You may have caught it on Twitter (HERE), or you may have caught it when it was picked up by the editors for (our community site) last week – BUT the call for content for IT/Dev Connections 2017 will kick-off on Monday, January 23, 2017!

This is exciting news, for sure. We get contacted over email, Twitter, Facebook, and others constantly asking when the call for content launches. Folks just love to speak at IT/Dev Connections for a couple reasons:

1.       The intimate setting ensures that speakers get to connect directly with attendees. No other conference these days is like IT/Dev Connections in the way all communities can connect and have one-on-one conversations with speakers and peers. The ability to interact in a User Group-like setting makes IT/Dev Connections sessions some of the most valuable you’ll ever attend.

2.       Unlike other events where the content is vetted and then assigned to ensure a solid marketing message (vendor owned mega events), our speakers get to choose the content they want to deliver. This ensures that our speakers can deliver their expert knowledge and experience instead of canned content that can be read on a blog somewhere.

This year, we’re actually launching the call for content a bit earlier than previous years. So, get ready! Things are getting exciting!

Here’s some tips to help you prepare for your submissions:

  1. Make your title, abstract, and pitch attention grabbing and eye-catching.
  2. Think of an IT/Dev Connections session like a James Bond movie where the attendee is dropped directly into the action even before opening credits and a theme song.
  3. Plan your proposal to be a deeply technical experience. You can provide overview information to set context, but the bulk of each session should be designed to educate and provide information not found in other resources.
  4. Rely on your experience and expertise, not on product documentation.
  5. ITDC attendees want to hear how you would do it in the real-world, not how the vendor thinks their product should work. Attendees want to know: What’s in it for me? Session descriptions should be no more than four to five short sentences and 75 words in length, and address how the session will benefit individual attendees and/or their organizations.
  6. Prepare your sessions to be free-flowing, conversational, and interactive – more like a User Group meeting than a formal conference. Each general session is 1 hour, 15 minutes in length.
  7. Be open to allowing your audience to sometimes lead the conversation and direct the session.
  8. Be prepared to be engaging and architect your sessions to include audience feedback and questions. TIP: Include an entire segment just for Q&A. You can do this by inserting slides containing Frequently Asked Questions to help spur interactive discussions.
  9. Be a teacher, not a preacher. There’s so much we can learn from each other.
  10. We have five distinct tracks for which you can submit content. The tracks are: Cloud & Data Center, Data Platform & Business Intelligence, Enterprise Collaboration, Enterprise Management, Mobility, & Security, and Development & DevOps.

Additionally, we require that each of our speakers deliver 2 or more sessions that have never been delivered anywhere else – so make plans accordingly to submit 5-6 different session ideas that contains new content.