Updated Conference Proposal Tips
I’ve shared tips for conference proposals before, but since I just served on a review committee I have a few to add:
Explain the how
There were several proposals that promised to solve all my problems but didn’t say how. I can’t effectively judge your proposal if I don’t know what the solution or approach to the problem is. Share your main points or steps in the process so we know what you will be talking about.
In the past I usually have colleagues review my proposals and that was a mistake. They know my process and approach, I need to send it to someone who can’t fill in any blanks.
Focus your topic
“All that in 15 minutes, good luck” wrote one of the commenters. Several proposals tried to be all things to all people. Focus on a topic you can cover well enough to the attendees can walk away with something they can use.
Highlight case studies
The reviewers gave bonus points to proposals that referenced case studies. If you have a case study to share, play it up. We want to know what the problem was? What your solution was? How you did it? What challenges you encountered? What the outcome was?
Don’t be salesy
Reviewers and attendees want to learn, not be sold and they are very sensitive to anything that feels like a pitch. If you want to sell something, consider a sponsorship.
Image: One of my Illustrator experiments