Most of you will already have received an email from the OpenWorld team announcing the call for papers for this year’s conference: https://www.oracle.com/openworld/call-for-proposals.html. Each year, a lot of people ask me how they can increase their chances of getting their paper accepted? Well, I am going to start by stating that product managers have absolutely no influence over which papers are accepted - even mentioning that a product manager will be co-presenting with you will not increase your chances! Yes, sad but true!
So how do you make sure that your presentation title and abstract catches the eye of the selection committee? Well, here is my list of top 10 guidelines for submitting a winning proposal:
1) Read the "call-for-papers" carefully and follow its instructions - even if you have submitted presentations for lots of Oracle conferences it is always a good idea to carefully read the call for papers and to make sure you follow the instructions. There is an excellent section towards the end of the call-for-papers web page, "Tips and Guidelines"
2) Address the theme of the conference - If this is available when the call the for papers is announced then try to address the theme of the conference within your abstract.
3) Address the key data warehouse technical focus areas - for this year’s conference the key focus areas for data warehousing will be: big data information management architectures, the logical data warehouse, partitioning, analytical SQL, pattern matching, parallel execution, workload management, multitenant, in-memory and Big Data SQL. If possible try to include one or more of these focus areas within your abstract.
4) Have a strong biography - You need to use your biography to differentiate and build credibility. This is an important topic because it allows you to differentiate yourself from all the other presenters who are trying to get speaking slots. Your biography must explain why you are an authority on the topic you have chosen for your presentation and why people will want to listen to what you have to say.
5) Have a strong business case - build your presentation around a strong business case, relevant to your industry and/or your target audience (DBAs, developers, architects etc). Try to explain in clear and simple terms the problem you needed to solve, how you solved it using Oracle technology and the direct technical/business benefits.
6) Make the title and abstract interesting - Your title and abstract must be easy to read and make sure you introduce your main idea as early as possible. Review the titles and abstracts from previous conferences as a guide. Ideally make the issue relevant to the delegates attending OWW, get to the point, and make sure it is easy to read.
7) Look at previous presentations - the content catalog for last year’s conference is available online,see here. You can review all the titles and abstracts that were accepted and use them as guidelines for creating your own title and abstract for this year's conference.
8) Write clear outcomes - The majority of the best presentations have clearly stated outcomes. What do you expect that conference attendees will be able do or know at the end of your session? Consider including a sentence at the end of your abstract such as the following: “At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to . . . .”
9) Don’t submit your paper right away - Once you have a title and abstract show it to a few colleagues. Get some feedback. You probably know many people who’d be happy to give you ideas on making your proposal better.
10) Keep number of submissions low - You do not increase your chances of getting a paper accepted by submitting lots of different sessions.
I have collected all the above and posted it in a handy pocket-size PDF format so you can read all these great tips offline. The PDF is available for download from here: https://googledrive.com/host/0B40aDGvPy4WbT0R1T01TUFg4V3c/OOW2015 Call-For-Papers Guidelines.pdf
Obviously I cannot guarantee you success if you follow these guideline but I hope they prove helpful. Good luck with your submission(s) and I look forward to seeing at you at this year’s OpenWorld conference in the beautiful city of San Francisco.