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VMworld 2018 Call for Papers Now Open Until March 13th

We use the expression, "time flies" all the time... because, it's true.  If you blinked, we're already mid-way through February 2018.  And yes, believe it or not, VMware has announced that today, Feb. 13th, the call for papers for VMworld 2018 is now open!  Doesn't it feel like we just left VMworld 2017?

Last year, the call for papers opened up on Feb. 14th.  And for VMworld 2016, the call for papers came out on March 16th.  So this year isn't too crazy - heck, at the rate we're going, the call for papers will soon take place sometime in January down the road.  The clock now starts ticking -- you have one month to throw a game plan together.  VMware has imposed a March 13th, 2018 deadline at 6:00PM PDT.  That means, you don't have a lot of time to get your thinking caps on.

And before you ask, the deadline is for both VMworld US and VMworld Europe.  Ouch!

Today, VMware announced:

"This year's conference highlights key success factors for digital transformation including hyper-converged infrastructure, cloud-native apps, virtualized applications, cloud networking, endpoint management, and windows delivery. We're looking for stories about your successes in these areas to inspire the VMware community."

"Proposals will be considered for VMworld US, VMworld Europe, or both events. Remember to include practical advice, key success factors, proven examples, an in-depth explanation of the challenges you've resolved and lessons learned. For more tips, please review our submission guidelines and make sure to read our FAQ." 

VMworld 2018 itself is starting a day sooner this year compared to last, August 26-30, 2017 rather than August 27th - August 31st, 2017.  The event is also taking place at the same venue as last year -- Las Vegas, NV at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center.

There's a lot of steps that go into creating a successful VMworld event, chief among them the "Call for Papers."  If VMworld cannot create a jam packed schedule of highly anticipated speaking sessions, attendees will not show up in the large numbers they have over these last few years.  Content is king, after all.

If you're interested in becoming a speaker at VMworld, the first piece of advice is DO NOT DELAY!  Start planning and thinking about your subject now -- because the deadline of March 13th is right around the corner and it will sneak up on you faster than you think.

VMworld is also an extremely difficult event to get a speaker slot.  Just ask anyone who has submitted in the last two years.  One reason, the competition is always steep.  A second reason, many of the speaking slots always seem to go to big time sponsors, VMware employees or VMware employees co-presenting with VMware partners and customers.

It isn't impossible, it just means you need to work a little harder to make it happen.  So, if you want to get selected and become a presenter at VMworld 2018, you're going to need to put some serious thought processes behind your submission.  If you wait to the last minute to try and throw something together... it will come across that way, and you're bound to fail.  You might as well just sign up and register as an attendee. 

How do you succeed?  There is no silver bullet.  However, putting some thought behind it, taking time to think about your proposal, and doing a bit of research and planning will only help the situation.  Here are a couple of hints that may help:

  1. Research and plan your topic.  See what's hot out there right now.  What are people searching for?  What do they need help with?  What's really cool but complicated?
  2. Come up with a clever title.  That's the first thing that will jump out at people.  And let's be honest, if the title stinks or doesn't capture anyone's attention, they probably won't look at the abstract that follows. 
  3. Keep your abstract on point and make it as interesting as possible.  Provide enough details to get the message across and leave them wanting more!  Remember, you are the expert here.  Provide that expertise.
  4. Get technical, provide a How-To, a Best Practice, Technical Tips and Tricks, or a Top "X" list.  Remember, people want to sign up to learn something and take it back with them to implement.  Don't pitch a marketing campaign because the committee will sniff it out long before VMworld attendees have a chance to do so.

VMware has provided additional tips over the years:

Tips for Creating Effective Titles for Submission

  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms in the titles of your submissions.
  • Do not use competitor or other company names in your submission titles. If you are highlighting other companies within your session, you can adopt these names within the session description.
  • Start with the benefit: Example: Shorten Adoption Time by Using VMware's XXX.
  • Use clear and concise language that attendees will immediately understand. The agenda will eventually host hundreds of sessions and attendees need to easily identify sessions of interest.
  • Straight forward language like "Introduction to", "Deep Dive" and "Case Study" are popular examples because they quickly tell the attendee important information about the session. 

Examples of Successful Titles from VMworld 2017:

  • Empowered Users and Rapid Returns: Lessons from the Digital Workspace
  • 11 Essential Questions to Guide Your Enterprise Mobile Security Evaluation
  • Become a Superhero Architect of Your vSphere SSO Domain
  • An Introduction to VMware Software-Defined Storage
Tips for Writing Winning Abstracts
  • Avoid beginning your session description with the phrase, "In this session we will..." or "In this session you will learn..." It does not add value and becomes tedious on an agenda of several hundred sessions. Instead, try a rhetorical question, or an interesting industry data point to start your session abstract.
  • Keep your abstract to under 850 characters. A strong abstract should be 600 - 700 characters in length, including punctuation and spaces.
  • Ensure that what you submit will be what you present. Nothing upsets attendees more than signing up for a session that is not as advertised.
  • Your abstract should generate enthusiasm - make sure your content is relevant, but also generates excitement. What invaluable information will be shared during the session?
  • Thoughtfully leverage the tags in the system for topics, level, and roles. Who is the target audience? What products or topics does this session cover outside of the track name? What roles would specifically benefit from this session? Do not check every check box unless your session is applicable to all.
  • Take the time to create well-written titles, abstracts, outlines, and the key takeaways for your submission. A thoughtful proposal has a better chance of being selected and if accepted, will be seen by thousands of attendees once published in the course catalog.
  • Don't forget to highlight your credentials. Include your relevant speaking history, publications and presentations, and experience in your subject or field.

Want more info?  Check out this FAQ to learn more.  And click here for submission guidelines.

Get your session together and submit before the March 13th deadline.  Email notifications will go out on June 12, 2018 for both VMworld US and Europe.
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:51 PM by David Marshall
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