SRCCON is built around two days of peer-led conversations, hands-on workshops, and skillshares. The community members who step up to facilitate these sessions make it all possible.
We’ll be accepting proposals through Friday, April 7, at 11:59pm ET. Session proposals will be listed on the SRCCON website shortly after they’re submitted.
Have an idea for this year’s SRCCON but not sure about the best way pitch it? Let us help you! We’ve put together a proposals guide with advice on turning great ideas into great session proposals.
There are a lot of ways to think about sessions at SRCCON, but the main thing is to consider how it’s different than other conferences you may have attended. SRCCON is highly participatory: sessions are not a panel on a stage of a speaker running through slides. This is an opportunity to compare notes, share skills, and learn from each other.
So you can be prepared to pitch a great session at SRCCON, we asked a couple previous participants to talk about their experience hosting SRCCON sessions:
Successful sessions often emerge from a single question or problem—if you’ve been struggling with just about any aspect of your work, you can bet others have dealt with it, too. (When we receive multiple pitches on the same subject, we sometimes suggest that the proposers consider combining forces, but no one’s obligated to do so.)
Last year’s sessions dealt with topics including burnout, chatbots, community-building, documentation, hiring processes, illustration, machine learning, mobile development, newsroom analytics, and user-centered design. To give you a taste, here’s a small selection of great sessions from 2016.
SRCCON is a genuinely participatory event, and it’s hard to participate in a session that’s mostly lecture with a few minutes for discussion, so we look for pitches that include real interactivity. Outstanding sessions in previous years have included design exercises, games, skillshares, small-group breakouts, physical movement, and field trips, and we’re always interested in new ideas.
It’s also useful to think about your target session length and information/activity density. Over-programming a session with too many activities can make it impossible to get to your desired end-state—but a session that’s under-designed can easily turn into a conversation between a handful of the loudest people. We’re happy to help facilitators figure out the right balance, and don’t expect perfection at the pitch stage, but it’s good to start thinking about length and density early on.
Effective SRCCON facilitation is about effort and preparation more than expertise. Our faciliators plan and guide sessions, ask great questions, share what they know, and learn from their peers. We find that the best sessions are often led by facilitators who:
On the flip side, facilitators who have a harder time have usually tried to fit too much stuff into too little time, or are underprepared for guiding an active conversation.
If that sounds like a lot of effort…it is! But it also means that people who are brand-new to the community—or to a topic—can make excellent facilitators if they’re willing to put in a little prep time. We provide group and one-on-one support to help facilitators prepare for their sessions, and we can help match you with a co-facilitator if you’re pitching solo and want someone to work with you on the ground.