak at the castle, and they can have a full experience there, but I have some news, as well, is that I’m opening a camping, so I’m doing some… Yeah. A big camping in the castle, so in the forest, I would say, so that’s gonna be super interesting, I think. 

Michelle Lee: Wow! It is like a festival. It’s not even like a conference, right? It’s like Glastonbury meets South By or something. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Yeah. You said everything. That’s it. 

Michelle Lee: That’s amazing. So, obviously this is like… The kind of scale you got is a huge space, quite a lot of attendees. Is it just you? Do you have a team? What does that look like behind the scenes?

Mélanie Pereira: So, yeah, behind the scenes is… It can really be funny. I’m the only event manager in the company, and I’m working in a marketing department, but no one in the marketing department has a lot of knowledge in events, so they trust me on that, which sometimes can be a bit… I even feel lonely sometimes, but yeah, actually behind the scenes it’s me, and the marketing team are helping me out, and some graphic designer, because this guy is super essential to the look and feel that we want to create, and also some interns that join me in the project, because they really like it and they help me out until the end of the event. But that’s actually… That’s it. 

Michelle Lee: Wow. I mean, it’s like a small force making a huge impact. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah. As you were saying that it’s really a small team, but we also can feel these, that we bond when we do these events, you know?

Michelle Lee: Oh, yeah. 

Mélanie Pereira: Because I take all the marketing team with me onsite during the event. No one sleeps during three days. But it’s fun, you know? And everyone is so passionate about it that it’s really good for the team, as well, and today we’re also super friends with each other, and that’s also [inaudible 0:11:42.7] through these kind of experiences that we live together. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah, definitely. I think producing events, it’s just so much work for the team that you can’t help but be really tight behind the scenes, because you need each other so much to get this event done. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly.

Michelle Lee: So, for obviously small team, you’re taking the lead on it, what are some of the tools you guys are using? You’re running ticket sales, registration, managing the logistics of… You know, a castle’s not gonna be in Paris. A castle’s out in the countryside somewhere. What are some of the tools you guys use, whether it’s internally to help manage your own, like the project management side, or externally, like surveys you guys are sending out and things like that? 

Mélanie Pereira: Okay, so yeah, we use a CRM, event CRM to help me out all the attendees, registration, and management, and sending emails and everything. Then we also use a tool that is super nice, I don’t know if I can say the name of it.

Michelle Lee: Oh, okay. Yeah. 

Mélanie Pereira: No, but we use Notion as a-

Michelle Lee: Oh, cool. Yeah. 

Mélanie Pereira: I don’t know if you know it. Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. We actually use that internally for us, as well. It’s such a great tool. 

Mélanie Pereira: That’s so cool, because yeah, we can work all together in the same account. Everyone has the information, and that’s super important when we work as a small team, as well. So yeah, that’s the kind of tools we use. And then onsite, so we do almost everything internally, like within Talent.io staff, so it’s a lot of our own efforts and all the people from Talent.io, but not a lot of volunteers or external people. 

Michelle Lee: Got it. That makes sense. Especially, like you mentioned you’re working with the marketing team, and kind of it’s like DevBreak, I don’t think looking at the website I would know immediately that is from Talent.io, but obviously you guys have a marketing arm that you guys can use to help build a website and handle all of those things. So, kind of touching a little bit on the event itself, how… This past year, 2019, was your first year. How did you guys… You had some amazing speakers. How do you… Was it difficult to kind of get them on board to something brand new that they’d never seen before? Were folks excited? How do you make that ask and how was it received, generally? 

