And here we are again. As we prepare for our next conference, BlogWorld Los Angeles, taking place November 3 – 5, it’s time again to open up our speaker proposal form. This is my favorite part of the job and every day I eagerly log in to check new proposals and recommend those I like most. What I especially love is the influx of new voices, to keep us fresh and relevant. I also notice some of the same mistakes being made too. So before the avalanche begins, I thought it might be a good idea to list some things to think about before submitting your proposal.
- You don’t need to submit the second the form opens: It doesn’t matter if you’re first with your proposal or last, everyone has the same chance. You have 30 days and we’d much rather you took your time to make sure everything is spelled right and your idea makes sense, then to have a lackluster proposal submitted early.
- Just because you spoke before, doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in: We have lots of repeat speakers because we know they give our attendees something of value and because they’re true professionals. However, we also like to give speakers who aren’t so well known a chance. Sometimes we’ll have those speakers who present every time take a break. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them, it only means we like to mix things up now and again.
- If you’re a P.R. person, manager or other speaker representative, we’re discouraging you from filling out a form for someone else. In fact, if a proposal isn’t filled out in a speaker’s name, with all his (and not your ) details, we’ll probably reject the proposal. Please read 5 Reasons Why You Should Fill Out Your Own Speaker Proposal (And Not Leave It Up to Your P.R. Person or Assistant) to learn how we feel about this.
- Save the dates: If you want to speak at BlogWorld, save the dates from November 3rd – 5th. It’s hard to plan a conference with 150+ speakers when all have a specific date and time they can speak. All scheduled presentation times are final. Please don’t schedule meetings and appointments until after your session date is set in stone.
- Please plan to attend the conference: We know L.A. looks like a lot of fun and you’ll want to get some sightseeing in. We hope to do that too. We also know our attendees are disappointed when their favorite speakers only show up to present and then leave. Now, you’re not required or obligated to spend the day or entire conference time at BlogWorld, but we hope you’ll consider the people who paid a lot of money in hopes of spending a little time with you. If you can make some time to come, mingle, chat and support your fellow speakers by attending their sessions, it would make a much more positive experience for all.
- Proofread your submission: If you can’t take the time to proofread your proposal it tells us you don’t care enough about our event to give it your best shot. Also, it will cause us to wonder if your presentation will also be filled with typos or inaccuracies. Please show us you care about our attendees to give them the best session possible by giving us the best proposal possible.
- Think about your titles: Your title should be eye catching and tell what your session is about. In the past we’ve had presentations submitted with titles such as “proposal #1” or titles that stereotype or insult. Please think about the entire BlogWorld community when creating the proposal for your title. Be fun or edgy if you wish, but please don’t be discriminatory or exclusive.
- Know your audience: If you haven’t been to a BlogWorld, look at past schedules or check out some videos on YouTube. Some of the proposals we receive are so far off base, it’s funny. BlogWorld isn’t a tech conference or social media conference or even a business conference, it’s a content conference for content creators.
- One good proposal trumps six crappy proposals: You don’t have a better chance of speaking if you submit a dozen proposals. When you do that it tells us a couple of things: 1. You might be a little desperate or 2. You might be wanting to speak for the free ticket. Take the time to craft one or two really good, relevant proposals over a dozen that you’re not feeling strongly about.
- Don’t pitch panelists unless they’re absolutely, positively confirmed: If you propose a panel, espcially a panel with some notable names. and we learn later said panelists had no idea they’d be presenting, didn’t agree to do the presentation, and no intention of presenting, we’re very likely to pass on the proposal. If the proposal was accepted and we learn that all panelists didn’t agree beforehand, we may pull it from the schedule. Don’t suggest a panel unless everyone has agreed on it beforehand.
- How will you promote your session? We are here for our speakers and do everything we can to promote sessions, speakers, panelists and the entire event, but with so many speakers there’s only so much we can do. We’d also like for you to get on your channels and promote as well. We do our best to give you a full room, we hope you’ll do the same.
- Be our guest: We love nothing more than for our speakers to spend time with the BlogWorld community by guest blogging on our blog, answering questions on our Facebook page and #BWEchat on Twitter and you reaching out to them on your own. The speakers who care about our attendees and make them feel special by spending time with them and giving them an excellent presentation are asked back often.
- We can’t choose everyone: The sad truth about this job is that we can’t choose every proposal that comes through. Sometimes the proposal is a good fit, and sometimes we just don’t have the space. It’s never personal and it’s very difficult when almost every proposal we receive is a good one.
- Prepare ahead of time: Please don’t wait until the very last minute to throw together a presentation. That’s not fair to the people who paid money to hear you speak.
- We’re approachable: If you have any questions regarding the proposal process, our speakers, or BlogWorld in general, we want to hear from you. We’d rather you took the time to ask questions than submit a proposal that’s a bad fit.
Ok, so you heard from us – now let’s hear from you. Do you have any questions about speaking at BlogWorld? Anything you’d like to say about our proposal process? Now is your time!