Getting your talk accepted at Semtech, Zendcon & conferences in general. Redux.

I’ve already written a post about how to get accepted at a major conference. But since I was invited back to be on the advisory boards of Semtech and Zendcon again, why not add a couple more insights…

  • Note the policies of the conference in terms of remuneration and freebies. It’s unfortunate that money has anything to do with which talks are accepted, but life costs money. And running a conference costs a LOT of money. If you can help out with the costs because your cousin lives next door to the hotel, don’t neglect to mention it!
  • Contribute to open source projects. A core developer on the topic will be chosen ahead of anyone else offering that talk, 9 times out of 10.
  • This is something I’ve neglected to pay much attention to in the past, because once the advisory committee votes, the organizers make the final choices…but basically, each track often has X number of slots. Many of the final choices relate to juggling the speaker costs and filling up the tracks appropriately.
    I don’t think you’d have to work hard to figure out which slots will tend to have less competition. Your goal may be to get into a competitive track 1 talk, and on the strength of the abstract alone, would get rejected.
    But if your track 4 talk helps fill that track, and your expenses are already covered, you may turn that rejection into an approval.
  • If you’re going to be a show-offy know-it-all in your proposal, then you better make it one hell of an abstract. A couple of them were so sure they’d get in that they didn’t bother to provide detail on their talk. Us dummies can’t just trust it’ll all be wonderful. You need to tell us what your talk is about. I’d say the #1 cause for rejection of talks was lack of a detailed enough abstract.
  • Spell check dammit :) Write EVERYTHING you plan to give us down on a notepad at the least. Check it. Double check it. Spell check it. Wait a day. Check it next day to see if it’s still clear to you. When you’re totally happy, THEN show it to someone else. THEN submit it. That’s the difference between a professional abstract and a sloppy one.
  • Pay attention to the goals of the organizers. They usually have goals and a focus. Tailor your talk on that focus. For example, semtech is now called semtechbiz. So consider submitting a talk about how the Semantic Web is useful to business.

That’s it for now…

One response to “Getting your talk accepted at Semtech, Zendcon & conferences in general. Redux.

  1. Woow…! What an audience complain.. :)

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