Mélanie Pereira: So, I was super afraid when I started to source the speakers. First of all, because I’m not a software engineer. I’m an event producer, so you are always thinking like, “Am I selecting the right speakers and the right content for my audience? I’m not sure about it.” So, actually I have the chance to work at Talent.io and have our CTOs that are great, and they have all the knowledge that I needed to inspire me and to be sure I’m on the right path, so they helped me a lot with that. They gave me some suggestions, and then I started getting more confident about it, and I’ve reached out to a lot of great and crazy speakers. People that I thought I was not able to have and to get at the event, like when you think about Håkon Wium Lie, the creator of CSS, the event is not known and you ask him to come, and I just send him an email. I pitch him, and yeah, I’ve said exactly what I think and what I have in my heart, and he understood it, and he came, and he just replied me 10 minutes after my email, saying, “Sure. I’m super happy to join. I think the castle is amazing.” 

Michelle Lee: Wow. 

Mélanie Pereira: It was like, “Okay.” 

Michelle Lee: That’s amazing! 

Mélanie Pereira: And that didn’t happen just once. It happened with the creator of PHP, as well, and other great, great speakers, so they like the fact that it’s a concept that is a bit different. The fact that it’s a mix of a conference and a festival, that attracts a lot of people, and also, when I ask speakers to join our project, I want to tell, I will always tell them that there is no distance between speakers and attendees. I want to make sure that the speakers stay with us, they live the same experience as the attendees, and they can also network with them. And that’s a really important part of DevBreak, is being able to have a coffee with the creator of PHP and have a chat with him for 15 minutes. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. That’s incredible. I love that, because so often, we’ve all been to conferences, and that’s just the nature, like you said, of your conference in a room, and that there’s a stage, and the speaker’s up there, he’s talking for 20 minutes, and then they leave and you never see them again. But like, I love that you have this vision of kind of breaking down those walls, like quite literally, between the folks who are leading and presenting and the folks who are attending. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Yeah.

Michelle Lee: Is that something you kind of had in mind from the beginning? From the outset? 

Mélanie Pereira: Yes, it was. It was because we… I attended conferences sometimes, and I wanted to speak with the speakers and never had the chance, even if you send them a message on an app, they never replied. There is this distance always, and I don’t like to do that. I want to give my attendees the opportunity to communicate with people, and because they are the same, and when they started, they started the same way, as well. So yeah, that’s part of the beginning of DevBreak, as well. 

So, the first thing we do that can be a detail was the speakers have lunch exactly at the same place as the others, so the food trucks are there, the breakfast is served, you want to get lunch? Go there. 

Michelle Lee: That’s amazing. Do you feel like speakers are excited by that? Because it’s different? It’s like they want to be able to communicate and connect with other folks like that?

Mélanie Pereira: Most of them, they are. Yeah, and especially when they join the project, I always tell them that, so they know what to expect, and yeah, it’s really well received, generally. Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: I love that. I love that it’s such… You guys have such… Again, just thinking about the scale and the talent you guys have been able to book and where you guys put DevBreak, and this is… You had one year under your belt? That’s crazy to me. And then just… It really feels like you had such a strong, clear vision of what you wanted the experience to be like. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yep. 

Michelle Lee: Do you feel like that helped all the other details of how to get logistics in? Do you think that helped a lot of letting  things fall into place, because you had that very clear vision of what you wanted the experience to be like? 

Mélanie Pereira: Yes. I think so. I think so. It makes it more smooth, I would say, because yes, I have this vision, I know what I want, and I go in one direction only. So, yes, yes, definitely. And then I try to always find the partners, even for the logistics, the partners that understand my vision since the beginning, and that are able to help me with building it. And that’s a really, really important part. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. I just like thinking about, I mean, events just naturally grow and improve as they happen year after year, because you learn lessons.

Mélanie Pereira: Yes. 

Michelle Lee: And you build a reputation, but like this just… I don’t think I’ve run into an event that had such a clear, “This is what DevBreak’s about. This is what you’re gonna get.” That’s… It’s just, it’s so cool!

