The official opening was a few weeks ago but I know how the holidays can be. So I purposely timed this post for when you are returning to the workplace.
Agile2017 is now open for submissions! As with each year of the conference, we are continuing to experiment. For submissions:
- Opportunity to iterate on a submission in the system before submitting for evaluation (Draft)
- Opt-in opportunity to help improve your submission(s) before submitting for evaluation (Request Help)
- Opportunity to immediately submit for evaluation (Ready For Evaluation)
This approach will target producing a stellar conference program; while minimizing the work for submitters & program teams without losing the spirit of helping people with their submissions.
If you are interested in speaking at Agile2017 (which I highly encourage!!), here are some tips for submissions:
- Track Selection for the speaker: Each track publishes a track charter/description. This provides submitters an idea as to what the track is targeting covering (think questions to answer). I recommend reading the track descriptions. Select the track that best suits your idea. Even better, incorporate the question(s) within the information for the review team section. Note: Some tracks are curated (invited speakers) and are not open for submissions. If you session fits best there, pick the next best track and we will help figure out where it belongs.
- Request Help: I’m a “seasoned” speaker. Doesn’t matter, I still love engaging in a discussion to help refine my submission. I recommend asking for help (maybe it’s a quick review, maybe it’s a topic discussion, etc) and not at the last minute!.
- Review discussions: When you ask for help, you will receive coaching via the “Review” function. I recommend that you respond!. Reviewers are giving their opinions with the intent to help improve your submission, engage with them. If you do but don’t receive responses back, email the chairs!
- Submission date: I get it…we are all super busy. I get it…the submission window is over the end of the year holidays. However, we receive over half of the submissions in the last week of the submission window. This makes things really tough for the review team. I recommend submit even a few days before this last week window.
- Abstract: This is an area that I have to work really hard on myself. I’m not a natural writer. I’m a talker :). I look for a few things in an abstract: The opening hook (what is the problem that this session helps with). This helps target the right audience for you session. Teaser details about the session (an example of what you will cover and/or supporting info on why it’s important. Closer hook (typically highlighting learning objectives as in invitation to join). This should be a paragraph or two, not a book. This is the printable description that gets butts into your session. Spend quality time here. No spelling mistakes. Readable. I get most excited about submissions when I’m done reading the abstract and my first thought is, I want to go to this session.
- Learning Objectives: If you have 10 learning objectives for 75 mins, red flag. If you have one learning objective for 75 min and especially if the learning objective is not actionable for the attendee, red flag. If your learning objectives conflict with your title/abstract, red flag. If your learning objectives target 5 different roles (audience attendees), red flag.
- Information for Review team: You can never put too much in this section. Even accomplished speakers, need to express what and how they will meet the learning objectives. I have seen submissions with just the abstract and I won’t recommend these sessions. Include former speaking history and the ratings you received. I understand that you might not put the session together if it’s not selected but you need to demonstrate that this is a well thought through submission.
Best of luck to all of the submitters this year!