Speakers’ Guidelines

Do you have a presentation idea or topic that you want to share with the attendees of WordCamp Columbus 2014? If so, please submit your proposed session no later than May 31, 2014.

Please take a few minutes to read the notes below. They’re important.

A few things to keep in mind about presenting at WordCamp Columbus:

Speakers at WordCamp Columbus aren’t compensated in any way except with fame, glory, the thanks of the WordCamp Columbus community, and a free dinner or two the weekend of Camp. Travel and/or hotel costs are not covered.

Being a professional speaker is NOT required HOWEVER you do need to know what you are talking about, and the subject must be related to WordPress in some way. Subjects like front-end development, how to manage freelancing, social media, etc., will be accepted as long as you can talk in light of how they relate to WordPress. If your session is broad like that, please make sure you note your submission how your talk is relevant to WordPress.

Your session is not to promote your own theme, plugin or business. If your session is to detail how you USED WordPress code to build some really great aspect of your theme, plugin or business, and you’d like to present that as a case study, awesome! Go ahead and submit your session. But…know that we’re not going to allow for a sales pitch at any point.

You should know how to spell WordPress. And respect the WordPress logo/trademarks. You’ve got to embrace the WordPress license. Note: this is one step above simple compliance, which requires PHP code to be GPL/compatible but allows proprietary licenses for JavaScript, CSS, and images. 100% GPL or compatible is required for promotion at WordCamps when WordPress-derivative works are involved, the same guidelines followed on WordPress.org.

You can submit multiple speaker submissions for different talks. However most speakers will only be allowed one talk per entire event, so submit your best.

Be prepared to submit your slide decks and/or videos used for your presentation PRIOR to the event. Once your session is accepted, you’ll also need to share with us a bio for yourself, and a kick-ass description we can use to draw the masses to your session. No last minute talk preparations (unless of course you were notified last minute or some other sort of emergency).
WordCamp Columbus 2014 will cover three days this year:
Friday, August 1 – Sunday, August 3.

Friday will a be full-day workshop for absolute beginners, “WordPress 101.” We are not looking for speakers for this workshop at this time. “WordPress 101” is not a series of 45 minutes talks by various speakers on different subjects, but rather a cohesive curriculum presented throughout the day. Guests will attend the entire workshop. As such, the curriculum is already created. Keep in mind when submitting your talk for Saturday that we covered a TON of stuff for beginners on Friday (How to install WordPress, what is a theme, what is a plugin, etc…) so if you think your session leans towards absolute beginners, you might want to hit us up on Twitter @wordcampcbus and ask if we’ll be covering it on Friday.

We may also offer a WordPress 201 on Friday, for users who are beyond just getting started with their new install, but are not familiar with the template hierarchy, template tags, actions, hooks & filters… This workshop would be geared more towards beginning WordPress DEVELOPERS, as to where 101 is most definitely geared towards the beginning USER.

Saturday, the WordCamp experience most guests are used to will begin. We will present variety of topics throughout the day, presented by speakers like you!

Here are several formats of talks to consider as you think about yours:

“Standard” Sessions: Approx. 35 minutes with 15 minutes for questions.
Workshops: Several speakers give detailed and coordinated talks about a subject in a single block of time (1-2 hours)
Lightning Talks: You get 5 minutes and a handful of slides to talk unconference style. Great for short, right-to-the-point topics and show-offs.

We might suggest a format for your session. We might also suggest a different topic if yours has already been taken or we think you are able to present a topic we know our guests would be interested in. The safest bet is to plan on the standard session.

Remember that guests like live demonstrations and case studies (showing someone HOW to do something is one thing, showing them WHAT to do with it afterwards and WHY makes the HOW even more impactful).

Selection Process:

All selections and submissions are reviewed by our Speakers committee. We cannot accept all submissions. Factors we look for in presentations are the degree of uniqueness and popularity of the topic, the speaker qualifications and experience (past speaking experience is NOT required though, since we do have first-time speakers at WordCamp Columbus), hometown of speaker (we try to keep the majority of speakers close to home), and other factors. If your session is not accepted, you will be told why.


Your reward for reading all of this is a link to the speaker proposal submission form!