The Hidden Value of Computer Science Conferences for Marketing Professionals

IEEE Computer Society Team
Published 03/01/2024
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Value of computing conferencesIf your company serves a niche market like machine learning or quantum computing, it can’t always advertise effectively through commonly-used channels like Google Ads. It’s challenging to reach clients at scale when marketing technical products.

The main reason for this? Only a small segment of the population will find value in what you sell. That makes getting your product in front of the right people all the more important.

However, this brings another challenge for marketing professionals who may not speak the same highly technical language their users do. It’s why soliciting input from your development team can be so valuable, which ties into why attending technical conferences can be one of your most effective lead-generation strategies.

We outline the value of these complimentary strategies below.


Why Marketing Should Seek Input From Technical Professionals

How do you sell a product that you don’t use? That’s the main question marketing teams face when trying to sell niche technical solutions. To answer it, they need to learn the ins and outs of the product.

A marketing professional can do this on their own with some products. But as hardware and software get more complicated, they become increasingly challenging for people without technical backgrounds to understand.

That’s why it’s essential to work with your development team. They have years of technical training and built the product with specific use cases in mind. Consulting them can help a marketing professional understand how users can derive value.

They can then use that information to create more effective marketing strategies that truly engage the niche audience they’re trying to reach.



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How Computing Conferences Differ From Standard Industry Events

As a marketer, your development team can help you understand the products you’re trying to sell on a much deeper level. But once you have that knowledge, it’s time to put it to use. Technical conferences may be the ideal place to do that.

These differ from standard industry events in attracting a more technical — rather than general — audience. That’s a dream come true for marketing professionals who may struggle to connect with these audiences in scale through other means.

Another benefit of attending these events is the opportunity to engage with new research and applications before they come to market. Learning about the new products other companies are building can help your business gain a deeper understanding of how its position in the market may evolve in the coming years.

These new technologies and ideas can also lead to new opportunities in the form of networking, partnerships, and collaborations that your business may be able to take advantage of before the competition. For example, there are often solutions for researchers, like new components for data centers.


Finding Conferences to Exhibit At

If you think your company would benefit from exhibiting at technical conferences, the next step is figuring out which event to attend. The main goal to keep in mind while making that decision is putting your product in front of as many development and computing researchers as possible.

This is another area where consulting with your internal dev team can be beneficial. They can help you understand which conferences matter most to professionals in these industries so you can focus on conferences with the most upside potential.

For example, the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) is full of internship opportunities, companies showing off new prototypes, and people who want to learn about how the industry is progressing. But the Supercomputing Conference (SC) may be a better fit if you’re more interested in data centers and efficient cooling systems than computer vision.


3 Things to Learn From Your Dev Team Before Your Next Tech Conference

Hosting an exhibit at a tech conference can help your company stand out from the competition. It’s an opportunity to evangelize new users who can go back and encourage their leaders to buy what you’re selling — or even connect with decision-makers immediately.

It may be hard to connect with technical people without a strong technical background. That’s why marketers should talk to their dev teams before attending one of these events. Here are three benefits you can look forward to by doing so.


1. How People in the Industry Speak

Walking into a technical event can feel like stepping into a foreign language with all its jargon and challenging concepts. Your dev team can help you understand the most important of these industry terms before you go. That way, you can engage potential clients and collaborators you meet more effectively.

This means speaking the language of the people who will be using your solution. You can learn how to do that by asking your dev team to describe the product in the language they’d use if they were talking to another developer. Take notes and consider practicing a back-and-forth with a dev team member to get ready.


2. Who Makes Decisions

You can also ask your dev team what types of questions you need to ask to uncover who an organization’s key decision-makers are and what challenges they need to solve.

Understanding who you need to convince can help you optimize how you approach these conferences and the conversations you have at them. For example, you might leverage a connection with a researcher to contact a decision-maker instead of wasting time delivering a full pitch directly to the researcher.


3. How to Stand Out

Finally, your development team can also help you understand what makes your product or service different and worth using for the people who attend tech conferences. Their input can help you refine your value proposition to do more with each conversation you have.

For example, your dev team can highlight how your software solves some of the most common problems conference attendees are likely to have. They can tell you how to position your product differently based on whether you’re attending CVPR, SC, or another technical conference.


Learn More About IEEE Computer Society Conferences

For more than 75 years, IEEE and its members have hosted some of the world’s largest technical conferences. If you sell a technical product or service, exhibiting at or sponsoring one of these events can help you connect with a large pool of technical buyers that can otherwise be elusive.

You can learn more about who we are and our top computer science conferences.