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How-To: Submit a Proposal and Get Accepted at a Big Conference

Over the last week, I’ve spent several hour reviewing proposals for 3 conferences.

As such, I think I have a few tips on how to get your proposal accepted:

1 – Have a gov’t person speak. Honestly, if it is just you and your a vendor, I’m scared it is a product pitch for your company.

2 – Have a catchy title. If there are a lot of presentations, people will skim. You need a catchy title. Not “Social Media and Government”

3 – Be an awesome presenter. Word spreads and often program committees have seen others speak for. Nothing better than someone saying – I saw Bob and he rocks. Speaking of…Blogger Bob rocks!

4- Network. Whether you like it or not, it does help when reviewing proposals if you know a person. There is something nice when you can go – I know Jeff and the project working on and it is really good…vs I’ve never heard of this and wonder how cool it really is

Bonus #5 – Go lower in the alphabet/Submit early – If you somehow can be at the beginning of the list whether that is done by alphabetical order or first to submit, that is great. People get tired and spend a lot of time on early proposal but less at the end.

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Jaime Gracia


I am with Harlan on this one. I am a bit taken back with #1 your checklist. As industry, we have value to add to the conversation, but of course our services are not free. I under the perception of sales pitches, but if we provide valuable services then we should have the opportunity to present them without perceptions if selling and being perceived as “snakes.”

I guess their should be a balance. I don’t have government people. Are you saying team with a Fed for credibility? I would hope that our materials would be able to stand on their own. I think it would be pretty obvious sales pitches that can get tossed out, not to mention it would be foolish to go about it that way.

What do you think?