Mélanie Pereira: And actually, yes, even when we try to find sponsors, because of course we need to get some sponsors to be able to do the event, I’m really clear about our goals, and I’m gonna… I always try to build partnerships with the companies that want to join us. But I make it really clear the kind of partnerships we are open to, and our vision, and they have to respect the vision. If they don’t understand what we are willing to do, that means that they probably are not the right sponsor for us. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. Especially, even that, like sponsors, most people are probably just like, “Every sponsor. We need to get every sponsor.” 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: But just you guys are so specific about curating that experience, kind of end to end, even with the folks you’re working with. Do you kind of like obviously, you guys are full steam ahead planning for DevBreak 2020. Looking back, you have a background as an event producer, are there some new processes or solutions that you guys are trying out this year, compared to last year? Like a lesson you’ve learned one year under your belt doing a tech non-tech event? You know? 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. No. Yeah, I’ve learned a lot of lessons from the first edition. First of all, logistically, it’s we had some issues last year, of course. It was the first one, and again, you do it in the countryside, you know that some things don’t turn out to be exactly what you were expecting, so yeah, now I’m trying to plan a little bit more in advance than what I was doing previously. But yes, actually the way we, as I said previously, when we reach out to the sponsor, the first edition, you were not really confident about your vision, or you are more or less, but you don’t know how it will be perceived and received. But today, and after the first one, yes, we are more confident about… We know what we want, actually. So yeah, I’m not afraid of using some kind of… It’s not arguments if we say… Yeah, I’m not afraid of using my own… I don’t have the word. Sorry. 

Michelle Lee: No, no. It sounds like you’re more confident in just saying like, “This is specific-“ 

Mélanie Pereira: This is it. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah, this is it. Like drawing the line in the sand, like not budging, and not… Being firm. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Yes. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. That’s very cool. 

Mélanie Pereira: So, yeah. We learned a lot in terms of confidence, about what we want, what we don’t want, and especially what we don’t want on site, and yeah, and also, so we have a code of conduct that is really important for us. I know what I want and what kind of behavior is valuable or not on site, so we’re really strict in some ways. So, it’s a festival. Everyone can have fun, but yeah, there are rules to make sure that it’s a great experience for everyone. Yep. 

Michelle Lee: Right. Of course. Like once you make… It seems like once you make that clear, one, your attendees know what is expected of them, and also kind of like how probably to treat each other and be on site.

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Yes. Yep. 

Michelle Lee: Kind of going a little bit into the festival itself, is the programming a mix? Because we talked a little bit about how sometimes teams are bringing in… Some tech leads are bringing in their teams for team building. Is it mostly a mix of workshops and speakers? Is it pretty free flow? What is that on-site experience like? And is it really sort of you’re presenting a variety of options and folks can kind of attend what they want to attend? 

Mélanie Pereira: Yep. 

Michelle Lee: What is DevBreak like in that way? 

Mélanie Pereira: It’s really flexible, and people can choose what they want to do, because different things happen at the same time during the event. So, we do have a conference track that is really technical, where people can learn about specific technical issues, about specific languages, specific stacks, and then they can go there. But we also have a track where we talk more about what we call the Dev Life, so it’s more about management, about different techniques, tactics that can be used, and are being discovered, but we also talk about diversity, about inclusion, about all these kind of important, important stuff in the life of a developer in their day-to-day. 

And also, we also focus on the Dev News, so Dev News is more talking about the future, so what’s the impact of tech in the society? What’s the impact of tech in the ecology? In the environment? In health care? So, all of these, we are super curious, and so we bring out some professionals that are going to talk about it. Some futurists, as well. So, that’s part of the program. Then, if people don’t want to attend the conferences, they can also go to the Dev Lab. Means that they can go deeper into a subject for two hours. They are gonna create things, so hands-on during two hours, and even though… Even if like you don’t… You’re still too tired, you don’t want to go there, I just want to chill. Okay, you can chill, but you can also do the activities that we are suggesting. So, that means you can build a raft and cross a lake with your teammates. 

Michelle Lee: Amazing. Amazing. 

