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How to Win a Speaker Slot at SNW Europe: 5 Top Tips

April 12, 2011

By Olivia Shannon (@olivia_at_o)

With the May 6th deadline approaching, we spoke to SNW Europe Conference Programme Director Paul Trowbridge, who has reviewed hundreds of SNW speaking submissions over the seven years he’s spent working with SNIA Europe.

“What we look for in vendor submissions, first and foremost, is that they are not just somebody saying, ‘I want to present on this area,’ and you know full well it is going to be a features/benefits analysis of their product,” said Paul.

Some additional guidance may be found in the points below.

How to Win a Speaker Slot at SNW Europe

1. Include as much educational content as possible.

“The core ethos of the conference is to have as high an educational content as possible,” said Paul. “That’s what brings delegates. They want a programme that will help them understand new and emerging technologies, and they want to benefit from the experience of others [who are] deploying technologies and solutions.”

In your abstract and supporting materials, demonstrate how your submission will educate, inform and delight attendees at the conference. Emphasise areas where you can teach, guide, instruct or present something new.

2. Make sure your submission is not a veiled sales presentation.

Think like a delegate. Paul said, “The main thing we’re looking for is vendors who are bringing something new to the market: a new approach, a new technology. Sessions that attract delegates.” Most delegates do not attend industry conferences to hear an endless cavalcade of sales pitches, so make sure your submission is not fundamentally a sales pitch.

3. If you’re a vendor or solutions provider, your best chance to win a speaking slot is if one of your customers submits a case study highlighting their use of your technology.

In that case, it would be your customer making the speaking submission—not yourself.

“We have a very strong rule that a customer case study is presented by the end user,” said Paul. He added that speaking slots are “strictly sales-pitch-free,” so if an end user submits a case study, their supporting materials cannot include slides taken from the vendor’s sales presentation.

4. Submit as much supplementary material as possible, excluding sales and marketing material.

If you have a draft of your paper in the works, submit the draft. (Just mark it as a draft). PDFs of customer case studies are welcome, too.

5. Don’t worry too much about fitting your submission within this year’s theme (“Powering the Cloud”).

As long as your submission covers some of the technology topics outlined here, you’re safe.

“The theme is a broad umbrella term for all those other terms,” Paul explained. “It’s also a reference to ‘The Power of 3’ from the first time we did these collocated conferences [SNW Europe, Datacenter Technologies and Virtualization World].”

The official guidelines are available here. If you have questions for Paul Trowbridge, you can contact him at Angel Business Communications on 01923 690 200.

Did these tips help you? Do you have any tips yourself? The Countdown team would love to hear from you. Reply to this post by sending us a comment or email the team on storageexpo@launchpad-europe.com.

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5 comments

  1. […] Last year, we interviewed one of the organizers Paul Trowbridge about his top tips for success in securing a speaker slot here. […]


  2. […] you might be interested in these tips for winning an SNW Europe speaking slot, taken from a previous Countdown2StorageExpo blog post based on a conversation with the conference programme director, Paul […]


  3. […] you might be interested in these tips for winning an SNW Europe speaking slot, taken from a previous Countdown2StorageExpo blog post based on a conversation with the conference programme director, Paul […]


  4. […] you might be interested in these tips for winning an SNW Europe speaking slot, taken from a previous Countdown2StorageExpo blog post based on a conversation with the conference programme director, Paul […]


  5. […] you might be interested in these tips for winning an SNW Europe speaking slot, taken from a previous Countdown2StorageExpo blog post based on a conversation with the conference programme director, Paul […]



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