Turn Off The Lights…The Party’s Over

Actually wasn’t much of a party. But we did manage a lot of laughs during the abstract selection process. There were about 360 submissions this year and we discussed / debated each and every one. As you can see from the image below, we actually pin up each of the selected sessions on a grid that represents each stream, track and day. We also set aside a 2nd string and bullpen set of selections (shown to the right of the conference grid).

Keep in mind that we’re selecting about 90 sessions for the conference program. It’s not an easy process and there are many tough decisions and horse trading during the selection process. The goal is to have a balanced program that represents each discipline/track for every session time for the entire conference.

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We also made a column for the BCS portion of the program. BCS will be held on Thursday and Friday during BILT. And if you’re registered for BILT your welcomed to attend BCS sessions as well.

And by Sunday afternoon, it all comes down. But before we take the selected sessions off the wall we take multiple photos of each day to capture selections (just in case the cards are lost or get disorganized). Then we start putting the sessions into the master spreadsheet.

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In the meantime, this is the workshop table. No beer cans – but lots of fuel in other forms: coffee, soda, chips, chocolates and TImTams (an Australian favorite). Without exaggeration we’re seated around this table from 9am-5pm for three and a half days. It get’s pretty cluttered at times.

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What does success look like? This is Chairman’s Bob Bell’s laptop with a nice, neat stack of selected sessions along with the 2nd string and bullpen (which has been turned over so you can’t tell who’s been selected. :) By the time you read this, Bob has finished inputting the selections in the master spreadsheet.

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And now that Bob is done – you know what that means! Speaker acceptance and rejection letters will go out very soon (if not this week). Congratulations to everyone that submitted a session – we know you’re eager to speak and we take the entire selection process very seriously. If you’re not selected this year – we do our best to tell you why as well so you’ll have some useful feedback.

See you all in St. Louis!

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