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Friday Buzz: What Makes a Great Conference Pitch?

By / Mar 18, 2016 (Daria Nepriakhina/StockSnap)

Uncover some valuable insight into how and why some conference session pitches are chosen over others. Plus: Why people are claiming the “password is dead.”

Do you have a brilliant idea or a wonderful case study that you’d love to share with your association’s community, but you’re not quite sure how to get that information in front of a wider audience? Then it’s time to discover some tips on pitching a conference session.

This post from Online News Association (ONA) Digital Director Trevor Knoblich may be focused on ONA’s 2016 annual conference, but it also contains valuable insights for anyone who wants to promote an idea for a conference session.

For example, keeping your pitches tightly focused on finding solutions or offering practical insights is central to building a successful session.

“There are many intractable problems in any field, journalism included. We look for people proposing solutions to these problems, even if they are imperfect. Simply saying, ‘long-form stories don’t get enough social media traction’ isn’t enough,” Knoblich writes. “Complaining about an issue for an hour doesn’t make it go away. Instead, we’d be more likely to accept an idea like, “3 basic improvements to your audience engagement tools can boost traffic to long-form pieces.'”

And it’s essential to steer clear of a common session pitfall: focusing too much on yourself and letting the audience fall by the wayside.

“Nobody wants to sit through a conference session with someone droning on about their accolades or reciting a list of talking points. You will have a live audience before you, so tailor your message to a target group and engage with them!” he advises.

Check out Knoblich’s eight other insights into the pitch-making and pitch-vetting process here.

Tweet of the Day

This tweet’s technically from earlier in the week, but we couldn’t help bringing it up! American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Senior Manager of Portfolios and Product Management Heather Pownall offers a look into what happens when you’re really feeling the discussions and content of a conference: You run out of ink!

Other Good Reads

It may be a bit early to declare “passwords are dead,” since you probably typed in a bunch today already, but Centrify Security Strategist Chris Webber has a good breakdown of their growing irrelevance on Re/code.

What’s the paradox of choice, and how can organizations solve it for their members, clients, or customers? Mel magazine’s John McDermott offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Spotify met that challenge.

What are you doing to further your own lifelong learning? Learning technology expert Jeff Cobb delves deep into the issue in this post on Tagoras’ blog.

Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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