Mélanie Pereira: You can also… I don’t know. This year we are creating an escape game under a lake, so there is a secret room in the castle, and we are creating an escape game there. And yeah, other kind of stuff, like laser games, carting, so a lot of things are happening at the same time. The idea is that if you come to DevBreak, you can’t be overwhelmed by all the content and all the things you’re learning. You have to respect yourself, and go with the flow, and if you don’t want to attend the conference, just don’t go. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. I love that that’s so your guys’ approach, because I think so often when you’re at a conference, or like an event for your industry, it’s almost so overwhelming, right?

Mélanie Pereira: It is. 

Michelle Lee: It’s like 40 different tracks, and you don’t know where to go, and it’s… I love that you guys are taking a step back away from that, and kind of wanting to provide a really thoughtful, curated experience. I think especially in tech, I feel like that’s perhaps not the norm, you know what I mean? It’s always like overstimulation. 

Mélanie Pereira: It is. 

Michelle Lee: I love that you guys are kind of not stepping back and providing less, but providing a more curated experience, I think. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Yes. I just want to avoid all the overwhelming experience that you always experience in events. Going to events myself, that’s always super tiring.

Michelle Lee: Yeah!

Mélanie Pereira: After six, seven hours in an event, you just want to go to sleep, don’t network, don’t do anything, and that’s a shame, because when you go to events, it’s also to network. So, if you need a break in the middle, like in the middle of the morning or the afternoon, just take a break. Then you come back and you’re fresh, and yeah, so that’s why it’s super important that the venue, again, is super important. And having a outdoor space, it’s also super, super good. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. I mean, just thinking about that, it’s almost like you’ve taken the whole what people think of as a tech conference and flipped it on its head, and it’s not about just parading people on stage, and providing a distance. Do you feel like that has caught on quickly? Like when we talked about obviously needing to sell sponsors and speakers on your idea and your vision, how was that for the attendees, like getting attendees on board? Do you think that people kind of knew what you were trying to do the first year? 

Mélanie Pereira: I think they understood. Some of them understood, because I managed to talk to them personally even before the event. But yeah, the people who experienced it last year, they definitely understood what we were trying to reach, and that’s why they are coming back. But also, the videos and all the things that we did on the first version allows us to make people understand what we are trying to create now. So, yeah. I think it’s pretty clear, and it’s also what’s attracting people. I have lots of teams and for individuals coming to me and saying, “Wow. We were missing these kind of events in France. That wasn’t happening before, and it’s exactly what we want.” Because people are tired of standard events. 

The content is great, you know? You got and you have amazing speakers. But you don’t live these full experiences, and they want that. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. I love that. I love that it caught on so quickly, even though it’s something that’s probably, like we said, a little bit different and not the standard, right? So, you know, day one, you’re doing all this prep, we’ve got all the logistics, you’ve got speakers booked, you’ve got sponsors, you’ve got the venue, you’ve announced it, day one, you’re on site at this castle, your team’s here. What does that look like for you and your team? What does day one… Is it total madness? Is it just a relief that it started? 

Mélanie Pereira: So, for me it’s always the same, so with DevBreak or other events that I run, I always feel this adrenaline, and always feel this excitement, and even if I’m super tired, I will never be in a bad mood. That doesn’t happen. And I think that’s super important, because it’s contagious, and if you are not good, you’re not feeling well, other people won’t feel well, either. 

Michelle Lee: Right. 

Mélanie Pereira: So, yeah. We are always super tired. Day one means that we already set up for 12 or 14 hours before, so we have all this preparation, and we are nervous, of course, but it’s also so good to see these people arriving, and especially for DevBreak, almost all of the attendees arrive in shuttles that we have, so when you… You don’t feel that people are coming, like one and two and three people. It’s 200 people arriving at the same time. 

Michelle Lee: Wow. 

Mélanie Pereira: It’s super exciting. It’s super exciting. That’s the best part in my job, that’s what I like the most. 

Michelle Lee: Just like that first day, seeing in real life, right?

