Some Punny Title With The Word “Abstract” In It..

IBM Call for Abstracts is open as I’m sure you’ve heard from 100 other sources but I wanted to talk a bit about some of the tracks and especially the Show and Tell track that Paul and I have been working on with the track manager Christian Holsing at IBM since its inception.  You’ll notice if you go look (oh go on, here’s a URL if you can’t wait) that the Lotusphere Technical Program at IBM Connect remains a big  component of the overall Kenexa World / IBM Connect event.

As part of the Lotusphere component the content breaks down into tracks some of which are designed for IBM, some for customers and some for BPs.  Getting your abstract accepted is about two things

1. Writing a decent abstract.  I can’t emphasise this enough.  Don’t submit something half thought through or constructed because you think it’s so important you”ll “get to that later”.  First pass, if the abstract isn’t good , you’re out.  Plenty of people in the Community including myself are happy to talk to you about your abstract pre submission, I know I run mine by friends before submitting.  Don’t make the mistake of a bad abstract on a good subject

2. Submit to the right track. Not all of them. The right one.  Last year I was very sorry to see sessions I would have loved to have had in Show and Tell miss us because they were submitted to the wrong track. That’s true of all tracks.  The content team try to share / move abstracts to better tracks but it’s a manual process and 90% will simply get lost in the shuffle.

Do not pass up the opportunity to present at Connect.  I can’t emphasise this enough.  Every year the content team wants new ideas and new speakers and there is no better exposure for yourself or your company than sharing your knowledge with the variety of attendees at Connect.  Plus if you’re weird like me you just like standing on stage to shout “look how cool this is!”.

The Show and Tell has, over the years, gained the reputation for being hard-a** , we take only the most technical sessions. However we recognise that although we want in depth technical detail on a niche aspect of an ICS product, the products and technology themselves have become more complex and the depth of step by step instruction we wanted can become a death march for both presenter and attendee. So this year we’re changing things around, we still want highly technical , we still want demos, but here is the abstract for this year which I hope gives you an idea of the changes in style.

The Show ‘n Tell track brings you the best in live technical education. SNT sessions explain in comprehensive detail a specific technology with detailed instructions, picture screenshots and live demonstrations that show how it can be used and applied for your environment. With 90 minutes per session you can share your expertise with an audience who has come to learn something new.

This year we are interested in technical content on any of the IBM Collaboration Solutions products demonstrating how people can get the best out of them, as well as how combining IBM technology can deliver an integrated Social Experience. Whether you’re an administrator or a developer consider only that our attendees are working with complex technologies and demanding new ideas, at IBM Connect we want to give them content they can’t get anywhere else.

As far as the other tracks are concerned.  If you are a Business Partner or a technical consultant or an individual your best tracks to submit to are Best Practices, Jump Start and Show and Tell.  Not Infrastructure or Application Development which historically are 99% IBM presenters.  In addition if you’re a Customer or Business Partner you have new, what i’d call technical marketing,    tracks to submit to talking about cool things you’ve done. For Customers (“Track Seven: Customer Case Studies (from an IT perspective”) and for Business Partners (“Track Eight: NEW! Spotlight on IBM Business Partners “).

If you have an idea for a session don’t twist yourself in knots trying to decide whether to submit, just write the abstract and submit, you won’t regret it.  I’ll be sending in some submissions myself and keeping my fingers crossed but whatever happens I hope to see you in Orlando in 2014.