Talk Selection Process
Some words on making the program for CSSconf Nordic 2016.
Call for Speakers
- Opened on: 23 December 2015
- Closes on: 31 January 2016
- Review period: 01–14 February 2016
- Notification date: 15 February 2016
We are really grateful for every single submission we receive. It’s fabulous that people show an interest in speaking at a new conference. Thank you so much for taking the time to write proposals for us! The worst part of being conference organizers with a CfS, is that we will have to disappoint some of you with a rejection. This is why we take the selection process seriously.
We want to pick the best talks, but we also want to curate a program for a one day, single track event. And what are the best talks anyway? Experienced well-known speakers? Cutting-edge techniques? We want different kinds of talks: the useful you take back to work on Monday, the inspirational, the thought provoking, the ones that spark hallway conversations between new friends who have just met.
There are many different ways of selecting talks, and there is no perfect process. For CSSconf Nordic 2016, we have an open Call for Speakers and in addition, some speakers are invited directly. We have some details planned for how to choose among the submissions — and would like to share them with you:
It’s really tempting to read all the proposals as they come in, but we want to give them equal attention. That’s why we are waiting for the deadline before we start looking at the submissions. We are as excited as you are!
Anonymized first round
We all have biases and the best we can do at times, is to make them conscious. Inspired by the talk selection process at CSSconf EU, we are going to vote on the titles without looking at any names for the first round.
After we have rated the talk titles on their own, we need to start grouping topics. We could have 5 spectacular talks about CSS architecture, but that may not make a good conference day. We are looking for a well-rounded combination of topics to cover in the program.
Engaging an audience for 30–40 minutes is difficult. We will try to evaluate if potential speakers are capable of delivering solid talks. Is there a video of a previous talk they have given? Have they created other content that suggests they have something good to share? We absolutely welcome new speakers, but feel responsible for making sure they are up to the task before we put them on a stage.
Glancing briefly at our travel budget
Depending on sponsors, we may have to factor in submitter’s location and limit the number of speakers from the other side of the world. Our goal is absolutely to have speakers come in from across oceans — but perhaps not all 8 of them. (You should definitely submit regardless of your location. If your talk is selected, your travel to Norway is covered.)
Diversity by default
We believe the best conferences are diverse conferences. We all know by now that it’s not about filling slots or checking boxes. It’s about representation — and about how much more interesting the day becomes when not all speakers look and sound the same.
Curating a program
Our main goal is to create an inspiring conference for our attendees. Our CfS is not a competition, all though we understand it may feel like one. We’re curating a program — and that means looking out for some narrow topics and some broad, different technical levels, a variety of talk styles — and to create a stage where we get to hear from different voices.
So you should also share your ideas. Go for it!