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: That must have been… Especially the first year, you had this version, and you’re like, “This is what I want to do,” and then a busload of people show up. That’s amazing. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: That’s so cool. I know, and I know you talked about this earlier, like obviously the first year, chatting a lot with attendees about their experience while they’re there, and also doing post-event follow up. When you guys are looking back at the event after it’s finished, is there… Was there anything you were surprised by that attendees shared? Or speakers shared like after the event had finished? You’re like, “Oh, I hadn’t thought about this.” Or was there anything that took you by surprise in that way? 

Mélanie Pereira: In a positive way, yes. For instance, the articles that people wrote, I wasn’t expecting this kind of engagement. I thought like people were happy to attend, but they won’t write articles about the event.

Michelle Lee: Right. 

Mélanie Pereira: And yeah, that was really a really good surprise for me, but then, yeah, I don’t know. Logistically, yes, I had some problems, like some of the stuff that I’ve learned before, but yeah, and also with the speakers. The engagement of the speakers and their feedback really helped me building the next one, and I understood a little bit more about what people were looking for in terms of content, where I should focus more, and also what were the points that people were a little bit more reluctant, and how we could make them understand what we want to achieve. Yeah. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. That’s… I mean, that kind of… The post-event engagement, like you were talking about, like articles, and people chatting about it, that’s sort of the dream, right? Like you’re wanting to have this engagement with your attendees, attendees to attendees, and attendees to speakers, like of course, on site it’s sort of this bubble of, “We’re here. We’re chatting.” But to continue that, you know, after the event, that’s sort of like that’s incredible that they felt so motivated and compelled, you know? Moved by that experience. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah, exactly, and we didn’t ask for anything, really. And that’s the same for the speakers, like there was an engagement, even after the event, and honestly, we don’t pay for our speakers, and I have to say that, as well. So, people come because they agree with it, they like the project, but we don’t pay for them to join. And that’s even better, when we see all this engagement after the event, and people and speakers asking me to come again this year. Okay. Let me see. 

Michelle Lee: Happy to have you! That’s amazing. 

Mélanie Pereira: So, that means that we can do-

Michelle Lee: Oh, that’s so cool. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah, they feel it as we feel, and that’s really nice. Even like today, I was chatting with another event producer, and you know, when you try to find sponsors or partners, you don’t always think about having partners that do exactly the same job as you do. But actually, we are also doing these. We are partnering with other events, and we are helping each other. Yeah, and that’s really nice. 

Michelle Lee: I love that. Yeah. I love that you guys are… You’re not competing. It’s like we’re all working together. 

Mélanie Pereira: Exactly. 

Michelle Lee: To make incredible experiences. 

Mélanie Pereira: Yeah. At the end, what we want is really to create a community of developers, and people to understand that they… Every year they can come to DevBreak and have their break, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t go to other events, as well. So…

Michelle Lee: Oh, I love that. Awesome. I think I just loved hearing about, especially in such a unique position of this is the first year, or this past year was the first year of DevBreak, and seeing your lessons, and getting planned for this next year, so DevBreak 2020, it’s already… You have the website. DevBreak20.com, is that right? 

Mélanie Pereira: DevBreak.io. Yep.

Michelle Lee: DevBreak.io. And do you have the dates of when it’s available? People can go there?

Mélanie Pereira: We do. Yeah, so the event will be in June, 18 and 19th, of 2020, and yeah, tickets are already available. More than 250 people have bought their tickets already, and yeah. 

Michelle Lee: Amazing. 

Mélanie Pereira: It’s great. It’s great. It’s gonna be super fun with the camping, and we’re bringing some vans, and people will be able to experience that, so it’s a lot of… It’s really cool. 

Michelle Lee: Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m so excited. I’ll put links in the show notes for everyone to get links to DevBreak, to Talent.io, and thank you so much for hopping on a call with me. 

Mélanie Pereira: Thank you, Michelle. 

Michelle Lee: Thanks for tuning in this week. Thanks again to Mélanie for sharing how a clear vision for their event helped bring on the right speakers, sponsors, and community. Find links to their event in our show notes and visit us at emamo.com. That’s E-M-A-M-O dot com. See you next time!