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I wrote about Call for Speakers: Abstracts are Now Being Accepted for ASUG Annual Conference 2015 earlier in the week.  This past week I had a call with the ASUG Chicago team, who shared an e-mail they received from someone asking "why didn't I get accepted?"  It could be any number of reasons; this is why I suggest submitting abstracts "early" and often.

Why should you submit your abstract now, and not wait for the deadline, January 5th?  A key reason is to ensure your abstract is categorized in the right track.  Most of the abstracts come in at the last 24-48 hours before the deadline - and that is fine, but then the ASUG Volunteer Program Committee doesn't have as much time to review it or ensure it is in the right track.  If it is in the wrong track and was submitted on January 5, 2015 (the deadline) the chances are higher it may not be caught in time.  Please note this blog is my opinion only and does not reflect ASUG's or the other volunteers.  I am sharing my thoughts after 5 years experience with this conference as an ASUG Volunteer.

Picture source: ASUG 2011

Today's Top 10 Tips

1) Submit in the proper track

Go to this link and make sure you submit in the proper track. If it is in the wrong track and not caught in time your abstract could easily be overlooked.

2) Start with an idea that has broad appeal

Make sure your topic is not too narrow and will appeal to a wide audience.

3) Review the Submission Guidelines

The abstract tool shows this:

Source: ASUG

The above shows the speaker complimentary policy and you must be an ASUG member by March 16th to present.

4) Co-present with a Customer

This is not a requirement, but many of our member surveys show that customer stories are preferred.  Give the customer top billing and include the customer name in the title.  An abstract showing how a customer overcame a problem is a popular presentation choice.  War stories, lessons learned, hints and tips are good stories to share.

5) Provide a Short, Catchy Title

The tool accepts 75 characters in the title.

6) Grammar Counts!  Provide a brief, clear session description

Your session description should be brief as the tool will only accept 350 characters.  Make sure your session description doesn't cut off if you are cutting and pasting from another document.

I say grammar counts because if the Program Committee cannot read your session quickly it will likely be overlooked.  I recommend avoiding jargon and acronyms where possible.  For example PA to me means the CO-Profitability Analysis module but I've seen it used to represent Predictive Analysis.

7) Submit more than one abstract

Submitting more than one abstract will increase your chances, but I personally recommend not submitting more than 3 abstracts.

😎 Obtain a Peer Review

Before submitting your abstract, have one of your co-workers review it.  This is like a obtaining a "code review".  In discussing this with the ASUG Chicago office, someone also suggested having someone who has no familiarity with your topic either.  I like this idea as it ensures broad appeal.

9) Consider who is your audience 

Be sure to consider this - who is your audience?  How  was the problem solved and what was the use case? 

10) Submit Early

Typically ASUG receives over 2,000 abstracts and while ASUG volunteers will review them, the earlier your abstract is submitted the more likely it will be reviewed to ensure it is in the right area.  Additionally the BI track typically receives 500+ presentations alone, and the BITI track receives up to 800 submissions.

Common Questions:

Q: Will ASUG reimburse travel expenses?

A: ASUG does not reimburse travel expenses but if your abstract is selected you get to attend the conference for free (conditions apply to multiple speakers)

Q: What if I have no experience in public speaking?

A: ASUG offers webcasts for speakers and typically at the end there is an open forum to ask questions.

Q: How long are the sessions?

A: Education sessions are typically 60 minutes long with 45 minutes presentation and 15 minutes question & answer

Q:  Why should I present?

A: This is an opportunity to showcase yourself and your company and plus you will get free registration to both ASUG Annual Conference and SAPPHIRE NOW.  You can be attendee and learn from other customer stories.


Getting started

Frequently asked questions

Shy? Public Speaking, Oh Please, not for me

Look at past presentations for ideas

Most Innovative Meetings 2014: #3 Sapphire Now

Your Next Steps:

1) Review the tracks

2) Consider topics

3) Include your biographical information if you are a new speaker

4) Submit today

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