Every year, the Kscope committee gets hundreds of abstracts—way more than can be accepted for the conference. These come from hard-working individuals, who wish to volunteer their valuable time to share their knowledge with our large user group community. Our content review teams pore through each and every one of these abstracts, looking for the best educational materials to debut at the conference. It's a tough job.
I'm sure many of you wonder about the process behind the scenes for selecting the final conference abstracts. In a nutshell, teams of industry experts are selected for each technology track. Their job is to go through the abstracts within their section and work together to make a final list. Hundreds of hours go into this process during a fast and furious four- to six-week period. Every aspect of each submission is analyzed—the technology and/or solution being presented, the speaker, past speaker ratings, who the speaker represents, etc. These abstracts also compete against vendor presentations, cross-track presentations, and each other—all vying to get a spot. It's a really tough job.
Each year, hundreds of people are disappointed to discover that their abstract has not been chosen. Committee members have had to face these experiences as well, so we understand how this feels. Therefore, this year we've put our heads together to provide some additional tips and tricks to help you make your abstract the best that it can be! Good luck and we hope to see you in Seattle next year!
Click here for some tips from the ODTUG team.
- Be Clear and Concise.
- Pick and Choose.
- Toot Your Own Horn.
- Double-check Your Work.
Here are some additional pointers that you should take into account when writing your abstract:
- Be Detailed. Any great abstract is detailed enough to answer the following questions:
- Who is my audience?
- What exactly do I intend to teach them?
- Why is this knowledge important?
- How can my audience use this information directly in their day-to-day job?
- What will they learn in this session that they won't learn in other sessions?
- Take Advantage of the Abstract vs. Summary Boxes on the Submission Form. Due to a great recommendation, this year we included additional instructions on the submission page to make the differences between the boxes more clear. As the guidance states: "The summary should be a concise version describing your presentation that will be published for attendees." This is what will be shown on the Kscope website to audience members as they search for sessions to attend. "The abstract should be a more in-depth version of your presentation, offering additional details to abstract reviewers." Take advantage of the abstract box; include more details and use this area to speak directly to the content review team about your submission.
- Don't Choose a Topic that is too Narrow or too Vague. Audience members want to see solutions that they can use. Therefore, don't pick a topic that applies to only a handful of audience members, or is so technical that people will have a hard time following along. On the flip side, you don't want to be too vague either. What's the right balance? This is hard to put into words. Ask a peer that works in another industry or at another company if they would they be interested in attending your session and if they can use what you're teaching.
- Be Relevant. The technology showcased in your solution should be current. One of the attractions of the Kscope conference is the ability to see what the latest software versions have to offer.
- Sell! Sell! Sell! Your abstract should sell anyone who reads it on the merits of attending that session. If it doesn't, chances are good that it won't sell the abstract review team either. Writing an abstract is pitching an idea. Your session should seem like the most interesting, valuable, exceptional, and entertaining Kscope presentation there has ever been. The good news is that this isn't as difficult as you think—consider value, originality, intellectual rigor, energy, and novelty. Make the summary crackle with wit. When you have an abstract committee member say things like, "That is the coolest idea I have ever seen!" and "Why didn't I think of that?" and "I can't wait to attend this session," you have just gotten approved for Kscope14 (and yes, there have been comments just like that during review meetings). It also means that you're going to have a full room in Seattle.
- Look at Last Year's Abstracts! Need some inspiration? If you would like to see some great examples, take a look at the abstract submissions for Kscope13. The website is still up and available for you to peruse.
Abstract submissions are due October 15! Don't miss a chance to spend next year's conference in beautiful Seattle, WA! Click here to submit your abstract.
"The Kscope14 Conference Committee"