The #BlogHer17 Call for Speakers and Ideas Is Open Through Nov. 9
The Call for Ideas has closed and we are not accepting late submissions. Thank you to all of you who submitted your ideas!
Last week, we announced #BlogHer17 will be heading to Orlando, Florida, June 22-24, 2017. It has been quite a few years since I last visited Orlando, so I'm looking forward to seeing what The City of Beautiful has been up to since last I saw her.
You know what else I'm excited about? Session pitches, baby!
Our Call for Speakers and Ideas asks you to help build the final agenda for each of our conferences. Here's how you can submit yourself as a speaker, or someone else, or just a really good session idea you've been wishing you would see on our stage. Don't be shy! The BlogHer conferences are built around speakers and ideas from the community, so step up and own your expertise.
For #BlogHer17, we're looking for suggestions that fall under the following four themes:
- The Art & Science of Blogging: This theme can cover a lot of ground, such as online monetization, business skills, building high-value partnerships, and online and book publishing—as well as the art of storytelling and the craft of writing.
- Technology & Tools: Here's where we'll program sessions that focus on a variety of technologies and tools, such as audio/video, photography, social media tools, coding, live broadcasting, and SEO and SMO.
- Heart & Soul: At BlogHer events, there's always a place for people to share the passions and beliefs that often drive our online activities. This track can cover activism, politics, identity, and personal development.
- Health & Wellness: We're introducing this new theme as a nod to a topic that's seen the most growth and interest across our sites and community. It’s meant to tackle a lot of territory, such as fitness, nutrition, general wellness, self-care, mental health, living with a condition—and how we use the online world for support along all of these paths.
Every year, we receive hundreds of submissions, and we read every single one of them. We can only select fewer than 10 percent of ideas for the final program—and at that point, those ideas have gone through multiple review cycles with multiple people. I'm happy to provide a few tips for increasing the odds of having your idea selected.
Best practices for submitting your #BlogHer17 pitch:
- Be crystal clear about your session idea, and get to the point. Be very specific about what you intend to cover. Impress us with your programming idea first, and use the designated space only for that. The bio box is there for you to impress us with why YOU should present that idea. A lot of people really just pitch themselves as an expert, but leave it to us to figure out why. That is not the most successful approach, in our experience.
- Ask yourself if the idea you are submitting will be relevant by the time the conference rolls around. What was relevant when you submitted may not be so in nine months. Keep that in mind when you craft your pitch.
- Provide actionable takeaways the attendees can use right away. They should walk out of your session with homework, fired up to get started on all the great things you shared with them. Without key takeaways, your session idea will fall flat.
- It is not uncommon for many people to pitch very similar ideas. That shows us that there is a lot of interest around a theme—and it also means we often synthesize ideas from various submissions, and ask submitters to work together. That said: If you are proposing a panel with four speakers, don’t have each of the four speakers submit separately. It doesn’t amount to four votes, just one.
And if you're submitting a full panel of speakers for a session idea, be sure to think about these two things:
- Indicate whether those other folks are just your great ideas, or people you have spoken to about co-presenting.
- Submit a panel of diverse speakers. Think about diversity across many metrics, not just demographics (although demographics are important). But also think about bringing new voices to our stage, and providing varying viewpoints. Nothing is more boring than four people who look alike and think alike and speak alike, nodding heads as each of them talks!
You have until Wednesday, November 9 to submit your idea using the #BlogHer17 submissions form. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Orlando in June. Also, make sure you register for #BlogHer17 now!