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Best Practices for Call for Papers

When running a Call for Papers for your next conference, it’s important to get potential speakers interested and to receive the best responses for your event to choose from. To improve the submissions you’ll receive and to limit the administrative work that comes with running a CfP, we’ve collected some tips which will hopefully help you get the most out of your next Call for Papers.

Mockup of call for papers feature

First of all, it’s important to share as much information about your event as possible. While most information is likely to already be available on your event page, that information mostly serves attendees’ needs and might not be the most relevant information for speakers.

  • If you aren’t able to cover travel expenses for (overseas) speakers, it’s a good idea to let applicants know in advance.
  • Inform speakers whether you pay your speakers a fee or not.
  • If you require specific information from applicants such as dietary demands, technical requirements, etc. you should state it, so applicants can provide this information right away.
  • If speakers need assistance preparing their talk or anything on site, you should clearly mention if you are able to support these requests.

In general, the more answers you provide, the easier the process will become later on. If it’s clear what to expect from a conference, speakers will less likely drop out later and can focus on what they do best: Prepare their talk and prepare to perform well on stage. It’s the organizer’s job to take care of everything else. But there’s even more organizers can do to create a better experience for everyone:

  • If you have a Code of Conduct or other guidelines on how you deal with difficult human issues, before, during or after an event, this can be of interest to speakers and indicates that you don’t treat such things as an afterthought, but have a plan, in case such an issue occurs.
  • In case you have rules or guidelines on how you will select the Call for Paper submissions, we’re quite sure that speakers will appreciate to find out more about these details.
  • It also helps to state what type of content you expect, remind potential applicants about the overall theme of the event and let them know the expected amount of time a speaker gets for their slot.

We hope these tips will help you to improve your next call for papers. And now, happy calling and all the best for your next conference!

If you are looking for a tool to host your Call for Papers, Colloq now supports CfPs and can help you run it well.

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