Tech Conference CFPs: Where To Find Them

ConferenceSeats

CC 2.0 image courtesy eltpics on Flickr

As a Microsoft MVP, my job is to help people with their technical problems. I also advise people who are looking to get started on the road to being an MVP. For some it could be by blogging or by answering forum questions, for others it could be by speaking at technical events.

Background

I have been asked a few times in the last while about how to get started speaking. Being a technical speaker is a great way to share your knowledge, build a name for yourself, travel, and attend conferences for free. You also meet many people who can help you as you move through your career.

Most people want to start their speaking careers at a technical conference but it can be daunting for a first-time speaker. My advice is to start slowly and learn how to be a speaker in a smaller setting. Local Meetup groups and user groups offer a safe space to develop your speaking skills. The people are friendly and are open to hearing from beginner speakers. You can also find community events to speak at via Eventbrite.

Once you have spoken at a few meetups and have developed a reputation as a public speaker, you are probably ready for conference speaking gigs. But how do you find the opportunities to speak? Enter the CFP.

What’s A CFP?

call-for-proposals

A Call For Papers (CFP) is an announcement by conference organizers signalling they are ready to receive presentation submissions by technical speakers. They are also known as Call For Proposals, Call For Speakers, Call For Participation, and Speaker Submissions.

Each CFP details the name of the conference, its location and both the CFP deadline and event dates. They also outline the presentations they are looking for, the length, and other pertinent information required by conference organizers. The CFP also has instructions on how to submit your proposals.

How To Find Tech Conference CFPs?

Now we know what a CFP is, where you can find them? The following links contain listings of current CFPs. Most sites have overlapping information so choose the ones that work for you.

Event Directories

  • PaperCall: Lists CFPs and it also allows you submit abstracts to them directly through your profile.
  • Lanyrd: Large amount of current conference listings you can filter by city or field. Downside is it has lots of academic events not related to technology.
  • CFP Calendar: Google Calendar listing CFP deadlines.
  • 10 times: Huge listing of trade shows & conferences.
  • Ruby Conferences: Search the list of Ruby Conferences for what’s upcoming.

Newsletters

  • The Weekly CFP: A free, weekly email with all the latest call for proposals. It has a listing of all open tech conference CFPs and it lists if travel expenses are covered. It is my favourite newsletter. Register for it today!
  • Technically Speaking: Technically Speaking delivers CFPs, speaking tips, and inspirational videos straight to your inbox. A good complement to The Weekly CFP.

Twitter Feeds

  • @SpeakNET: Mostly .NET CFPs.
  • @CallbackWomen: Highlights CFPs for women and other underrepresented groups in tech.
  • @mozTechCFPs: Bot that tweets timely reminders of tech conference call for proposals deadlines.

Summary

This article has shared advice on how to practice getting started as a conference speaker and some resources you can use to find open CFPs. Once you use these sites, you soon realize how many tech conference CFPs are out there. Finding CFPs is no longer the problem. Instead, it’s replaced by deciding where to submit your talks.

If you know of other CFP sources I missed, please leave a comment below.

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About Ken Cenerelli
I am a Programmer Writer, .NET Developer, Microsoft MVP - Visual Studio and Development Technologies, Public Speaker, Blogger, and Microsoft Azure Nerd. I blog regularly at kencenerelli.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

One Response to Tech Conference CFPs: Where To Find Them

  1. Pingback: Upcoming talks at two Canadian conferences | Ken Cenerelli

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