October 24th, 2011

Of Lotusphere Sessions and Speakers

It's that time again.  Time for many of you to think about making that step this year and going out on stage at Lotusphere.  Time to see if your idea is one of the ones selected - and you get to know that feeling of panic when if does.  

I will be the track manager for the Best Practices track again this year.  This is the track for you community speakers (non-IBMers) to bring your real world scenarios and show how you made our technologies work for your customers. Dense, technical stuff delivered without making your attendees fall asleep.  A tall order...
"Community speakers" are consultants, customers, bloggers, people whose livelihood depend on IBM and IBM software.  They shine in the Jumpstart and ShowNTell tracks as well as the BP tracks.  IBMers do not typically speak in the BP track unless they happen to be going to Lotusphere anyway.

For speaker hopefuls:  Your abstract sells.  We have to go through a lot of them.  Tell me what you're going to offer the attendees that makes it worth their trip.  Tell me crisply.  Attendees like technical information delivered in interesting ways.  Gabriella Davis has a great blog entry about how to create a session abstract here. Read it, seriously - now.  Bring your best game. 
This year, the submission form is a little different.  The abstract box is limited to 1000 characters - that's not a lot, but there are 3 other blocks - what your attendees will learn - that are 350 characters each.  Write your abstract to sell the take homes in that 3 block session.  You'll need the extra space in the abstract block to add the names of other speakers if you plan to use more than one speaker.  Create a speaker profile for each speaker if they aren't already in the database (you can search for existing profiles).  There is no way to add more than one speaker to the form, so there's been some confusion, but we don't want to limit your creativity. Use the space creatively to tell what each speaker can add - we may need to negotiate wording or other details later if you're chosen, but that happens every year.  
Lastly, I will be around if you have questions.  Ask me.  On twitter I am notesgoddess.  I have gmail using firstname.lastname at gmail.com.  Work is first_last at us.ibm.com.  I’m on LotusLive Sametime and usually on Bleedyellow.  On Skype, I’m the only me in the US and there’s a picture of a 2 year old me up there.  I was cute.  The bottom line is - if you have a question and can’t find me online somewhere, turn in your Geek cred - you won’t be needing it.
Ok 2 weeks. Game on.  Send em in.