I’m Victoria Windsor, Content Manager for Infosecurity Europe and I’m responsible for putting together the Education Programme. I’d like to take this chance to talk you through the Infosecurity Europe call for papers process, as it’s a great opportunity to present your brand as thought leader in front of our very demanding audience.
A free speaking slot?
Yes. But it’s not easy, as only the best ones get through! Companies exhibiting at Infosecurity Europe are invited to submit papers for the chance to be selected for a free speaking slot in the Business Strategy or Technical Theatre. Infosecurity Europe features over 325 exhibitors and competition for the 56 available speaking slots is fierce – only the very best submissions will be accepted. I’d like to give you some valuable tips and advice to help you maximise the chances of your submission being accepted and provide you with some practical guidance on how to put your submission together. Please have a look at the guide I put together for your convenience.
So how does it all work?
- All submissions are reviewed by an external Advisory Board of senior end-user information security decision makers.
- Only the best and most relevant submissions will be selected
- Each session is 25 minutes long including Q&A
- Contracted exhibitors can make up to 3 submissions in total across both theatres, not 3 each.
- Successful exhibitors are limited to one speaking slot only, so even if you make 3 submissions, only one proposal can be accepted.
How do I know what content will work best to get selected?
The Business Strategy theatre sessions tackle the strategic business challenges and issues impacting on how effectively an organisation protects itself from the latest security threats. The content targets senior management and board level directors who are considering strategic issues such as information security strategy, ROI, business alignment, standards and controls, risk management, governance and compliance and business continuity.
The Technical Theatre sessions tackle the technical challenges and issues facing an organisation as it develops tactics to protect itself from the latest threats. The sessions are designed to provide advanced to intermediate technical insight and research. The sessions target information security, IT and R&D/engineering practitioners who are responsible for developing and executing an IT security strategy and are considering issues such as anti-malware, encryption, application security, identify access management, infrastructure and secure transactions.
Remember: When developing your submission it is essential that you make sure your content is clearly tailored to the relevant theatre and provides information and insight that meets the needs of one of these distinct audiences.
What do the visitors want?
During our research the show visitors have told us that they want real world learning that they can take back and apply to their business. They are looking for case studies, best practice and solutions to difficult problems and challenges. In particular ‘how to’ sessions are appealing to our visitors – providing them with a toolkit of information to apply to their own role. They are also looking for innovation and ‘new’ research and learning on the latest information security challenges.
What speakers are most likely to get selected?
Regarding speakers our visitors want to hear from industry experts who have depth and breadth of knowledge and can share expertise and knowledge that is not product lead. They are particularly keen to hear from their end-user security practitioner peers who can share their experiences and lessons learned. They would like to hear from practitioners rather than business development, sales and marketing executives. This is an important factor when the visitors select which sessions to attend.
So for the business strategy theatre we will be looking for job titles such as CISO, CEO and CIO. For the technical theatre we will be looking for job titles such as CTO, Chief Research Officer, head of product development and IT director.
Remember: Visitors are looking for intermediate and advanced level presentations that provide them with information and knowledge that will help them take their business forward.
They don’t want to hear basic level content and generic presentations. The majority of Infosecurity Europe attendees are experienced professionals with a high standard of knowledge. Please avoid submitting presentations that have been made many times before – the visitors are looking for something new that they can’t find out about anywhere else.
What to avoid?
If the content of your submission can easily be found on the internet or elsewhere it isn’t appropriate content for the Business Strategy or Technical Theatres. And sales and product pitches are not well received by visitors.
Speaker submissions are assessed on content, value to the delegates, topicality and speaker credentials. We are looking for relevant content that will meet the educational needs of the attendees in each theatre. It’s essential that you keep the visitor at the heart of your submission think about the benefits they will gain from attending your session.
The submission process
The submission form is an online form on the Infosecurity Europe website. I recommend that you complete the details as a word document and then copy and paste your entry onto the online form. It’s important that you take the time to fully complete the submission form to give your proposal the best chance of success. The submission form includes a number of sections.
The first section asks for your details, that is the details of the main contact person from your organisation who we will liaise with regarding the submission and who we will information about the success or failure of your submission.
The second section is for the logistics contact who we will liaise with if your submission is successful. It is essential that we have a consistent point of contact throughout the event lifecycle to ensure that all logistics information is communicated efficiently.
The third section asks for full contact details and a professional biography for the speaker. Please note that once we have accepted a submission we will not accept any changes to the speakers, as the speakers are important criteria for assessing the submissions. We will contact the speakers directly if the submission is successful. Please do not submit a speaker if they have not confirmed that they are available to speak.
Section four asks you to provide full details of the content of your session. The title is an important part of your outline and it needs to very clearly explain what the attendee will gain by attending the session. I would recommend that your title is specific with a clear angle rather than being too broad as it will make the benefits of the session much clearer. In the seminar synopsis I recommend that you use the full word limit to describe your session in-depth. Do ensure that your synopsis is interesting, engaging and informative to make it stand out from the crowd.
The benefits to the delegates of attending your session are essential as the value to the visitors is a key element in assessing the submission. We want to know what the delegates will take away from your session. What are the business implications of the topic? What will they understand after your session? What problems will they be able to solve? Ensure that the benefits that your session offers to the attendees are very clear and that you provide at least three. We will include the benefits to the visitors in our marketing campaign so it is important that you complete this fully and make them as compelling as possible.
You will be asked to provide the job titles that will benefit from the content of your session. The 3-5 sentence summary will be used for promotional material and needs to be succinct and engaging, clearly showing what people will learn by attending. This section will also ask you which vertical markets the session is relevant for and what size of organisation should attend. This information is essential for marketing the session effectively (if your proposal is selected).
At the first stage of the submission selection process, incomplete submissions or sales and product pitched will be filtered out. The submissions will then be reviewed by the Infosecurity Europe Call for Papers Advisory Committee which comprises industry experts from the end-user, academic and analyst community.
You will be informed via email about whether your submissions have been successful or unsuccessful.
5 top tips for success
So how can you ensure that your submission is successful? Here are four top tips to maximise your chances of success.
- Be innovative, creative and different
- Present compelling content and present tangible benefits to your prospect audience
- Avoid sales/product pitches
- Write a fully detailed submission for our Advisory Committee to judge
- Choose the right speaker and make sure he/she is available in case you get selected!
Finally, it is important to note that there is no guarantee that any of your submissions will be successful and if successful you will only be able to take a maximum of one speaking position.
Before making your submission, make sure you do a final check –
- Is your submission form fully completed? Have you included full contact details for your speakers?
- Does your title reflect the content of the seminar and demonstrate the benefit to visitors of attending?
- Is your seminar content of an advanced to intermediate level?
- Are there clear benefits to the visitors of attending your seminar?
- Does your seminar share real life experience and practical case studies?
- Are your speakers business and technical experts?
- Are you sure that your submitted speakers are available for the event?
Please contact me should you have any questions about the Education Programme and submission process
Download the guide
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