Engagement/Developer Engagement/SpeakingAndEventsPlan

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As Mozilla is high in demand and we have a lot of very talented people we need to focus our speaking efforts to make them more measurable and make the best use of our time. For this we will focus on a few topics until the end of the year (and probably beyond) to ensure having the most impact: Keeping the web open, innovation and making Mozilla the go-to resource for newest technologies. For this we will focus our efforts on conferences where we can reach the influencers, be the “voice of reason” on our competitor’s conferences and bring technology and education angles to conferences focused on entrepreneurship but with high media presence and non-technological conferences.


  • Bring the ideas of the open web to conferences that are closed P1
  • Explain and prove with action that Mozilla is more than a browser but a pool of knowledge and innovation P1
  • Show that Mozilla cares about privacy and identity on the web as a player without corporate agenda P1
  • Get Mozilla into the App world as an alternative to walled garden environments P1
  • Include our community to cover conferences rather than having a few visible people P1
  • Re-affirm Mozilla as the open and up-to-date resource for web technology information P1
  • Show the vast area that is Mozilla by pointing to the different projects we are running: School of Webcraft, Web FWD, Labs, Doc Sprints... P2
  • Make Mozilla the space to find experts that talk tech without a marketing agenda P2
  • Build partnerships with conference organisers to make planning easier P3
  • Find talent to hire but also people to collaborate with through conference participation P3
  • Collect real feedback from the market as to what makes Firefox a better browser and how we compare with the competition P3

Priorities and Themes

Following is a list of types of conferences we should be speaking at and the targeted messages we should get across. We should secure Mozilla speaking opportunities at conferences with the following themes and concentrate on the following messages:

  • New Web Technologies (HTML5, CSS3, WebGL, Node.js, Websockets) PRIORITY 1
    • Cross-browser support! - Show Mozilla’s support for these technologies and explain why some innovation of competitors is not safe to support yet or actually is a developer lock-in in disguise.
    • What can we do better? - Collect feedback and requests from the audience and other presentations on what we should support and why and feed it back to the Firefox team
    • Keep it open and clean! Ensure that even when using newest technology we don’t forget to apply the principles that made the open web what it is: open source, hackability, accessibility, progressive enhancement
    • Find it at Mozilla! We are doing an incredible job in documenting and showing new technology and should be the first port of call when people look for information.
  • Competitor events (Google IO, WWDC, Mix...) PRIORITY 1
    • Be the voice of reason! In between all the marketing hype our job is to tell the real story and applaud competition for doing great things and point out open alternatives to closed innovation.
    • Be the open expert on a panel! Our competition loves to side with Mozilla for the feel-good factor we have. We should use that to keep our voice heard.
    • Record, analyse and remix! We only can have a valid message when we know what the competition does. Therefore attending and reporting our findings back makes our life easier.
  • Mobile events PRIORITY 2
    • As we chose the mobile and tablet market as the next battleground to fight the good fight we need to show presence there and show the benefits of open technology in the mobile space
    • Re-affirm HTML5 as a technology and its re-use on and off the web
    • Show Mozilla as a mobile player with Fennec and Firefox Mobile
  • Entrepreneur conferences with Applications vs. Web debates PRIORITY 2
    • Show off WebFwd as an alternative to traditional entrepreneurship
    • Re-affirm the open web as a platform and point out the dangers of vendor lock-in for developers
    • Point out that applications build with open web technologies can be simply ported and re-used on mobile and closed environments.
  • Privacy and Identity Event PRIORITY 2
    • It is important that Mozilla shows presence in this space (this includes social media events) to cover Do Not Track, BrowserID and other identity and privacy topics
  • Unconferences (Barcamps): PRIORITY 3
    • Introduce Mozilla as a partner supporting open learning and information
    • Emphasise that Mozilla is open to anyone to participate.
    • Find talent to support with Mozilla information/swag/interviews
  • Educational conferences: PRIORITY 3
    • Show off Mozilla’s student programs and school of webcraft
    • Introduce new technologies to those who teach the next generation of developers
    • Offer advice and promote open education programs
  • Design and “inspirational” conferences: PRIORITY 3
    • Introduce Mozilla as not only a browser but a thought leader
    • Explain how newest technologies are everybody’s concern and do need input from the design community
    • Try to get designers as community contributors and for feedback
  • Local meetups / community meetups PRIORITY3
    • Keeping a local presence. While it is cool for a small weekly meetup to get a Mozilla speaker it makes much more sense to have local people from the Mozilla community to join and be introduced as a go-to person for everything Mozilla.
    • Supporting personal efforts. Telling the local organisers how Mozilla can help them but keep their independence.


As per the priority list above, we should also consider the audience we talk to. In declining order we should consider:

  • Web Developers P1
  • Technical Entrepreneurs P1
  • Designers/UX P2
  • Students/Educators P2
  • Managers P2
  • Backend Developers P2
  • Press/PR P3 (we have an own department for that)

Size and location

The amount of attendees and speakers at a conference is a big part of how we should decide which conference to attend. There is however no golden ratio or perfect algorithm to define what makes sense for us.

Overall, it makes more sense for Mozilla to attend smaller conferences (around 100-500 attendees) than multi-day, multi-tier conferences with thousands of attendees. The exception to this rule of course is when we manage to get a main keynote at these events. The size of the conference doesn’t make its quality. Fifty very connected influencers in your audience give you more impact than a room of 2000 random people. As to the location of the conference, the market insights team can provide a list of locations we should target and go to (this will be filled in later here).

Overall Program KPIs:

  • Amount of conferences covered with exposure of how we got the speaking gig (there is no point in starting from scratch every time in our communication with organisers)
  • Follow-up on talks (re-use of materials as demos, training material, blog posts)
  • Media coverage (blog posts, press interviews, coverage in reports about the conference - was your talk mentioned?)
  • Record of immediate reactions - amount of tweets, comments on the conference post
  • Amount of hires (either as Mozilla employees, or community members or as partners in competitions, guest bloggers and the like)
  • Impact on local community - how were the local Mozillians involved and how is this contact taken further
  • Amount of contacts gathered (list of contacts from business cards, what they do and a list of very interesting contacts to follow up)

Conference checklist and playbook

Following the principles listed, here is a checklist to fill out when you want to speak or attend a conference. For what to do during and after the conference, we’ll publish a conference playbook on the intranet which should help you along.

List of 2011/2012 conferences

We assembled a list of conferences until the end of the year which will be triaged using the above templates. If you are asked to attend a conference please apply these tools before you say yes or no.