Finish the Year Strong with a Higher Education Summit Session Proposal
By: Joanna Iturbe
Now that your bellies are full from Thanksgiving feasts, it’s time to turn your sights towards the most wonderful time of year…the Salesforce.org Higher Education Summit! Co-hosted by Georgetown University in Washington, DC, March 23-25, 2018, you’ve still got time to register to attend, but if you want to speak at a session, it’s crunch time. Proposals are due December 15, 2018.
Why should you submit a session proposal?
1. Time is on your side…And, so is Salesforce. Proposals are due soon, but very little information is required to submit your proposal, and it’s not set in stone. If your proposal is accepted, Salesforce.org provides you with the Powerpoint template as a well as a staff resource to help finalize the session title and abstract, brainstorm ideas and practice your presentation. We still have three months to cross our ‘t’s and dot our ‘i’s once the proposal is submitted. If you’ve got an idea, run with it.
2. Publish or perish. OK, we may not take the mentality of tenure-track professors quite as seriously, but speaking at a conference is a great resume-booster. It also gives you the unique opportunity of connecting on a deeper use case-level with other higher education Salesforce customers to brainstorm, show and tell and ultimately work together to solve similar situations. For new speakers, there’s no better place to start than the Higher Education Summit because you’ll be with ~2000 of your closest Salesforce friends. We are a very tight-knit, supportive community that welcomes sessions from all backgrounds: brand new implementations, veteran users, recruitment through advancement, IT, business, C-level and everyone inbetween.
3. A good old-fashioned cost benefit analysis (CBA). If you’re having a hard time convincing your administration to send you to another conference, a good old-fashioned CBA for attending a conference you’re presenting at and the impending conversations and publicity that your institution will receive will surely tip them over the edge in sending you. It makes the trip that much more worth it for you and your institution!
What makes a good session at the Higher Education Summit?
- Whether it’s a 20 or 40 minute session, it’s always good to have a combination of demonstrating your use case (whether it’s a live demo or print-screens) while leaving plenty of time to answer questions from the audience.
- Make sure the audience walks away with something tangible, whether it’s a new idea or product to talk to their administration about or resources they can dive into.
- Individual sessions are great, especially from experienced presenters, but panel discussions with moderated questions can be very beneficial, and co-presentations are welcome, too, especially when the presenters are from different institutions and/or different sides of the business (e.g. IT and business, enterprise and departmental) to provide different experiences, lessons learned and insights.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Folks came to your session to learn something new, and they will, so have fun.
- Personally, I’m a big fan of sound effects, dancing and singing, but that’s not a prerequisite.
Go ahead and click on the link now to learn exactly what all is needed to submit a proposal (remember, it’s not all that much), and get started. I’ll see y’all in DC in March!
About the Author
Joanna Iturbe has worked with Salesforce and in the higher education industry for over 10 years. Currently, she is the Strategic Product Manager & Sr. Business Analyst for the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her certifications include Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer, Database Management and Project Management.
Before diving head first into the IT world when she started at CU in 2011, Joanna received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in public relations and business administration and worked in marketing, recruitment and admissions in the private sector and at Baylor.
Within the Salesforce ecosystem, in addition to serving as a Salesforce MVP, she is also secretary of the Salesforce.org Higher Education Advisory Council, a member of the Amplify Board, leader of the Salesforce Denver User Group, and overall Salesforce Evangelist.
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