Vote for talks you want to hear at a conference!

I’ve been following the build up to the FOSS4G UK event and last week the call for presentations/papers closed.

Today I saw a link on twitter saying that voting for papers was now open. Voting? For papers? After following the link it was exactly as described! The community get to score the submitted titles and abstracts.

This has benefits for everyone. All too often you don’t get a conference programme until a week or two before an event, long after you’ve paid. You’re unsure if you’ve spent your money wisely and are feeling a little nervous about this! From an organisers point of view you are making full editorial decisions about what appears at your conference with no grounded idea in what your audience might want to hear about.

Voting solves both these problems!

Other knock-on-benefits with involving the community mean greater audience buy-in, so more support and conference attendance (especially with voting before early bird registration closes); opportunity to attract targeted sponsors, backed with data; and writers having a good idea of what else will be covered to ensure their presentation stands out and ties in.

Win-win all round. Why don’t more conferences do it?