If you think you’d like to suggest a speaker or a session topic, these strategies can help you land a spot on our stage:
SPARK is a showcase to present well-formed ideas in a 50-minute, interactive session.
Content at our conferences is educational. No selling from the stage.
Our goal is to bring together bright minds to give talks that are idea focused, and on a wide range of industry topics, to foster leaning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke further conversations on the topic.
Diverse views: Group roundtable and panel discussion are favored over individual talks, as they encourage diverse perspectives and insights on hot industry topics – beyond the bubble of any one, individual firm.
Ideal panel format: three to five experts who have divergent opinions and can express them clearly, concisely and compellingly. Do they have something to say the audience has not heard before? Are they willing to be challenged or express a controversial view? Do they represent different sectors of the market? Are they comfortable engaging with each other and the audience with smart questions and comments?
Get your big idea ready!
What makes a good topic for a talk?
Like a good magazine article, your idea can be new or surprising. It can challenge a belief the audience already has, or offer a compelling new argument to advance industry understanding.
It’s not a list of facts or a sales pitch for your tools, your product or offerings.
A good idea starts a deeper conversation and may spark more debate. It will open people’s minds and inspire them to explore the topic further.
Is your idea ready?
Write your idea down in three or four sentences. Ask yourself these questions:
Is my idea new?
Is it a hot topic for those in the audience?
Are you telling people something you’re pretty sure they have not heard before?
Is it interesting and thought-provoking?
Who in the audience might find it intriguing?
Think about how your idea might apply to a room full of varied kinds of people.
Is it factual? If you’re sharing new research, make sure your idea is backed by data and peer reviewed.
Is it truly educational not directly promoting your product?
Will the audience see the subject differently after hearing your talk?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, refine your idea.
Ask someone you respect, who doesn’t work in your field, and if they answer “no” to any of these questions, refine your idea.
If the SPARK conference organizing team answers “no” to any of these questions, refine your idea.
Keep tweaking your idea until people’s eyebrows go up (a sure sign of curiosity) and they say, “Hmmm. That’s interesting. Tell me more.”
Now, you’re ready to explain your big idea on our application, in a concise way. If you can’t explain it, you’re not ready to apply.
Additional tips for a winning session proposal.
Some more tips on what a reviewer looks for that will help elevate your proposal:
- Provide valuable takeaways. Answer the question as an attendee, “how can I apply this to my current position/role?”
- Engagement & interaction. Plan audience engagement into your session design. Think beyond a simple Q&A.
Complete an application.
Each year, attendees rate our speakers as a conference highlight. Your proposal should demonstrate how you will create an experience that inspires and empowers; features interactive, engaging learning; and showcases emerging trends and innovation.
The ingredients: what you’ll need to cover:
- The talk’s main idea, simply stated
- 3-5 key concepts you’ll cover to support the idea, action or problem
- List of potential panelists and why each has the credibility to talk about topic
- How you’ll engage, involve and energize those in the audience
We review every application that comes in.
We invite you to submit a proposal and add your voice to the SPARK community.
It’s best to get your proposal to us as early as possible, so we can research them carefully and make the best decision on the speaker roster.