Session Content 101: How to Submit an A+ SaaStr Speaker Submission
From Aaron Levie, Stewart Butterfield, and Therese Tucker to Jeff Lawson, Claire Hughes Johnson, and Lew Cirne, the SaaStr stages have hosted some pretty legendary SaaS names over the past several years. And with our 2019 Annual submissions now open, it’s time for aspiring speakers, panelists, and fireside chatters to get serious about brainstorming and refining their best content ideas.
To help you get a leg up on joining the SaaS-lebrities ranks and present your rockstar-caliber content in front of the SaaStr community, we’ve rounded up a few guidelines and best practices for you to keep in mind as you prepare your submission:
You’re helping the community learn and grow, not pitching your product.
The SaaStr audience doesn’t come to our events to hear commercials on-stage—these folks come to learn from those who have done it all before, and whose professional and personal experience and learnings will help them succeed in their own pursuits. When you’re ideating submission ideas, make sure you’re prepared to include plenty of helpful takeaways, relevant anecdotes, and actionable tips. And if you are looking to pitch your product, we’d love for you to join us as an event sponsor!
You’re bringing fresh, never-before-heard content to the table.
If you spoke at our last Annual or Europa, you deserve a break! We don’t typically feature any speakers two years in a row. And if and when speakers do come back after a break in-between, we make sure the content is brand-spankin’-new, as SaaStr is all about sharing fresh perspectives and the latest and greatest trends out there in the space. This also means that we won’t book anyone who’s spoken at a similar industry event within a 6-month window of our event. If you fall into that bucket, keep in mind that we are more than happy to consider someone else from your organization who can speak about a different topic!
Diversity is top-of-mind for you.
SaaStr is committed to hitting certain diversity and inclusion goals to ensure we’re representing the broader SaaS community onstage at our events. What does that mean? For one, if you’re submitting for a panel, make sure it’s not a manel (AKA an all-male panel). In fact, even if it’s you and someone else, make sure you’re including more than one gender, race, ethnicity, or background in your submission. We are a diverse community of SaaS industry professionals, and we want to give everyone the opportunity to share their experiences and have their voices heard.
You’re not expecting to speak because you’re a sponsor.
Sponsors are not provided paid speaker slots. Period.
SaaStr is all about providing the best possible content to our audience in order to add value to their professional lives, which means we hand-select every speaker and approve her or his topic according to what we think will accomplish exactly that.
Speaker submission particulars to consider:
- You’ll get the chance to choose from one of nine topics—Founder/High-Level Success Story, Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Product, Hiring/Diversity & Inclusion, Engineering, Funding/Finance, or International Expansion—so be sure to think over, choose, and categorize your content submission according to your area of expertise.
- Are you more comfy all on your own or do you have an awesome panel of experts in mind? You’ll have to choose with your submission, whether you’re hoping to present solo, alongside a co-host, via a one-on-one conversation, or as part of a panel. We like to feature a healthy mix of all four types at our events, so don’t feel pressured to choose any one for better odds—the important bit is to ensure the presentation type suits the content.
- And finally, the big question to consider: Why do you want to speak at SaaStr Annual 2019? Maybe you want to express a unique angle on an overexposed topic, discuss the latest trends onstage with a fellow industry insider, or showcase a variety of interesting perspectives with a cross-functional panel. Your reason for wanting to speak will ultimately help frame the content that comes out of it, and for us, that makes it a crucial part of the submission process.
And there you have it! With the above tips and suggestions in mind, you’re all set to get started on your stellar submission for next year’s Annual in San Jose, CA. Get those creative juices flowing, and we look forward to hearing from you!
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