Conference Proposal Guidelines

EWIP invites women in publishing, media, and technology to submit a proposal for a 50-min presentation at the Women’s Leadership Conference in San Francisco. The 6th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

*** Deadline extended: Submit by Friday November 22nd ***
November 15, 2013 Application for conference session due
December 12, 2013 Selected sessions announced
January 12, 2014 Complete session details to organizers due


What makes for a good PROPOSAL?
The more specific a proposal is, the better. Pre-event thought and planning are the keys to a successful session.
NO personal or company promotions!
NO sales pitches
We want interesting topics and contrasting opinions
We want demonstrations of best practices
Except for the solo presentations, you must have a moderator
You must designate a primary contact (she does not have to be the moderator)

What session FORMATS are accepted by EWIP?
EWIP’s conference committee is soliciting various formats: solo presentations, dual presentations, conversations and interviews, workshops and panel discussions. You can choose the most appropriate format for your idea. Be cognizant of the best way to convey your idea and the appropriate audience for the material.

How many speakers should I add to my session idea?
Each format has a maximum number of speakers allowed.
• Solo: 1, obviously
• Dual presentations, conversations and interviews: 2-3 speakers
• Panels – maximum of 4. Three speakers, plus a moderator
• How-to workshop: 2-4 presenters but make a case if you need more than 2.

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What is the expertise level of most WLC attendees?
Most WLC attendees have an intermediate or advanced level of expertise in their field. However, for very new industry-related developments that most attendees might not yet be familiar with it is best to have beginner-level sessions

What makes for a good TITLE?
The more direct and explanatory your title is, the better.

Can I submit additional “resource material” for my session?
If your proposal includes some form of supporting material, whether it be a video, slide presentation, or some other visual resource, to help us better understand and evaluate your proposal, you can send this to us at: (

Ideally, the video should simultaneously serve as evidence of your skill as a public speaker and give us more insight into your proposal. If this is a panel proposal, its best to showcase the speaking skills of your strongest panelist in this video.

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Is the primary contact for the proposal also the organizer?
There are some important things to keep in mind when naming the primary contact.
The Primary Contact:
… is the ORGANIZER for this idea and will be listed in the description as such.
… is ultimately responsible for seeing the proposal to fruition. All WLC communications will go through this person and she is responsible for communicating this information to the other participants.
… can also be a speaker in the session, BUT only if also listed as such.
… can only be responsible for one session.

What if I am submitting this idea on behalf of my client, or someone else?
If you are a representative or agency (and will not be acting as the actual “Organizer” / “Primary Contact” for the idea) you should enter the name of the person who will ultimately be responsible for the session, if it is accepted, in the Primary Contact section. This person will be responsible for every aspect of the proposed presentation in the event it is chosen to be a part of the 2014 conference.

Do I need to have other speakers confirmed when I submit my panel idea?
Yes. All speakers should be confirmed before they are added. The speakers listed on a proposal will have an impact on the selection process. To that end, we are asking for more information about each speaker including detailed contact information and how they can contribute to the session.

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Will I be able to make changes to my proposal after submitting?
Please submit the most complete description and name the specific participants in your proposal for evaluation. If your session is selected, there will be a 30-day period of in which you will finalize the title, description and confirm all participants.

What if I want to propose a speaker for my session that I’m not currently in contact with?
While we strongly recommend that you confirm your speakers before you submit your proposal, you can still enter the name and fill in the information about your relationship with the speaker and your chances of getting them on board. Confirmed speakers carry much more weight in our selection.

What role do moderators play? Do I have to have a moderator if I propose a panel?
The Moderator is a neutral party that will run the panel discussion. This person is typically also the Organizer, but that does not have to be the case. Having a neutral Moderator will help keep your session focused on the proposed topic and will allow for a more balanced presentation. This is strongly recommended.

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What sort of speaker lineup makes for the best presentations?
The most interesting sessions are the ones where different perspectives are represented. We strongly support the V-O-W-E-L scale of basic diversity principles for our presentations. (hat/tip to SXSW):

VARIETY There are lots of very qualified people who want to speak at the event — so we look for accomplished and interesting speakers on timely and relevant topics. Also remember that each speaker can only participate on ONE session per conference.
OPINION If all the other speakers on your proposal have the same opinion on the given topic, then the resulting conversation will likely be boring. Whatever topic you are addressing, you need to include at least one person whose opinion differs sharply from the others.
WOMEN Our mission is women’s leadership. All speakers and program participants at the WLC must be female. Men are welcome guests at the conference.
ETHNICITY People with different ethnic backgrounds or come from other cultures make for more diverse viewpoints, which is always a good thing.
LOCATION Lots of amazingly talented professionals call New York, L.A. and the Bay Area home. But, there are scores of very qualified media experts located in various other locations in the US and around the world. Their voices also help contribute to our ongoing goal of diversity

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