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VMworld 2017 Call for Papers Open Until March 14th

Wait a sec.  Did I just hear correctly?  VMware announced the Call for Papers for VMworld 2017 is now open? 

Is it me, or does this call seem to happen earlier and earlier each year?  For VMworld 2016, VMware opened up the call from March 16th to April 12th.  But this year, submissions are being accepted between February 14th to March 14th, 2017.  That means, you don't have a lot of time to get your thinking caps on.

VMware announced:

"We’re looking for speakers who will inspire the VMware community. Have you integrated VMware solutions and technologies in an innovative way? Do you have a best practice or individual technical tips and tricks to recommend? Can you tell us about an amazing app that leverages VMware solutions to improve your business? If so, please join us at VMworld 2017.  The VMworld 2017 Call for Papers is now open!"

"Remember to include practical advice, key success factors, proven examples, an in-depth explanation of the challenges you've resolved and lessons learned on topics related to IT infrastructure, cloud operations, applications and end-user computing."

VMworld 2017 itself is starting a day sooner this year compared to last, August 27-31, 2017 rather than August 28th - September 1st, 2016.  And the event is once again taking place in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center.

There's a lot of steps to create a successful 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 couple of 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 14th is right around the corner.

Ask anyone who has submitted for a VMworld CFP over the last few years and you'll find that this is an extremely difficult show to get accepted.  The competition is always steep. And unfortunately, in years past, many of the speaking slots seem to be reserved for VMware employees or VMware employees co-presenting with VMware partners.

So, if you want to get selected and become a presenter at VMworld 2017, 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. 

Getting your presentation accepted is difficult, but not impossible.  So, 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 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 some additional tips:

Tips for Creating Effective Titles for Submission

  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms under any circumstances 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.  

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.
  • 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.

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 14th deadline.
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:36 PM by David Marshall
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