Conference Call for Papers (CFP) Tips
So you have decided you really want to share something, and are going to do a CFP so you can share it as a speaker at a conference, that is great!
Please note, you will get rejected, maybe often, that is OK and it happens to everyone, really! You can keep applying to conferences AND/OR you can:
- Write a Blog, or a white paper, or an article and pitch it to papers/magazines.
- Do a YouTube (or twitch or whatever) live-stream, or just release a recording.
- Don't feel a conference is the only way to share something.
CFP Advice from speakers:
- L4bF0x "I’d say that if you can, seek out conferences which have mentors for first-timers. I did my first talk at BSidesLV with that program [Proving Ground] and it helped me so much!"
As a reviewer here are some of my rants:
- Damn it we can tell when you toss shit together in 5 minutes. At least try damn it. You are wasting MULTIPLE peoples time.
- It is hard, I submit CFPs too, to balance too much information with too little. But without being in your head i need to know what you are planning to go over. is it a high level talk? detailed talk? very technical? help me!
- Your talk seems like a proposal to talk about how great you are, and little to no benefit (make the attendees great by being able to do the thing you do!).....nah
- No I don't need to read yet another "how I got from here to there" not saying it isn't inspiring and you aren't great but what takeaway/learning/actions are the audience going to take away, who specifically is your target audience?
- OK yes this is a place for you to tell me about the thing you are passionate about - but you can't just write an essay. I need to know who is the audience and what will they take away from this?
- Examples, please! Sometimes i really want to get behind your talk because i agree / feel like the community could benefit but if you don't give me examples i don't know you can actually talk about it in an informed (using facts) and useful way.
Here are comments from other reviewers
- 1) why you decided to do the research on this subject, so there was problem you were trying to solve, your objective
- 2) the submitters Monday rule!
- Meaning if I sat through your talk on Friday, what is the one thing you are giving the audience they can use on Monday.
- Is it an idea, a git repo they can use, a tool, or something new that they can make use of and develop?
- Is how (IMO) you can allow yourself to standout from other submissions.
Here are some example CFPs - the first has some notes