Top tips for a successful conference submission
Here are our Top 5 Tips:
- Be innovative and challenging.
- Make your session appropriate to an audience of business intelligence professionals (including sales/commercial analytics, SFE, CRM & related areas as well as market research).
- Show how your submission impacts on the role of BI professionals.
- Include a named co-presenter (e.g. pharma client/fieldwork partner/external guest speaker if appropriate). • We welcome client co-presenters from other disciplines – e.g. marketing, sales or market access – as well as BI.
You don't have to have a co-presenter but if there is good reason why this would be valuable (e.g. the paper is based on work that an agency and client have done together, or to bring a case-study to life by including a patient or healthcare professional viewpoint) then it's encouraged.
The important thing is that if you do plan to co-present, you gain your co-presenter's tentative agreement up front so that they can be named on your submission. The Board will be reluctant to commit to a session that states, for example, 'client tbc' as there is no clear indication that the co-presenter will materialise, and it can lead to a hassle and delays when trying to finalise the programme.
- Base any case-studies on real-life projects (including those submitted as BOBI Awards in the past - or that will be submitted next year).
What we mean here is that real-life projects will be favoured over ‘run for Conference’ research. Real-life research/analysis is preferred as it's more likely to have had real impact on the business, patients or the NHS.
In addition, research run for Conference can cause difficulties if timings are delayed and results aren't available for timely review of the draft paper, and of course the likely value of the paper is hard to assess if the findings aren't yet known.
These last two points would also be true of any real-life work that's still ongoing at the time of the synopsis being submitted - in which event the Board would need clear assurances about delivery timelines.
If you are submitting a thought-piece/opinion paper – e.g. one of the new ‘TED’ style sessions, or to run a session based on a more general discussion about the latest innovations in a key area, this is a different situation, and it wouldn't necessarily need to be based on an actual project.
Top 5 pitfalls that can lead to submissions not being accepted onto the programme
The most common reasons for rejecting papers are:
- Lack of clarity about what exactly the session will deliver
This is probably the most common reason for rejecting content, and it's frustrating when a submission sounds like it might be really interesting, but because there is a lack of clarity about exactly is going to be delivered/what the take home messages are, we can't be sure.
- The content appears to promote a specific service or proprietary methodology
We’re trying to encourage more focus on outcomes and general innovations than specific methods – which should help avoid the trap of too much focus on your own services. It's fine to talk about what you've done - but it needs to be in a way that allows delegates to take away general learnings and ideas about how to do things better that they can apply without necessarily using your services.
- Lack of a co-presenter (where their presence would clearly add value)
For more on this see the tips for success section above
- Topic is not relevant to a mixed audience of client and agency BI professionals
Top Tip: Ask a colleague with no background in the topic to read through and critique your synopsis